Insurance Credit Score Improvement Tips

Many of my clients are what I consider true insurance credit score improvement warriors.

How To Earn  A Great  Insurance Credit Score

While completing the homeowners insurance application for N.R.65, a new member of the Bridge Insurance Family, I asked her how she managed to obtain and maintain her sterling credit score.

N.R.65 said she pays her credit cards twice monthly.

“Twice each month?”

“Yes. Twice each month.”

“Please explain.”

Instead of paying the minimum payment each month, she doubles the payment. Then, she makes another payment of $60.00 or $70.00 whether she uses the card or not.

Her mantra? “My credit is so good,  it looks better than me!”

So here’s to N. R. 65, a true credit warrior!

Another Great Tip for Rapidly Lowering Credit Balances and Improving Your Insurance Credit Score.

My client, A. B. 22 does not make her credit card payments on the due date. She instead makes her monthly payment no later than two days before monthly interest is applied to her outstanding balance. So monthly interest is applied to a lower balance, hastening how quickly she pays off each credit card.

Her system really works. She’s quickly cut down her outstanding balances  using this method. And the balances fall even faster when you don’t use the cards for anything other than an emergency.

“Where do you find this interest due date” I asked.

“It’s on your monthly statement. The same monthly statement too many people tend to ignore until the last minute.”

“I looked around my apartment,” she said, “and saw books I purchased and never read. Blouses I thought I couldn’t live without still in the original wrapping with the sales tag still attached. In several cases, two or three years after I brought them home.  Money wasted. Money which should have been applied to paying off credit card balances. Better still, not creating new balances or adding to existing balances.”

The Beat The Interest Payment Due Date Worksheet

I asked how she keeps up with every credit cards’ monthly interest date. She said she devised a  “Beat The Interest Payment Due Date Worksheet.” She created a simple grid on a page in an inexpensive marble composition book she bought at an office supply store.

Along the X-axis, she enters the names of each card in date order and the date the payment must reach each bank. She also enters the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for each card in each box. This keeps her aware of just how much she is paying to for the use of the credit card companies’ money.

Along the Y-axis at the top of the page, she creates a column for each month where she enters every monthly payment she makes for each card. Following each payment is the date she actually made the payment. She does this to remain honest to her system.

Did The System Work?

“Two years ago, I owed about $25,000 in credit card debt. Now I’m down to just over $10,000. And I raised my insurance credit score from poor to good.”

A good insurance credit will save you money in many ways
What will your credit score do for you?

 

 

 

 

 

This future homeowner is well on her way to owning her own home because she lowered her credit utilization and improved her savings.

Why Does A Good Insurance Credit Score Matter?

Your credit score is a reflection of how well or how poorly you handle your finances. You don’t have to adopt miserly ways to attain a good credit score. It’s simple really. A bad credit score will cost you more money for mortgages, automobiles, and many forms of insurance.

When you are purchasing home, renters, co-op, condo, or auto insurance, your premium depends on many factors. In my experience, one of the most important is your insurance credit score.

An excellent or good score will yield the lowest premiums. A fair or poor score will saddle you with higher premiums. For example, with a fair or poor score, you can wind up paying at least 50% more in premium than someone with an excellent or good score.

There are no quick fixes to improving your insurance credit score. Insurance companies go back five years into your credit history. Important factors are your payment history, length of credit, delinquencies and credit utilization.

What’s Credit Utilization?

Just imagine your total lines of credit come to say $25,000. If you use $15,000 of your credit lines, you have a 60% credit utilization.

To get a great credit score, you shouldn’t have a credit utilization percentage of more than 19%. Anything higher and your insurance credit score will begin to drop.

Any Other Good News?

Try to avoid any of the insurance credit no-no’s on your credit record during the past five years.

There are five of them and they are:

  1. Judgements
  2. Foreclosures
  3. Liens
  4. Repossessions
  5. Bankruptcies, whether in, coming out, or beginning one.One or any combination of these will result in a much lower insurance credit score, with higher premiums.

When I Start To Work On Improving My Credit?

There’s no time like the present. Do a little each day and watch your credit score soar to new heights.


About the author

Eustace L. Greaves, Jr., LUTCF is an NYS-licensed Independent Insurance Agent and Broker with 40 years of experience. He is celebrating 25 years as an Independent Insurance Agency Owner.

Like to speak with Eustace?

Eustace is ready to assist you with your life, disability, home, flood, renters, auto, cooperative and condominium, and wedding insurance needs. He can be reached at 718-489-2218, or by email at infogreavesinsurance.com. You can also contact him by going to his website, https://greavesinsurance.com, and completing any of the available “Contact Us” forms.

