How You Can Get Affordable Homeowners Insurance Coverage

Written by Gary Bangstad on February 3, 2010 & Posted in Home Insurance

More and more people are shopping online. Did you know that you can shop for homeowners insurance online as well? In order to save time and money, it is worthwhile to begin your search for homeowners insurance on the Internet.

There are many ways to save money on home insurance-- the following are some of the most common:

Raise Your Deductible

The deductible is what you pay out of pocket before your homeowners coverage kicks in, and is a place where you can save money. For example, you might save 25% of your premium by raising your deductible from $250.00 to $1,000.00.

The only catch is that you need to have enough money put away in order to pay your deductible costs. In addition, if you have a small claim, it is often better to simply pay for it yourself. This is because some insurance companies may drop you altogether if you have too many claims.

Ask for Special Discounts

Another way to save money is to ask your agent about the numerous discounts that many companies provide. Some examples of these discounts include:

  • Multiple-policy discounts: such as your auto and home insurance covered by the same insurer
  • Credits for protection devices: as in alarms, sprinklers, etc.
  • Non-smoker discounts
  • Fire resistant building materials
  • Senior discounts
  • Group coverage
  • Automatic Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT)
  • Long-time policy holder discounts

Consider Home Insurance Costs When Buying a Home

The Insurance Information Institution has the following advice when considering a home purchase, "When shopping for a home, keep in mind that where a house is located, the type of construction, and the condition it is currently in will have a dramatic effect on what you pay for insurance."

Also, if you buy a home on a flood plain or in an area prone to wind damage or earth quakes, you should add the cost of separate homeowners coverage. Because regular home insurance does not cover these perils, you may want to obtain coverage for each of these potential dangers.

Just as you calculate the likely mortgage payments before you buy a house, you also want to budget for your homeowners insurance costs.

Upgrade Your Home

The older your systems are, the more susceptible they are to damage. You not only make your home safer by maintaining it and modernizing your heating, plumbing and electrical systems. As a result of these upgrades, you make your home more insurable and save on homeowners insurance costs.

Maintain Good Credit Scores

Since many insurance companies check your credit and charge insurance costs accordingly, make sure that your credit record is in order.

Check Coverage Annually

Make sure that your homeowners insurance coverage reflects the current value of your home, what you currently own and the subsequent replacement costs.

You should also make sure that you are not paying extra to cover the value of your land.

By doing your homework and shopping around first, you are prepared to have a constructive conversation with your agent and save hundreds of dollars on your policy.

But remember, price is not the only consideration. Shop around for the best value in price, coverage, and service. You can get started by entering your zip code in the above form.

Sources

http://www.iii.org/media/updates/archive/press.739077/index.html

http://www.iii.org/individuals/homei/hbs/save/

http://www.iinc.org/articles/35/1/Insurance-Checklist---A-Guide-for-Home-Buyers/Page1.html

About the Author

Gary P. Bangstad, Ed. D., is a free lance writer in the area of business and insurance. Previously, he worked for Midwest Financial Planning LTC, selling insurance and investment products. He has also taught music education at the university level.

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