Is there such a thing as cheap home insurance? There may be a better question. Is home insurance really that expensive? Homeowner’s insurance may very well be the consumer’s best buy when it comes to insurance. There are multiple benefits and features that make the home policy unique. Most everything that the homeowner owns including the dwelling can be covered in some way by homeowner’s insurance. When you think of the magnitude of the coverage afforded by homeowner’s insurance versus the premium paid then you would have to agree that homeowner’s insurance is a very good buy. The rates on property insurance in general, have increased over the last ten years. Much of that has to with increased catastrophes like the hurricanes in Florida. The toxic mold problem that originated out west has also caused premiums to increase on a national basis. The home insurance buyer really needs to focus on a few areas to get the most for the premium dollars paid.
Accurate Dwelling Amount – This is the first most critical decision that you will make. The square footage of your dwelling has to be correct in establishing the replacement value of your home. The market value is of little use to you when you purchase insurance to rebuild the structure. Replacement cost is better for homes that have been built within the last 40 years. Check with your insurance company underwriting guidelines.
Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value – This facet of your home insurance policy should be clearly understood. Replacement cost insurance on both your dwelling and its contents means that the insurance company will rebuild or replace your loss with like kind and quality. Actual Cash Value will calculate the replacement cost and then subtract for depreciation. The actual cash value policy is cheaper but you will have to come up with the depreciable amount out of your own pocket.
Deductible – Higher deductibles bring your premium down substantially. $500 to $1000 deductibles are common. This is a huge savings to you over the years and is your most valuable tool in lowering the cost.