How to subscribe to “Never Knew News” newsletter

If you’d like to subscribe to his monthly newsletter, “Never Knew News,” go to his website, https://greavesinsurance.com, and click on any of the “Subscribe” buttons.

Have insurance, income tax, real estate, mortgage, or home inspection questions for Eustace? He’ll be happy to provide the insurance and income tax answers and will continue to call on his expert contacts for help in the other areas. Just email him at eustace@insuremeeg.com with the subject line, “Ask Eustace.”

 

Let’s Set The Record Straight About – Customizing Your Insurance

Today’s clever insurance commercials are a necessary evil. They provide more information about bundling and saving, and less about the coverages you, your family, and your business really need.

We can change that by simply asking the right questions.

Customizing Your Insurance

There is no insurance company that owns a monopoly on helping you customize your insurance.

None.

Commercials, Commercials, Commercials

Commercials are designed to increase brand awareness using gimmicks including celebrity spokespersons, animals, car crashes and chases, and well, anything they think you will remember when it is time to buy insurance.

Does Every Company Allow You To Customize Your Insurance?

You can customize your home, life, auto, renters, co-op, condo, disability, long term care, personal umbrella, and yes, even your flood insurance with any company licensed to do business in the State of New York as well as every other state in the Union.

Every company gives you the ability to customize your insurance.

Every single one.

Problem is, most consumers aren’t served by most of the television commercials aired today.

They are simply goaded into a perpetual state of dissatisfaction with their current carrier, even when their current carrier is doing a good job for them.

It’s What Consumers Don’t Know About Their Insurance Which Hurts Them

Each year, I make at least 25 insurance-based presentations for HUD-approved housing agencies and organizations such as Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, Harlem Churches for Community Improvement, and Impacct. I always ask those in attendance to tell me what their automobile insurance coverages are. Inevitably, 14 out of 15 give the same answer, “Full Coverage.”

Not 25/50/10.

Not 250/500/100.

Full coverage.

And when I ask them how much their policies cover in the event of an accident, they usually reply that they’re not really sure, but they did save money by bundling their home and auto.

Yay,

Buying What You Need Is A Two-Edged Sword

As long as the policy or policies quoted for you meet your state’s required minimum coverages limits, buying the cheapest policy or bundle possible is actually all you need.

What if though, you just struck and killed a pedestrian, or lost control of your vehicle and totaled a house. Will your policy provide you with the actual amount of money you will need when the jury hands down some obscenely massive award against you?

Imagine coming home to find;

  • Your home on fire.
  • Two (2) feet of toxic sewage water sloshing about your finished basement.
  • Burglars paid you an expensive visit while you are at work or the market.
  • Your good dog had a bad day.
  • There are three feet of floodwater in your home and you don’t own a flood insurance policy.

What Questions Should I Ask?

  • What, if any hoops must I jump through in case of a claim?
  • Are policy coverages or exceptions more important to know?
  • Why do I have duties after a loss?
  • In the event of a covered cause of loss, how easily will my claim be settled?
  • Is your claim service fair?


What Should My Insurance Company and/or Independent Agent and Broker teach Me?

  • Why buying home insurance based on your home’s replacement cost is essential.
  • How to determine your condominium and cooperative apartment “walls in” insurance coverage based on what a licensed contractor would charge to completely repair fire or water damaged walls, ceilings, and floors.
  • The importance for renters to complete a personal home inventory, down to the last sweat sock.
  • How owning Life and Disability insurance will prevent financial disaster should death or disability destroy the earning power of a family breadwinner.
  • Reasons why every property policy should include Water and Sewer Backup coverage. And why every cooperative and condominium apartment owner should add the Loss Assessment endorsement to their coverage.
  • Why buying flood insurance, even when their home is not in a high-risk flood zone, is a smart financial move.

And, of course, what coverages do I actually need to protect my family and home from most disasters?

The other day a woman asked me for my honest opinion of who I felt was the best insurance company out there.

My answer?

The one with whom you secured the proper policies, with sufficient coverages, which is in force at the time of your claim.

A company that won’t make you jump through hoops to settle a  claim fairly. An independent insurance agent and broker willing and able to service your policies. With premiums accurately reflecting the coverages your policies provide.

Nothing else matters.

As for the commercials, well, give my regards to Broadway.

At least until we can enjoy live theater again. Until then, stay healthy and safe.

 

Eustace L. Greaves, Jr., LUTCF is an independent insurance agent and broker, licensed to conduct business in New York State. Contact Eustace at 718-783-2722, 718-489-2218, by email at eustace@insuremeeg.com or by completing the contact form on this page, or  one of the many contact forms on his website, https://greavesinsurance.com.

 

 

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