It’s well-known that owning a home is a bedrock of financial stability and security on a personal or family level. It does come with routine costs though. While a mortgage might not last forever, various utilities join property taxes and homeowner’s insurance as recurring expenses that have to be paid. Homeowners insurance sometimes falls to the back of the minds of homeowners, but there is a lot of power here to save money through both premiums and claims being denied. Keep reading to learn useful tips for finding the right home insurance policy.
- Before sitting down with a homeowner’s insurance agent at Procom Insurance Company to discuss your needs, identify every single thing that you own and determine what each thing is worth. Take notes of things that might have to be replaced in a disaster, so you can keep that information in a safe place.
- List out pertinent facts about your home security systems before you go shopping for insurance quotes. Your premiums might go down as much as 5 percent if your security system can alert offsite personnel about a burglary or fire.
- Ask about temporary lodging coverage should you be displaced during a crisis. Some policies will provide coverage to handle the expenses of living somewhere else when something happens to your house, either partially or in full. Know in advance if you have to pay for such expenses and then get reimbursed from proper documentation or if the insurance provider makes your housing arrangements for you, such as reserving a suite in an extended-stay facility.
- Make sure that other individuals are also covered by your policy if they live with you. Some policies only cover the actual structure and your personal possessions you own, and others handle everything. Find out if your roommate’s possessions are also covered by your policy. They might need their own coverage, or you might have to amend your policy.
- Consider offsetting your insurance costs by paying down your mortgage to a zero balance. When you finally and officially own your home, then your insurance provider is going to assume that you’re going to take better care of it, as the industry has deep wells of research indicating this trend among most homeowners. So, don’t be surprised if you get offered lower premiums once you no longer owe the bank a dime. If you’re under a policy you got when you still had a mortgage, call your insurance agent about modifying your policy to be up to date or possibly shopping around again.
- Keep your premiums in mind if you’re looking at home upgrades or remodeling. Adding a room will drive your premiums up, but you can mitigate this a bit by picking safe construction materials. For instance, your premiums might go up the most if you use wood, given its susceptibility to fire and water damage.
- Whenever possible, bundle multiple insurance products from the same insurance provider. Most companies offer their clients multi-policy discounts. The simplicity of a single point of contact also makes life easier for you.
- If you’re buying a home for the first time, put together your mortgage payments in a way so that roughly 8 percent of your annual homeowner’s insurance goes into an escrow account. This will help you avoid scrounging up the money for the premium, since it’s already in an escrow account.
- Keep in mind that most basic homeowner’s insurance policies won’t cover flood damage, and many might not handle earthquake damage either. You’ll have to get extra coverage or even separate policies to be ready for such kinds of damage.
- Insulate your water pipes properly. Burst pipes are among the most common insurance claims. Any claim causes your premiums to go up, so insulating pipes to avoid them bursting saves you money in the long run. If you travel in the winter for extended periods of time, have someone you trust to check your home out.
- Make sure your policy covers any personal valuables that you have. Conventional policies will provide coverage for the structure of your home and most of the belongings you own, but high-value items might not have coverage or be restricted with limits. Cases of burglary or your home being destroyed can mean risk losing your most prized possessions without the ability to replace them.
- Your location or region matters a lot in the angle your insurance should take. Living in a high-crime area means you need comprehensive theft coverage. Likewise, your wind damage coverage needs to be robust if you live in a tornado-prone area.
- Don’t buy too much coverage when shopping for your homeowner’s insurance. Some homeowners are tempted to get packages with more coverage than their property is actually worth, but when accidents happen, you’re not allowed to claim more than that actual value of the house. Value your home and contents properly so you don’t undercover or overpay.
- Be sure there is accurate and acceptable documentation of the contents of your home in the event of a loss. Taking pictures helps but know the rules of your carrier in advance of a disaster. Proving you owned something after it’s gone is much harder to do if you want to file a claim.
- Don’t just accept the insurance products offered to you if none of them suit you just right. You can change any policy through riders, amendments, addendums, and riders. These let you work with an insurance agent or provider in customizing a property that covers you sufficiently.
With luck, the day will come you find your forever home that stays with your family as long as you’re around. While the day will come that your mortgage is paid off, you’ll still be paying premiums for homeowners insurance to the end. So, use these tips to make sure your premiums are affordable, and possibly even cheaper than ever. Also, remember that the day will come an accident or disaster happens where you’ll be glad you had coverage in the first place. Use these tips to make sure your coverage was broad enough to handle all potential situations and deep enough to protect your own money.