Insuring your home is one of the greatest fixed expenses you will have. Your insurance agents want to help you see that this is money well spent whether you file any claims or not. The following steps should prove useful for getting your money’s worth from your home insurance:
Maintain a Good Credit Record
Customers who pay their bills on time and don’t take out more in loans than they can afford to pay back are generally seen as lower insurance risks. Responsibility pays off in discounts.
Buy Your Home and Auto insurance from the Same Company
Insurers that offer different types of coverage will often give a 10% to 15% discount for buying multiple policies. Likewise, staying with the same insurer can garner a discount for customer loyalty.
Upgrade Home Features
Many home improvements, such as adding a security system or a sprinkler system, will result in discounts on insurance premiums. Your insurance agent will be able to tell you exactly which features provide a discount and how much of a discount in your area.
Review Your Riders
At least once a year, take a look at the extra insurance you have for valuables such as jewelry, art, or antiques. Do you still have these valuables? Have they significantly increased or decreased in value? Are they something you want to continue to keep and insure? Asking these questions will help determine whether you’re paying the right amount insuring extras. Also, and most importantly, list out and photograph each of these items with an appraisal value, and keep multiple copies of this list in different places. If you do have to file a claim, this documentation will help immensely.
Ask Your Agent What Discounts are Available
There are various discounts available for senior citizens, nonsmokers, and customers who have not filed previous claims against their homeowners insurance (see also Chubb Insurance Scottsdale AZ). Other responsibility discounts may apply to you. Ask your agent for details.
Raise Your Deductible
Increasing the amount you will have to pay out of pocket if you do file a claim is a good way to lower the cost of your premium. Just put the amount you save on premiums into an emergency fund that you do not touch unless you have a genuine emergency.
Check for Adequate Replacement Value
Make sure that your policy covers the replacement value of your home in the event of a catastrophic loss. This is the primary reason you carry insurance. Do an annual cost analysis of what it would take to rebuild your home and set your coverage accordingly.
Clutter increases the risk of fires, personal injury, and the inability to get out of the house in an emergency (or for emergency crews to get in). It also impedes proper maintenance. This will be reflected in what you pay in premiums. Cleanliness pays.
Limit the Number of Pets
The drawbacks of clutter listed above apply to pets as well, perhaps even more so. The presence of too many animals in a residence creates obvious health hazards and may present dangers for emergency crews.
Understand Your policy
This is probably the most important favor you can do for yourself. Read your policy thoroughly; if there are provisions you don’t understand, ask your insurance agent to go over them with you.