insurance

Save money on insurance by comparing prices

Insurance is one of those things that, as an adult, you just have to suck it up and pay for it. It's expensive and sometimes feels unnecessary, but in the off chance something bad happens, it's the one asset you need to have. Our Frugal $ense winner for this month, Shaun Rowley, doesn't dread paying his insurance. Instead, he looks at is as an opportunity to save some extra cash. Here's how he does it.

This month's Frugal $ense winner: Shaun Rowley of St. Cloud, Minn.
Shaun RowleyShaun Rowley won $100 for submitting the following tip:

You don't have to switch insurance companies to get the best rate. Most insurance companies will match quotes from competitors as long as the coverage is the same. Just visit some of the big insurance websites, fill out a free online quote, which takes just minutes, then call up your insurance provider and ask them to match it. I have done this to lower my auto and home insurance several times, and most of the time, they don't even make you send them the competitor's offer details.

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Bankrate.com: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Shaun Rowley: I am 26 years old and married with no children. I grew up in Minnesota and went to school there. I work in the banking industry. I've traveled to Illinois and Delaware for work, and I recently came back to Minnesota and love it here.

Bankrate.com: How did you find out about this money-saving tip?

Shaun Rowley: I moved around quite a bit, so as a result, I had to be creative with bills and manage multiple homes at the same period of time. So one of the things that I learned, when I was calling around switching things up, was a way to save on insurance. Saving didn't necessarily mean switching plans. Instead, I learned to go back to my original insurance company to see if it would match my plan with competitors.

Bankrate.com: So your frugal tip works for any type of insurance?

Shaun Rowley: Yeah, I've had it work for homeowners insurance, renters insurance and auto insurance.

Bankrate.com: Do you have any other frugal advice on ways to save money?

Shaun Rowley: People should look at insurance as an opportunity to save money every single year rather than seeing it as a chore of paying it and dreading it. I think it's good to have a savings goal and to try to make it automatic whenever you can. This could be something like setting up a plan once a year to review your insurance or setting up an amount of money to come out of your paycheck and go into a savings plan every month. The more you can automate your savings, the more successful you'll be. It's easier to make that decision once a year, rather than trying to make that tempting decision of saving or spending every single week.

Bankrate.com: Speaking of a once-a-year savings plan, is that how often you compare insurance rates?

Shaun Rowley: Yes, for me it's once a year. I have it marked on the calendar. The good news is, with online quotes, you can get one in about 15 minutes. So I check three or four websites, type in my information and get some quotes to see what's best. Just reminding my insurance company to stay competitive seems to be really helpful and saves us a ton of money.

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