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Becoming the CEO of Your Personal Life –
A Personal Insurance Series: Controlling Insurance Costs — Check Your Credits

Parker, Smith & Feek's Private Client Group Article Series

Private Client Group

When it comes to risk management and insurance, it’s important to apply your business best practices to your personal life as well. All too often, we overlook assessing our risks and updating our insurance when we make lifestyle changes, grow our wealth, and add (or delete) valuable assets. In this series, we will discuss common sense steps that you can take to be an effective CEO of your personal life.

Successful businesses make risk management decisions that help control their insurance costs. If you are in charge of your family’s insurance coverage, you can also take steps to reduce your risk exposures and receive premium credits for doing so.

Homeowner Insurance

If you have installed loss control devices and systems in your home, be sure that your insurer knows. While not every insurer offers every credit, it’s certainly worth checking. Some of the most common devices that earn homeowner credits are:

  • Central station fire and burglar alarm systems
  • Permanently installed back-up generator
  • Water leak detection and shut-off system with alarm
  • Automatic seismic shut-off valve
  • Gas leak detection system
  • Sprinkler system (full or partial)
  • Low temperature monitoring device
  • Video monitoring system

Some insurers also apply credits if your home is in a gated community or has a perimeter gate, if you have a full time caretaker for your secondary home, or if you live in a condo with a 24-hour doorman.

Valuables Insurance

If you insure your jewelry, fine arts, or other collections on a scheduled basis, you can receive credits for recent appraisals, usually within the last two to three years. A home safe for your valuables can also help reduce your premium.

Auto Insurance

In addition to “loss free credits” offered by many insurers, you may qualify for discounts if you have:

  • Children who maintain a B or better GPA. The credit is available for both high school and college students.
  • A student away at school (more than 100 miles) without an auto.
  • Completed a defensive driving course for mature (55+) drivers.

Account Credits

Insurers usually apply credits to all lines of insurance when you place all of your coverage with them. If your insurance is currently with multiple insurers, ask your broker if it’s financially advantageous to consolidate your coverages with one insurer.

Next Steps

Review the possible credits available and confirm with your broker that you are receiving all the credits for which you are eligible. Evaluate your risks and determine if you should install additional devices or systems to protect your home and belongings. If so, ask your broker about credits, as well as any incentives that your insurer may offer. In recognition of risk management efforts, some insurers offer reduced pricing with selected vendors for purchase/installation of loss control devices and systems.

Your risk management steps that result in premium credits are a win-win for you and your insurer — both of you are working to avoid future losses. Consider your insurer and your broker as essential partners in your role as CEO of your personal insurance program.

The Private Client Group at Parker, Smith & Feek is dedicated to risk management and insurance solutions for our clients. As part of our concierge level service, we produce and share important risk management information—from life safety and disaster preparedness to auto and home protection—for our clients and the community.

The views and opinions expressed within are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Parker, Smith & Feek. While every effort has been taken in compiling this information to ensure that its contents are totally accurate, neither the publisher nor the author can accept liability for any inaccuracies or changed circumstances of any information herein or for the consequences of any reliance placed upon it.

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