There are many, many reasons that you need to be protected by insurance as a homeowner. Even if someone is trespassing on your property and gets attacked by your dog, you could be on the hook for the hospital bills. It’s crazy, yes, but that’s how the system works. Use these insurance tips to make sure you’re always protected.

Check with your homeowner’s insurance before adding any major recreational structures to your property. Adding on a swimming pool, above ground or in ground or even children’s toys, like swingsets and trampolines, can significantly raise your homeowner’s insurance rates. The increased cost of these items should be considered before any major renovation.

When considering home insurance, consider how important it is to have a higher or lower deductible. With a lower deductible, your rates will be higher throughout the year, but you’ll have to pay less for damages to your house. With a higher deductible, you keep more money in your pocket in terms of paying your premium, however most smaller claims will cost less than your deductible amount.

To save money on your homeowners insurance talk to your agent and see if the company provides discounts for installing additional smoke detectors. Many older homes lack them in areas that are considered standard places to install today and many insurance companies will provide a discount as an incentive for you to add more.

Photograph all of your valuable items. You won’t be able to get the full value of your items if your insurance adjusters can’t tell exactly what you lost.

The best way to lower your insurance payment is to raise your deductible. A high-deductible policy is a bet against the house, so to speak. You’re preferring the risk of having to shell out for a high deductable over the fact of having to shell out a higher amount of money every month. So, if you are conservative, this may not be the best fit. But if you’re willing to chance having to pay out that high deductible, then this strategy is worth adopting.

When buying a homeowner’s insurance policy, what is excluded from coverage is sometimes more critical that what the policy does cover. Flood coverage, for example, is not typically covered in most homeowner’s policies, but can be purchased as a separate policy. The same is true for other natural disasters such as earthquakes.

When you are going to purchase homeowners insurance there are certain things that you should look for in a policy. A good thing to have is guaranteed replacement value insurance. This means that no matter the cost your home will be rebuilt if a disaster were to happen. Most people think this is automatic, however, since home values increased it probably would cost more now than what you had originally paid for the home. This way you are covered.

If you are turning 55, it is a good time to start shopping for a homeowner’s insurance policy or ask your carrier to review your current policy. Lots of insurers provide discounts to seniors, beginning at age 55. Shop around if your company is not providing you with this discount.

Find out what kind of home replacement coverage is offered on your home owners insurance policy. Some will guarantee replacement while others will limit the amount of money you will get if your home is destroyed. Some insurance companies have a cap on the payments to a percentage of the face value of your policy.

Install smoke alarms in your home. It will not only help to protect your family in the case of a fire but it will also get you about a ten percent discount on your home insurance policy. Many newer homes already have them installed but if they are not, it is an affordable thing to add to your home.

Add extra smoke alarms to your home to reduce your insurance premiums. Adding smoke alarms can reduce your yearly premiums by as much as 10 percent. Depending on your insurance company, you may even qualify for additional discounts for adding more smoke alarms than the minimum required to receive the discount. You not only save money, but you protect the lives of everyone in your family.

Just about anything can happen and leave you on the hook for some big bucks. Unless you’re protected, you could end up losing your house for multiple reasons. Follow these tips and use them to work up a solid insurance policy that’s affordable and that provides ample protection for your home.

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