South Orange County Blog from Bob Phillips

4 Tips To Lower Homeowners Insurance For Your Home

4 Tips To Lower Homeowners Insurance For Your HomeWith the prices for everything skyrocketing these days, every penny counts. This includes your homeowner’s insurance costs. If you’re thinking of buying a home and need homeowner’s insurance, here are a few tips on getting quality insurance for a fair price:

Tip #1: Shop Around

Ask family and friends about their homeowner’s insurance. Check the Yellow Pages, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the state insurance department.

Other places to shop for insurance include consumer guides, insurance agents and online insurance quote services. Don’t just look for lower prices, however. You need a fair price for the services you need.

Tip #2: Raise Your Deductible

The deductible is how much you have to pay before the insurance company starts to pay a claim on your home. The higher the deductible, the lower the premiums. If you live in a disaster-prone area, your policy may have a separate deductible for specific types of damages.

Make sure, when reading the policy, you carefully go over damage-specific information.

Tip #3: Use The Same Insurer

Some companies will take five to fifteen percent off your premium if you buy more than one policy from them. If the insurer offers homeowner’s, auto and liability coverage, you stand a chance of having a lower premium than if they only offer one or the other.

The key is to make sure that the combined price is lower than if you bought them separately.

Tip #4: Improve Home Security

By installing a sophisticated fire sprinkler system and a fire/burglar alarm that rings the monitoring stations, some companies will cut your premium as much as fifteen or twenty percent.

For a smoke detector, burglar alarm or deadbolt locks, you can usually get at least a five percent discount. Check with your insurer to make sure that the system you’re installing will lower your premiums, though; the systems aren’t cheap and not all of them qualify for a discount.

Read everything carefully before you sign, to make sure the policy covers your insurance needs without adding on hidden fees. Even a little money saved can go a long way toward making it easier to live within your budget.

Ready to buy a home? Let me help you find the perfect home and get it at the best terms and price.

Comments Off on 4 Tips To Lower Homeowners Insurance For Your Home

Before And After Tips When Dealing With A Disaster

Posted in Around The Home, Disaster Coverage, Home How To, Home Insurance, Real Estate Tips by southorangecounty on September 12, 2013

Before And After Tips When Dealing With A DisasterWeather patterns across the United States seem to be getting more and more erratic. From tornadoes and earthquakes to flash floods and wild fires, there are many natural disasters that can quickly consume your home without warning. Because you never know when disaster might strike, it’s best to be prepared.

Disaster insurance is the only precaution you can put in place to ensure compensation for your belongings and get your life back to normal as soon as possible. Below are the tips to take before misfortune strikes.

Create An Inventory

Most insurance agencies prefer if you include photographs of every room, including the insides of closets and cabinets. Shooting a video is even better. Then you can include audio of how much things cost or if they’re one of a kind.

It’s also a good idea to create a spreadsheet with a list of major items and their value by room. Be sure to email these to yourself, so that you can access them anywhere.

Double-Check Your Coverage

Once you’ve inventoried your possessions, then ensure you have enough coverage. Also, speak with your agent to see if there are any supplemental disaster insurance policies he or she would recommend for your region.

Tips To Do After A Disaster Does Strike

Contact Your Insurer Immediately

Call your agent as soon as possible and be prepared for mountains of paperwork. Be sure to ask for the claim number for your region and use it on all paperwork and in every conversation. This will help expedite your claim.

Secure Your Property

It’s your responsibility to ensure your property is secure after the disaster. Be sure to take photographs and video and then cover or stabilize any vulnerable points. You don’t want the insurance agency to have any discrepancies when determining if the damage was done during the disaster or afterward.

Keep A Correspondence Record

You are going to be completely overwhelmed after such an unfortunate event, but it’s important to maintain your wits. Keep a log of every conversation you have with insurance agents. Log the time, name, phone number and the key points of the conversation. This will help minimize the he-said-she-said accusations that can arise during these hectic times.

Hopefully you’ll never have file a disaster insurance claim. However, if you do, it’s best to be as prepared as possible. Create an inventory of your possessions and make sure you have the appropriate coverage. Then if mayhem strikes, you’ll be that much closer to putting your life back together.

Comments Off on Before And After Tips When Dealing With A Disaster

%d bloggers like this: