From 2004 to 2006, about 35 percent of American households saw their homeowners insurance rates increase, sometimes by as much as 40 percent. Here’s how to get affordable home insurance quotes from top companies.
Buy Only as Much Insurance as You Need
You need to buy enough insurance so that you can replace your home and your personal possessions if necessary. You do not need to insure the land your home sits on.
To help you figure out how much insurance to buy, talk to a local builder or real estate agent to find out how much it would cost to rebuild your home. You should also inventory your personal possessions so you know how much they would cost to replace.
Raise Your Deductible
Your deductible is the amount you pay toward any insurance claims before the insurance company starts paying. Setting your deductible as high as possible offers two advantages:
* Your premium is lower – often by as much as 40 percent.
* You handle smaller claims yourself instead of submitting multiple small claims, which can increase your premium.
Look for Discounts
You can lower your insurance even more by getting all the discounts you’re eligible for. Common home insurance discounts include:
* Non-smokers discount
* Discounts for safety features such as smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, alarm systems, fire extinguishers, and deadbolts
* Senior citizen discount
* Auto/home discount for having your auto and home insurance with the same company
Be sure to ask your insurance professional if there are any other discounts you qualify for.
Insurance rates can vary dramatically from one company to another, so you can save a lot of money just by shopping around and making sure you’re getting the best rate. The easiest way to shop for rates is to go to an insurance comparison website where you’ll spend just a few minutes typing in your insurance information to get quotes from multiple companies.
On the best insurance comparison websites you can even talk with insurance experts online about more ways to make your homeowners insurance more affordable (see link below).