One of the most confusing parts of owning a home is deciding on a homeowner’s insurance policy. With so many options available, it is often overwhelming to decide on the right plan to best fit your personal needs and preferences. Here are four tips to keep in mind when deciding on a plan.

PRICE THE COMPETITION

It never hurts to price out the competition to ensure that you are receiving the best deal on the market. It is easy to compare quotes when you utilize the services of an insurance agent. Consolidating home and auto insurance needs into one carrier can also qualify you for multi-policy discounts. Be aware that your credit score can affect your premium amount, thus it is a good idea to make sure your credit is cleaned up prior to pricing out policies.

DO NOT UNDERINSURE

Although it can be tempting to try to save money by lowering the coverage level, this is a mistake that can cost you even more money down the road. Savvy homeowners understand the importance of not skimping on coverage levels just to save money in the short-term. If you own a significant amount of valuable art or jewelry, it is a good idea to look into purchasing a floater to cover the full value. People living in areas prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes should also look into an extended coverage rider so that they are fully protected against the wrath of Mother Nature.

REDUCE RISKS

There are a variety of easy and practical ways that homeowners can reduce their premiums. Installing quality smoke detectors, security systems, deadbolt locks, and sprinkler systems can all save you a significant amount of money on total insurance costs. Homes more susceptible to storm and earthquake damage can be fortified with proper protection to reduce the risk of devastation during a natural disaster.

DO NOT HESITATE TO MAKE A CLAIM

Finally, remember that you bought this policy for a reason. Do not ever hesitate to make a claim should the need arise, even if you feel like it is too small to bother with. If the insurer fights the claim, there are a variety of resources designed to help the consumer get advice.