Consumer Reports: Save on home insurance

Consumer Reports: Save on home insurance
1 month 2 weeks 10 hours ago Friday, April 12 2024 Apr 12, 2024 April 12, 2024 6:20 PM April 12, 2024 in News - Consumer News

Blame natural disasters, inflation, and where you live. Chances are you’re probably paying more for home insurance these days–in some cases, a lot more. The good news is that the money-saving experts at Consumer Reports found ways to trim rising premiums for significant savings.

Start by shopping around. Consider a local independent agent or broker who sells policies from several insurance companies. They might also recommend policy add-ons to help your coverage keep up with inflation, which is important when you file a claim.

While you’re at it, bundle coverage. Purchasing your homeowners and auto coverage from the same company can provide savings of up to 30 percent overall.

Keep your deductible high. Higher deductibles mean lower premiums. Going to a $1,000 deductible from $500 might shave your premium by 25 percent.

Do some home upgrades. First, look up. The age of your roof matters. Some insurers add a surcharge of up to 15 percent for older roofs. You’re better off getting ahead of the storm and replacing it.

The same goes for older plumbing. Replace it. A home security system and gas and water leak detectors could also save you money.

Clean up your credit. Like it or not, most insurers can use what’s called a credit-based insurance score. They can check your score often and use it in pricing premiums.

Finally, know this about pets, pools, and other pastimes. Some insurers say the risk of dog bites—and liability lawsuits—is greater with certain breeds. You might be denied or have to pay more. Trampolines and pools are safety risks. And if you’re a smoker – that could be a fire risk.

Also, report the truth. Not divulging honest information could lead to dropped coverage if your insurer learns about it later after an accident.

Be cautious about how often you make a claim. One every few years shouldn't be a big deal– but three claims in two years might raise your rates or even lead to dropped coverage. Also, listing your belongings can make a big difference in how much your homeowner's insurance will pay.

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