Consumer Watch: New home insurance


by Andy Treinen

Posted on April 19, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 19 at 5:42 PM

(WHAS11) -- Chances are, your home is the most expensive thing you own and if you've purchased or renewed homeowners insurance recently, you've probably noticed a few changes when it comes to cost and coverage.

It now costs an average of $1000 a year to insure your home. That's up 69% over the past decade. Mother Nature's unpredictability is partially to blame for your higher bill and deductible. Insurance companies say their average payouts have doubled and that's squeezing profits.

To bridge the gap, in some cases, they're changing the fine print in policies.

If you're not careful, you could end up paying more for less coverage than you think. If you haven't reviewed your policy recently, pull it out or get your agent on the phone.

The key is being informed:

-Know how much your home is worth . . . you can't buy the right amount of coverage, if you don't know the value of what you're insuring.

-Know exactly what you're buying, what it covers and what the restrictions are. Keep in mind some basic policies won't entirely replace a home and more importantly, you don't want any surprises if the time comes to make a claim.

-Don't buy based solely on a quote. The lowest priced policy may not be worth it if the company doesn't have a good track record with clients.

-Remember to ask for discounts for anything you've done to reduce your risk.

If you decide you're not satisfied, shop around. Don't wait until disaster leaves you with a huge home headache before you realize your homeowners insurance policy isn't the right fit.

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