Homeowners insurance, especially when times are tough, is important to have. But how do you know if you're getting a good deal? Bundling your car and home insurance with the same company can save you money, but there is more you can do to lower the cost. The dwelling coverage and deductible are the biggest rating factors of home insurance. Finding cheap home insurance quote starts with looking at your current policy.
While you want to have adequate dwelling coverage in the event of a total loss, it's important to understand what the coverage is and make sure you are not over-insured. The dwelling coverage should be the replacement cost to rebuild your home from the ground up. Keep in mind, that cost is likely to be less than the taxable amount of your home, because that includes the value of your land. If your home burned down, you still have the land and, in most cases, the foundation, so that value should not be a factor in this coverage. Another thing to remember is this value is likely less than the market value. The market is not the best right now and the amount you would sell your home for is probably less than if you were to build it from scratch.
Once the replacement cost of your home is determined, you want to look at what percentage of that amount is included. Some homeowners insurance policies include an inflated percentage in case building and material costs rise during the year. Sometimes, the coverage can be as much as 130% of the dwelling coverage. To get a cheap home insurance quote, you will want to take this into account. For example, if your home costs $100,000 to replace and your policy has 120% replacement cost coverage, you actually are covered for up to $120,000.
The other main rating factor in home insurance premium is the deductible, or the amount you are responsible for in the case of a claim. The general rule of thumb is the lower the deductible, the higher the premium. While that is true, there is more to think about. Most insurance companies will add a surcharge to your policy if there has been a claim within 3-5 years. So having a higher deductible will not only lower your premium, it will also deter you from making small claims that can cause long-term effects.
It is important to evaluate your insurance coverages every year to make sure your needs have not changed. With these tips, and the traditional bundling of car and home insurance for a multi-line discount, you can make sure you have adequate coverage and save some money.