To get insurance, you will be required to pay a premium monthly, semi-annually, or annually. Pennsylvania residents pay nearly $28 billion in direct insurance premiums every year for property and casualty insurance alone. Insurance cost is influenced by the insured's risk profile, age, location, claim history, and other relevant factors. Sometimes, these factors increase or decrease the premium the insured pays. However, there are many ways to save on insurance and get the best deal.
The best way to save money on insurance in Pennsylvania is to consult a state-licensed insurance agent who can help assess your coverage needs and shop around for the best deals that suit those needs.
Read on for the ways to save money on all most common types of insurance in Pennsylvania (use the table of contents to navigate):
- Health Insurance
- Car Insurance
- Residential Insurance (homeowners, landlords, and renters)
- Life Insurance
- Commercial Insurance
The Top 6 Ways to Save Money on Insurance in Pennsylvania are:
- Consult with an insurance agent: This is the most advisable way to save money on your insurance. Pennsylvania-licensed insurance agents are knowledgeable about the state of the insurance market and can help assess your insurance needs and determine the policies you need, so you will only pay for what you actually need. Agent’s services do not cost you anything.
- Shop around: Compare multiple quotes from at least three insurance companies before settling for the one that best suits your insurance needs and finances. Ensure all quotes have the same coverage limits, as this will help you make a more informed decision.
- Higher deductible: If you go for a higher deductible, you will pay a lower premium for your insurance policy, but you will have to pay more out of pocket after a covered loss.
- Discounts: Ask your insurer for discounts you may be eligible for. Most insurers offer various types of discounts to help you save on insurance. For instance, installing safety devices in your home or car reduces your risk exposure and may attract discounts.
- Bundle your policies: Bundling your policies with the same insurance company can make you eligible for bundling discounts, which will help you save money on insurance. For instance, you can bundle your renters or homeowners insurance policy with your auto insurance policy to get a bundling discount.
Save on Insurance - 101
Insurance provides financial protection in the event of a covered loss. However, the financial protection insurance provides is only guaranteed if the insured regularly pays premiums. There are multiple ways to save on insurance. Consult with a Pennsylvania-licensed insurance agent who can help:
- Assess your needs and determine the policies that suit your exact needs
- Shop around and compare rates
- Check for discounts you are eligible for
- Advise you on when to opt for a higher deductible or drop certain coverages
- Bundle your insurance policies under one insurance company
How to Save on Health Insurance in Pennsylvania
A health insurance policy is essential to protect yourself and your family from unexpected high medical costs. Health insurance helps pay for the cost of medical treatment in Pennsylvania, and it covers most medical, surgical, and preventative costs incurred from illness or bodily injury. Pennsylvania has an estimated population of nearly 13 million residents and over 93% of them have health insurance. Generally, PA residents get private health insurance, self-employed health insurance, short-term health insurance, travel health insurance, and other types of health insurance sold in the state. Before you buy health insurance, consider these smart tips on how to save money on health insurance:
- Shop Around: Shop around different health insurance companies to get multiple health insurance quotes tailored to your needs. Then, compare their rates in relation to their coverage details, exclusions, and terms and conditions before settling for the most suitable and affordable policy. Your health insurance agent can help you compare rates from different insurers at no extra cost.
- Review Your Insurance Plan Annually: Before you renew your current health plan, make sure that you thoroughly review it with the help of an agent to avoid paying for more or less than what you need. This will also help you to maximize your plan’s benefits.
- Join your parent’s employer-sponsored health plan: Employer-based health insurance policies generally cover immediate family members, including the employee’s spouse and children (till age 26). This typically does not incur any extra costs.
- Use only in-network healthcare providers and services: Using only in-network health providers allows you to pay a subsidized fee and save more money. However, using physicians outside your health plan’s network of doctors will cost significantly more.
