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Let’s Whine About Insurance Costs!

It’s that time of year for us again – most of our insurance policies are up for renewal.  I cringe every time I pay one of the bills, and yet I know that we’re actually getting fair renewal rates.

How do I know?  I shop around every couple of years or when there is a significant jump in cost.  AND I talk a lot about everything to everybody, so I usually have a good idea of what is being paid by others.

So chime in below so we can all keep up on the going rates in our own regions.  I’m starting with our most costly out-of-pocket coverage and working my way down.  Knowledge is power…knowledge of costs is the power to save money!

Health Care Coverage

We don’t technically have health insurance.  We joined Liberty Healthshare in 2016, which is a health cost sharing group.  It’s not actually insurance, but they work similarly.  They don’t guarantee coverage, have a maximum coverage amount of $1,000,000 per incident, and they don’t cover pre-existing conditions fully for the first few years.

But they let us join, cost WAY less than our previous health insurance ($299 a month instead of $570+), and have a maximum “unshared” amount of $1000 for us (like the annual maximum out of pocket amount from insurance companies…we were at $13,000 before).

We truly tested them out this past 2016-2017 year.  All of my treatments and tests for pregnancies and early miscarriages ran up more than $25,000 in submitted bills.  Liberty Healthshare and I got many of those bills reduced and I ended up covering $1000 of them all and they covered the rest.  That meant submitting many paid and unpaid bills, following up with both sides occasionally, and doing the normal health care dance.

But Liberty Healthshare was kinder than the doctors and staff we had to deal with.  Really think about that – our healthshare company were the NICE ones in the process.  They explained fully when I had questions and every representative seemed to honestly care when I called.  That’s amazing to me.

Given that, we pay about $3600 a year on health coverage “premiums”…our monthly $299 contribution plus an annual $75 fee.  If you reach out to Liberty Healthshare to join (855-58-LIBERTY), please let them know Crystal Stemberger is truly thankful.

Home Owner’s Insurance

We live in a suburb around Houston, TX.  Our two story house is 3750 square feet, has 5 beds/4 baths, and was built in 2012.  We have full coverage with a $2500 deductible in general, $4440 deductible specifically for wind and hail, and a $22,200 deductible for hurricane damage (our flood insurance steps in for hurricane too, hence the crazy number there).

Our rental home is in the same general area around Houston, TX.  That two story house is 1750 square feet, has 3 beds/2.5 baths, and was built in 2004.  Our deductible for any claim would be $3460.

We’re paying $1240 a year for our home.  We’re paying $950 a year for our rental home.  That comes to about $2200 a year for home insurance policies.

Car Insurance

We have full coverage on my husband’s paid off 2007 Toyota Prius with 160,000+ miles since it gets driven a lot and its parts are expensive.  We also have full coverage on my 2013 Honda Fit that is still being paid off (I’m in no rush with that 0.9% interest loan).  We have $1000 deductibles to pay if we make a claim.

The Toyota Prius is running us $650 a year and the Honda Fit is $740 a year.  Grand total of about $1400 a year for car insurance.

Flood Insurance

Both homes are not in flood plains or areas even known for flooding, BUT we don’t assume we’re immune.  As Allison showed us more than a decade ago and Hurricane Harvey just reminded us, it doesn’t matter if your house ever got close to flooding before.  Any home in our area can be in a danger zone.

That said, regular home insurance companies do not offer solid coverage for flood claims.  Texans who need it have to get separate flood policies for our homes just like some Californians have to get separate policies for earthquake damage.  Our policies for each home have $1250 deductibles.

We just had to make our first claim from the flooded master bedroom closet at our house during Hurricane Harvey, but it’ll be another month before we know if we’re going to be getting the final quote from our insurance adjuster since they are obviously back-logged.

We pay $390 per year for our actual home and $615 per year for our rental home (no homestead exemption).  That comes to about $1000 per year for flood insurance policies.

Life Insurance

We have a few years left on a 10 year term life insurance policy for each of us.  If we die unexpectedly, the beneficiary would receive $250,000.  We didn’t go crazy with the amount since we’re young and still don’t have kids.  $250,000 would cover our funerals, taxes, and even paying off our remaining home loan if needed.

We pay about $360 a year for our 10 year term life insurance policy.

Our Overall Annual Insurance Costs

Overall, that’s $8560 a year of our real money every year JUST on insuring ourselves and our stuff!  Ugh.  That’s a lot of money to shell out for coverage that we honestly hope not to use much.  But at least if the excrement collides with the rotary oscillator (just think about that for a minute, lol), then we won’t have to risk losing it all.

If we didn’t own property, obviously we wouldn’t need to spend so much on insurance.  In fact we’d be saving about $4600 a year just on home and car coverage.  But we aren’t minimalists.  We are cost-aware, savings-covered, let’s-have-some-fun consumers.  We enjoy our current lifestyle and this is just some of the costs that go with the benefits we value.

What area do you live in and how much are you forking out for the insurances above?  What other insurances have I missed?  If you don’t own property, how much are you gloating right now?  😉

FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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3 thoughts on “Let’s Whine About Insurance Costs!

  1. Out here in CA, we’re paying for life, health, home, earthquake, and car insurance, and I’m looking to add long term disability insurance to that batch, soon! Luckily I’ve finally gotten our payments spread out across the year a bit more rather than batched in October and November every year, that was a painful bite out of our cash flow.

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