Saving Money On Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance can be cripplingly expensive - in some areas, as expensive as your mortgage payment. But there are ways to save yourself some money on this necessary expense. Comparison Shop for Homeowners Insurance The best source for information about good homeowners insurance is your friends and families. Ask them to recommend their insurance companies, and shop there first. If you can't find anything that works for you, check naic.org, the National Association of Insurance Companies, for companies that operate in your state; a second advantage here is that they also list complaints against companies. Be certain you check the financial stability of insurance companies at places like standardandpoors.com. When you've found three or four good insurers, call and ask for quotes. Take a Higher Deductible Sure, in the short run this will cost you more money - like if a tornado blows shingles off your house, or if you have minor damage in a hurricane, then you'll be liable for a larger proportion of the repair cost. But higher deductibles translate into lower premiums. Something to be aware of: insurance companies share information, and every claim you report, even if it falls into your deductible range, will count against your insurability. Think twice before reporting minor damage; you may be better off repairing it yourself and saving your receipts just in case. Check with your homeowner's insurance company for the length of time that can pass before claims are invalid, to be certain you'll be able to turn in those receipts if something catastrophic does happen. Take Advantage of Homeowners Insurance Discounts If you buy your home and auto policies from the same insurer, you often will be able to get a discount. Make certain, though, that this discount is lower than purchasing different coverage for home and auto from two different insurance companies. Look for other discounts: AARP, AAA, and military all often can get discounts; people who work from home may be able to get discounts (since your home is effectively being watched); and retired people who spend more time at home may be eligible for discounts. Employers and some professional associations may also have group insurance discounts. Disaster-Proof and Thief-Proof Your Home Talk to your agent and see what steps you can take to make your home resistant to tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, etc. See what kinds of discounts are offered for burglar alarms, deadbolt locks, and sprinkler systems. Every step you take to make your home safer and less liable to insured events is something that your insurer should take into account when pricing your homeowner's insurance policy. Maintain Good Credit, and Stay with the Same Insurer Because poor credit is often seen as poor risk, insurance companies often check your credit report before issuing an insurance quote. And long-term policyholders are often given special discounts by their homeowner's insurance company, especially if they don't have many claims on the policy. Consider the Price of Homeowners Insurance When Buying a Home Homes closer to fire hydrants, or with communities boasting professional rather than volunteer firefighters, often get discounts on insurance not available to the same house rated more prone to disastrous fire. New or newly-renovated electrical, heating, and plumbing systems may also rate you a discount. The construction of your home may make your insurance cheaper: in wind or tornado-prone areas, homes constructed of brick may be cheaper to insure; in earthquake-prone areas, homes with a wooden frame or which are earthquake-proof are cheaper. And if your homeowners insurance refuses to take these things into consideration, it may be time to seek out a new insurance carrier.
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