- Consult a health insurance broker or agent: A health insurance agent can help you assess your health needs to determine the best plan that will suit your needs at an affordable price after comparing rates from different health insurers.
- Get a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP): High deductible plans are generally cheaper because of the high deductibles an insured is required to pay in the event of a claim. It is advisable to only consider getting a high deductible health plan if you are relatively healthy. With a high deductible health plan (HDHP), you can get a Health Savings Account (HSA) that can help cover the costs of the high deductible, copays, and other qualified medical expenses, when necessary. You can use the extra money you saved by getting a lower-cost HDHP to get an HSA plan up to an annual limit. In this case, you can access the saved funds whenever you need them. HSA offers you the benefit of accumulating funds tax-free until you eventually use it. The accumulated funds can also be invested.
- Find out if you qualify for Government Assistance: Depending on your income, age, and family size, you may qualify for a government-funded health insurance plan like the Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Medicaid program. However, if your income exceeds the required limit (federal poverty level), you may still be eligible for cost-sharing or premium tax credits.
- Invest in preventive care and maintain a healthy lifestyle: To avoid unnecessary medical visits, practice a daily health and wellness routine that works for you, stay fit, eat healthy, and reduce your exposure to health hazards. Doing this can positively impact your health, attract certain discounts, and prevent excessive health insurance costs. It will also help you save money you would have spent on deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance.
- Get a Short Term Limited Duration Health Insurance: Short term health insurance is typically around 50 percent less expensive than standard ACA health insurance. Speak with your PA health insurance agent about how, if qualified, you can save on health insurance using a short term plan in conjunction with supplemental benefit plans.
How to Save Money on Car Insurance in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania law requires residents to have vehicle liability insurance to be able to drive legally in the state. Auto insurance covers accidents resulting in property damage or injuries. It can also provide coverage against theft, natural disasters, falling objects, vandalism, and other perils, excluding collisions, if you have comprehensive auto insurance. Collision auto insurance provides collision coverage. There are over 12 million vehicles registered in Pennsylvania, and each needs car insurance. Let’s discuss what affects the car insurance rate.
Here are some ways to save on auto insurance in Pennsylvania:
Compare car insurance quotes: One of the best ways to save on car insurance costs is to compare rates among car insurance companies licensed to operate in the state, before choosing the one that best suits your car insurance needs. Consult with an auto insurance agent who can guide you to make an informed decision. Note that the lowest price may not necessarily be the best option. Therefore, ensure you consider each quote's coverage details, exclusions, and terms and conditions before finally picking one.
Maintain a good credit score: Generally, your credit score affects your car insurance cost, so if you have a good credit score, you will pay lower premiums for car insurance than someone with a poor credit score. You can improve your credit score by making regular and prompt payments, keeping your credit utilization low, and building your credit history responsibly.
Look out for car insurance discounts: Some car insurance companies offer significant discounts to help save on auto insurance. You can consult with a car insurance agent to help you identify car insurance policy discounts that you may be eligible for. Most commonly, insurers offer discounts for taking a defensive driving course, traffic school, and/or driver safety training courses. Additionally you may qualify for multi-policy discounts, multi-car discounts, good driver discounts, good student discounts, and vehicle safety discounts.
Bundling policies: Bundling multiple policies from the same insurance company is one of the best ways to save money on auto insurance, and it also makes you eligible for discounts. You can bundle your car insurance policy with your home insurance policy to get a cheaper rate.
Install safety devices: Installing safety devices on your vehicle reduces your risk level and may also attract certain discounts. Buying a vehicle with multiple safety features, anti theft devices, anti-lock brakes, multiple car airbags, shatter-resistant glass, stability control devices, etc - can save you more money in the long run.
Maintain a low mileage: Your car insurance company may charge a lower premium if you maintain a low mileage on your usage-based insurance. Car insurance companies in Pennsylvania typically start offering low mileage discounts if you drive less than 14,000 miles yearly. You can save money on car insurance if you do not drive your car often. To earn a low mileage discount, a telematics device may be plugged into your car to track your usage for the insurance company.
