Monday, May 28, 2007

Top 10 Ways to Trim Your Insurance Bill

Insurance bill got you down? Well, don't let it! Here are some ideas to think about to beat the increasing cost of home ownership:
  1. Shop Around : Get referrals from friends and family and make sure to request price quotes from at least 3 companies. Look online too, you might find a great bargain. Also check out their complaint history with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (www.naic.org).
  2. Know Your History : When you call for a quote, the first thing the agent does is download your CLUE report to view past claim history on your home. For a small fee, you can access this report before you call and challenge anything the insurance agent says that you know is wrong.
  3. File Fewer Claims : If you have had a previous claim, and now have a small one, think about taking care of the repairs yourself. Too many claims could cause your rate to go up, or worse yet, get dropped.
  4. Cover more Yourself : Raise your deductible and you could see your premium reduced by 25%.
  5. Maintain Good Credit : Good Credit = Good Rates, it's as simple as that.
  6. Bundle Polices : You can save 10-15% by having your auto insurance on all vehicles with the same company that insures your home.
  7. Improve your Home Security : Add up the discounts...if you have smoke detectors, a security system, sprinkler system, alarm monitoring service, etc, you could get an additional price break on your premium.
  8. Seek Discounts : If you don't ask for a discount, you may not get one.
  9. Review your Policy once a Year : Over the course of year, you might have bought a couple big ticket items that need to be added to your policy. Separate insurance riders might be needed for computers, jewelry, art work, musical instruments, etc that are not covered on the standard policy.
  10. Document your Valuables : Have all your belongings photographed and downloaded to a flash drive, then placed in a safety deposit box or a separate fire box. Make sure to also write down anything that cannot be photographed. This will serve as proof to the insurance company on what you really had. The last thing you need is to haggle over your engagement ring that the insurance agent says is worth half of its true value, just because you didn't take the 5 minutes to document its existence.

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