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Save Money On Your Homeowners Insurance

Insurance is a highly competitive business and the price paid by the consumer for homeowners insurance may vary by hundreds of dollars, depending on the insurance company with which the consumer intends to do business.

Companies offer several types of discounts, but they may not always offer the same discount or the same amount of discount. That is why the consumer should ask his or her insurance agent or company representative about any discounts that are available.

What should a prospective homeowners policy holder think about when assessing which policy to obtain? Here are several ideas for potentially lowering costs.

  1. Shop Around

    Prices vary so it pays to shop around. Ask friends, check the Yellow Pages, refer to consumer guides, insurance agents, the consumer phone line of the state's insurance commissioner's office and the companies for price information.

  2. Raise the deductible

    Deductibles are the amount of money the homeowner pays toward a loss before the insurance company starts to pay according to the terms of the policy. Deductibles on homeowners policies typically start at $250. By increasing the deductible to $500, $1,000, $2,500, or $5,000, discounts may be obtained, depending on the insurance company.

  3. Buy home and auto policies from the same insurer

    Some companies that sell homeowners and auto coverage may reduce their premium if two or more policies are purchased from them. When buying a home, consider how much insuring it will cost.

    A new home's electrical, heating and plumbing systems and overall structure are likely to be in better shape than those of an older house. Insurers may offer a discount if the house is new.
    Choice of construction materials and design could reduce the premium. Brick, because of its resistance to wind damage, is better in Georgia. Proximity to fire station, firefighters and fire hydrants also affects premiums.

  4. Insure the house, not the land

    The land under the house isn't at risk from theft, windstorm, fire and other perils covered in a homeowners policy. Therefore, the value of the land should not be included in deciding how much homeowners insurance to buy.

  5. Beef up home security

    Some insurance companies offer discounts for smoke detectors, burglar and fire alarm systems, or dead-bolt locks. Others offer discounts for homes equipped with a sprinkler system and fire detection and burglar alarms that ring at the police station or at a monitoring facility. Before buying such a system, consumers should check with their insurers to validate that such as system will be eligible for a discount and how much the device or system would cost. Most importantly, the consumer should know how much may be saved on premiums.

  6. Stop smoking

    Smoking accounts for more than 23,000 residential fires in a year nationwide. That's why some insurers offer to reduce premiums if all the residents in a house do not smoke.

  7. Seek out discounts for seniors

    Retired people stay at home more and spot fires sooner than working people. Retirees also have more time to maintain their homes. If a homeowner is at least 55 years old and retired, he or she may qualify for a discount at some companies.

Compare the limits in the policy with the value of the possessions in the home at least once a year.

Policies should cover any major purchases or additions to the contents of the home. Remember that additions to the physical structure of the home should be reported to your agent or insurance company for a reevaluation of the limits of your policy. In addition, review your contents which may require a special scheduling on your policy. Such items include jewelry, watches, furs and computers to name a few. If you have sold or given away special schedule items, they should removed from your policy.

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