At this point, we probably sound like a broken record when you ask about your home insurance premium. The rates in Colorado continue to rise as the cost of insurance claims, many due to hailstorms, increase. We wanted to give you some things to consider to try to manage the higher costs.
- Deductibles: For homes in the front range, all of our companies are now requiring a higher deductible on new business for losses caused by wind or hail. However, your current policy may allow you to grandfather in at the lower deductible as long as your policy stays active. To help control costs, you can select a higher deductible, even if the insurance company isn’t requiring. Just give us a call and ask for a quote to see if it is worthwhile for you.
- Review your coverage limits: Each year your policy renews, the insurance company applies an inflation increase to policy coverages to make sure that the home is insured sufficiently. However, if you have been with a company for a long time, these increases may have surpassed the actual cost to rebuild. Also, most companies default to 10% of the dwelling for your Other Structures. This coverage is for anything on the premises not attached to the home: fence, shed, detached garage, etc. Some companies have now given the option to lower your Other Structures coverage if it is not needed and save a few dollars on the premium. The same can go for your personal property. If you think your coverage limits are not appropriate, let’s talk!
- Multi-Policy Discounts: Insuring your auto or other policies with the same company as your home provides a multi-policy discount. It doesn’t always make sense, but if you currently have policies with separate companies, it is worth a review to make sure you are getting the best rate.
- Roof updates make a difference: Many clients assume we know when a roof has been replaced after a storm. However, we do not receive this notification from your claim. Also, some clients pay for a new roof out of pocket because it was just old, not damaged by weather. Whenever you replace your roof, please let us know. A newer roof normally lowers the insurance premium as it is less likely to be damaged in a storm. Also, we’ve mentioned it before, but a Class 4 rating on your roof may earn you a discount and make the increased cost of the roofing material worthwhile. Please send us proof of your completed roof and/or Class 4 rating so we can confirm you are getting the proper discounts.
- Security Systems/Smart Home Technology: Speaking of discounts, most people know you can get a discount if you install a central alarm system. Now, some companies are getting smarter! They realize that a homeowner monitoring their own home through smart technology can also save them money by avoiding or lowering costs on a claim. So, if you have installed a system that monitors your home for burglary, fire, and/or water leaks and sends notifications to your phone, let’s see if we can get you a discount.
- Keep up your good credit: Most home insurance companies use your credit rating as part of the rating factor for your home (and auto) insurance. By keeping your credit up, you are keeping your premiums lower. If you aren’t sure how your credit looks, start by pulling a free credit report at annualcreditreport.com. Review the report and make sure that everything is accurate. If there are issues with late payments, unpaid balances, etc. work to clean them up. Then, pull a free credit score to see where you stand. Many credit card companies like Chase and Discover offer this, even if you aren’t a customer.
As always, we are here to answer your questions or review your policies if you think you are paying more than you should. Give us a call at 303-232-3100 or send an email to Lori (email@example.com) or Jan (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get the conversation going.