Whether a first time home owner or someone who regularly flips homes shopping for home owners insurance is one of the most important decisions you will have to make. Home owners insurance can protect us from many of the disasters and accidents that strike a house but policies are not one size fits all. Assessing your needs and following a few of the following tips can help you avoid paying too much for your insurance policy.
Have a Good Security System
The insurance companies want to know that you are doing everything possible to keep your home safe. Installing an insurance approved lock and alarm system is one the best ways to get a good rate on your insurance policy. Check with your home insurance company about their policies; sometimes joining a neighborhood watch or installing a security system can lower your rates as well.
Protect Your Home Against Fires
Discounts are often given for fire extinguishers and smoke alarms so make sure to have both regularly tested to insure that they are working properly. Also keep in mind when speaking with your insurance representative that smoking in your home puts you at a much greater risk for fire and will be taken into account when the policy is written.
Get the Coverage That Best Fits Your Lifestyle
Don’t sign up for a policy that offers more coverage than you need. For example, unless you frequently have children or pets in the home you can save money by turning down accidental destruction insurance. Always take your personal lifestyle into account when speaking with a representative.
Raise Your Voluntary Access
Voluntary access is the amount of money you are willing to contribute to an insurance claim. The more you are willing to pay the less the insurance company has to. This can save you money on a monthly basis but be careful when deciding what you can afford to pay in the event of damages.
Choose Wisely When Making a Claim
The more you cost your insurance company the higher your premiums will be so it’s good policy to choose your claims wisely. Fixing ripped screens or broken mirrors out of pocket can lead to significant discounts in the future.
Choose Your Family Pet Wisely
When it comes to buying a dog, keep in mind that there are certain breeds that can raise your insurance rates. If you decide to go with a breed that has a bad history of biting be prepared to pay more out of pocket for your insurance. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention the worst offenders are Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Huskies and Malamutes so if you don’t want to worry about your premiums you might want to steer clear of these breeds.
Rebecca Jones is a contributing author for Policy Expert.
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