Higher deductibles: To save on your car insurance premium, you may choose a higher deductible, especially if your risk level is low. Generally, higher deductibles translate to lower car insurance premiums. If you want to save on your premium, increase your deductible limit - but be sure that you have enough money on hand, so you can pay this new higher amount out of pocket, in case you need to file the claim.
Cut off the unnecessary coverages from your policy: If you have duplicating coverages - you can remove them from auto insurance policies. Less coverage may lead to more savings opportunities. For example, if you have AAA roadside assistance, you may not need similar coverage from your auto insurance company. Alternatively, you can drop collision and comprehensive coverage on older cars.
As your car gets older and depreciates, it may no longer need collision and comprehensive coverage. Generally, cars valued less than $2,000 do not need these coverages because the car’s value may be almost the same price or less than the premiums. Therefore, it is important to regularly review coverage to cut off unnecessary auto insurance costs. (Seek advice from a licensed agent before increasing your deductible).
Allow the insurance company to track you: Through a telematics device that plugs into the On-Board Diagnostic II (OBD II) port under your dashboard, your insurer can track your driving habits, the time you drive, and your mileage. A risk assessment will be done based on how well you drive, and if you are a good driver, your insurer can lower your car insurance costs. (Ask your agent about the companies that may be doing offering this option near you)
Pay your bill upfront: To save money on auto insurance, consider paying your insurance bill annually instead of monthly, as this may (in some cases) attract discounts.
Consider insurance costs before buying a car: Before you buy a new car, consider how much it would cost to insure it. Some cars, like sports, luxury, and high-performance cars, cost more to insure than regular cars.
Drive safely and take defensive driving courses: Keep your driving history clean. Avoid traffic violations like car accidents and speeding tickets that can impact your auto insurance premiums. Being a safe driver and maintaining good driving habits by avoiding these moving violations can lower your car insurance costs.
Reduce your claims: Avoid filing claims for small damage that can be fixed without involving the insurer and having to pay deductible. Filing too many claims over a period of time can lead to high premiums.
You can consult with a car insurance agent in PA for more information on potential discounts and how to save money on your car insurance. An insurance agent is a professional who understands the current insurance market and can help guide you to the insurer and a plan that offers different ways to save on car insurance in your particular scenario, based on your insurance needs. Also, the agent can help you get discounts that can help you save money on your car insurance premium.
How to Save on Home Insurance in Pennsylvania
Home insurance in Pennsylvania covers your home and possessions if they are damaged in a covered accident. It also provides liability coverage for third parties injured on your property. Home insurance, also known as residential insurance, includes homeowners insurance, renters insurance, condo insurance, mobile home, and landlord’s insurance. Home insurance covers vandalism, burglary, windstorm, fire, etc., but it does not cover disasters like floods and earthquakes. Home insurance is not mandatory under Pennsylvania law, but residents need it in order to avoid making expensive out-of-pocket payments for insurable risks. State's residents can apply the following tips on how to save money on home insurance in Pennsylvania:
- Shop around: Compare quotes from at least three home insurance companies before picking the most suitable one - based on your needs. While affordability is an important factor, only go for the insurance company with the lowest price after first considering the details of the policy they are offering and whether they are well-reviewed by other insured. Seek advice from an insurance professional to help you compare the options.
- Choose a higher deductible: Adjusting your deductibles can help you save money on your home insurance. There are 3 types of home insurance coverage that have deductibles in Pennsylvania (while the rest do not require deductibles):
- Dwelling Coverage - main structure insured value (Coverage A)
- Other Structures Coverage - (Coverage B)
- Personal Property Coverage - your personal belongings (Coverage C)
Home deductibles are divided into: Wind & Hail and Other Covered Perils. Both can be set independently based on your home’s risk exposures.
