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Homeowner' Insurance Tips
Since homeowners’ insurance is a part of buying a home, you should arm yourself with as much information as possible so you know how to shop for insurance, what questions to ask, and ways to save money, which is always important when buying a home. Unfortunately, the majority of homeowners are not sure what to look for or what homeowner’s insurance covers. The information provided below will help clarify some things and teach you ways of saving money. Keep in mind that this information is valuable to first time homeowners and current homeowners alike.

For starters, if you currently own a home, you want to make sure that any home improvements have been included in your plan. Perhaps you had your kitchen gutted and put $8,000 into the project. Your insurance company needs to know this information so they have adequate coverage on your property. Additionally, you want to make sure the current value is covered. If the home has built up equity, the policy would need to be adjusted accordingly.

Another important consideration for all homeowners is to make sure you have replacement cost insurance. This means that your personal belongings are covered for the amount it would cost to replace them if not new. Talk to your insurance agent or company about the limits of your policy in case someone should be injured while on your property. This is called liability insurance and very important.

If you have expensive items such as antiques, high end jewelry, expensive exports, and so on, you will need a separate policy that will be added to your existing homeowner’s insurance policy. This might also include any expensive equipment in your home such as computer, printer, fax, and anything else needed for a home office. Additionally, you would want to let the insurance agent or company know if you have extensive tools that would be expensive to replace.

To save money on your insurance, most companies offer discounts when you take measures to secure the property. Some of the most common things would include:
  • Dead bolts on all exterior doors
  • Fire extinguishers kept in various rooms of the home to include the kitchen
  • A higher deductible will also help. In most cases, the underwriters of the insurance company will allow a $1,000 deductible. This will save on your monthly payment and the overall balance of the loan
  • Security alarm is an excellent way to get a discount
  • Smoke detectors should be installed on every level of the home
Another great way to save money is by choosing the same company where you have your automobile coverage. The majority of insurance companies will offer a multiple policy discount that can really save you money. Some insurance companies are starting to give discounts for carbon monoxide and radon detectors. Both of these are deadly and if you have either in your home or are thinking about adding them, talk to your agent or company to see if a discount would apply.

You should always talk to many different insurance companies to get a variety of quotes. You will be surprised at the difference in price. If you are not sure where to look, ask family and friends who they use or look through your local yellow pages or on the Internet. Depending on the age and condition of the home, your insurance rate will vary. For instance, if you are buying an older home where the plumbing and electrical may need to be updated, you may have to pay a higher insurance rate over a new home.

You should also talk to your insurance agent or company about not insuring your land as well as the home. Not all policies will include the land but you should definitely ask. This is a great time to stop smoking. Because of the high number of residential fires, nonsmokers will often get a reduction in their insurance premium. Additionally, if you are 55 or older and retired, you might quality for a deduction. Asking the right questions and taking your time to look at all the options will help you get the right insurance, the best insurance, and the cheapest insurance.

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