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Involving the insurance agent early in the home buying process can save you money. Insurance agents are a great resource for information on home safety and they can give tips on how to keep insurance premiums low. Be sure to shop around among several insurance companies.
WAYS TO SAVE MONEY...
1. Shop Around - Don't consider price alone. The insurer you select should offer a fair price and deliver the quality service you would expect if you needed assistance in filing a claim. Ask them what they would do to lower your costs.
2. Raise Your Deductible - Deductibles are the amount of money you have to pay toward a loss before your insurance company starts to pay a claim. The higher your deductible, the more money you can save on your premiums. Most insurance companies recommend a deductible of at least $500. If you can afford to raise your deductible to $1,000, you may save as much as 25&.
3. Don’t confuse what you paid for your house with rebuilding costs - The land under your house isn't at risk from theft, windstorm, fire and the other perils covered in your homeowners policy. Don't include land value in deciding how much homeowners insurance to buy. If you do, you will pay a higher premium than you should.
4. Buy your home and auto policies from the same insurer - Some companies that sell homeowners, auto and liability coverage will take 5-15% off your premium if you buy two or more policies from them. Make certain this combined price is lower than buying the different coverages from different companies.
5. Make your home more disaster resistant - Find out from your insurance agent or company representative what steps you can take to make your home more resistant to windstorms and other natural disasters. You may be able to save on your premiums by adding storm shutters, reinforcing your roof or buying stronger roofing materials. In addition, consider modernizing your heating, plumbing and electrical systems to reduce the risk of fire and water damage.
6. Improve your home security - You can usually get discounts of at least 5% for a smoke detector, burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks. Some companies offer to cut your premium by as much as 15-20% if you install a sophisticated sprinkler system and a fire and burglar alarm that rings at the police, fire or other monitoring stations. These systems aren't cheap and not every system qualifies for a discount. Before you buy such a system, find out what kind your insurer recommends, how much the device would cost and how much you'd save on premiums.
7. Seek out other discounts - Companies offer several types of discounts. For example, since retired people stay at home more than working people they are less likely to be burglarized and may spot fires sooner, too. Retired people also have more time for maintaining their homes. If you're at least 55 years old and retired, you may qualify for a discount of up to 10% at some companies.
8. Maintain a good credit record - Establishing a solid credit history can cut your insurance costs. To protect your credit standing, pay your bills on time, don't obtain more credit than you need and keep your credit balances as low as possible. Check your credit record on a regular basis and have any errors corrected promptly so that your record remains accurate.
9. Stay with the same insurer - If you've kept your coverage with a company for several years, you may receive a special discount for being a long-term policyholder. Some insurers will reduce their premiums by 5% if you stay with them for 3-5 years and by 10% if you remain a policyholder for six years or more. Make certain to periodically compare this price with that of other policies.
10. Review the limits in your policy and the value of your possessions at least once a year - You want your policy to cover any major purchases or additions to your home, but you don't want to spend money for coverage you don't need. If your five-year-old fur coat is no longer worth the $5,000 you paid for it, you'll want to reduce or cancel your floater (extra insurance for items whose full value is not covered by standard homeowners policies such as expensive jewelry, high-end computers and valuable art work) and pocket the difference.
11. Look for private insurance if you are in a government plan - You should check with an insurance agent or company representative or contact your state department of insurance for the names of companies that might be interested in your business. You may find that there are steps you can take that would allow you to buy insurance at a lower price in the private market.
12. When you’re buying a home, consider the cost of homeowners insurance - You may pay less for insurance if you buy a house close to a fire hydrant or in a community that has a professional rather than a volunteer fire department. It may also be cheaper if your home’s electrical, heating and plumbing systems are less than 10 years old. If you live in the East, consider a brick home because it's more wind resistant. Choosing wisely could cut your premiums by 5-15%.
Check the CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) report of the home you are thinking of buying. These reports contain the insurance claim history of the property and can help you judge some of the problems the house may have.
If you have questions about insurance for any of your possessions, be sure to ask your agent or company representative when you're shopping around for a policy. For example, if you run a business out of your home, be sure to discuss coverage for that business. Most homeowners policies cover business equipment in the home, but only up to $2,500 and they offer no business liability insurance. Although you want to lower your homeowners insurance cost, you also want to make certain you have all the coverage you need.
Start shopping online! Email LindaWiller@remax.net for property listings in your price range