Most home insurance companies in PA offer deductibles of as low as $500 per claim and as high as 5% of the insured property’s amount. Make sure that you have your deductible amount in savings - ready to be spent in case you need to file a claim. Your roof can easily cost $12,000-$15,000 to replace.
For homeowners and landlord’s, the deductible is based on the insured value of the entire residential dwelling. Example: with the average Pennsylvania home priced at around $300,000 - the 5% deductible on such a home is $15,000 (1% - $3,000, 2% - $6,000, 3% - $9,000, 4% - $12,000).
For renters the deductible is based on the overall insured value of your own property.
As a result of such a change in the possible deductibles, the cost of the policy can change up or down by 25% or more. Make sure to set your deductibles strategically, based on the most common risks (seek advice of a licensed insurance agent).
Installing safety devices and upgrading outdated infrastructure: Installing home safety and security features in your residence reduces your risk level and can help you lower the cost of your home insurance. Examples of safety and security devices you can install in your home include burglar alarms, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems, deadbolt locks, updated HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems, storm shutters, and fire-proof doors. Installing an impact-resistant roof (that passes UL 2218) alone can save you up to 25% on homeowners and landlords insurance costs.
Flood-proof your insured home: If the home is located in the location prone to floods, elevating its foundation will lower your flood insurance costs. According to FEMA, if the foundation is raised 1 foot above the neighborhood’s “100-year flood” level, flood insurance premiums go down by 30 percent.
Home insurance discounts: Some typical home insurance discounts you may be eligible for are:
- home improvement and protective device discounts,
- home and roof age discounts,
- no-claims discounts,
- bundling/multi-policy discounts,
- impact resistant roof discount, and
- loyalty discounts (if you have stayed with the same company over a long period).
As a renter you may be also able to get a Non-Smoker and Senior Citizen discount.
Speak with an insurance agent about discounts for which you may be eligible.
- Avoid filing small claims: Filing multiple small claims over a short period of time can increase your insurance premium. Therefore, before filing a claim, consider the impact it would have on your home insurance premiums. Paying out-of-pocket to repair the damage or replace a stolen item may be a better option if it is a small claim and you can easily afford it.
- Build your credit score: Maintaining a good credit score would help you save on your home insurance premium because good credit scores generally attract lower rates than poor credit scores. Check your credit history regularly to ensure it is correct and that you are in a good credit position. You can improve your credit score by making regular and prompt payments, keeping your credit utilization low, and building your credit history responsibly.
- Get rid of high-risk properties: Trampolines, swimming pools, and playground equipment can increase insurance costs. You could call your insurance company to see whether adding protective features, like a fence or removing these structures, could lower your rates.
- Bundling policies: Buying your home and auto policies from the same insurer is one of the best ways to save on home insurance. It may qualify you for discounts that can reduce your premium, as most insurance companies offer bundling and multi-policy discounts.
- Pay premiums annually: Making annual premium payments instead of monthly payments generally attracts discounts and helps you save money on additional monthly costs, reducing the cost of your insurance premiums. If the home purchase is being financed, homeowners typically pay for insurance through the mortgage escrow account, where the payment is made to the insurer once a year - in full. If the home is paid off and for renters policies, paying your annual premium directly from the bank account may result in a discount.
- Share the costs: If you live in a rented property with a relative or friend, you can opt to share the monthly cost payment. However, this comes with a risk; if the other party files multiple claims under the shared renters insurance policy, it may affect your risk assessment score when you want to renew your policy or get another policy. Consequently, it may lead to an increase in your insurance premium.
- Screen your tenants carefully: Before accepting a tenant to your residential property, landlords should adequately screen the tenant to determine whether they are responsible enough for you to entrust your property with them in your absence. You can ask for their references and contact them to get detailed information on the prospective tenant. If you have tenants that badly damage or vandalize your property, causing you to file claims regularly, it can increase your landlord insurance premiums.
