This article is part of the Guardian’s coverage of the world’s biggest insurers.
Read moreThis is a big deal, and it’s likely that most of us would be able to get a good deal by using an insurance broker, especially if we had a good credit score and were willing to pay a premium.
You don’t have to be a professional, but it would be a lot of fun if you could get a really good deal.
The problem is that not all brokers are created equal.
And the market for these companies is so fragmented that it can be hard to tell which is the best option for you.
If you want to know the best insurance company, you need to ask a few questions, says Jon Hirsch, a senior adviser at the Consumer Federation of America, which advises consumers on consumer finance issues.
“How much is the premium?” you ask.
“If you don’t get a firm answer, ask the insurance broker.
If you get a satisfactory answer, the best answer is to ask the company itself,” Hirsch says.
The question you should ask is: What’s the deductible?
What’s the cost?
How much will I pay for the policy?
And the answer should be straightforward.
For most insurance companies, the deductible is what they charge you.
For some, it’s the amount of the premium you pay.
For others, it depends on what you pay for other insurance, like car insurance.
But there are different rates for different types of policies, and the deductible varies.
Some insurers, for example, are more likely to charge you a high deductible for a policy that covers your car, rather than a policy for a single occupant.
In a new study published on Thursday in the journal PLOS Medicine, a team of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, and Columbia University found that many insurance brokers charge high premiums for policies that cover the same number of people, such as a single person or family.
“The best way to avoid this is to go with a smaller policy,” says Dr John S. Buss, an insurance consultant and an expert on health care pricing.
“You could go with an affordable policy with a low deductible,” he adds.
If the insurer has a high claim rate, and its deductible is low, you might be better off using a smaller premium policy, says Dr Mark S. Siegel, a professor of insurance policy and health policy at Northwestern University in Chicago.
“There’s a reason the average premium for individual policies is around $5,000, so the higher the deductible the less you’ll be paying for it,” Siegel says.
“I think the premium should be the same as for a family policy, and you should get a lower deductible.
But what about family policyholders who have an unusually high deductible?
How can you tell if they’re getting a good plan?”
The researchers looked at more than 8,000 insurance brokers across the US, looking at policies for people with low incomes and the lowest incomes in the country.
“We looked at people with incomes below 200 percent of the poverty line, people with income below 200,000 per year, people of all ages, race and ethnicity,” says Siegel.
“The people who were being most aggressive and who were going to spend more than 10 percent of their income on premiums were the most likely to be being charged higher premiums.”
It was a very small sample, and not all of the people who enrolled were eligible to take part.
So the researchers also looked at data from other sources, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Department of Health and Human Services.
“For example, people in higher-income groups are more often in a family plan and so the people in that group are more apt to be able and willing to spend the most money,” Suss says.
“In addition, we looked at the people with employer-based coverage who are most likely not eligible to sign up.
So that group is also likely to have higher premiums than people in other groups.”
The study found that the cheapest policy, by far, was one with a very low deductible.
“There were no differences in cost between the two cheapest policies,” says Buss.
“It’s a very expensive policy, but if you do the math, it turns out to be the cheapest one out there,” Sinkes says.
That’s important because insurance is a highly subsidized activity, which means if you have a very good credit rating and the insurer doesn’t charge you an outrageous premium, you should be able get a reasonable deal.
But if you are poor and your premiums are too high, you may have to pay for higher-priced policies, says Sinke.
“I would strongly recommend looking into a broker if you’re in need of a high-deductible policy,” Sinks says.