Thursday, September 8, 2005
More Bang for Your Buck: Homeowners Insurance
Even though South Florida survived Katrina with minimal damage, we all know what a storm like this can do to our homeowner's insurance. But in tonight's More Bang for Your Buck, we found there are ways to cut costs without compromising coverage.
WSVN -- From South Florida to the gulf coast, hurricane Katrina left images of devastation and destruction and while South Florida was lucky this time, the impact of the storm may soon hit closer to home than we think.
Diane Holmes: This is going to really hurt.
Like many of us, Diane Holmes is worried about her homeowners insurance. After Katrina blew tiles off her roof, she fears she can't pay for the damages.
Diane Holmes: I cant pay the deductible so Iím not sure whatís going to happen if I get the roof fixed or not.
Depending on what Diane decides, she could save a lot in the long run.
According to Kevin Brousseau of Florida insurance inspections, there are many discounts available for homeowners insurance.
Kevin Brousseau: Premiums can come down up to 40 percent conservatively.
The first place you'll save is with quality shutters.
All Dade-county approved shutters will give you a 20 percent discount anywhere in South Florida.
Kevin Brousseau: If it's impact resistant glass or hurricane shutters, you're going to qualify for the credit.
Next, take a look at your roof.
A gable roof sits on top of the house in the shape of an upside down "v" and will not give you a discount.
But a hip shape roof will give you a discount because it has three sloping sides to break up the wind.
Kevin Brousseau: Quite often the policies are incorrect. They'll say a gable roof when the homeowner actually has a hip roof.
Also make sure to see if you have roof straps.
They help make sure the roof is secured firmly to the frame of the house.
Kevin Brousseau: It could be 2,3,4 hundred dollars depending on the policy itself.
And finally, if you're planning to shop around, consider many companies will reward you for your loyalty... And many companies will offer a discount if you buy auto coverage from them.
Kevin Brousseau: You need to be prepared.
Dianne still wants to check out the competition. She's hoping to save her roof without paying premiums that go through the roof.
Diane Holmes: Your home is your biggest investment. You need to try to take care of it as well as you can.
Another tip - Look to make improvements to your house. Whether its storm shutters or a stronger roof, if it makes your place more storm-resistant it will only make your premiums go down.
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