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Annually Shopping for the Best Homeowners Insurance Quotes Pays Off

By Mike Heuer

Most people understand the benefits of shopping and comparing prices before making an important purchase. But many people fail to do so with their homeowners insurance plans aside from when they initially purchase their homes. And that can be a very costly mistake.

While homeowners insurance plans are written on an annual basis, policyholders should review their plans and obtain several homeowners insurance quotes at least once per year and even every six months to ensure they are getting the best coverage for the best price. The cost of homeowners insurance can vary by nearly 200 percent from one home insurer to another, according to a recent informal study done by Researchers had up to 15 insurers give a home insurance quote in various cities for the same type of property and found the estimates varied by as much a 188 percent. That means one insurer was willing to provide coverage for about a third of what another insurer would underwrite a home.

Such results indicate the willingness some insurers have to keep their rates low and attract new business. And when bundling policies, the savings can be much greater. But people must get more than one homeowners insurance quote so they can compare homeowners insurance policies and rates.

A home essentially is not a static property that never changes. Many times, homeowners make improvements and upgrades that make the homes safer and less prone to damage or destruction. Upgrading electrical wiring in older homes means they are much less likely to suffer an electrical fire, and the right home insurance firm will underwrite coverage for much less as a result. Installing a burglar alarm and security system can result in a 20 percent discount in home insurance rates, but that discount might not be found if the homeowner does not search for it by obtaining new homeowners insurance quotes on a regular basis.

The Internet has become possibly the best tool to get a home insurance quote, and nearly every property and casualty insurance company has an online site offering free estimates. So it takes little time to obtain more than one homeowners insurance quote and compare homeowners insurance rates to ensure the best deal is found.

And once a new insurer is chosen, it helps to find out what kinds of discounts are available for various actions. If an insurer says a 10 percent discount would be provided if installing smoke detectors in every room, that would be an easy way to reduce home insurance costs while boosting safety. The same is possible with the simple installation of a deadbolt lock. Some home insurers will give a 5 percent to 10 percent discount rate just for putting a deadbolt on all external doors.

Even the type of pet owned can result in a difference in homeowners insurance rates. When some insurers will boost rates for having a dog, and others will deny coverage based on the breed of dog. Pitbulls, for example, whether deserved or not, have a reputation for being aggressive. As a result, many homeowners insurance companies will deny coverage or deny a liability insurance claim if they learn a pitbull is being kept at the residence. The same goes for any dog or pet deemed to be aggressive and, therefore, a high risk for causing injury and initiating a costly liability insurance claim.

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