There are quite a few areas where I know I’ve made mistakes in my financial past.  For instance, I know I bought more house than I needed.  That’s a mistake that costs me unnecessarily on utilities, property taxes, and insurance.  A downgrade is a real possibility, and perhaps the topic of a post in the future.

But I recently found a much more subtle mistake that was costing me without even thinking about it.  While evaluating my largest annual costs, I took a closer look at my insurance.  What I found was pretty staggering.

I wasn’t quite sure what was normal for insurance on a home and two cars, but I felt like I was getting screwed.  But I’d been with my previous insurance company, American Family, for years and hadn’t been given any reason to change.  My wife and I are safe drivers and smart home owners.  Outside of getting side-swiped by an old man running a red light more than a decade ago, we had filed no claims, had no tickets, and always paid on time.  The perfect customers.

So I gave American Family the benefit of the doubt, and reached out to my agent.  I laid out the argument above, and asked what they could do to lower our monthly premium on home and auto.  They came back with a “new plan” that could save me whopping $30 annually.  So I took to the web to get some estimates.

And it’s good thing I did.

First stop was Geico.  Next stop was Allstate, then Esurance, and so on.  I gathered 7 quotes, and the results were pretty staggering.

After weighing the options, I landed on Allstate.  Below is the cost breakdown of the annual premiums for home and auto:

Home Auto Combined
American Family $1,543.00 $1,706.20 $3,249.20
Allstate $1,260 $1,248 $2,508
Savings $283 $458.20 $741.20

So with a combined savings of $741.20 (or 22.8%), Geico was right.  15 minutes COULD save you 15% or more on insurance.

Moral of the story is, don’t wait a decade to look at your insurance costs.  Look every year.  I know I will.

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