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Homeowners Guide to Home Insurance Discounts, Reduced Rates and Savings
In today's economy, many homeowners are juggling higher bills on less earnings -- facing tightened family budgets in the wake of rising costs, credit limits or even job loss. Yet there's no need to struggle with the cost of home insurance. Despite industry increases, homeowners may be able to reduce their insurance rates by as much as 30 percent.
Consider the findings reported by independent insurance agent association, Trusted Choice, in a 2009 national survey: Homeowners are usually aware of the more common discounts -- such as a multiple policy discount to insure both home and auto under one carrier. But there are other discounts and savings they miss.
How savvy are you as a homeowner and insurance consumer?
Find out using this quick list to explore or measure your potential for insurance discounts. It's also the knowledge you and your insurance agent need to reduce rates for savings:
Dual duty -- Don't overlook the most common discount available: multiple policy discounts. When the same company insures your home and car, you can probably reduce your overall insurance costs by 10 to 15 percent.
New home, new homeowner? The same criteria used to qualify your home for a specific mortgage is often the same that qualifies your policy for discounts.
Living in a gated community? Then you may be eligible for discounts. Be sure to ask about auto insurance discounts if your car is equally 'protected' to boot.
Rooftop savings -- Some insurance companies offer hail resistant roof discounts for Class 4 roofs -- naturally these credits may vary with locale. Moreover, be sure to ask your insurer about potential discounts before putting a new roof on your house -- you'll probably want to capture savings if available and a flat roof without roof warranty may disqualify you from your current coverage altogether.
Be a new policyholder -- You may find additional savings extended to new customers based on new rating models that offer a 'sign up' discount. If your insurer extends this discount, your insurance agent might be able to capture it by applying for a new policy with the same company.
Your track record counts -- make sure you explore discounts for home insurance customers who have a claim-free track record... when was the last time you filed a home insurance claim? A 10-year history usually qualifies you for this discount; if you've never filed a claim, you may save as much as 20 percent.
Risk reductions -- Ask your agent to identify risk reduction discounts addressing a range of interior and exterior factors: fire and smoke alarms, electrical wiring, fireplace / chimney safety, heating apparatus, burglar alarms, curb and gutter system and landscaping elements. Proximity to a fire hydrant and your community's fire department also applies.
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