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Six More Ways to Save on Your Homeowners Insurance

Looking for more ways to save on your homeowners policy? Here a a few more ideas to keep some of those hard earned dollars in your pocket.

1. Stay with the same insurer
If you've kept your coverage with a company for several years, you may receive a special discount for being a long-term policyholder. Some insurers will reduce their premiums by 5 percent if you stay with them for three to five years and by 10 percent if you remain a policyholder for six years or more. But make certain to periodically compare this price with that of other policies.

2. Search for other discounts
Companies offer several types of discounts, but the types and amounts vary from state to state or even county to county. For example, since retired people stay at home more than working people they are less likely to be burglarized and may spot fires sooner, too. Retired people also have more time for maintaining their homes. If you're at least 55 years old and retired, you may qualify for a discount of up to 10 percent at some companies. Some employers and professional associations administer group insurance programs that may offer a better deal than you can get elsewhere.

3. Maintain good credit
Have you noticed how credit seems to affect everything and just wont go away? Establishing a solid credit history can cut your insurance costs. Insurers are increasingly using credit information to price homeowners insurance policies. In most states, your insurer must advise you of any adverse action, such as a higher rate, at which time you should verify the accuracy of the information on which the insurer relied. This isn’t an article on how to maintain your credit, but you should be aware.. Check your credit record on a regular basis and have any errors corrected promptly so that your record remains accurate.

4. Review limits and possessions
You want to verify your policy covers any major purchases or additions to your home. But you don't want to spend money for coverage you don't needIf a special item you purchased no longer holds the same value, you should make that adjustment to the policy. If you have a large amount of jewelry, it may be a good idea to look at a separate policy for that alone.

5. Private v Govt
If you live in a flood or high risk zone, your options are probably limited. Even though you may think that Citizens is all that you qualify for as a home insurer, make sure you check around. There are a number of smaller, private carriers that have taken over some of the policies once held by the FL State backed Citizens. You may have more options than you think.

6. LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!
The old adage holds true not just in where you buy the home, but also what you pay in insurance. You will need to factor all of these things when making the decision to purchase the home. Is the home rural or in a residential area? Is there a nearby fire hydrant? Is there a volunteer or professional fire department that services the area? How old are your electrical, and plumbing systems and the roof? If you live in the East, consider a brick home because it's more wind resistant..

Are you in a flood zone? That alone could cost hundreds of dollars a year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides useful information on flood insurance on its Web site at www.fema.gov/nfip/

There are a number of factors to look at when searching for the best deal on your policy. Remember though, that cheapest isn’t always best. Each company has its own rating and it is easy to find who handles their customers best. If you have difficulties just getting coverages, imagine how that may reflect when the time comes that you have a claim to file. Do your homework. Your home is your castle.


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