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Insurance Costs
As you prepare to buy a home, one of the things you will be required to have is homeowners' insurance. Depending on where you purchase this insurance, you could be quoted a significant difference in price, which consists of a number of factors. Most people will agree that even the lower quotes are too expensive. The good news is that some things can be done to help reduce the cost.

To begin, do not go with the first or even second rate quoted. Take your time and shop around. If you have family or friends who own a home, ask them for references. You should also consult with the insurance company that handles your automobile coverage. Usually, when you add a homeowner's policy onto an existing automobile policy, you will receive a nice discount anywhere from 10% to 15%.

If you still need assistance, buy a consumer guide at your local bookstore to find companies and agents where you live that have positive reputations. As you talk with each company, in addition to the insurance rate, you should also try to get a feel for the quality of their customer service. Do you feel rushed? Are all your questions being answered? Did the person offer to do some research for you? If promised a return call, did they call when they said? Customer service plays a big role in buying a home so include this in the criteria for your homeowners' insurance.

You also want to ask about the various options for a deductible. Typically, deductibles are $500. If possible and if your budget can handle it, have your deductible increased to $1,000. While you would have to pay more out of pocket should you need to file a claim, your insurance rate could be reduced by as much as 25%! If you were to add up the savings in comparison to the money paid when you need to file a claim, you would be surprised at the huge advantage.

Additionally, ask about the specific area where you are planning to live regarding disasters. You might live in the Midwest where tornados occur, on the East Coast where hurricanes happen or even in a neighborhood close to a river where flooding might be a potential problem. Regardless of the problem, hail, earthquake, storms, tornados, hurricanes, flooding, and so on, you need to ensure your policy provides adequate coverage.

You can do things yourself to prepare your home. Again, if you live in an area where storms are prevalent, adding storm windows or storm shutters would be an improvement. If you live in a high crime area, you might install an alarm system. If you are buying an older home, you could have it updated with newer materials that would lessen the chances of it falling during an earthquake. Often, the insurance company will offer you a discount for taking proactive measures, which saves them money in the end.

Finally, you need to make sure you have the appropriate content insurance, which is part of the homeowner\'92s insurance. Not only do you want to ensure the actual structure is covered but all of your belongings as well. Unfortunately, this one aspect is often overlooked. Make sure you have replacement coverage. That means if you paid $3,000 for your new big-screen television and it was to be damaged, your insurance company will pay you the $3,000 or the current price to replace it.

Many times, homeowners will not have replacement coverage and when they go to replace a 10-year-old television, they get $10 instead of the $300 it would cost to replace. If you have any special antiques, jewelry or other valuables, typically, you would need to insure them on a separate policy. Cover all your bases to make sure you are getting the best deal so you can enjoy your home without being swallowed up by insurance.
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