Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The bottom line on homeowners insurance and rates

 Do you know why insurance premiums are rising? Insurance companies use past events to predict future risk, and risk is shared. What that means is whether disaster strikes in Ohio or another state, insurers use pooled premiums to pay claims that help customers recover. In essence, the catastrophic damage caused by more frequent severe weather in recent years has caught up with us.

 What you can do

Understanding what coverage you have and why will help you control costs. The right coverage will mean the difference between devastation and recovery. Call us for clarity and ask how these tips might apply to you.

Ways to help control your rates

·         You could opt for higher deductibles, but do so only if you can easily pay that amount if you need to file a claim.
·         Consider the impact of replacement cost insurance versus actual cash value. Replacement insurance, while more expensive, covers the full cost of replacement. Actual cash value coverage (standard on most policies) pays the depreciated cost of the insured items.
·         Carefully decide whether to submit a claim. If you will only get a couple hundred back after the deductible is met, you may want to pay out of pocket. Filing a claim may affect your premium.
·         Regularly review your policy with us to ensure you get the discounts you are entitled to and that you have the right endorsements.
·         Understand that your credit score, claims history, and age/condition of your home will impact your rates.


How to reduce the potential for a homeowners claim

·             Perform regular maintenance to your home and make improvements
·             Use working smoke detectors
·             Clean your gutters and trim tree limbs away from your home
·             When going out of town, turn off your water line
·             Inspect your sump pump, and clear debris near external drains
·             Replace the hoses on your washing machines every five years

What’s not covered by homeowners’ insurance?

Policies differ, but typical exclusions include damage from:
·         Earthquakes
·         Flooding or water damage caused by sewer backup or basement leak
·         Power failure originating off your premises
·         Collapse

With homeowners rates rising, it’s important to have a policy that fits your needs. Call us to ask questions, make adjustments and gain peace of mind.

This information brought to you by Dostal & Kirk, Inc., a proud member of Professional Independent Agents Association of Ohio, Inc.


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