When we bought our first home we found there were a lot of unexpected expenses, and figuring out homeowners’ insurance was one of the trickier things to learn about. You want to have plenty of coverage just in case, but you don’t want to overbuy because that means you’ll be paying a lot every month.
If you are new to homeownership or you are finding it hard to pay for your current homeowner’s insurance premium, there are things you can do to ensure what you are paying for is actually what you need. It is important to have the right kind and the right amount of coverage to protect your home and its contents.
Here are 7 things you need to consider about your homeowners’r insurance…
7 Ways to Reduce the Costs of Insuring Your Home 1 of 8
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Review Your Policy Information 2 of 8
Insurance can be confusing and you may be easily overwhelmed by the information, especially if this is your first foray into homeownership. Take some time to review your policy, even if you have to schedule an appointment with your insurance agent. Make sure what you are paying for is the coverage you actually need. As the years pass, your needs may change and you may end up paying for things you don't even need. Review your policy each time it comes up for renewal.
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Comparison Shop the Competition 3 of 8
You may have initially purchased homeowners' insurance just to have it without much thought of what you are actually paying for or what else is out there. Once you understand what coverage you need, take some time to look at your other options. Get quotes from several insurance companies and see where you can save. While some companies will offer a loyalty discount, you may find you can save in other ways with a new policy.
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Pay Your Bills on Time 4 of 8
Insurance companies use your credit history and score to calculate the amount you will pay for coverage. To ensure you are paying the least amount for the most coverage, you'll want to make sure your credit score is in good standing. Lower credit scores mean you will pay more money, so before you comparison shop for a new policy check in with your credit score. Make sure you pay your bills on time each and every month, as your payment history is very much reflected in your credit score.
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Inquire About Discounts 5 of 8
Speak with your insurance company or prospective insurance company about available discounts. Some companies will offer discounts if you get additional coverage for your vehicles or other insurance coverage. Be sure to ask about the discounts first as some agents will not discuss them without being asked.
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Make Essential Upgrades 6 of 8
You may be paying more in insurance premiums because your home lacks some things that would make coverage cheaper. Consider the cost and benefits of installing security devices and anti-theft systems. Discuss what other things you can put to use in your home to lower the cost of insurance and increase your personal protection.
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Don’t Buy More Insurance Than You Need 7 of 8
When we were looking into buying our homeowners' insurance policy for the condo we were purchasing, we ended up buying way more insurance than we needed. We were ultimately able to go back and reduce the the coverage to a more appropriate amount.
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Consult with Real Estate Agents 8 of 8
As I mentioned in the last slide, we initially over-paid for our homeowners' insurance. The way we found out that we were over-paying was because our real-estate agent saw the amount we were planning on paying while we were doing the closing. The amount raised a big red flag to him that we had far too much coverage. We hadn't not considered talking to him about what we should expect to pay for our homeowner's insurance, but if we had we would've known that we were far beyond the standard. Next time we're looking for home owner's insurance, we will definitely be talking with a real estate agent to see what range is appropriate.
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