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Newspaper headlines have become frightening these days – threats of double-dip recession, mass layoffs, rising unemployment rates, increasing national debt…yikes!  Headlines suggesting those topics could make anyone want to skip over the news and go straight to the comics!  But, as I am well aware, ignoring all that bad news won’t improve the state of the economy…so, I reluctantly continue to read these stories.  A certain old adage comes to mind as I read them – “The best defense is a good offense.”  It would seem taking stock of finances to determine where money can be saved may be the first step to establishing that good offense.   

I wondered how to effectively reduce the cost of insurance while preserving appropriate and sufficient coverage.  Between Yutz-Merkle Insurance and our new agency in Bethlehem, The Lehigh Agency, I have 8 knowledgeable insurance agents at my fingertips…so I knew exactly where I could get my answer!  At 8:20 Tuesday morning, I sent an e-mail to each of those 8 agents asking for suggestions…by 8:50 Tuesday morning, I had 8 detailed responses!  Below is compilation of their top 7 suggestions.


1.         Defensive Driver Training for those age 55 & older (

2.         Burglar Alarm (Homeowners)

3.         Behind-the-Wheel driver education (for young drivers)

4.         Good Student Discount for students with a B-average or higher (carrier-specific)

5.         Multi-policy and multi-vehicle discounts

6.         Cars with airbags and anti-lock brakes (Erie Insurance will even discount your auto policy if you place a life policy through Erie Family Life!)

7.         There may be a reduced-usage discount for college students who are away at school without a car.

Being a safe driver with no claims or tickets makes you eligible for discounts because it also makes you desirable to insure.  You may remember I posed the question in a blog this past August as to why underwriting would be of interest to the consumer…well, here we have another perfect example to answer that question! (

As always, it is advisable to speak with your agent –  he or she can help you determine if you can save money on your insurance. Our agents at YMI and The Lehigh Agency would love to help.  Obviously, they are incredibly prompt…they are also all licensed, have many insurance designations, and keep up with changes in insurance laws and requirements. 

Thanks, Helayne, Kristy, Joe, Marj, Kim, John, and Wendy, for your informative and quick responses!!!

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