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November is all about homeowners insurance agents. Are you getting all the available credits on your policy?
This is the fourth in our insurance agent series. This week we’re looking at premiums, deductibles, and discounts. Has your agent talked to you about what you could qualify for in the way of premium credits, or how you can adjust your premiums and deductibles to match your unique needs?
Many standard homeowner policies (HO3) have flexibility when it comes to coverages and deductibles. Rule of thumb: you can lower your premium by raising your deductible and vice versa. Has your insurance agent fully explained how this works – and what the ramifications are in case of a loss?
Another way to adjust your premiums is by qualifying for insurance credits. Some credits are universal, while others may vary by carrier. Interactions with your licensed agent should include in-depth discussions and multiple questions about your home to determine if you can qualify for discounts.
Potential areas of adjustment include:
You may be able to choose between a percentage-based deductible and a flat deductible for both the hurricane coverage part of your policy and the All Other Perils (AOP) coverage. Your insurance agent should ask you which you prefer, and provide scenarios for each one.
For example, if you choose a 2% hurricane deductible for your home which is valued at $500,000, a catastrophic storm would mean a $10,000 deductible would apply. Your agent’s review of your coverage needs should include making sure you are prepared to cover this amount out-of-pocket.
If not, a flat deductible of $500 or $1,000 could be a better fit for you. The increase in your annual premium may be worth it for the peace of mind.
Fire and Wind Mitigation
You can update your home to include materials and components to make it more fire and wind resistant. This reduces the amount of damage that could be caused by a fire or a wind storm, and can qualify you for credits against your annual premium.
Another group of credits you may be able to qualify for relate to how secure your home is against potential burglars. A centralized security alarm system that alerts police to check out your residence in case of intruders can qualify you for a premium discount, and so can living in a gated or guarded community.
This concludes our insurance agent series. If your agent hasn’t been looking out for your best interests, it could be time for a heart to heart. Sit down with your agent and let them know you want to understand your policy and that you are shopping for coverage over cost. This could completely change the way they work with you to make sure you have the best coverage possible. If not, it might be time to go agent shopping instead.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not form a part of, replace, change or amend any terms, conditions, provisions or language within your Olympus Insurance policy. We encourage you to read your entire policy.