Can I Save Money From Insurance Settlement by Repairing the Home for Cheap?

We had substantial wind damage to our house, and the insurance company gave us a settlement check for $12,000. Can I keep some money if I can get the repairs done for less than that amount?

It is surprising how many people have this in their mind. Of course you can pocket the difference, it is perfectly legal and a totally misguided way of handling your property repairs. Homeowners in most cases lose substantial amounts by doing this.

To understand this we need to review two terms: Actual Cash Value and Replacement Value.

Actual Cash Value or the Depreciated Value is the amount your insurer estimates as the loss your property suffered. For example if you have a 5 year old window you bought for $2000 new then depreciated value would be $1500. This is the amount your insurance company pays you upfront.

Replacement Value is the estimated amount it costs to replace your loss with new and comparable items. In the example if the same window now costs $2500 now then your Replacement Value is $2500. You will get the difference only after completing the repairs and submitting the receipts. Remember you are paying additional premium to have replacement coverage.

If you replace your window with an older one that costs $1000 and pocket the $500 difference but it will impact the value of your property. Here you have an opportunity to replace a 5 year old window with a brand new one. By using cheaper option you left $1000 to the insurance company.

The same discussion is true when you are selecting a contractor who will do a high quality job or a contractor who will quote you the lowest price to get the job done. If you settle for cheaper repairs you only have yourself to blame for the problems that will develop in near future.

Please visit for an excellent free tool that helps you find out whether you got full settlement in 5 minutes of less. You will also find additional insights into home insurance claims. You can also ask an expert any questions about your home insurance claim.

Saving Money on Insurance

In a time when many people all scraping the bottom of the barrel to survive, why on earth would we worry about insurance? Normally we take care of the insurances that we are required by law to have and when we are financially sound, get the “extras”. So how am I saving money? Let me show you a couple of ways to save money on all the major types of insurance.

Most of the major insurance companies compete pretty hard for your car and home insurance. Shop around and see what could save you a lot of money. Insurance is one of those things you can switch instantly in most cases, so check prices frequently to see if a company you looked at before has gone down in price now. Yes you do get what you pay for even with insurance, but all the major companies have different claims experience. This means one company might be cheaper for you, but not for someone else depending on your specifics. Don’t buy from the company that has only been around a few years, or advertises only after 11:00pm. They will probably not have good customer service or claims help.

Health insurance is going to go up again next year, so run some prices now and try to get locked in if you have an individual policy. Most people have insurance through their employer. If you are a business owner, there are a lot of options aside from just getting more quotes. You can put in place a bridge program that allows you to have a higher deductible plan. The bridge program will pay for any deductible amount you choose up to $3,000 and reduce the cost of your insurance by having a high deductible. If you choose to cut benefits altogether, you can offer optional benefits that are often deducted pre-tax. This gives your employees minimal coverage, but reduces your payroll taxes at the same time. You might say, “I’m just a little guy and can’t do anything about it.” Get to know your HR person. Suggest some of these things to them. Many companies are not aware that optional benefits are available to them.

Optional insurances: life, disability, and long-term care. Insurances that are not required by law, but the events they insure devastate a family’s financial well-being. Could you afford to retire today? If you don’t have disability insurance and get in an accident, you just involuntarily retired. You probably don’t have long-term care insurance either, so your spouse also just retired. If the bread winner passes away, what happens to the ones left without their income? Life, disability, and long-term care insurance are critical in times of financial strain because of what could happen without them. I hear stories every day of people who waited just a little too long to decide on that life insurance policy. The way our society is setup does not allow for individuals to go without life insurance. Most of us would probably carry car insurance even if it wasn’t required especially if you have used it. If you do have a life insurance policy that you bought several years ago, check the newest rates. Rates are low right now and you can switch policies at any time.

My advice in these times of financial strain: Check and recheck your insurance to make sure you have the companies you like, the price you can live with, and the coverage that you can sleep at night if anything should happen.

Save Money by Reducing Automobile Expenses

This article provides many useful tips on reducing your automobile expenses. One easy way to have more money is to reduce your living expenses. Thus by using a little time and effort, you can save money that otherwise might be spent needlessly.

Reduce auto gasoline costs

Condition of the auto — Keep your car as light as possible. Don’t carry around excess baggage in your car. Don’t leave items in racks on top of your car. They will increase your gas consumption.

By keeping your car properly tuned, you can save money on gasoline and on future maintenance.

Keeping your tires inflated at the recommended pressure will save on gasoline. If you have a new auto, the recommended tire pressure should be in the owner’s manual. If you have an older car, you should use the pressure recommended by the tire manufacturer. You probably can get this information from a local tire store.

Driving habits — Sudden stops and Jackrabbit starts use more gas. This driving style is also apt to wear out your car faster. This would require more frequent maintenance and possibly even major repairs.

Don’t speed. This uses a lot more gasoline than traveling at moderate speeds.

Using your cruise control on long highway trips can save on gasoline.

Reduce gasoline expense/usage — Don’t warm up your car engine by letting your car sit while the engine is running. This uses up a lot of gasoline. It’s better to drive at a moderate speed until the engine warms up.

Get a locking gasoline cap if you don’t already have one. This can prevent the theft of your gasoline.

Use the cheapest octane rating of gasoline that doesn’t make your engine knock. At least, don’t pay for an octane rating higher than recommended in your owner’s manual.

