by Roy Primm
"Affordable insurance protection
Is a growing into an expensive election
The cost of insuring a home
Can make you feel alone
So where do you go for direction".
Despite huge strides in home insurance discrimination practices. A recent study by a government-housing agency and independent research team revealed a disturbing fact.
Homeowners in mainly black neighborhoods remain more likely to have policies that provide lesscoverage in case of a loss. In addition, black homeowners remain more likely to pay more for comparable policies than white homeowners do. (Source: Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission.).
As you may know, decades of insurance and mortgage redlining has lead to a decline in property values and decay of many urban neighborhoods across America.
Many former and current insurance practices that hurt black homeowners and damage the same neighborhoods include:
Despite the many obstacles black homeowners can face in buying affordable homeowners insurance, the fundamentals of buying low cost high value insurance still apply.
It's up to you to find out which companies offer the best price, coverage and service through the art of comparison-shopping. Studies continue to prove black homeowners who do the best job at comparison-shopping are less likely to fall victim to insurance company discrimination. For example, overinsuring, redlining, excessively limited coverage and other forms of bias.
Remember the highest discounts go to the homeowners who keep informed. The uninformed, the lazy and the too-busy-to-comparison shop people usually pay the higher prices. Which group will you be in this year?
If you're determined to be in the first group follow these 12 steps to buying the lowest cost highest value home insurance.
1. Carry The Largest Deductible That's Financially Possible For You.
Doing this alone can save you up to 30% - 40% on your insurance cost. The larger the deductible the smaller the premium. Place the deductible money, the $500, $1,000, or $2,000 in an interest bearing account in case you need it. Meanwhile it's earning interest.
2. Buy Your Home, Auto, Life And Medical Policies From The Same Company If Possible.
Many companies will give a multiple discount if you buy multiple policies from them. Make sure you compare and see if this makes financial sense. The only way to tell for sure is to compare and verify the savings.
3. Improve Security And Safety In And Around Your Home.
Items such as dead bolt locks, burglar alarms, and smoke detectors can usually bring discounts of 5 percent each, depending on the company. Your insurance company may also offer a discount of 15 or 20 percent if you install a monitored home-security system. If you're thinking about buying 24-hour monitored system, check with insurance companies to see which systems they'll give you a discount for.
4. Your Policy Should Reflect Your Current Additions and Possessions.
You want your policy to reflect the value of your home and current possessions. By reviewing your policy each year, you can make the necessary adjustments with your agent. For example, if you've added a room or other expensive improvement you'll need to increase your dwelling coverage.
5. Avoid High-Risk Actions.
Insurance companies shy away from high-risk policy holders who own certain types of dogs such as Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers and Pit Bulls. In fact, many will limit or void your policy altogether. Also owning certain recreational items like a swimming pool or a trampoline can increase your cost of coverage. Read all the fine print in your policy under the "Conditions and Coverage's" sections. This section tells you all the items your insurance company excludes from coverage. You may decide to buy extra coverage to protect yourself from certain exposures and risk.
6. Comparison Shop Your Policies.
At lease once a year review your homeowner policy. Next get quotes from at least 3 other companies to make sure you're getting the best rates and service from your company and agent. Insurance companies constantly make changes in their policies. For example, changes in prices, coverage, exclusions, limits and qualifications. So, it's always a good idea to keep a close eye on what company is offering what this year.
7. Look For Companies That Reward You With Discounts
Many companies offer more and more discounts to homeowners who take an active role in limiting their risk. For example, discounts for non-smokers, smoke alarms, security alarms, fire sprinkler systems, senior discounts and more. Check with your insurance company for more details.
8. Keep A Good Credit Rating.
More insurance companies check policyholder's credit rating to decide the cost of premiums. The better your credit the less risk you pose for insurance companies.
9. Cheaper Isn't Always Better
Price should not be your only consideration when buying insurance. You want to do business with a reputable company that's going to pay quickly in case you have to file a claim. Quality of service should also have consideration.
10. Do You Have The Right Value Coverage?
Make sure you have replacement value coverage on your policy not market value coverage.
11. Take A Picture
It's a good idea to take a video or photograph of all your valuable personal possessions. Make sure you keep them somewhere other than your home in case of fire of flooding. A picture will provide physical evidence for the insurance company in case your valuables end up destroyed or stolen.
12. Safety In Numbers.
Consider group discounts to lower your premiums. Many companies and organizations offer group discounts for homeowners insurance. A good place to start is with your employer or any clubs or organizations you may belong to. Many churches offer homeowner discounts to members. If yours doesn't, consider suggesting it to your Pastor.
In today's high risk overpriced society, what was once a luxury is now a necessity for all homeowners as a protection from sudden loss. By following the 12 Tips ... on buying more home insurance for less you should see savings of 20% to 30% off your home owners insurance cost.
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Copyright Â© MMVII, Black Homeowner News