HM Insurance Loophole

If you pay your home insurance bills without a second glance, you'll want to pay close attention to this report.

Consumer Reports says increasing premiums or shrinking coverage is routine these days. But there are ways to make sure you've got the coverage you need and keep costs down.

“Like everyone else, I guess nobody looks at their insurance policy very closely until disaster strikes.”

Consumer Reports' Amanda Walker says homeowners should look closely at their policy...whether a disaster victim or not. That's because many insurers have made a reduction in coverage. Or they're boosting their premiums.

You need to compare the new policy to your old one. You may find that damage caused by mold, or even damage caused by your dog, is no longer covered.”

Consumer Reports says too often insurance coverage falls short of the actual cost to rebuild a home.

It's not enough to insure your home for the amount that you paid for it. Or even what you think you could sell it for.

You need to be sure to insure your home for the amount it would cost to rebuild it based on local construction costs. The coverage will likely cost more, but then look for ways to trim your costs.”

Here are some tips to lower your premiums: loyalty helps. Some insurers offer a five to 10 percent discount to long-time customers.

If you increase your deductible from 500 to 1,000 dollars, that can save you as much as 25 percent.

Your age can be a benefit too. If you're over 55, many companies will discount policies by as much as 10 to 15 percent.

So while your homeowner's policy could be providing less coverage or costing you more there are things you can do to ensure you've got the coverage you need at the lowest possible price.

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