One of the worst offenders, however, is my car insurance company. It seems I get something from them every day trying to sell me life insurance, buy one of their retirement planning products, or just requesting me to come in and have all my needs reevaluated.
They usually end up in the trash half opened.
Which is exactly where a particular one I received recently was destined to end up? But as I ripped the envelope open, and pulled it half way out and only partially unfolding the paper inside I saw "5%" somewhere on the page. I stopped, gently unfolded it the rest of the way, and read the text on the page.
The paper outlined two ways I could save on car insurance.
Safe Driver Monitoring System
The letter was introducing a new program in which people who enrolled received a device that clipped onto their car's sun visor. As the vehicle was driven around, it would record the following pieces of information:
- Time of the day the car was driven
- Acceleration and braking habits
- Speed of the vehicle
Using this information, my insurance company would calculate how safe of a driver I am and potentially give me a discount on my car insurance. A sliding scale was shown, generally awarding a higher potential discount the lower the mileage the car was driven yearly.
Matching our estimated yearly mileage average for our van, we would get a 5% discount just for signing up, but up to a potential savings of 16% based upon how safe of a driver the program thought we were.
Low Mileage Insurance Plans
While it wasn't the purpose of the mailing, it did mention that they offered lower rates for cars that are driven a low amount of miles each year. Our car is just such a vehicle since we typically drive our van everywhere our entire family goes. The mailing estimated that this kind of insurance plan could be 25 - 50% cheaper than a standard plan.
Given the kinds of discounts mentioned in the mailing, I have a phone call to make to my insurance company to enroll in the monitoring system, and to investigate switching plans for our car.
That piece of junk mail is going to save me quite a bit of money!
Have you ever almost thrown out a piece of mail that ended up being very important or useful?
Travis is a contributing writer for the A Straight Talk on Debt blog. He is also a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he’s learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family in Minnesota. You can also read more from Travis on the Enemy of Debt blog, where he is a featured blogger. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.