Friday, May 17, 2013

What homeowners insurance discounts are you missing??

Homeowners insurance isn’t a topic that most people like to think about except as the funny/scary ‘Mayhem’ ads for Allstate. For first-time homebuyers the prospect of adding home insurance to the other long list of costs can seem daunting. Yet homeowners’ insurance isn’t just required for your mortgage, it’s an important part of a plan to keep you and your home safe.
Generally homeowners’ insurance covers damage from fire, most storms (some insurance does not include flood damage), theft, and more.  It can also protect you in case someone is injured in your home. It is a wise investment in your financial safety.
Luckily there are some ways you can improve your home that not only may boost resale value, but can also knock a little off your homeowners’ insurance rates. Trusted Choice conducted a national survey in 2012 and found that over 34% of respondents did not know about all the homeowners insurance discounts available to them. Below are a few key areas to focus on.
1) Home Security–Those who live in a gated community may be entitled to a discount. Gated communities tend to have lower rates of theft, vandalism, and other crimes. Having a security system in place can pare as much as 15 percent off your policy depending on the provider. Dead-bolt locks can also be a discount for some providers.
2) Fire Safety–The installation of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors isn’t just necessary protection for your family, it’s also something insurance underwriters smile upon. Also for fire protection, a sprinkler system, heat detectors, fire escapes and plenty of fire extinguishers are also important. And keep those flammable substances outside the home at a cool temperature to avoid overheating and fire risk.
3) Home Maintenance–You may be able to qualify for an age of wiring discount depending on how old your wiring is.  Is your roof resistant to hail? Roofing is graded as Class 1 through Class 4. Class 4 roofs are often eligible for discount.  New pipes can also qualify you for a discount. Do you have handrails installed alongside your staircases? If you have a pool is it surrounded with a fence at a gate? Safety measures also can count toward your policy. If your home was recently renovated or is newer that may entitle you to a discount. Older homes can be retrofitted with materials that make them more earthquake and weather resistant.
4) Policyholder Discounts–If you haven’t filed a home insurance claim in the last 10 years you may want to ask about a discount. Homeowners who haven’t made a claim can often get as much as a 20% reduction. If you are older and retired you may also be entitled to a discount. Bundling your home insurance with other policies can also yield a savings as can being a long-term policyholder.  Another money-saving factor you may consider is raising your deductible, which can lower your premium but make sure that in the event you need to use your insurance policy that your budget will accommodate a higher deductible.
In today’s competitive market, it’s important to shop around, because you may receive  disparate quotes on policies that offer essentially the same coverage. Check consumer guides, insurance agents, companies and online insurance quote services. This will give you an idea of price ranges and tell you which companies have the lowest prices.
If we can be any help to you find ing your perfect home at the lake, please let us know. Until next time! Ebbie :)