INSURANCE


How to Get the Best Deal on Homeowners Insurance

Whether you're getting coverage for the first time or have had the same insurer for years, it pays to shop around or reexamine your current policy for ways to lower your bill. Here are some tips on finding a deal on homeowners insurance.

Use Our Tool: Is Your Home Fully Protected?

Get price quotes from several insurers. There's enough uniformity among the companies' policies that you can use their standard forms to compare premiums. Companies sometimes modify the standard provisions, but it's not always easy to tell whether the changes broaden or narrow your protection, so compare carefully.

You're usually entitled to a lower rate for a brick home than for a frame structure. Also, you might qualify for a discount if your house is new or only a few years old, or if you have installed smoke alarms or antitheft devices.

You can get price quotes from an independent insurance agent who works with several companies (see www.iiaba.net to find agents near you), and also contact agents who represent single insurers, such as Allstate and State Farm, as well as direct insurers, such as Geico and USAA. You may want to reshop your auto insurance policy at the same time because you can probably get a multi-policy discount (typically 15%) if you buy both policies from the same insurer.

Boost your deductible. Raising your deductible from $500 to $1,000 could save you 25% on your premiums and discourage you from filing small claims that could prompt your insurer to raise your premium or ultimately cancel your policy.

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