February 13, 2018
The first month of the year inspires us to make a fresh start in so many areas and it’s a great time to evaluate certain things we consider boring, too, like a homeowners insurance policy. Your insurance agent is the best source for answers to questions you may have, but here’s a little information from your local marketing specialist that may help you form those questions – which could lead to some serious savings on insurance costs for your New Jersey home!
DON’T HAVE A C.L.U.E.?
If you haven’t heard of a C.L.U.E. report, it has nothing to do with that board game that has you searching for “who dunit?” Its a report that shows insurance claims on a home for the past five to seven years. C.L.U.E. stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, and this is the database is used by insurance companies to evaluate risks and determine rates.
Why is this important to you?
Rates can be increased not only due to legitimate claims but data entry errors also. Sometimes, simply asking a question without filing a claim can be logged as a claim. Checking for these kinds of things is similar to verifying the accuracy of your credit report. The report is free and there is a process for correcting mistakes. Doing so can be a money saver! (ps – you can do this with your auto insurance as well!)
ARE YOU A FIRST TIME HOME BUYER?
A report like this can save you a possibly costly surprise as you are going through the home buying process. Any claims made by seller could actually impact the price of the premium for you as the new owner.
In preparation of actually buying your new home insurance policy, consider these tidbits of wisdom:
Be sure to include your household items and valuables on the policy. The best way to determine the need for this coverage will be an itemized list of your belongings. Be thorough. Your insurance agent will guide you in slimming the list to the insurable items, but you don’t want to overlook anything!
Unless there are landscaping concerns, consider insuring only the value of the home. It may not be necessary to insure the actual land value and that may save you $$.
Already carrying other insurance? Consider using the same company. Usually you will realize a discount when insuring multiple areas of coverage. Consolidate to save bigger in most cases.
Higher deductible amounts can add up to big savings. Choose the highest deductible you can comfortably afford to cover should the need arise, as this may lower your overall insurance premiums.
Go over the coverage with a knowledgeable agent. Be sure you aren’t purchasing coverage that isn’t necessary, like earthquake insurance in low risk areas. Also be sure you are covered as needed for flood insurance or other catastrophic occurrences.
Last but not least, if you have a low credit score, your premiums may reflect that with higher coverage costs. Once you’ve raised your score, have your insurance company re-evaluate you. You just might discover lower costs are in your future!