A reader, Joe, just shared with me a list of homeowners insurance tips for dealing with increased wind and hail deductibles some of you might be facing. He originally sent out the tips to neighbors in his homeowners association. Wow! Wouldn’t it be great to have a neighbor like Joe?
Keeping your insurance costs down is often a frustrating exercise, so for those of you who wish you could subscribe to Joe’s neighborly advice, here it is!
source: Jo Naylor
Homeowner Insurance Tips
I just had a good experience at my agent’s office, saved some money on my homeowner’s. I was not aware of this, but it appears many insurers are going to a 1% percent deductible for wind/hail losses (meaning if your dwelling coverage is 250,000, your wind/hail deductible will be $2500). Your deductible for other losses will be whatever you had as a prior deductible (i.e. $500, $1000, etc.).
Make sure Coverage A is correct. If the 1% deductible is the case with your insurer, you’ll want to make certain your dwelling (Coverage A) coverage is not too high, because that would affect your wind/hail deductible amount. As an example, the carrier increased our Coverage A to $272,000 from $253,000 on our recent renewal notice – after discussion with the agent, I was able to get this dropped to $241,000, which I think is more accurate. In addition, I have an endorsement that increases that limit by 25 percent, so we essentially have $301,250 in dwelling coverage. So, the first tip is making sure your Coverage A Dwelling coverage is proper.
Raise your deductible. Second, if you have a separate wind/hail deductible like this, I suggest bumping your other deductible to $2500. That’s a personal decision, but the odds of a fire or other loss are low, and you really don’t want to file any smaller claims, as that could affect your rates. Hence, consider a $2500 deductible. Again, I don’t know if your insurer is doing this separate wind/hail deductible or not, but my agent advised many insurers applied to the state to do this, so it may be coming down the pipe for you.
Consider earthquake insurance. Finally, I was excited to learn that the agent offered earthquake insurance. I was actually thinking about looking into that, with all of the activity going on around the New Madrid fault. It only cost $17 to add the coverage (about a nickel a day); with only a 5% deductible (based on your Coverage A limit). A lot of carriers have 10% deductibles. It made sense to me, so I added the coverage.
Even after adding the earthquake coverage, I was able to knock down our premium by $129 by making these changes (about 13% savings). I was also able to get our wind/hail deductible down from $2720 to 2500, by getting my Coverage A dwelling coverage knocked down to $241,000.
I wanted to share, because I was not aware of the new wind/hail deductible endorsement. Plus, I like sharing money-saving tips. Joe
Thanks for sharing your tips Joe!