Time to Check Your HomeOwner's Policy

Carla Boardman Smalling of Hickok & Boardman Insurance, Inc recognizes that, "Everyone is looking to reduce their costs, and the insurance industry rewards good financial history with access to better insurance programs, with lower premiums." Working with an independent insurance agent, assures you that you will be marketed to their multiple carriers to find the right coverage at the right price for your needs. Here are a few ideas Carla has to help you save on your homeowner's insurance:

Look at Your Deductible

First and foremost, take a look at your deductible. A $1000 deductible is a good start for homeowner's insurance. Most homeowner's claims with be over this amount and you will be rewarded with lower premiums for carrying a higher deductible, which can pay for itself in a couple of years. You should have your independent agent also look at going to a $2500 deductible to see what the difference in savings will be to you. Insurance should be used for catastrophic events, and not as a maintenance plan. 

Carrying higher deductibles also applies to auto insurance. If you're willing to self insure with a higher deductible, you can see some nice reductions in your premiums. You also will see your premiums remain somewhat stable, as you wont be putting in the smaller claims, which can contribute to higher renewal premiums. 

Cost to Rebuild Your Home

Review your current coverage on your home. This number should reflect the actual costs to rebuild your home, not what it would cost to sell your home. The value of your land/lot is not included in the insurance replacement cost. Insurance looks at what it will cost to rebuild the home, on the same land and not the selling value of your home. You should have the replacement cost endorsement on both your home and your contents, so depreciation is not taken into account should there be a covered loss. However, if you own an older home, you may not be eligible for replacement cost on the structure. Talk to your independent agent to find the best coverage for your needs. 

Take Advantage of Credits

There are a lot of factors that insurance companies use to determine their premiums. Be sure to ask your independent agent if you are eligible and are receiving all available credits. The following are some available credits:

  • New Home Credit
  • Home and Auto Credit (package them together with the same company to get account credit)
  • Non Smoker's Credit
  • Alarm Credits (Fire, Burglar, and Low Temperature)
  • Higher Education Credits
  • Good Credit Score Credit
  • No Prior Losses Credit

Know What Is Covered

Also, not all items are covered under your homeowner's insurance. Items such as jewelry, silver and antiques carry a sublimit and are subjected to your deductible and are only covered for fire and theft. If you are looking to have these items fully covered, with no deductible, then you will need to supply appraisals to have a rider added on to the policy. Once they are listed on the policy, for an additional premium, these items are covered anywhere in the world, for any reason, with no deductible. Very common items would be engagement rings, higher end cameras, artwork and collectibles and antiques.

So, call your insurance agent and set up that appointment, you'll be glad you did.

Carla Boardman Smalling is Vice President of Hickok & Boardman Insurance, Inc in Burlington. She has specialized in personal lines since 1992. [email protected] or 802-658-3500.