Always Check your Bill. Catching an Error Just Saved me $702!
Every year I get my new homeowner’s insurance policy, and it goes up $30 or so for the annual premium. And I get pissed. In this economy, when my home value has plummeted for years, I have to pay more for my homeowner’s insurance? Isn’t the cost of my insurance supposed to be aligned with the value of my house, after all? Of all the no good…
Anyhow, you can call your insurance provider to lower the premium by lowering the coverage increase (which automatically happens every year). That’s lesson #1. Lesson #2 is the true point of this post, and it spans every bill you ever receive, insurance or not. Check and double check your bill! Catching one tiny (big) error just saved me $702! Here are the details.
You have a number of ‘coverages’ on your insurance. One is your dwelling, or house. Another is your ‘other structures on residence premises’. Mine were both valued at the same amount. Looking for ways to cut my overall insurance cost (I’m a huge proponent of slicing all of your mandatory recurring expenses as much as possible), I asked the rep “why do I need as much coverage on ‘other structures’ as I do on my actual house, that seems a little excessive, doesn’t it?”.
Silence for a second…
Rep: “Yes, that has to be a mistake. Usually, the ‘other structures’ is automatically set to be 10% of your dwelling coverage, not 100%.”
Me: “Really? Because it’s been at 100% for the past 3 years!”
To the customer reps credit, she was very apologetic and immediately put in requests to credit me the difference. How much did it save me? $175 for each of the last 3 years! That’s about half of what my bill should have been.
Not only did the credit for the past three years of errors cover the next year of insurance, but I also received a check for $174!
Don’t let today’s automated billing systems lull you into thinking your bill could never be wrong. ALWAYS double check every statement. And don’t be afraid to ask if you catch something that just doesn’t make sense.
What is the biggest error you’ve caught on your bill?