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Cheapest Home Owners Insurance

By - 2006

Before looking for the cheapest home owners insurance, make a list of decent insurance companies. Type "insurance company ratings" into any search engine and get some free information on the financial strength of the various companies. You want a company that will be around when you need them.

Start by calling any company on the list or get a quote online, but ask a lot of questions. There could be ways to save money that aren't on the list below. Try hard to understand what is covered and what isn't. Write down the exact policy limits and deductible amounts and anything else relevant.

You'll need this information to accurately compare the quote to others. What you're looking for is not the cheapest home owners insurance, but the cheapest way to get the policy you need. With this in mind, here are some of the ways you can lower that premium.

1. Get three quotes. Use your notes to be sure each company is quoting the same policy limits, and roughly the same policy conditions, so you can honestly compare the quotes.

2. Try independent agents. They are not limited to one company, so they can sell you policies from whichever companies are cheapest, or best suit your needs.

3. Get a higher deductible. Insurance is for disasters, not small things, so just plan to someday pay the first $1000 when something happens. Meanwhile you'll save every year. If this makes you uncomfortable, here's a solution: Suppose the annual premium is say, $80 less with a higher deductible. Put that $80 into a special account each year. You'll eventually have the deductible covered, or if you have no claims, you'll have extra money for retirement.

4. Get a car / home discount. You can get a lower rate if you car is insured with same company as your house (normally). Note the limits for the auto policy, though, because you'll want to fairly compare this part of the policy with others as well.

5. Look at the coverage on contents. If you don't actually have $40,000 worth of stuff, don't pay for the coverage. If the time for a claim comes, the insurance company won't pay for value that wasn't there, but they sure will collect for it if you let them.

6. Get special discounts. Non-smokers can often get a discount. You could get a discount for security alarms as well. Ask about any others.

7. Be sure your home is safe. Even if there is not an inspection before the policy is issued, you don't want to lie to get cheap rates. You really should have smoke alarms, locks on the doors, a fire extinguisher, and an updated furnace.

You may never get a perfect comparison of rates. Most insurance companies won't have the exact same policies available as the others do. Each may have their own minimum content coverage requirements, for example, or a minimum policy limits based on the square footage. However, use the guidelines here, and you will get close to the cheapest home owners policy - for the policy you need.


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