Remember that wind is only one peril covered by the homeowner’s policy. Other perils, like sinkhole and water damage, have also driven up rates. In addition, liability claims have been going through the roof, as more and more people resort to lawsuits to settle disputes.
There are ways to save money on your homeowner’s insurance:
- Raise your deductible – Over your lifetime, a higher deductible will save you a considerable amount of money. Of course, you risk more out-of-pocket if you have a claim, but you save on your premium each and every year.
- Buy a newer home – Insurance companies like newer homes, which have less chance of problems with electrical, heating and plumbing. The structure itself is often in better shape.
- Live in a good location – Near a fire station is good, out of a flood-prone area is good, removed from a body of water is really good.
- Cover only your structure – A reputable insurance agent will not let you cover the value of your land. Ask for a replacement cost estimator that determines the insurable value. And remember—neither the market value nor the mortgage value is a valid determinant of your premium. You are looking for the cost to replace with like kind and quality.
- Tailor your contents coverage- A homeowners policy comes with a built-in limit for your personal property, exclusive of high value items. It is important to take stock of what you have to gain an accurate figure for your contents coverage.
- Be safe—Install an alarm system, smoke detector, and smoke alarms to reduce risk and gain credits. It is a good idea to check with your agent first to see which credits apply.
- Watch your inflation-guard coverage-Your insurance company automatically increases your dwelling coverage every year to keep pace with inflation. This is to ensure that your home is insured to the rising costs of rebuilding in your area. Over time, this limit can get out of sync with reality. It is a good idea to check it every few years and call your agent if you would like him to run a new costimator.
- Have good credit – Some insurance companies check your credit score as part of the underwriting process. Good credit means that you will be insured by a better company and pay less for your insurance.
For more information on ways to save on your homeowner’s insurance, call our Personal Lines Department.
Barbara Gracey Backer
Barbara Gracey Backer is the Vice-President of Gracey-Backer, Inc., an Insurance Agency in Delray Beach, Florida specializing in All Lines of Professional and Personal Insurance. She may be contacted at 800-272-6055 X118 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.