Home owner’s insurance isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. It may even be required if you have a mortgage on your home. In the case of a disaster, your home owner’s insurance might be the only thing that gets you back on your feet. Here are some tips that can help you in selecting a home owner’s insurance policy that suits your needs.
One way to reduce the cost of your homeowner’s insurance premiums is to pay off your mortgage. Obviously this is not easy to do, but many insurance companies can reduce their rates if your house is paid off. For the most part, insurance companies feel that you will take care of your home better whenever you actually own it.
If you need to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance company, do so promptly. Quickly respond to any request for information as completely as you can. The more information the insurance company has, the faster they can process your claim. Also, much damage suffered by homes will only worsen with time, meaning that if you let it sit, the cost will be higher.
When considering insurance for your home, be aware of how certain possessions may affect your rates. Having a pool or skateboard ramp may bring hours of joy and fun to your family and friends, however they can make a large impact on your rates. Check with multiple providers and consider if it is worth it to have these recreational items.
To save money on your homeowners insurance talk to your agent and see if the company provides discounts for installing additional smoke detectors. Many older homes lack them in areas that are considered standard places to install today and many insurance companies will provide a discount as an incentive for you to add more.
When buying a homeowner’s insurance policy, what is excluded from coverage is sometimes more critical that what the policy does cover. Flood coverage, for example, is not typically covered in most homeowner’s policies, but can be purchased as a separate policy. The same is true for other natural disasters such as earthquakes.
To keep your coverage up to date, be sure to review your homeowner’s policy every year. Let your insurer know of changes in your home and property that may help keep your premiums down. For instance, if you have replaced a shake roof with something more fireproof, like composite shingles, you may get a premium reduction.
When buying insurance for your real estate you should talk to several agents before making the decision. Most agents can give a discount for multiple policies being written for one customer so the idea that they may get all your business would have some being more competitive on the rate.
Install and thoroughly maintain a security system in your home to get a discount on your homeowner’s insurance. Not only do the insurance companies see you as less risk and drop your premiums, but would-be crooks will see your system as a deterrent and choose to find someone else to rob.
Before you even purchase a home, make sure to ask your real estate agent questions about homeowner’s insurance cost. The price of homeowner’s insurance varies, usually depending on location. You do not want to live in an area that is going to leave you broke paying for homeowner’s insurance.
Install a sophisticated alarm system in your home, preferably one that is monitored by a reputable security company, or is linked directly to the local police station. Insurance companies reduce your yearly premium by up to 5% if you can prove by an invoice or contract that you have a centrally monitored security system installed.
You should be sure that your homeowner’s insurance covers medical payments and litigation fees, in case, someone visiting your home falls or gets hurt. This is important because you never know when an accident may happen and you will want to make sure that you are covered in a scenario like this.
Be sure to purchase the type of homeowner’s insurance that you need, the terms can sometimes be confusing. Replacement coverage actually provides funds to rebuild your home as well as its contents in the event of loss. An actual cash value policy will not cost as much, but pays only what your home is worth at the time of your loss less depreciation for age and ordinary wear and tear.
Consider the total cost before submitting a claim on your home owner’s insurance policy to prevent premium increases. If the total cost for a claim is lower than your deductible amount, do not file the claim. At the same time, if the cost is not much over your deductible, you may want to reconsider filing a claim. Often, keeping a lower claim ratio on your policy, prevents rate increases over the long-term.
The homeowners policy covers, among other things, the structure of the property. Check your policy to be sure what is exactly covered. Most policies cover damages from fire, smoke, lightning, and unusual weather. Check your policy for flood coverage. You may need to buy a special endorsement or an entirely different policy for this type of coverage.
The most important thing you can do to ensure any claims you file on your home owner’s insurance in the future is to take a photo inventory of the items of value in your home. Proof of purchase is also helpful, so dig out any receipts you might have and keep them in a fire- and water-proof safe.
As mentioned above, a home owner’s insurance policy is a necessary safety net in case of fire, theft, or other disasters. Having a good home owner’s insurance policy in place will benefit you in case the worst occurs. Having read the advice in this article, you should be better prepared when selecting a home owner’s insurance policy.