Home insurance is can prove highly complicated and difficult to follow and this is particularly the case for those who are first time buyers of such policies. As this is the case it is not uncommon for individuals to make mistakes when purchasing home insurance. There are, thankfully, a few simple guidelines individuals can take so as to sidestep these problems.

1. Thoroughly research companies

From company to company, insurance providers can vary in both their own solvency and the process they use in paying out claims. It is important to research this thoroughly. A company without a large fiscal background may find it difficult to pay out on larger claims and, as such, could constitute a risk in investing with. Similarly the pay-out process can be convoluted, stressful or cumbersome with some companies whereas others may be more straight forward.  A good way of checking how companies are rated by consumers and professionals is to check the thoughts of organisations such as A.M. Best who can verify a company’s performance standards.

2. Always compare brokers and agents

When purchasing a home insurance policy it is more than likely that this will be undertaken with the aid of a local agent or broker. To make sure this person is the ideal individual for fulfilling a list of insurance requirements it is possible to request references from them to be checked. Similarly, it would be a good idea to ask for recommendations from colleagues and family; find out their experiences and see if they can recommend anybody they have used.

3. Always shop around

It is possible that insurance rates can vary to huge degrees from company to company even if the policies on offer are roughly the same. To make an accurate comparison between fees it is of the utmost importance to make sure the coverage sought is exactly the same. To do this specifically tell the broker or agent exactly what coverage and amount is necessary; this in the only way to be able to compare properly.

4. Always purchase insurance to value

Many individuals presume that the cost of home insurance should be based on the mortgage, retail or real estate value of their property. This, however, is not accurate. Home insurance should instead come from the figure of how much it would cost to rebuild their home; a figure which is likely to be different to the real estate value. To calculate this figure it can prove invaluable to have a great broker or agent on hand.

5. Make sure not to purchase an insurance package based solely on price

It can be tempting, particularly during the current economic climate, to always plump for the cheapest option; this includes when shopping for home insurance. However, it is worth noting that home insurance policies that may actually look the cheapest are not always the ones that save the most money in the long run. Instead of looking for the insurance with the lowest fee look at ones with other incentives which can save a great degree of money. Some insurance policies will upgrade all home security, include smoke detectors and burglar alarms, whilst others will offer a higher deductible.

6 Ways for New Home Owners to Save Money – medi homes

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments that you will ever make. From day one the added costs of being a homeowner can seem overwhelming, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a lot of great tricks that will help you save money. Here are just six of the ways you can enjoy your new home while keeping a little cash in your pockets.

Look for Tax Breaks

Regardless of the type of home you’ve purchased you are now eligible for certain tax breaks and it is in your best interest as a savvy homeowner to take advantage of them. The first year that you purchase a home you can deduct the taxes that you paid at closing. You may also be able to deduct the interest paid each month on your loans and mortgages. Be sure to ask your task preparer about all of the tax breaks that are available to you.

Save Energy

One of the biggest expenses a homeowner faces is paying utility bills. Heating and cooling an entire house, especially for those upgrading from an apartment can lead to major sticker shock. Be sure to set the thermostat at a reasonable temperature in both the summer and winter and lower the heat or A.C. if you will be gone from the house during the day. Turning off the lights and turning down the thermostat when no one is home can go a long way toward cutting down those power bills.

Take a New Look at Your Insurance Policy

Homeowners Insurance is a necessary part of homeownership. Evaluating your needs and making sure you have just the right amount of coverage can not only save you money in the present but in the future as well. Talk to your agent to find out how much contents insurance you require and find out if there are discounts available for upgrades you make to your home like replacing locks or installing a security system.

Get Handy

Paying a professional to come in every time a sink backs up can cost you a fortune. Learning how to make basic home repairs is a fantastic way to not only save you money but invest yourself in your new home. Think about signing up for classes that teach basic electrical, plumbing or construction skills.

Compare Utility Companies

The world of cable and internet providers has become very competitive and different companies will offer different packages depending on your area. Whenever possible try to bundle your utilities together. The best prices are offered if you sign up for a phone, cable and internet service from one provider.

Pay Your Mortgage Back faster

Mortgage payments are of course one of the biggest expenses a homeowner will face and a lot of the mortgage will just be interest. By accelerating payments you can reduce the life of your mortgage and ultimately pay a lot less in interest. Try paying just 10% more each month and you will be surprised how much money you can save.

Rebecca Jones is a financial blogger and contributing writer for Policy Expert.