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Tips to save money

Property owners can save some money on home insurance costs with a little homework. Here are a few money-saving tips from the Insurance Information Institute:

∎ Shop around. Get price quotes from different types of insurance companies (firms with their own agents, independent agents, and Internet-based).

Don’t limit the decision based solely on price. Evaluate a companies for other things, like how they handle questions and claims.

∎ Raise the deductible. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium. A common deductible for homeowner’s insurance is $500, but doubling the amount can save as much as 25 percent.

∎ Combine homeowners and auto insurance with one company. Some insurance companies will reduce premiums by 5 percent to 15 percent for multiple policies. Make sure this combined price is lower than buying the coverages from different companies.

∎ Make a home more disaster resistant. Some policies allow savings on premiums for homes that are more resistant to windstorms and other natural disasters.

∎ Don’t insure the land under the house. Don’t confuse a home’s purchase price with its rebuilding costs. The land under a house is not at risk, so don’t include its value in deciding how much insurance to buy.

∎ Ask about discounts. Many companies offer discounts, but they don’t all offer the same types of discounts or the same level of discounts. Ask about reduced prices for smoke detectors, burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks. Other discounts are for senior citizens and for staying with the same company for several years, and more.

∎ Review policy limits and the value of possessions. Policies should cover major purchases or additions to a home, but the value of many items in a home goes down each year. A review each year can save money.

∎ Pay bills on time. Most insurers use credit-based insurance scores to set premiums and eligibility for coverage. Those who pay their debts on time and avoid maxing out credit lines will likely pay a lower premium.


Thanks to Mother Nature, cost to insure a home continues to climb

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Local insurance agents are accustomed to their phones ringing wildly after major storms, but such calls are coming more frequently these days as Mother Nature’s wrath hits homeowners squarely in another place: the pocketbook. Put simply, it costs more to insure a home today than it ever has before. “Premiums are definitely creeping up, and it’s all weather-driven,” said Jill …

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