Congratulations on your new position! But before you pop that champagne, take a moment to consider how this new job could affect your insurance rates — and how to avoid getting increased rates.
You might be asking yourself, “Why should I be worrying about insurance at a time like this?” In my mother’s early days as a realtor, she would’ve asked the same question. She would use her personal vehicle to take potential buyers to see properties. This all changed when she got her new car insured and her premiums skyrocketed — all for doing a nice favor for her customers.
My mother was lucky and changed her situation before it hurt her wallet. Follow in her footsteps, and take the following three tips to heart. They’ll help you keep your hard-earned cash where it belongs — in the bank.
1. Think Like an Insurance Company
Once you’re offered a position, make an in-depth analysis of the job description. Look at what’s required of your personal resources (like your car).
When driving customers became her routine, my mother never expected her insurance to go up. She wasn’t thinking about mileage or what might happen if she got into an accident with customers in the car.
After sitting down with her provider to discuss a new policy, she learned the nightmarish cost she could’ve incurred and made an immediate change.
Her provider asked four simple questions:
- What do you do for work?
- How many miles do you drive to get to and from your job?
- Do you use your personal vehicle for employment-related purposes?
- Will any nonemployees be passengers in this vehicle during work-related trips?
The answers to these questions could have doomed her insurance rate — and resulted in her buyers traveling separately to her properties.
2. Negotiate Terms Without Bringing Up the Benjamins
When interviewing for a position, remember to ask questions, but try to frame your inquiries in a way that presents concerns in a more broad and general sense.
When seeking employment from a company that might affect your premiums, ask questions like:
- Will I be expected to carry certain insurance policies as part of my employment?
- Does the company offer full insurance benefits?
- What exactly is included under “full benefits”?
If it turns out that key benefits — like car insurance — aren’t included, ask if reimbursement is available or if those expenses can be built into your pay rate.
Specific dollar amounts are typically a turnoff to potential employers, but by sticking to general questions, you’ll likely be seen as having responsible forethought — a quality that may help you win the job.
3. Document Expenses
Even if you’ve already accepted a position with potentially damaging effects on your insurance, you still have options!
The key is to be diligent, keeping track of overall day-to-day mileage and gas expenses. Take note of small, noticeable changes to your car’s performance and well-being. With careful documentation, you may be able to save on maintenance and upkeep — particularly by catching minor issues early that have the potential to become larger, more expensive issues later.
After leaving the damaging position, go back to your insurance provider and ask that your rate be reevaluated to reflect your change in circumstances. Your rate should drop significantly. Once your employment and lifestyle changes are factored into the remaining time left on the previously prorated amount, you may even receive a refund!
Now that you’ve carefully assessed your options and are prepared to thwart potential increases to your insurance, go ahead and pop that champagne. It’s a new job, and there’s much to celebrate!