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Finding ways to lower your home insurance costs.

Owning a home is the achievement of an American dream. But in today's tough economy, many people are looking for cheap home insurance as way to put more money into their monthly budgets. However, you want to make sure that one of the biggest assets in your life is financially protected. So saving money on home owners insurance is a balance between protecting your investment and making sure you get the right coverage at the best cost. 

What you pay for home and mobile home insurance depends upon a lot of factors, including: 

— Your claim history 

— The location, age and condition of the home 

— Proximity of fire departments 

— Burglary and safety protection 

— Pools, stoves and other additions 

What many people don't realize is that they have some control over lowering their home insurance cost. Here are some tips:

Spend time getting quotes and comparing rates. The time you spend shopping for property insurance can really pay off. Prices can be different from one company to another because each insurer sets their own rates. The Insurance Information Institute recommends getting at least three price quotes on home owner insurance. Getting quotes online is a great way to shop around quickly.

Think about insurance when buying a home. Homes located in areas prone to floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters are usually more expensive to insure, and may often require separate insurance coverage for the particular risk -- such as flood. Rates can also be higher if the home is in a high crime area or far from a professional fire department.

Save money with a multi-policy discount. Most insurers will give you a discount when you buy your car and home insurance from the same company.

Think about raising your deductible. Your deductible is the amount you have to pay before your policy covers the difference in claim costs. Having a higher deductible can help lower your premium. Of course you want to make sure you will have the money to pay the deductible in the event of a claim. 

Other discounts on home owner insurance. Having smoke alarms, burglar alarms, dead-bolt locks and other security devices can help you lower your premiums. Ask about other discounts as well such as non-smoking discounts and discounts for updated electrical and plumbing.

Can you get group insurance? Employers, professional organizations, associations and more may offer discounts on group home owners and property insurance if you’re eligible. 

Believe it or not, your credit can matter. More and more, insurance companies are using credit ratings to help determine risk: When you buy a home, a good credit rating can mean lower insurance costs as well as lower mortgage costs.

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