Homeowners Insurance Purchasing Tips
The following tips may help you save premium dollars and reduce losses on your homeowners policy:
Deductibles should be increased to the highest one that you can afford, even if the premium savings do not appear to justify it. This will decrease the homeowners premium and increase the likelihood that your loss history will be excellent, since minor losses will be paid by the homeowner and not the insurer. A loss-free record over time saves premium dollars. For example, a client with a $250 deductible on the homeowners policy should consider increasing it to $500 or $1,000.
Homeowners should consider purchasing a monitored burglar alarm. Alarms have proven successful in reducing burglary rates. In addition, most insurers provide premium discounts to consumers with these alarms, some as high as 20 percent. Smoke alarms should be installed and maintained throughout the house. It is best if the alarms are interconnected, so that if one goes off, they all go off. The smoke alarms should be tested once a month and should be approved by Underwriters' Laboratories (UL) or other recognized testing laboratories. Most insurance companies provide discounts for homes with operating smoke alarms.
The residence should be maintained in optimum condition. Repairs should be performed as soon as possible. For example, loose or missing roof shingles should be repaired or replaced immediately. A home in excellent condition is much less likely to experience a loss.
Customers planning to buy a home should be aware that many insurance companies offer new home discounts. Some insurers offer the highest discounts, such as 20 percent, on brand-new homes and gradually lower discounts for several years as the home ages. Some insurance companies are now offering discounts for homeowners who are age 50 or older.