Reduce the use of your auto — Instead of using your car for short trips, consider walking or putting off the trip until you can run several errands at one time.

Use car-pooling or take a bus when possible and practical.

When you want to treat yourself to an entertainment or a good meal, you can arrange to do those activities at home.

You might want to consider whether going on a long trip is really worth the expense.

Instead of going on a vacation in some other state or country, maybe you can enjoy yourself just as well in a nearby city.

Reduce auto insurance costs

Save money on insurance premiums — Increasing the amount of your deductibles will lower the insurance premiums. Ask for all the discounts you are entitled to receive. Insurance companies also may give lower rates to people with good credit ratings.

Consider dropping the comprehensive and collision coverage on your car if you own it free and clear and it isn’t worth very much. Also, consider dropping add-ons that you rarely use, such as towing coverage.

You can usually save money on insurance by not going through the dealer where you bought the car. The dealer usually gets a commission on this insurance, which increases its cost.

Relax when you drive. Don’t become a victim of road rage, it might lead to an accident and hurt your insurance cost.

You might also save on auto insurance by having your home insurance and your auto insurance with the same company.

When buying insurance for your teenage children, it usually will be less expensive to add them to the parent’s insurance policy. Many insurance companies will give lower rates to teenagers who have taken student driver training in high school. It is also important for both parents and teenagers to have a good driving record.

When not to have high deductibles — You may want low deductibles, which increase your insurance premiums, if you don’t have the resources to cover a high deductibles amount in case of an accident.

Another reason you may want low deductibles is if any inexperienced drivers are covered by the policy. They increase the odds of having an accident with your vehicle.

However, if you have a lease or loan secured by your vehicle then the lease company or loan company may not allow high deductibles on the collision and comprehensive insurance they require.

Reduce auto repairs and maintenance

Always follow the recommended maintenance schedule for your auto. Keep a schedule of the maintenance you have had performed. Then you will know when the next service is required. In this way, you won’t forget an item. Moreover, you won’t pay for a particular service before it’s needed.

For routine maintenance, you can probably save money by going to a specialized service chain like Oil Can Henry’s. When getting an oil change, don’t pay for expensive oil unless your car engine needs it.

However, if you have a serious problem with your vehicle, it’s probably better to bring it to a dealer’s repair shop. Also, if your auto is under warranty, you need to have certain work done by a certified mechanic. Check out the requirements of your warranty.

When you purchase tires or have any repairs that come with a warranty, keep the receipt and warranty in an envelope in your glove box. Add the date and terms of the warranty to your log of maintenance work done. If you have a Costco membership, this is probably a good place to buy your car tires.

Some experts recommend getting an oil change every 3,000 miles, regardless of what the owner’s manual recommends. This might make sense for a new auto, but it probably doesn’t help much for an older car.

Fix problems while they are just starting. Don’t wait until you have a big repair bill. Winterize your car before the rush starts. You don’t want to be caught in an unexpected freeze or snow.

Maintenance jobs you can probably do yourself:

  • Check the fluid levels for coolant, oil, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid
  • Maintain the proper tire pressure
  • Purchase and change the windshield wiper blades
  • Purchase and replace one of the new high-intensity headlight bulbs
  • Wash and wax your car

Reduce other auto expenses

Purchase a car breakdown or survival kit and keep it in your car trunk. It should contain things like flashlights with fully charged batteries, emergency tire inflator, towrope, battery jumper cables, common tools for working on autos, emergency flares, pads for driving over snow or ice, and first aid kit. Also, you may want to have a pre-paid cell phone. These items may let you save money by avoiding towing charges, or will let you call a towing company when you really need help.

Avoid using toll roads when possible and practical.

Save Money on Insurance by Buying From Your Bank

This article will talk about how to get better terms for your financial services by buying them all from the same provider by using the concept of synergies and economies of scale. It seeks to provide tips to people to save money on their financial services needs.

Some countries have laws that separate various financial activities from being run by the same company. Other countries are more open when it comes to this issue. If you live in a country where your Bank also offers credit card services and insurance, then you should take advantage of that and apply to the same place for all your financial needs. That way, you can negotiate premium rates, deductibles, credit limits and bank fees. This gives the consumer leverage in dealing with their financial institutions because if they don’t keep you happy, then stand to not only lost your bank account but all the bundled services as well.

The process of getting cheaper financial services works a little like buying your Cable and Internet from the same company that gives you phone service. You may have noticed that a lot of companies such as Comcast offer a bundles internet, phone and cable package that comes out to be cheaper than buying all three services from different companies. This is because of the concept of economies of costs. It is cheaper for companies to provide you with all three services together because in most cases, all three services require the same infrastructure such as the actual connection.

The same is true for financial institutions. The costs of providing you with more services are incremental. They don’t have to hire more people or invest in server and office space so they can pass the savings on to you. Of course the downside of this is that if the bank fails then so do your insurance, credit card and bank account whereas if you keep your services separate then you are spreading out the risk.

But all in all, if the banks are backed by some kind of government insurance, then you don’t really have much to worry about. So, go ahead and buy your insurance from the bank that provides you all your other services and make sure you negotiate and let them know how you are a loyal customer. Businesses thrive on negotiation and they will respect you more if you settle for a good deal rather than accept just any rate they give to you.