Homeowners Insurance - How To Pay Less

By: Steven Gillman

You probably already know you should get several quotes on your homeowners insurance before buying. The difference in cost from one company to another can be significant, and checking rates is easy either by phone or on the internet. The problem comes in comparing policies that are not quite the same.

This is because different companies have different kinds of homeowners insurance policies. For example, our insurance company requires that the coverage for the contents of the house be half of the value of the house. We don't own that many valuable things, but we have to pay for that coverage regardless. Some companies will also only sell "replacement value," policies. As a result of these varying rules and requirements, you won't always have an easy time making direct comparisons.

What you can do, then, is buy the cheapest policy that meets your needs, regardless of whether it is as "good" as another policy. You buy insurance to cover unexpected expenses, after all, not so you can "win" something extra if your home happens to burn down. Start, then, by determining how much coverage you need for the house, how much your things would cost to replace, how much liability insurance you need to feel comfortable, and what deductible amount you can afford.

With these figures, ask for a quote from each insurance company for whatever policy they can sell that comes the closest to your needs.

Then, check the companies for safety. You can type in "insurance company ratings" into a search engine to find free information on this. If the cheapest of the quotes is from a secure company, buy it. You may have "extra coverage" you don't want in some areas, but paying for these and having a lower premium overall is better than paying more to get the same thing minus the extras.

More Homeowners Insurance Tips

Before deciding on a policy, and preferably before calling for quotes, consider carefully how much of a deductible you can afford. Higher is better if you want to save money on the policy. If it makes you feel uneasy having to pay the first $1,000 of a claim, remember that claims are rare, and you can always bank the money saved on premiums until it adds up to $1,000, Then, if you never have a serious problem, you get to keep the money for any other purpose.

Be sure the home is safe. Install smoke detectors, and deadboltsComputer Technology Articles, and any other low-cost items that the insurance company recommends. Have the necessary fire extinguishers. These are things that can get you a reduced rate.

Check with at least one independent agent. He or she can get you several quotes that may save you money or provide a more appropriate policy. Independents are not limited to trying to sell you the products of one company.

Ask about special discounts. Non-smokers may get a discount. You can also get a discount for insuring your home and car with the same company (in this case use the total costs of the two policies when comparing quotes). Security alarms may get you a discount as well. Ask each agent about any other ways to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance.

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