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Homeowner Insurance Tips

Finding home insurance is a necessary part of the home ownership process. Our homes are our biggest investments, and finding the right insurance is one of the most important steps of owning a home. You'll need to consider not only how much your home is worth, but also your personal belongings. One of the best things to do as you go through this process is to get competitive quotes from multiple insurance companies. That way, you can compare quotes side-to-side and determine what's best for you and your family in the long term.

These are some factors you can consider as you approach getting homeowners insurance:

How Insurable is the Home?

There are many factors that go into insuring a home. Not only will an insurance company need to look at its value and its contents, but its age, its location and the geography of the area could come into play. Quite simply, an insurance company needs to decide whether it's worth the assumed risk to insure a home.

As you prepare to get insurance, be sure to consider all aspects of your home's insurability. These include the home's history - have there been claims in the past? Fires? Water damage? Floods? Electrical problems? Foundation issues. The age of the home can come into play - this is especially the case for old and historic homes. You can get a CLUE report that will tell you about the home's insurance history. Be sure to consider all of these factors before you buy a home - remember, it's your biggest investment.

Research & Compare Insurance Companies

In theory, one insurance policy is similar to another. But in reality, there are small variances between insurance carriers, and those differences could matter to you. As you get competitive insurance quotes, you'll also need to think about the company. Look at consumer reviews and research the company's history. Find out whether you can add your auto insurance policy/policies with this company. If online billing and payment, and payment flexibility are ideal for your family, find out if they are options.

Review Policy Options

Some homeowner's insurance policies can have extras and riders that will provide even more coverage. But do you need them? Consider all of your options, such as whether you need extra coverage for personal belongings such as jewelry or art. As you compare insurance quotes, consider all of these options. Does one policy offer more comprehensive coverage than another? Or, conversely, does one offer more coverage than you need? You'll have to decide just how much insurance you require to keep your family safe and secure.

Know Your Deductible before Filing a Claim

Sure, having your water heater die is a bummer. But is it worth filing a claim? Possibly not. Be sure you know your deductibles before you file a claim. Let's say you have a $500 deductible for your home insurance policy. With labor and parts, a new water heater will cost $700. You have to decide if it's worth filing a claim - if you do, you'll pay $200 out of pocket. But if you don't, you'll spend $700 and will be able to renew your policy without a claim on your policy. That water heater could cost you much more in the long run if your overall premium goes up because you filed a claim.

Maintain Good Credit

Did you know that one of the best ways to lower your overall insurance rates is to have good credit? It's true. Insurance companies look at consumer credit ratings when they process applications. That's because consumers who have high credit scores pay their bills on time - and that means they're less likely, statistically, to have insurance claims. If you demonstrate that you're not a high credit risk, you're also demonstrating that you're not an insurance risk.