Ways to Reduce Your Homeowners Rates
Today we want to discuss some possible ways to reduce your homeowners insurance rates in light of the rate increases that most of us are facing when we open up our renewal offer:
- Windstorm Mitigation Credits are the single best way to get your rates down because you don’t have to sacrifice any important coverages or raise deductibles to get the credits. We’re talking about getting a discount from your insurance company as a result of proving to them that your house is built with features that make it less likely it will blow away in a major storm. Homes constructed after March 2002 automatically are built to new Florida Building Code and receive the windstorm mitigation credits. If your house was built prior to 2002 but either your roof has been replaced since 2002 or you think your house may have some mitigating features like hurricane clips or shutters, then it could be worth pursuing a windstorm mitigation inspection to be able to get the credits. Costs of these inspections runs about $75 and we can recommend someone if you need assistance. Many of you have already done this and saved hundreds of dollars PER YEAR on your homeowners insurance.
- Raising all other perils deductible from $1000 to $2500 in the event of a claim is another possible way to reduce your premium. The insurance company is willing to reduce the premium because in a claim situation, you are responsible for more out of pocket expense, so think carefully about this before you pursue it. The amount of reduction varies widely from company to company but you can call us to have us quote the potential savings. One other thing to consider before doing this; some lenders do not allow the $2500 all other perils deductible. You may want to check with their loan requirements first.
- Giving up very important coverages like Replacement cost on contents and Sinkhole Loss Coverage. I hesitate to even bring this up because these coverages are very important but we know times are tough for many of our clients and budgets have to be met. Replacement cost on contents means that in a claim situation, you can be reimbursed for the loss of your personal property or contents (items like furniture, clothing, cameras, TVs) on a cost new basis. This means the insurance company will give you enough money to replace your used items with brand new, similar quality items instead of just the actual cash value, or depreciated value of those items. Sinkhole loss coverage is defined by Florida law as a land form created by subsidence of soil, sediment, or rock as underlying strata are dissolved by groundwater. Be very careful about giving this coverage up because if settling, cracking, and shifting occurs to your house, you would not be covered and it may cost THOUSANDS to fix!
CALL US, your Trusted Choice Independent Agent, for discussing these suggestions and perhaps others in detail.
May 1, 2010