Many decisions in life don’t usually require any debate as to whether they add value. Aside from car and life insurance, home insurance is a major no-brainer in today’s world. If bad weather rips your roof to shreds, or an intruder breaks into your home and takes off with precious jewelry or your cherished Larry Bird jersey, a basic home insurance policy will have you covered. But like with any other significant purchase, you need to look around and evaluate your options in order to get a good deal.
The good news is homeowners can get quality home insurance and save money on their policy by following this proven formula.
1. Improve your home
Making small changes in the home can reduce your premium significantly. A large number of insurance companies propose to lower rates for reasons having to do with the actual build and structure of your house – including things like the building material, plumbing, wiring, etc. For a person living in an older home it would make sense to perform upgrades to some of these elements.
2. Shop for a good insurer, and enlist help
Looking for discounts isn’t only limited to cars and airline tickets. You can find great deals on home insurance with a few phone calls and online searches. Start by searching for companies that are currently offering discounts, and engage an insurance broker or financial planner as they are more likely to have access to databases that give them access to broad sections of the market.
Consider using memberships as a way to claim some of these discounts – for instance if you are a veteran or AARP
member you may qualify for discounts if the association offers them. If you are looking for home insurance in Durham NC, we have personally had good experiences with Leslie Robinson and can confidently recommend her.
3. Agree to paying a higher deductible
As with any other type of insurance, you can save a lot of money by paying a higher deductible. This takes a huge chunk out of your annual premium, although it does shift liability to some extent. But given that premiums tend to increase when you make a claim, higher deductibles have silver lining because people tend to make fewer claims.
4. Do your research
As a homeowner you need to research the options available for home insurance, such as the nature of the policy. Two
major types of policies to consider are replacement cost versus actual cash value. Replacement cost covers you for the full cost required to replace your entire home and all the personal property in it. On the other hand, actual cash
value only mentions the value of your home but fails to mention things like zoning permits or removal of stolen property.
For example, if an intruder gets into your house and steals a laptop that you bought for $1,200, a replacement cost policy will refund you the full amount ($1,200) for a new laptop. If however, you have the actual value policy, you will most likely be compensated at the current market value laptop, which is probably lower because the laptop has lost value since purchase.
How to ace your mortgage this year
Are you in the market for a new home or looking to refinance your existing mortgage? There are a number of things you can do to manage your mortgage successfully. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Always live within your means. Home ownership is exciting and your home is most likely your biggest asset. But now that you own a home, make sure you’re not spending more than you can afford to. There will be lots of expenses to consider: maintenance, home improvements, utilities, insurance, life expenses, etc.
- Check out the most suitable loan options for your financial situation. Whether you’re out to purchase a new mortgage or refinance your current one, there are plenty of options from which you can choose. Select a loan that makes logical sense from a financial standpoint.
- For example, a newly-wed couple may choose an adjustable-rate mortgage because it has a lower initial interest rate, and also because they plan to sell their house eventually (and purchase a large one to accommodate a larger family) before the interest rate switches to a variable interest rate. On the other hand, a married couple with children may choose a fixed mortgage since they plan to live in the house in the long-term, and prefer to deal with a fixed interest rate.
- When purchasing a home, you need to know what works for you. Don’t choose what your best friend did or what seems fashionable. Decide what is best for your life circumstances and what fits with your goals.