If you're considering dropping your insurance policies to cut costs in these tough times, you might want to think twice. Dumping these plans isn't always such a good idea and could cost you more money in the long run.
"Good Morning America" contributor Wendy Bounds offers tips to help you trim your bills without giving up protection altogether. Check out her advice below.
Some 60 percent of American households have changed or are considering changes in their insurance. Nearly one-third would consider making cutbacks this year, according to one recent study.
Insurers for everything from automobiles, home, life and health are offering competitive deals.
For example Allstate's Web site advertised that folks who switched their auto insurance over from a competitor saved $473 a year on average. Recently, there was a "save $300 now" on auto insurance TV commercial for 21st Century Insurance.
Esurance.com is running a program called "operation savings" in which it says it can save you hundreds on your auto insurance.
One note of caution: The lowest price isn't always the best deal. Check for complaints against an insurer, and many state insurance departments release rankings that take complaints into account.
They are five types of insurance you cannot do without: health, auto, home/renter's, disability and life insurance. Expenses associated with a catastrophe in these areas can cost you more than what you'd save getting rid of the policies.
If you have a mortgage, for instance, you must have insurance. Renters shouldn't think they are immune from fire, flooding or hurricanes and should look into policies that cover personal belongings.
If you've got dependents like a spouse or kids, life insurance is also something you don't want to forgo altogether.
A minimum amount of auto insurance is required, though how much varies by state. It may be tempting to give up health insurance if you are buying it on your own, but one medical emergency or long-term illness could wipe out your assets.
Brush up your credit score because this can help lower your premium.
Increase your deductible because having some sort of coverage is better than nothing and this can bring down premiums.
Bundle your policies into one provider because they often offer discounts for this.
Be loyal if you find a good deal. You can get discounts for sticking with the same provider for several years.
Pay promptly. Automatic payments or paying the whole bill upfront can cut back on convenience fees that some providers have.