Homeowners insurance is an aspect of home ownership that many do not always account for in projecting their budgets. It is also an area of tremendous mystery, as it is more complex and involved than basic auto insurance. Read this article to shed some light into this area of your life.
Lower your annual home insurance premiums by raising your deductible. The higher the deductible, the less you pay. Even though you will be stuck with footing the bill for smaller problems you may encounter, it is worth it in the long run. Insurance companies tend to raise a homeowner’s premium after any claim they make, no matter how small.
If you are building an addition to your home or considering a major renovation, check what effect this will have on your homeowner’s insurance rates. Wood-framed structures are considered to be a fire risk, for example, and will raise your insurance rates. Using cement, steel, or other fireproof materials will mean your addition costs less to insure.
If you have recreational amenities in your backyard such as pools, hot tubs, trampolines, or other contraptions that are likely to cause injury, these can raise your insurance premiums, sometimes by 10 percent or more. Consider this when making a decision about purchasing a property with these things, or adding them to it.
Like most homeowners, you want to keep your insurance premiums as low as possible. Installing and maintaining a high-quality home security system can lower your yearly premiums by five percent or more. Make sure that it’s centrally monitored by a security company or linked to a local police station. Your insurance company will want to see evidence that your system is monitored before they give you the discount.
Before installing a pool or buying a trampoline, be sure to check with your insurance company to see what effect this will have on your premiums. Some companies will charge as much as 10% more to insure a house with a pool, trampoline or other potentially hazardous equipment on the property.
You may think you don’t live close enough to a body of water to have to worry about flood insurance…but think again. Before you decide you don’t need it, assess the flood risk for your geographical area. You will be surprised at the unexpected parts of the country which have experienced floods in the past year or two, and if you live in or near on of these areas, flood insurance may be right for you. FEMA.gov is one site that provides information on flood risks for all parts of the U.S.
To avoid an increase in your homeowner’s insurance rate, you should avoid submitting small claims. Some insurers take even small claims into account when figuring if they want to keep you as a policyholder, and you might find yourself uninsured for the big things because you wanted to be be reimbursed for a relatively small amount.
Document all of your valuables and keep the pictures or videos of the things that you want covered under your home insurance, in a fireproof lockbox. This will protect your files and make filing a claim for the missing or destroyed items with your home insurance company, easier and quicker.
Be sure to install locks on all of your windows. If you do not have locks on all of your windows, you are already paying more for your home owner’s insurance. Go ahead and install locks on your windows. They are not expensive and it will, ultimately, lower what you are already paying.
While your homeowners policy may protect you in the event of a fire, burglary, or natural disaster, such as an earthquake, it may not cover you for flooding, mold or other common disasters. Make sure you know what you are getting and what additional coverage you may need to purchase separately.
Earlier in this article, the complexity of homeowners insurance was alluded to. Now that you have read this piece, you should be more familiar with what homeowners insurance covers and how you should account for it in your life. Keep these tips in mind in the coming days, and you can make this a very successful area for yourself.