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It’s not an uncommon question: people often wonder if what they’re paying for their homeowner’s insurance is too high. At the same time, your home is likely your most valuable asset, so you know you need the right protection. But how do you determine if your policy is priced right and if you have the appropriate coverage? Insurance is a confusing subject for most folks, between all the industry jargon and the variety of different solutions out there. So to help, we’ve created this quick guide.
What’s your deductible?
Your deductible is a key factor in determining the cost of your premium. If it’s too low, you are likely at a higher premium than you need to be paying. To decrease your cost, consider raising your deductible; even an increase of a small percentage will save you money.
Got any safety features?
Although they aren’t a requirement, things like smoke detectors, alarm systems, storm shutters, carbon monoxide detectors, and other security items can reduce the cost of your homeowner’s policy. These features decrease risks associated with damage or loss, so insurance companies often provide discounts on coverage to homeowners who’ve taken these steps.
Are you protected against the right risks?
Many homeowners make the mistake of getting coverage for every imaginable disaster without really honing in on what’s appropriate for their home and where it’s located. Residences in Florida, for example, are not in danger of experiencing an earthquake or mudslides. If you’ve purchased a policy without considering the actual dangers that your home needs protection against, it’s likely you’re paying too much. The best thing to do is to go over your coverage with your provider. Take into account where you live, the type of construction of your home (CBS, wood frame, brick, etc.), and what natural disasters are common in your area.
Have you done any comparisons lately?
Not all insurance companies and products are the same. While there are similarities, it’s important to get more than one quote when you’re shopping for your homeowner’s policy. Each carrier takes into account several factors when determining your premiums, including where you live, how many people are living in your home, the crime stats of your neighborhood, the age of the house, and similar variables. Your best bet is to get quotes from multiple providers, compare each one thoroughly, and be sure that you are comparing apples to apples before making a decision.
Are you bundled?
A smart way to save money on your homeowner’s insurance is to bundle policies. If you have separate homeowner’s, auto, life, and business insurance policies, you are not reaping the benefits of bundling—the number one advantage being saving money. So go through all your different policies and talk to your provider about putting them together.
Have you done your homework?
And by homework, we mean have you kept up with regular maintenance like cleaning out gutters, checking the shingles or tile on your roof, and keeping your trees trimmed? Routine maintenance can decrease the likelihood of damages, which in turn can reduce the need to make claims—which, as you probably guessed, decreases the cost of your homeowner’s policy.
If you’re thinking that you may be paying too much for your homeowner’s insurance, review this guide and then talk to us. We will be happy to go through your policy with you to help determine exactly what it should cost and the most appropriate coverage for your home.