There are few things in life that cost as much as home insurance, especially if you have a house. The average cost of homeowners’ insurance has risen by almost 300% in the last 25 years and it is expected to continue going up. This means that not only do you need to find affordable home insurance that fits your budget but also one that has lower premiums so you can afford it every year. To get the most affordable home insurance, there are some things you need to look out for. In most states, insurers must meet minimum levels of coverage on a policy or face fines and other penalties. However, there is no law about how much each policy must cost or premium limits on different types of coverage. As such, home insurance premiums vary widely from insurer to insurer, policy to policy and even from one customer to another within the same insurer.
Ask About Discounts
Insurers offer discounts for various reasons. Some will offer a discount for installing a security system or fire alarm, others for a lightning rod and some for having a water filtration system. Other discounts include having an alarm on your car, an older car, paying your premium annually, a good credit rating and a smoke detector in your home. There are also discounts available for couples and families, young drivers, veterans and members of emergency organizations. Senior citizens can get a discount of up to 15%. You need to ask the insurers if they have any discounts available so you can see if they can lower your premium.
Check The Existing-Conditions Clause
The existing-conditions clause is like the deductible. This is when the insurance company does not pay for repairs to a pre-existing problem with the house. For example, if you purchase a home insurance policy and the inspector notices that your roof has mold, the inspector might classify this as an existing condition. This means that the insurance company will not pay for it as they will consider it as a pre-existing problem. If there are pre-existing conditions like a leaking roof or foundation, get the insurance company to waive the existing-conditions clause. If they will not waive it, then you must repair the problem yourself before you can claim insurance.
Know What Is Included And What Is Excluded
Make sure you look at the details of your home insurance policy to see what is included and what is excluded. You will find a list of all the things covered such as the building, the fixtures inside the house such as the cabinets, plumbing and roof. Make sure you know what is and what is not covered as some things may be excluded. Some of the things not covered include floods, earthquakes and vandalism. There are also other factors that you need to know about such as the finish of your roof and the type of materials used to build your home. There are also exclusions in coverage for specific locations such as coastal areas and some states. Make sure you know what is not covered so you can make a claim if there is a problem.
Lock In Your Rate When Renewing Or Switching
If you are switching home insurance companies or are renewing your policy, try to do it when rates are higher as they usually go down as the market goes up. If you are switching to a new insurer, you should do it at the same time as your neighbor or friends as they will offer you a lower rate. When you are switching or renewing, ask the new insurance company to give you a guaranteed rate. You do not have to accept their rate and you can always go back to your current insurer.
Pay Your Premium In One Instalment
If your monthly premiums are high, try to negotiate with your insurer to pay your premium in one instalment. But make sure you discuss this when you are negotiating for a lower rate. If you are late with your payments, make sure you get them on time from then on as insurers are more strict when it comes to paying your premium.
Do Not Go For The Shiniest Or Biggest Company
You should not go for the shiniest or biggest company when choosing home insurance. Go for the one that is cheapest and best fits your needs. You should shop around and ask other people who they use for home insurance. You can also use online comparison sites that help you search for the home insurance policies offered by different companies across the country. It is best to compare quotes from at least three different companies before deciding which company to go with. The cheapest company might not offer the best coverage. Make sure that the company is financially sound, has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and has an EDGE certification from Insurance Information Institute. Make sure that you read the details of the policy, especially the limitations and exclusions, before signing the dotted line.
Getting access to insurance can be a challenge for some people, especially those with low incomes or people who have experienced bad luck in the past. While the cost of home insurance can be expensive, it’s important to understand that it’s necessary to protect your property and have coverage in case of a risk or emergency. With the tips provided above, you should be able to find affordable home insurance that meets your needs.