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My home insurance rates continue to increase- what’s the trick to keeping my rates down? Faye C., Randlett Utah

There are many ways to help keep your rates down, however, some require extra effort on your part and others may not pay off for a few years down the line. First of all, ask your agent. Find out WHY your rates are going up. Has the company approved a rate increase for all customers? Have your coverages increased? Did you file a claim recently? Then, once you know why, you can try the following…

1- Qualify for Discounts- home insurance companies reward homeowners who maintain safe and secure homes. If you don’t already have deadbolts, smoke alarms, burglar alarms, etc.- consider installing them. Most companies will offer you a 10-20% discount for having these systems in your home.

2- Bundle- If you aren’t already insuring your home and auto with the same company, do it! (HomeInsurance.com, for example, HomeInsurance.com offers home-auto discounts that save customers up 25% on their homeowners insurance.)

3- Check your Deductibles- A good rule of thumb is that your insurance deductibles should never be more than you can afford to pay out at any time for a claim. If your deductibles are really low, you might want to consider raising them in order to reduce your monthly premium. But remember, do not make them so high that you will be in financial trouble in the event of a claim.

4- Avoid Claims when Possible- It’s true, your homeowners insurance policy is there to protect you in the event you need to file a claim. However, some claims can be avoided with good home maintenance.  And the more you avoid claims, the lower your rates will stay. So, take a good look at your property and home for anything that could cause a future claim. Is your roof in need of repair? Fix it before the next hail storm. Is there a tree limb threatening one of your windows? Cut it down before the wind picks up.

Last but not least, 5- Shop your rate! Find out if other companies will offer you better rates for comparable coverage. If you find a great rate, but want to stay with your current company, show them your rate quote and see if they can match it.

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