Home and auto rates: Is cheaper better?

DATE | 01/08/24
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Found cheap insurance? The initial premium price may look good, but when it comes time to make a claim, it’s best to avoid a potentially unwelcome surprise.

The idea of saving some money by choosing the cheapest auto and home insurance is a tempting idea. But does that mean the insurance meets your needs? Maybe. But cheaper may mean you’re not getting the coverage or service you need when it comes time to make a claim.

Many people treat insurance as a one-size-fits-all commodity. However, that is far from the case. Your needs are unique to you, so it’s critical that you understand what you are comparing when contacting insurance companies.

Why is cheaper not necessarily better?

Almost no two insurers sell the exact same coverage. If you’re getting online quotes, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Some may quote you on a different levels of coverage than another company, such as bodily injury or liability protection on your auto and home policy.

Some companies bundle certain coverages together, so you may be paying for coverages you don’t need. It’s important to know exactly what you’re being quoted on.

Cheaper may mean less coverage, and that may inadvertently expose you to more loss than you expected.

You may get what you pay for when it comes to service. Is it worth a long wait time, convoluted claims process, or poor communication when you’re most in need?

A cheap insurance policy may make promises on what you can save, but when it comes time for a claim, it can really cost you.

A testament to our service

Educator Sam Bina, School District of La Crosse, had a hailstorm pass through his area on March 31, 2023, and cause damage to homes in his neighborhood. When he called us, Halona Lippert, Senior Claims Specialist, promptly assigned an adjuster to inspect his home.

The adjuster found minor damage and the amount was below Sam’s deductible, so a claim payment was not issued in this case.

However, Sam couldn’t say enough about our service.

“Halona! You get a double A++ for such incredible work, and your impeccable service to the (Member Benefits) universe.

I also did see some dings on the wind turbines but not enough to replace them. If it’s still functioning then why replace it, right?!?

Thanks for getting back to me. If a tornado, hurricane, tsunami, monsoon, Santa Claus, or hail larger than 0.76th of an inch lands on my house in the near future, YOU are the one I will contact!

Thanks for all your work helping the teachers of Wisconsin (like me).”

Be a value hunter, not a bargain hunter

We’ve said many times that insurance is an important part of your financial security. If you’re like most people who treat auto and home insurance like a commodity—or one-size-fits-all—you risk leaving yourself (and your family) exposed to financial loss or purchasing coverages you don’t need.

By going deeper and considering these three principles, you may be able to increase the likelihood that you are appropriately covered.

→ Buy value, not price
For example, is exposing yourself to loss by lowering your liability limits worth saving a few dollars every month? Make sure you understand the implications of the coverage decisions you make.

→ Maximize your insurance dollar
The risk of a catastrophic event may be low but it does happen…and it can be financially devastating. If you’re looking to save money, explore reducing your deductible before you consider reducing coverage.

→ Insure for the catastrophic
It’s the real reason we have insurance. Liability (umbrella) insurance is often overlooked, but most financial planners consider it a must-have. It’s also very affordable.

Claims service you can trust

Because we are member-focused, you can expect a great service experience.

  • You can choose to speak to the same person throughout your claim process, but all of our staff are equally able to help you through your claim.
  • Our claim staff longevity averages over 25 years. This means when we discuss any questions you have, we can quickly conclude your claim in the most efficient manner.
  • Not sure if you want to present a claim yet? We can answer your questions and allow you to make an informed decision.
  • We can go through the “what ifs” about a claim and collaborate with other staff if we can’t answer right away.
  • We have gathered a group of knowledgeable independent appraisers that share the same goals as Member Benefits for service and customer satisfaction.
  • You choose your body shop or contractor because you know your local community better than we would.

When your life is significantly disrupted by accident or home loss, you depend on your insurance to be there for you. Member Benefits was created by educators for educators. It’s not always the least expensive, but it will be there for you when you need it most.