Generally, a Pennsylvania-licensed home insurance agent is in a better position to help you save money on your home insurance. Consult with a qualified agent in the state to help you review your existing home insurance contract, shop around for cost-effective home policies, handle the purchase and application process, and secure discounts for you.
How to Save Money on Life Insurance in Pennsylvania
The cost of life insurance goes up based on the age when the policy starts. So, to save money on life insurance you should buy it as soon as possible. Life insurance is a lifelong companion. It can give you financial and tax-beneficial benefits while you are alive, especially during the retirement years. Once you die, it can provide your family with financial support, when it can be used to pay for your funeral expenses, outstanding debts, and whatever else your beneficiaries may need.
You can save on life insurance in Pennsylvania through the following ways:
- Prioritize your needs: Figure out what you want your life insurance to do for you. This will determine the type of life insurance you should concentrate on saving on. To help you with this - speak with a licensed Pennsylvania life insurance agent who has access to multiple insurers. Do you want a simple policy that will cover your eventual burial costs, or do you want to use life insurance to invest in the stock market, structured to use the money tax-free during your retirement? Once you determine your life insurance needs, your agent can start searching and structuring all possible options to fit your detailed specifications.
- Shop around: Compare rates and benefits from various life insurance companies in Pennsylvania before choosing the most affordable policy that offers adequate coverage. It is important to compare at least three different life insurance quotes and decide based on the policy’s benefits and terms and conditions instead of just the price. Your agent will go over all the differences between the terms of each policy with you.
- Consider employer-sponsored group life insurance: Even if you have to contribute to your employer's life insurance program. It can be cheaper than individual policies, as employers often provide financial support for group insurance. However, it may only offer limited coverage and stop its coverage if you leave the organization. Discounts: Ask your life insurer about life insurance discounts you are eligible for. For instance, if you pay your annual premium upfront instead of making monthly payments, you may get a discount.
- Buy life insurance at a young age: Age is a major factor that life insurance companies consider when deciding on the premium to charge. This is because life expectancy decreases with age. For example, the average cost of basic term life insurance for a 20-year-old is $20-$30 per month for a policy with a death benefit of $500,000. In contrast, the same coverage can cost $80 - $100 for a 55-year-old. Getting life insurance locks you into the rate based on your current age and guarantees you this same rate for the full length of the policy. The earlier you get it - the more you save.
- Make some lifestyle adjustments to maintain good health: Adopting a healthy lifestyle may attract lower life insurance rates. For instance, exercising regularly, adopting a good sleep pattern, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol can get you a lower premium. If you and your medical records can prove to the insurer that you are in a great shape, you can receive a higher classification and the resultant lower rate. The highest classification you can get is typically Preferred Plus, which is given to the lowest-risk life insurance applicants.
- Only buy what you need: The more death benefit coverage you buy, the more money you'll pay. In order to keep the costs down, determine how much death benefit you need to leave behind to take care of your beneficiaries and don’t buy more than they will need. If you also get living benefits as part of the policy - the cost goes up higher. You need to decide which elements are important for you and concentrate on them, because some of these options can pay off big, especially in retirement and when you eventually will need long term care.
Discuss your needs and possible coverage options with knowledgeable and licensed professionals. Contact a Pennsylvania-licensed life insurance agent or broker to get life insurance quotes that suit your life insurance needs and financial budget. The agent will help you match your insurance needs to a life insurance policy type, and structure multiple options for you to choose from.
How to Save Money on Business Insurance in Pennsylvania
Businesses in Pennsylvania have various needs that require protection, including their valuable assets and employees. All business owners in Pennsylvania should consider getting business insurance to protect their assets and investments from unforeseen losses like client lawsuits, employee injuries/accidents, business disruption, and property theft/damage. How much you spend on commercial insurance in Pennsylvania primarily depends on the type of the policy and amount of coverage you purchase for your business.
