Monthly Archives: July 2012

Getting a CLUE

A little detective work can reveal a lot about a property’s history, and could save you from unexpected surprises later. Before you buy your dream home, order a loss report. The five years of claims history the report offers can give you a better perspective on your biggest financial investment.

It’s Called CLUE, But It’s No Mystery

Most insurance companies, including Safeco, use the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) to see if a home has had significant losses in the past five years. The information helps consumers decide whether to insure a house, and if so, for how much. CLUE reports are available online. Buyers and sellers can request a copy as they begin the home-buying process.

The Internet Accelerates Information Sharing

Before CLUE, insurance companies would call the home’s previous insurer, or insurers, to find out if damage was repaired. Internet technology made this information sharing much faster and more convenient for everyone. Now, a CLUE report is readily available to insurers and consumers, and accelerates the insurance application process.

The Earlier You Find Out About Risks, the Better

If you’re buying a house, it’s a good idea to request the CLUE report at the same time you make your initial offer. That way, if there has been serious damage or repair to the house, you can let your home inspector know what to look for. CLUE reports also help home sellers. Reviewing the report before listing a house allows a seller to be completely honest or make sure repairs have fixed the original problem.

Calls Are Tracked, But Not a Factor

In some states, CLUE reports may include calls homeowners have made about potential claims, even if no payment occurred. At Safeco, these “claims without payment” are not a factor in the acceptance or pricing of new policies.

Lowering the Cost of Homeowners Insurance

Interested in saving money on your homeowners insurance? We’re going to take a chance and guess that your answer is yes. You have options when it comes to lowering your home insurance costs.

How to Lower Your Cost

  • Insure multiple policies with Safeco Insuring both your auto and home with us may qualify you for a discount on BOTH policies.
  • Increase your deductible
    Deductibles typically range from $500 to $7,500. By increasing your deductible and raising the amount you pay out-of-pocket for losses, you can save more on your homeowner’s policy premium. Contact us to explain the trade-offs.
  • Safety saves
    Installing safety features to your home can qualify you for discounts. Have you recently added a security system, burglar alarm, or fire alarm to your home? All of those items can reduce insurance costs.

Lowering the Cost of Auto Insurance

There are a number of factors that go into determining the cost of your car insurance premiums, and we have some helpful suggestions to help you lower your costs.

How to Lower Your Cost

  • Models make a difference
    Shopping for a new car? Or are you shopping for a collector, classic or antique car? The type you choose can affect your costs. High-end luxury cars and performance vehicles cost more to repair, maintain and insure than family sedans. The same applies to classic cars: the more expensive to buy, the more expensive to repair, maintain and insure. The age of the car also makes a difference. Newer cars might cost more than older ones.
  • Safety saves
    Not only is it smart, but a clean, safe driving record can also lower your rates. The safety equipment you choose for a vehicle may mean discounts. Ask your agent about other ways to be rewarded for safe driving and vehicle protection (such as anti-theft devices). In addition, taking a driver-training or accident-prevention course may qualify you for additional discounts.
  • One company + combined policies = lower cost
    The more insurance policies you have with a company, the more substantial the savings. So, try having one company cover all of your insurance needs.
  • Determine your deductible
    A deductible is the out-of-pocket amount you are willing to cover in the event of a loss. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Increasing your deductible saves you money. Decide if you’re comfortable paying more out-of-pocket after a loss later in order to save money now.
  • Update your agent on any changes in your life
    Are you still insuring drivers who no longer live with you? Do you drive less for your job than you used to? Has your Insurance Bureau Score changed? Just graduated from college? Moved to a new neighborhood? Your teen driver getting good grades (they may qualify for a “good student” discount)? All of these things affect how much you pay and could result in discounts.

Other Auto Insurance Cost Factors

What you pay for auto insurance could be determined by many factors. In addition to the information above, here are some other things that may affect how much you pay:

  • How much you drive
    Drivers who use their car for business and long-distance commuting usually pay more than your average driver.
  • Your age, gender, and marital status
    Statistics show that these factors relate to accident rates so they’re a consideration.
  • Where you live
    Rates vary depending on city, state, sometimes even different neighborhoods and ZIP codes within a city. Insurance companies research the accident/claim rate in an area, and your premium will reflect that. Live in a high accident area? Expect to pay more.
  • Your driving record
    Drivers with a history of accidents or motor vehicle violations (such as speeding tickets) generally pay more than those who are accident-free for several years.

 

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