Seven Tips for Texans
Save on homeowners insurance
Here are seven ways to cut the cost of your home insurance from helpinsure.com, a Texas consumer-friendly Internet site:
- Shop around – and do it early!
Check with several different home insurance companies to get rate quotes. (An independent insurance agent can provide rate quotes from a variety of companies.) And definitely do it well before your policy expires, just in case you run into any snags along the way.
- Raise your deductible
The deductible is the amount of money you have to pay toward a loss before your insurance kicks in. Home insurance deductibles usually start around 1% of the home value. However, if you increase your deductible you may save on premiums.
- Buy your home and auto policies from the same company
Many companies will give what’s called a “multi-line” discount if vou buy both home insurance and auto coverage from them.
- Don’t skimp when buying a home
If you’le looking at buying a home, think about the cost of insuring the home. A newer home’s electrical, heating, and plumbing systems and overall structure are likely to be in better condition than those of an older home – and can lead to a discount on your premiums.
- Insure your home, not the land
While your home and its contents are at risk from fire, theft, windstorms, and other perils, the land your home sits on is not. Don’t include the value of the land in deciding how much home insurance you need to buy.
- Improve security and safety
Items such as dead-bolt locks, burglar alarms, and smoke detectors can usually bring discounts of 5% each. Your insurance company may also offer a discount of 10% if you install a sophisticated home security system.
- Check your policy annually
Your policy should reflect the value of your home and belongings. If you review your policy every year, you can easily make the necessary adjustments. If, for example, you just sold a valuable painting, you won’t need the same amount of personal property coverage. But it you added a garage or other addition, you’ll need to increase your dwelling coverage.
Know Your Policy
After black mold damage claims which resulted in massive insurance payouts in Texas in the late 1990’s, insurance companies reduced coverage in homeowner’s policies for damage caused by water. As you shop for coverage for your home, make sure that you understand the limits of your policy concerning incidents such as slab leaks, sewage backup, and flooding. These disasters–which cost Texans thousands of dollars in destruction and hardship each year–are not routinely covered in most policies.
- Flooding: Policies often cover water falling down from the sky, such as rain, but not rising from below, such as flooding.
- Sewage backup: Cities are not liable for damage caused by sewage which backs up into your home from the line at the street.
- Slab Leak: Pipe breaks in the slab can cost thousands to locate and repair, not to mention damage done to foundations, flooring, and furniture.
Information About Property Insurance for a Buyer or Seller