To get an assessment of your business insurance needs and to get several commercial insurance quotes for comparison - speak with a licensed Pennsylvania commercial insurance who can quote from multiple competing insurance companies.
Some ways to save money on commercial insurance premiums are:
- Compare rates, policy types, and market sentiment: Speak with a knowledgeable agent - to help you navigate the market. Shop around for business insurance quotes tailored to your business’ needs; choose the policy after comparing the benefits, terms, and the insurance company claims reviews. You can use the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance licensed insurance companies list to find companies that specialize in selling business insurance near you.
- Structure the policy properly: Your insurance agent will use all of your discovered needs and requirements to structure several policies from competing insurers for your review. Structuring each policy separately allows you to compare how each insurer will bundle and discount their products.
- Choose a higher deductible: A deductible is an amount you are required to pay before your insurance kicks in. Commercial insurance deductibles can be a percentage of the insured total, a specific dollar amount, or a period of time, during which the insured business is supposed to operate on its own after the covered event, without involving the insurer. High deductibles and wait periods usually attract lower premium rates. If the business can afford to pay a higher deductible out of pocket in the event of a covered loss, selecting a high deductible is a good way to save on insurance.
- Select a lower coinsurance percentage: For property insurance coverage you can adjust the coinsurance percentage, which determines the penalty that must be paid if your business property is underinsured. If you and your agent agree that you are insured up to the appropriate limits - then you can lower the threshold. But be ready to pay the fees and/or receive a reduction of the loss payout - if you turn out to be underinsured at the moment of the loss. This can be devastating, especially for a small business cash flow. Make sure to reassess your coverage limits with your agent annually.
- Bundle policies: Bundling multiple business policies with the same insurer can lead to saving money. This usually results in bundling discounts or multi-policy discounts. For instance, you can purchase commercial auto, business liability, and business property insurance from the same insurance company to get a discount of between 5% and 25%. Ask your agent for suggestions about bundling all of your insurance needs.
- Take safety and security measures: You can install safety and security devices to mitigate your business’s risk. You can also organize workplace safety training programs for your employees. Taking safety measures may attract a discount or lower insurance rates.
- Avoid buying excessive coverage: Assess your business needs thoroughly to ascertain the business's needs before buying coverage. There are so many business insurance policies available, so you need to be sure that what you are buying is necessary to protect your business and not an unnecessary expenditure. For example, if all your employees drive only company vehicles for work, you could remove “hired and non-owned” coverage from your commercial auto insurance policy - since it covers vehicles that are used by the business but are not owned.
- Stay claim free: Maintaining a claims-free record can help you save money on insurance and earn you discounts, depending on the insurance company.
- Review coverage annually: Take time out to review and update your policies with your insurance agent to ensure your business needs are duly covered under your commercial insurance policy. During the review, you identify the coverages you need to drop if they are no longer necessary. This is a good way to save money and stop paying for coverages you do not need.
- Pay your premium annually: Make lump-sum annual payments instead of opting for premium finance. Commercial insurance premium financing typically adds an additional 7-13 percent to the annual cost of insurance, unless it is offered directly through the insurer.
- If premium financing is used to get insurance coverage - make a larger down payment: The more money the business puts down for the coverage, the less it needs to finance and pay interest on. Down payment lowers the monthly premium costs.
Consult a Pennsylvania-licensed business insurance agent for more personalized information on how you can save on your commercial insurance.
Can You Negotiate The Price of Insurance in Pennsylvania?
No, you cannot negotiate the price of insurance in Pennsylvania. Insurance companies fix their rates primarily based on the internal pricing structure determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance. Because of this, insurance companies cannot offer deals other than regulated rates. The variations in prices you see across the insurance market are mostly due to how each insurer bundles coverages and offers member discounts.
Speak to a Pennsylvania-licensed insurance agent to discuss your insurance needs and get guidance on saving on your insurance policy.