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Home Insurance: Is It Worth It?

If you own a home, then likely you have homeowners insurance on your biggest and most expensive asset. True, if you own your home outright, then there is no law requiring you to have homeowners insurance. Only mortgage companies will insist on insurance if they have a lien on your home. Is it wise to go without insurance? Should you? Keep reading and we shall look at the value of having or getting rid of your homeowners insurance.

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Homeowners’ insurance rates are spiking especially for homeowners in areas where hurricane damage has been high, such as Florida. Some homeowners are finding their rates have doubled or tripled in just one year while others are learning that their policy has been cancelled by the insurance company meaning they must shop for new insurance.

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The temptation to drop insurance altogether is a big one, but a dangerous choice to make unless you have a bundle of money to absorb the loss.Home insurance makes sense for the following reason:–If there is a catastrophic loss, then your home can be completely replaced. Just make certain that your policy has been updated to reflect the current replacement cost of your home. If you live in earthquake or a flood prone area, you will need to purchase separate insurance to cover these disasters.

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You can save money on your policy via:–Comparison shopping. All insurers are different and rates can vary by as much a 10 to 20 percent. Shop around and don’t just go with the best rate. Companies that pay a fast claim are worth more than a slower payer any day, even if there rates are high.You are your home’s best advocate because:–You know your home. You are in the best position to determine loss, therefore you must be aware of what is allowed or not allowed before filing for a claim.

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A tree that falls on your home means that you are covered, while floods and earthquakes are only covered through the writing of a separate policy. Yes, insurance on your home can certainly seem expensive and almost worth dropping until you need to use it. Your insurance company isn’t always your best friend, but they can be your only friend when disaster hits and able to help restore you financially if you selected the policy with the best coverage.

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Here are some factors to consider when purchasing home insurance. All of these factors can and will have an influence on the price you pay for home insurance. The Condition of the Home Insurers factor in general wear and tear on your home when setting a premium. They will inspect such things as the condition of the roof, porches, decks, and the integrity of the home's wiring system. Because new homes tend to be in better condition than older homes, some insurers will offer up to a 15 percent discount if your home is new. The Construction of the Home Certain types of homes are less expensive to insure because they are more resistant to damage. For example, a brick home is preferable because of its resistance to wind damage. Safety Factors Many insurers also offer discounts of approximately 5 percent for safety features such as burglar alarm systems, deadbolts, window locks, smoke detectors, and sprinkler systems. You may also receive a discount if your home is in close proximity to a fire department. If There is a Smoker in the Home Because smoking in the home greatly increases the risk of fire, some insurers will offer a discount of about 2-5 percent if no one in the home smoke. Is the Home in a High Risk Area Flood and earthquake damage is not covered by standard home insurance policies. Special supplemental catastrophic policies that cover these conditions are available, but can be quite costly. If you are currently covered against these catastrophes through a government plan, however, research coverage through a private insurer. It may actually be lower. Type and Amount of Home Insurance Coverage Needed Homeowner's insurance typically covers damage or loss to your home and its contents, but some packages also provide other benefits such as personal liability coverage if someone is injured on your property or theft insurance. Read the fine print. Prices and coverage can vary significantly between packages that appear similar. Make sure you get what you need and use what you get. Your Desired Deductible The deductible is the amount that you the policyholder must pay before your insurance company starts paying benefits. The higher your deductible, the lower your home insurance premiums. By raising the deductible, you can save up to 50 percent of the cost of your homeowner's insurance. Loyalty to Your Company Insurers will often reduce their rates if you buy more than one type of coverage such as auto and homeowner's from them or if you stay with them over a period of time. Is There a Retiree Living in the Home? If you are over the age of 55 and retired, check with your insurer to see if you qualify for a discount. Most insurance companies offer these discounts because retired people are home more and can spot fires sooner than working people and have more time for maintaining their homes. Some insurance companies will offer discounts of up to 10 percent to seniors who qualify. Group Discounts As with other types of insurance coverage, you can often obtain better home insurance rates if you get coverage through a group plan. Check with your employer, alumni association, or other affiliations to find out if they offer group coverage. ZZZZZZ

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The violent winds, rains and storm damage from hurricanes can devastate communities and cause billions of dollars worth of destruction. The losses from hurricanes this year alone have surpassed that from almost any other natural disaster in years. The risk to your home and possessions can be enormous and you really should be considering insurance cover for hurricane damage if you live in any area that is exposed to the risk of hurricane. As well as insurance cover however, there are other steps you can be taking to prepare for, and minimise the damage to your property and risk to your family that hurricanes pose. Since the Atlantic hurricane season begins in June and continues through till the end of November, there is a significant proportion of the year during which you should be prepared in some way for hurricane threats. Some of the preparations below will be required by insurance policies, others will not but are still helpful to you and your family. Some of them may even be able to bring down your insurance policy price as the insurance company recognises that you are safer than you otherwise would be and are therefore less likely to be making a claim. Be Prepared First of all you should be familiar with the terms of your insurance policy and any disaster preparedness and response plans they have. These will help you in the case that disaster does strike or you find yourself in need of making a claim. If you think you may need to evacuate your area, you should contact the appropriate authorities before hand to know what those requirements will be. You should have a plan formulated in advance and if there are shelters nearby you should know where they are and how to get to them. Keep supplies such as food, water, gasoline, portable radios and batteries stored somewhere safe so they will be available to you in the emergency. Several flashlights with extra batteries should be included. Copies of important identification and insurance documentation would also be useful in certain situations to speed up applications in the event that wide spread devastation occurs. Medical supplies such as aspirin and aspirin free painkillers, antacid, bandages, gauze and disinfectant are also useful. While insurance is a very important step you should be taking to protect your possessions and family in the event of disaster, there are many other steps you can take to prepare for the situation also. ZZZZZZ

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