If you are a homeowner, it is essential to have a homeowners insurance policy. Most banks require mortgage holders to carry this type of insurance policy. Even if you own your home outright, it is not worth the financial risk of going without a comprehensive homeowners insurance policy.
Homeowners insurance isn’t only required by most mortgage lenders but is also an excellent way for you to enjoy added peace of mind as a homeowner. After all, your insurance could cover anything from a broken window to significant storm damage and everything in between. But, of course, you don’t want to pay more than you need for coverage.
So, here are a few dos and don’ts to remember when keeping your premium low:
DO Shop for New Quotes Annually
A lot can change in a year; your credit score could improve, your home could be considered a lower-risk property, and your eligibility for money-saving discounts could increase. However, unless you take the time to shop around, you will not know that you’re still getting the best deal with your current property insurance in Florida.
DO Take Advantage of Discounts
Most companies that offer homeowners insurance in Florida and elsewhere provide several money-saving discounts to their policyholders. Check with your agent regularly to ensure that you’re taking advantage of all the ones you’re eligible for. Also, understand that not all carriers offer the same discounts. Some standard discounts offered include those for policyholders who have reached a certain age, bundle their insurance policies, or haven’t had a claim in a certain number of years.
DO Compare the Rates from Several Different Insurance Companies
No standard rates are set for homeowners’ insurance, so each company charges different rates based on their method of calculating risk and the potential cost of claims. So, it is well worth your time to contact several other insurance companies to request homeowner insurance quotes for your current home or a home you are buying. Since rates vary from company to company, you can potentially save several hundred dollars each year by comparing the different rates available. When requesting quotes and comparing rates, make sure you use the same level of coverage so you can get an accurate idea of the best deal.
Do Purchase All of Your Insurance Policies from the Same Company
Many insurance companies reward loyal customers, so you can reap substantial savings on your premiums if you purchase all your auto insurance policies and your homeowner’s insurance policy from the same company. When purchasing your homeowner’s insurance policy, mention the different policies you already have through the company, and don’t be afraid to request a discount. Make it a point to check not just your homeowner’s insurance rates — but dirt cheap car insurance and other applicable policies around the same time each year.
Do Make Your Home Safer
In the eyes of an insurance company, you can do several things to make your home safer and more resistant to disasters, thus lowering the risk of insuring your property. Some of the most popular homeowner’s insurance discounts are offered for installing deadbolt locks, having a security system with monitoring by a security company, installing a fire sprinkler system, having the appropriate number of smoke detectors for the size of your house, updating the wiring in your home, and adding storm shutters. If you make any of these changes to your home, call your current homeowner’s insurance provider to inquire about discounted insurance rates.
Don’t Always File Small Claims
Speaking of claims, when you have a small one to file (such as for a cracked window) …think before you do so. If the amount to handle the damage is less than or slightly more than your deductible, you might be better off just taking care of it yourself rather than getting your insurance company involved. After all, small claims can add up and cause your rates to increase significantly over time.
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Don’t Pay to Insure Your Land
When calculating the cost of your insurance premium, does your mobile home insurance company factor in the value of your house or the value of your land as well? If you’re being charged to insure your land, consider talking to your agent or switching carriers. After all, even if your house were to burn down, the land would still be there; why should you have to pay to insure it?
Don’t Buy More Coverage Than You Need
Many people buy homeowners insurance policies with high coverage amounts, which cost more, but you may be paying for more than you need. It is essential to know how much your possessions are worth and how much it would cost to rebuild your home in case of a total loss. Don’t let your property value sway you when buying homeowners insurance- the worth of the land your home is built on should not be considered when choosing your homeowner’s insurance coverage.
While homeowners’ insurance is necessary, that does not mean you should pay more than you have to for the appropriate level of coverage. Use the tips above to help lower the costs of a homeowners insurance policy.