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October wrap-up and Home Insurance

November 5th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

First the good news: I earned $102.21 on mturk.com during the month of October. That will be used as cash spending money while we are in Cozumel in February (Disney Cruise).

We are on track with our savings to have enough for our property taxes. With the Nov 15th paycheck we should be able to pay our property tax. Our HOA dues are due in January, so we will use some December savings to pay for that.

Now the bad news: We were about $160 over our October spending budget. And it's because my DH went to the dentist for his cleaning and they found a cavity. We have dental insurance, which completely covers cleanings every 6 months, but cavity fillings are not covered nearly as well. I'm looking forward to having our "slush fund" up and running by the end of this year so that it can cover these unexpected expenses.

At the end of December, we should have our emergency fund fully funded and a small slush fund. At that time, we will increase DH's 401k contribution to 15%. And we will start our new budget (which will include putting money aside each month for our property taxes/insurance and $100/month for each kiddo's 529 plan). In January we will also be starting extra principle payments on our house. It will be a tight budget, I hope we can do it!

Switching gears:
Today I called our home insurance company. Our premium has increased by $684 over the past 2 years. When we bought this house, the premium was $1060. Then a year later I switched insurance companies from AllState to Progressive (switched both auto and home policies). The net of the 2 was a savings of about $600 a year. But our auto was substantially lower and our home insurance increased. Then the next year, our home insurance increased a few hundred more dollars. And now it's at $1744.

I've been going through the paperwork and I noticed that our dwelling coverage seemed overstated, so I called Progressive to ask about lowering that. They told me it was an algorithm that could not be changed, but they went through all the facts about our house and lo and behold the dwelling number was high. So that change brought my insurance down for the year by $146. They are going to pro-rate the difference and send us a check for $75 since we are half-way through our policy.

But, I've done some online quotes from other insurance companies and those quotes are still coming in closer to the $1100 a year. I know if we switch our homeowners policy, our auto insurance policy will go up since we a discount for having both together. I guess I need to price out what the net difference would be in switching. I think our home insurance is still about $500 higher than it could be.

It seems like such a pain to keep pricing our insurance...does anyone do this every few years? Or do you stick with the insurance you have?

9 Responses to “October wrap-up and Home Insurance”

  1. LuckyRobin Says:

    What is mturk?

  2. twest Says:

    We had Allstate insurance for about 20 years. One year the house insurance went up about $500. I thought that was ridiculous in just one year. They told us it was due to heavy flooding that happened near our area in the year prior. They also said we would not find any house insurance lower than that. HaHa yeah right. We are now with State Farm at the same price as Allstate originally was. In my opinion it definitely pays to shop around occasionally. It is a pain though to have to switch everything but worth every penny.

  3. snafu Says:

    We had State Farm for cars and when we bought 1st house having their coverage seemed obvious. 3 houses & several different cars later we had a break-in. Premiums for cars had inched up, house kept in line with expectations. The hose came of the washer [in basement], & called their 24 hr information line for best method of clean-up. Huge mistake! That call generated a 'readjustment' rate. I was furious because there was no damage and no claim for the mishap. The agent explained that they should have raised my rate due to Katrina and a hurricane in Florida which changed nearly everyone's premium. Whaaa-t...I live in another country!

    At that point I took a friend's advice and contacted an independent Insurance Broker. They shop a client's particulars to the large re-insurers who 'bid' for the client. It was a huge savings in our case. Our State Farm Agent tried hard to retain our business particularly because we had referred several others but he doesn't control head-office rulings.

    We are several years later and our condo & car insurance is still less than the State Farm premium BUT condo insurance does not cover the external building. That is covered by the Condo Complex. Our insurance only covers internal stuff. It is important to re-evaluate insurance every two years.

  4. TexasDisneyGirl Says:

    Lucky Robin--mturk.com is a website run by Amazon.com where you can do small online jobs for money. I mostly do surveys for universities. I earn about $50-$100 a month doing it. I only do work about 3-4 days a week for about an hour. It's very tedious but I like having the extra money to put towards things.

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I've been with Geico for car/renter's for most of the last 15 years, although I do shop around once a year or so. One time I did find a quote which was a few dollars less, but it wasn't with a company I really wanted to go with so I stayed with Geico.

    Good job with mturk!

  6. LuckyRobin Says:

    Do you have a referral link to mturk?

  7. texasdisneygirl Says:

    I don't think they have referral links. Frown But if you already have an amazon.com account I think you can use that.

  8. texasdisneygirl Says:

    For mturk, check out this blog link:

    http://bradthegeek.hubpages.com/hub/Brad-The-Geeks-Mechanical-Turk-Tips-and-Tricks

    I personally like to only do university surveys that pay about 50 cents or more. I search on the newest "hits" first and mainly do surveys that are 20 minutes or less. My hourly rate is low--maybe $5/hour, but I can do it in my spare time at night after the kids go to bed.

  9. Jerry Says:

    Oh yes, we absolutely check insurance prices every year or two. It is a pain, but almost every time it leads to savings. Actually, we have gone a little longer this time because we are living overseas, but usually every couple of years.
    Jerry

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