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How to lower house insurance premium?
By increasing your wind/hail deductible from $500 to $1000 can reduce your annual premium by 5-15% depending on the company. Some insurance carriers will require a percentage deductible which is a % of the dwelling coverage (i.e. 1% of $500,000 dwelling coverage is $5000 deductible)
Confirm Discounts Applied
You may be entitled to certain discounts that are not automatically added on the policy such as central alarm or occupational group discounts. Some insurance companies systems will either accidentally remove a discount or it will fall off if validation is not received. This is particularly the case with alarm system discounts since the company asks for proof of alarm monitoring each year.
Proper Coverage Limits
It may sound crazy but some people have too much home insurance. If you live in an area where land values are high but the actual cost to rebuild the home is relatively low you may have too much dwelling coverage.
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From year to year each insurance company will adjust their rates depending on a number of factors including dollar amount of losses, cost of building materials, cost of labor and investment return. Why does this impact you as the homeowner you might ask? Let's take for example a city which had a rough year of weather that included a tornado and a massive hail storm. Depending on how many claims an insurance company experienced in those areas and how much money was paid out can affect you as the policy holder.
Insurance spreads the cost to others
Most likely that insurance company who had customers in the tornado or hail storm path will increase rates from 5 to 35 percent. You may not have made a claim but your rates will be impacted due to the overall loss the company experienced. It may not sound fair but insurance provides protection for your home at a relatively low price by spreading the risk across many homeowners. If you were one of the homeowners hit by the tornado you would be thankful to have insurance to replace your home for only a small deductible.
What does dwelling coverage include?
Homeowners insurance provides coverage for the structure of your home under "dwelling coverage" on the policy. This coverage usually includes anything attached to the home including a deck or storage unit. Most insurance companies state that the dwelling is covered for losses such as fire, wind, hail or explosion. The most common claim on homeowners insurance is wind and hail damage but the most costly damage is usually done by fire. Ask your agent what is included on your policy with regards to dwelling coverage as it varies from company to company.
Is my engagement ring covered on a standard homeowner's policy?
Most home insurance policies do provide coverage for jewelry but it is often capped at $2000 or less. With an average engagement ring valued at $6,000-$10,000 it is recommended to get a floater for the ring. A jewelry floater is an add-on to your homeowners policy which insures the ring for the appraised value against theft and other losses. The key advantage to having a jewelry floater is most companies will cover it for mysterious disappearance a.k.a losing it.
Do I need to have receipts to file a theft claim?
No, but they do make the claim process easier. If you happen to have personal property stolen the first thing the insurance adjuster will ask for are receipts for items stolen. If you can show proof via receipts, pictures, or inventory it makes it faster and easier for the adjuster to pay you for the full value of those items. It is not necessary to have the receipts for everything but try to hold on to them for expense items such as electronics or jewelry. Store the receipts in a safe place such as a safe deposit box or waterproof safe.
Why does the mortgage company pay the home insurance premium?
When you purchase a home it is likely that you will need a mortgage from a bank to finance the purchase. The bank will want to see proof that the home is insured and this is done by paying for the first full year premium in advance. One of the items that will usually be included in your mortgage cost is the monthly cost of homeowners insurance. By doing this the bank protects their investment and verifies that the insurance is in force or they will be notified if it cancels for any reason. If you don't have a mortgage you do not need to carry insurance but it is recommended.
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