Whether you are relocating or been in your home for years, isn’t it important to know you have the best possible photo 2 1
value your homeowner’s insurance has to offer? As the market fluctuates, the price of insurance premiums (as well as the value of your home) is liable to change. Personal changes to your lifestyle are also likely. These changes impact your insurance needs and your premium as well. Not keeping up to date results in paying for a more expensive — or insufficient — policy than is necessary. If you are relocating, or haven’t looked at your homeowner’s insurance policy in at least a year, the following tips from Jeff East and Kevin Greenwell, of East and Greenwell Insurance, will guide you towards achieving the best homeowner’s insurance value.

How Much Coverage Is Necessary?

When reviewing or purchasing your homeowner’s insurance policy it is important to know exactly how much coverage you need. Depending on where you live, the cost to repair your home in the event of a tragedy may cost a much different dollar amount than the estimated value of your home. A licensed insurance agent helps determine the right amount of coverage for you. A current replacement cost estimate gauges the correct amount of repair coverage and is the first step towards protecting you from unanticipated out of pocket costs. A rider review is a critical to include; riders cover the items that your initial policy doesn’t. Too often pets, expensive jewelry, silver, china, artwork, even the screen enclosure for your pool is not included in a standard policy and require a rider for protection. There are also liability options which may be added for an affordable rate to cover accidents made by anyone in your family that damage your home or a neighbor’s.

How to Lower Premiums

The overall premium price of your policy will decrease as the deductible paid during a claim increases. Kevin Greenwell, who specializes in home owner insurance policy reviews, recommends at least $1000 for the deductible in Florida, if you can afford $2500 then your monthly premium may lower by 25% or more. One should note that there may be additional deductibles required for accident-prone neighborhoods. Homeowners in Florida communities like Fort Worth, Naples, and others, may experience the standard deductible and an additional deductible for hurricanes or floods. Ask your agent to check the fine print of your policy.

Besides increasing your deductible to lower your premium there are several ways to save money on your homeowner’s insurance. Tactics like grouping insurance policies together with one agent, making home improvements, or simply seeking discounts help. When you are able to purchase your homeowner’s insurance, but also your flood, automobile, boat, and vacation home insurance, you’ll save tremendously. You may lower premiums making essential home improvements which increase your security (such as an alarm system or sprinklers) and/or make your home more disaster resistant. The best way to determine which improvements to make is to give your family agent a call.

For Florida residents, it is important to have a Wind Mitigation Inspection done. This will determine the overall wind worthiness of the home which affects your coverage and policy needs. An inspector will check the roof, the nails, shutters and other factors that could result in extra coverage, discounts, or repairs to be done on your home.

Some insurance agents work with you to choose certain coverage options with more flexibility than other agents (who simply work in percentages) to lower your rate. An insurance agent who has your best interest at heart will assist you in gaining additional discounts such as a retiree discount, secure/gated community, approved builder, claims free, monitored smoke detector, and even good credit discounts. You may also qualify for discounts such as a good student discount, military discounts, even a discount for being a long-time loyal customer.

When Did You Last Review Your Policy?

Review your homeowner’s insurance policy annually to ensure the best current value. As the market changes, so will your insurance needs. It’s especially important for Florida residents to choose an insurance agent familiar with your area. There are a number of new companies who have never experienced an actual hurricane and are undercapitalized in comparison with companies who have. There are also brand name companies writing zero new policies, so one should be extra cautious of who to choose as an agent.

Choose a High Quality Agent

There are many insurance companies who will sell you a policy, but not many take the time to sit down, properly assess your exact needs then craft an insurance policy to fit your unique lifestyle. Jeff East and Kevin Greenwell and the staff of East and Greenwell Insurance Agency will take that time. They work to design and write a policy to protect your lifestyle from a tragic catastrophe within a budget you can manage. If you are currently living in Florida or relocating, give them an opportunity to earn your business with a call today.