Tired of your homeowners renewal renewal going up? Discover tips to lower your homeowners insurance premium.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the cost of homeowner’s insurance has increased significantly over the past several years, mainly due to the rising number of catastrophes, the high cost of home repairs, and the emergence of mold claims.
When you are looking at your insurance renewal,
It’s a good idea to contact your homeowners insurance agent before you renew to make sure you know the cost of insurance and that you are well-informed of any issues or endorsements you may be missing.
A proper review of your policy is not just a smart thing to do, but it protects yourself from a financially devastating event.
Below are 10 ways to help control the cost of Louisiana homeowners insurance so you keep more of your money instead of giving it away to the insurance company.
Raise your deductible
If you have a low deductible of $1000, raising it to $2500 or $5,000 could save you up to 25% on your Homeowners insurance premiums. I created a Homeowners Deductible guide to help you understand deductibles and how to choose the deductible that is right for you click here.
Combine your home and auto policies
Many companies offer discounts if you buy your homeowners and auto insurance policies from them. It’s also more convenient than buying separate policies from separate insurance companies. The only problem in South Louisiana your options are limited finding any insurance company that still writes auto and homeowners insurance together. The majority of homeowners insurance companies writing new policies only offer homeowners insurance but they do offer companion discounts just for having your other policies with the same agency such as auto, homeowners, flood and an umbrella protection policy.
Ask about other discounts
Make sure you get every discount you’re eligible for. There are generally discounts available for monitored burglar and fire alarm systems, hip shaped roof instead of gable shape, brick construction instead of frame and if you’re over 55 and retired, you may qualify for an additional discount. Each insurance company offers their own individual discounts so discounts will vary.
Don’t buy more coverage than you need
Make sure you’re only buying the coverage you need. It doesn’t make sense to pay for $100,000 of contents coverage if your belongings are only worth $25,000. You can adjust your personal property or contents coverage to the value of the property you own. This is the limit for the property you own and moved inside your house. All homeowners policies have limitations on specialty items such as jewelry, guns, collectibles, art etc.
Don’t assume everything is covered up the to full value and be careful “mysterious disappearance or lost it” are not automatically covered. Consider scheduling any valuable items on the policy or purchase a stand alone personal articles policy to make sure your most valuable items are covered.
Understand your coverage
Make sure you understand your policy and exactly what is and what isn’t covered. You don’t want any expensive surprises down the road. For example, flood and earthquake damage aren’t covered by a standard policy – you’ll need separate coverage. And keep in mind, your home must be insured for replacement cost, not market value.
If everything were covered under a homeowners policy, you would only receive a receipt and a handshake. The policy you receive in the mail is filled with pages of exclusions or what the insurance will not cover.
Not sure what is covered? Ask your insurance agent to explain or if you have a “what if” question. Don’t wait until after a claim to discover a claim denial.
Keep your coverage updated
Review your policy and the value of your possessions once a year, before your Louisiana homeowners insurance policy is due for renewal. Make sure your coverage is still appropriate for your needs and situation.
Things change since the inception of your policy and most common is not telling your insurance agent of any changes.
Did you buy a dog?
Did you get a trampoline for Christmas?
Did you decide to get a swimming pool?
These changes are important to a homeowners policy. Some insurance companies will exclude policy coverage and most homeowners policy either exclude animal liability or limit the coverage but you have to endorse the policy to get the protection you need if your family pet is having a bad day and decides to bite someone.
Make your home a better risk
Consider steps you can take to make your home less expensive to insure. Are there upgrades you made to your house?
Most insurance policies will provide policy discounts for upgrades to your
- heating air conditioning
Avoid “red flag” risks
Be careful when you buy a new dog or finally install the swimming pool.
There is a prohibited breed of dog list. If you own one of these, your policy will not provide you any legal defense if there is a dog bite claim and most policies don’t provide any animal liability unless you endorse the policy.
If you do decide to get a pool be careful not to get a diving board or slide.
Most companies will not extend any liability for claims involving a diving board or slide
Boost your credit score
Insurance companies are increasingly using credit information to calculate insurance premiums. Limit your number of open credit accounts, don’t max out your credit cards, and pay your bills on time to keep your credit score healthy.
Equifax, TransUnion and Experian endorse the above website and it is the official site for consumers to obtain their credit report once a year.
Look beyond price
Don’t compare price alone. Consider each company’s customer service, locality and customer reviews. You want a home insurance partner who will be there for you if and when disaster strikes.
Which company is going to be around after the next Hurricane Katrina?
At FM Agency Group we represent more than one insurance company writing new policies in Louisiana.
We know and trust the companies we represent and we understand that not all homes can fit into one insurance company’s underwriting guidelines.
Give us a call at 504.348.3131 or complete our quick form to get started.