UP UP UP!
So, besides being a budget guru and mother of the year I have a full time job in my spare time. My husband calls me a pirate because he envisions me taking people’s money while wearing an eye patch, but my business card says that I’m a Registered Insurance Broker.
I’ve never talked about my work in my writing before but the insurance market right now is really affecting people’s pocket books including my own! I get it. Insurance stinks. It’s one of those things that you have to have and everyone hates to pay. It’s expensive and boring and you can’t wear it, eat it or drink it and the rates are going up.
I have clients calling me who are upset because they haven’t made any claims, they’re driving the same old vehicles and yet they’re seeing $200 rate increases. It doesn’t seem fair, and I totally get the frustration. Insurance is always the first thing that money articles tell you that you can save big on and that’s sometimes the case, but not always.
The insurance industry is in something called a hard market. It means the companies feel that they aren’t making enough money compared to how much they are paying out. When this happens, they look for ways to make more. Underwriting rules tighten, rates go up and they look for any driving skeletons in your closet.
I know it’s hard to believe that these bajillion dollar companies are losing money but when you put some things into perspective it starts to make some sense. Body shops are charging $120/hour now to fix a vehicle. Cars are equipped with more safety features than ever, which is great, but also makes fixing things more expensive. A bumper isn’t just a bumper anymore. It has back up cameras and motion detectors and kitchen sinks. Fraud is rampant in both body shops and in the healthcare industry. There’s always a price to pay for the insurance company and a different one for the consumer. Even things like postage has increased. They have to pay more to get your policy to you. All of these things need to be paid for, and unfortunately, we have to pay for them.
If you’re the in the unfortunate situation of having had your rates increase I’m going to recommend that you have a little freak out in your bathroom. Once you’ve calmed down, call your insurance representative. There could be errors on your policy, discounts that you’re missing or lifestyle changes that you’ve made that could possibly result in some savings. I recommend calling your current carrier first before shopping around because loyalty can certainly pay off in the long run. If, after speaking with your current carrier you’re still unsatisfied with the bottom line, then by all means look around, but make sure you aren’t sacrificing coverage for a few dollars. Trust me, after a claim, you’ll quickly realize that your premiums weren’t for nothing.
So, now you know my dirty little secret. I’m an Insurance Broker, and a darn good one too. I take cash, credit, monthly payment plans and on occasion, gold bullion. Yaaarrr.