Retirement & Financial Planning Report

You can pare your homeowner’s insurance premiums yet still buy adequate protection.


* Raise the deductible. Most homeowner’s insurance policies have deductibles of $250 or $500 but you can request a $1,000 deductible. The higher the deductible, the lower your premiums will be. A higher deductible may mean you’ll have to cover more incidents yourself but you still will have protection against catastrophes.

* File fewer claims. Even with a $250 or $500 deductible, it does not make sense to file a claim for, say, $600 or $700. To an insurance company’s claims department, ‘frequency" means high-risk. You’re more apt to have a policy canceled after filing three claims for a few hundred dollars apiece than for filing one claim for hundreds of thousands of dollars if your home is a total loss. Thus, you should do without filing claims unless it’s for something really serious.

* Combine coverage. By buying homeowner’s and auto insurance through the same agent, you can qualify for significant discounts.