PRESS RELEASE.......... (CHARLESTON, SC).... CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA INSURANCE NEWS
Five Best Ways to Save on Your Charleston Home Insurance
By Larry Freudenberg, President of Triest Agency, Charleston, SC
May 25, 2016
Charleston home is a huge investment. Keeping your home safe from hazards and having adequate insurance coverage is paramount. But as you probably already know home insurance premiums are high in Charleston. Even though we've been lucky to not have a hurricane come our way since Hurricane Hugo in 1989, the chance of being visited by a tropicalstorm or hurricane is real. So real that it directly affects the rate you pay for your home insurance. If you took your same house and it was located in a city like Atlanta where the premium would be substantially lower. Is this fair? Insurance is a process of spreading the risk so if any one person has a claim the loss is paid for by insurance and that person doesn't have to come up with all the money to repair or replace out of pocket. But the risk is spread based on areas and the probability of a hazard. Since we're located in a coastal one our risk is spread out by the insurance companies over the entire coast. This keeps our rates high but there are five ways that we've found through my 30 years of experience to reduce and save on your Charleston home insurance. These are the best five surefire ways to save money. Who doesn't want to save money? !
Savings tip #1: Raise the basic policy deductible
There are usually a few different deductibles that apply to Charleston homes. The first is what we call the "all other perils" deductible or the basic policy deductible. This is what you have to pay out of your pocket if there is a claim like a fire or theft. If you have a $500 deductible and you have kitchen fire then before the insurance company would pay for a covered loss you pay the first $500. Raising this amount to the highest that you could afford to pay out of pocket is wise decision. Don't go any higher than what you can afford to pay out of pocket.
Savings tip #2: Raise the windstorm policy deductible
Hurricane Deductible: This gets a little tricky. Most homeowners insurance policies for homes in Charleston have a deductible that applies to wind related covered claims. The windstorm deductible generally also includes hail storm claims. The best type of windstorm deductible is what is known as a "hurricane deductible". A hurricane deductible would only apply if you had a hurricane claim. In most cases this deductible can range from 2 to 10%. If you read your policy you'll see that a hurricane is defined as a storm named as a hurricane and the damage is limited to the wind damage caused by the hurricane. Flood damage is never covered on a home insurance policy. This deductible is best because if there is wind damage from a storm that is not named or a tropical storm then the basic policy deductible applies for covered claims. The basic policy deductible is usually substantially lower and would lower your out of pocket expense to repair or replace your home. Raising this deductible will lower your premium for your Charleston house but be careful. Don't bite off any more than you can afford to pay out of pocket.
Named Storm Deductible: This is similar to the hurricane deductible explained above but throws in the mix any storm that has a name. Tropical storms like "Super Storm Sandy" that caused billions of dollars in damage a few years ago in New Jersey and New York was a named tropical storm when it came ashore and caused so much damage. Anyone who had a hurricane deductible would have been lucky because the basic policy deductible would have applied. Your risk of having to pay this type of deductible is higher so be careful if you raise this one.
Wind & Hail Deductible: Of all of the deductibles that apply to wind and hail losses like the hurricane deductible and the named storm deductible this one is the worst. Having any type of claim from a wind or hail loss causes you to have to pay a wind and hail deductible. It doesn't matter if it is a named hurricane or named storm. Buyer beware here because you could be out of pocket for a substantial amount of money because of this one. That said if you can afford to pay this amount out of pocket then you should consider raising the wind & hail deductible.
Savings tip #3: Bundle your insurance
This sounds really cozy. What we're talking about here is to have your home insurance and auto insurance with the same company or the same insurance agency. At Triest Agency we have companies like The Hartford, Travelers, AIG Private Client Group and Progressive that offer both home and auto policies. Besides being smart financial planning you'll save by bundling coverage with the same company. We also have at Triest Agency insurance companies that offer home insurance and give a discount if you have your auto with Triest Agency even if it is not with their company
Savings tip #4: Ask for discounts
We as agents try to find you all the discounts we can but ask for discounts anyway. We can check to make sure you're getting everything possible. Some policies offer discounts for having deadbolt locks, fire extinguishers, being a non smoker. having an alarm system, having impact resistant glass, being a senior citizen or being retired. These discounts can really add up to ask your agent to scour the policy rules to find you every discount available for your Charleston home.
Savings tip #5: Shop around
This depends on the type of insurance agency that you're using to insure your home here in Charleston. Triest Agency represents wide range of insurance companies for homeowners insurance. Triest Agency can shop for the lowest cost home insurance policy and save you time and money but not having to shop different insurance agencies. On the other hand some insurance agencies only sell for one or a few different insurance companies. This limits their ability to find you the most in savings. It also causes you to have to shop around with other insurance agencies. If you've ever done this then you know that it is time consuming. Having an independent insurance agency like Triest Agency is your best alternative for Charleston home insurance. We're not only agents but also Larry Freudenberg is a licensed surplus lines brokers in South Carolina. This expands Triest Agency's product offerings ten fold which saves our clients both time and money.
Ok. Now you have the five top ways to save on home insurance in Charleston. As the owner of Triest Agency and with over 30 years of experience, I know better than anyone that these are your best alternatives. Is this list exhaustive? No. There are other things you can do to save on your homeowners insurance but you'll need to call me and let me review your current policy in order to make a complete assessment. My best advice for everyone who owns a home and has home insurance is to read your policy. Know your coverages. All policies are not the same. They vary between insurance companies and even with the same insurance company. Your neighbor could have the same type of home as you and even the same insurance company but pay less out of pocket for the same claim. The smart consumer reads their insurance policy and has a knowledgeable insurance agency like Triest Agency. Call me today. I would love to help with your insurance. 843-556-6232 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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