Discount your premiums with these tips

homeowners insuranceWhen buying a home, we all have to factor into our escrow or monthly payments the extra amount that goes to the insurance company. Most of us probably won’t use the policy while we are living in our homes but we can’t take the chance that we could pay out of pocket for such a large asset.

The amount you pay on an insurance policy has many factors. Where you live, assessed risk to your home and any payments required by the state. But it might be a great time to review your policy before it renews.

  1. Contact your insurance agent and review your coverage with them. Ask about any available discounts for which your home may qualify. Ask about specific improvements such as: adding or upgrading a monitored alarm system, adding dead bolts, smoke detectors, updating electrical wiring, certain types and ages of roofs, or getting a wind mitigation report.
  2. Once you get the new quote, compare it with other reputable agencies and insurers.  Shopping around can take some time but experts agree that the exercise can be valuable and should be considered every few years.
  3. An easy way to lower your premium is by changing your deductibles. A higher deductible means a lower premium.  Assess how much risk you can assume and then select a deductible amount this is right for you.
  4. You may be able to bundle your home and auto policies together and then leverage for better service. Especially if you have been with the company a long time.
  5. Don’t become a co-insurer.  Most policies say that a building must be insured for at least 80% of its insured value to be able to collect a full partial loss. However, insured value is not always equal to market value. Land value is not added in the insurance value, but dwelling replacement cost is calculated.

Insurance must be purchased before any loss is incurred. Trying to buy it afterward is too late. So get with your insurance agent and get a proper assessment on the cost to rebuild, market value of your contents and what level of deductible you can reasonably afford. You may find yourself walking away with a couple hundred dollars in savings.

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