Home Owner’s Insurance Made Simple: Getting The Most From Your Policy

If you live in an area that frequently experiences earthquakes, or even one which doesn’t, you probably don’t have earthquake coverage in your insurance. As we’ve seen in 2011, an earthquake can happen anywhere and can be even more damaging in an area that isn’t prepared for it, so the coverage is worth getting.

Homeowner’s insurance is an expensive but necessary investment. However, there are ways to reduce that expense. By raising your deductible, you can lower your premium. Certain updates, such as a new roof or a security system, can also reduce your rate. Check with your insurance company for a full listing of the updates and improvements that can save you money on your policy.

For people who live in locations where earthquakes are more like to happen, it pays to get earthquake insurance. This is because if an earthquake occurs and you do not have this kind of insurance, you will be stuck having to pay for repairs to your home and replace your possessions that have been damaged.

Installing a home security system can help to reduce your homeowner’s insurance premiums. This is true if the alarm system is monitored by a central alarm center or connected directly to a police station. You need to give your insurance company a copy of your bill or contract to get your insurance discount.

If you are going to be purchasing home owner’s insurance be sure to purchase a ;policy that has enough value to cover all of your possessions. The last thing you want is to under buy, have a tragedy happen, and only half of your belongings are replaced. Spend a little extra up front for that added security.

Be aware that filing numerous homeowners insurance claims can raise your rates or cause non-renewal. If the amount of damage to your home exceeds your deductible by less than a couple hundred dollars, it is better to pay the expense out of pocket than take the hit on your premium or lose your coverage for filing too many frivolous claims.

If you have more expensive items in your home that need to be covered under your insurance policy, make sure that you are open with your agent about this. These can be listed separately on the policy and have a specific limit imposed on each of them to ensure that they will be covered.

You should always take pictures of all your valuable items. Although this may seem like a waste of time, in reality, by snapping a few pictures you create a visual record in case of theft or fire that you will be able to use in filing your claim. An hour or two, once a year, could save you a huge headache in the end.

If you suffer damage to your home that requires a claim to your homeowner’s insurance policy, don’t hesitate to take emergency steps to protect your home. Cover any broken windows, dry out wet carpeting, and secure any valuables that survived. If further damage results from your failure to protect your home, it may be considered negligence and not be covered.

Before purchasing your house and policy, try to get a quote for windstorm and flood insurance. Some companies may not offer you coverage with these disasters, but it depends on the area you live in. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes and your insurance policy offers windstorm coverage, then installing approved shutters for hurricanes should cause a premium discount.

Make sure your pets are covered on your home owner’s insurance policy. Depending on breed, some dogs may be excluded from coverage on a policy. It is better to know up front, if accidents or damage caused by your pet are not covered, than to find out after a claim event occurs.

It is possible to get some really solid coverage options for an affordable price. You just have to know where and how to look. The tips you just read here have illuminated some of your options, so be sure that you’re using them to your advantage when you’re shopping around for home insurance.

Alessandra Hornak has a column regarding Home Insurance

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