How To: Lower The Cost of Homeowners Insurance

In the age of super-consumerism, everyone is looking to make the most of their money.  Insurance is no exception, so here are some valuable tips to keep in mind when purchasing or renewing your insurance :

  • Raising Your Deductible - Basically, your deductible is the “skin” you have in the game, or the amount you will need to pay when your claim is finalized! The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. This allows you to use  your insurance as protection against larger losses, the nature of which you can’t possibly pay on your own. You must determine how much of a loss you can comfortably retain. Similarly, if you live in an area susceptible to a flood, windstorm, earthquake or the like, your policy might contain multiple deductibles. We recommend that you review these with your agent on a yearly basis.
  • Don’t Confuse Market Value With The Cost To Rebuild-Keep in mind that the land on which your home is built, is not at risk for damages due to fire, windstorm, earthquake or theft.  Therefore, the value of land shouldn’t be included in the value of your home and need not be calculated in the cost to rebuild. Keep in mind that the higher the values, the greater the cost.
  •  The 80% Rule-You must insure to at least 80% of your home’s total replacement cost for an insurance company to fully cover the cost of damages to your home from an insured event. For instance, if it costs $500,000 to rebuild, you must insure for a minimum of $400,000 regardless of whether you suffer a complete loss to the home or even a partial loss. If not, you run the risk of becoming a co-insurer and will have to come up with additional monies over and above your deductible amount. Since capital improvements such as additions and alterations can increase your home’s value, be sure to let your agent know of any improvements   that could increase the replacement value of your home.
  • Purchase All Your Policies from One Carrier-This strategy assists you in getting a bigger bang for your buck and  ensures you are getting discounts on all your policies. Often you can “bundle” your homeowners, auto and umbrella policies to take advantage of discounted premiums you wouldn’t otherwise get with individual policies.
  • Improve Your Resistance To Loss & Improve Home Security-Such losses ranging from roof damage to slips and falls on cracked sidewalks can easily be avoided by checking your home for defects at least every six months. Attention to brick work, concrete, leaders and gutters, downspouts, shutters, railings, stairways, roof shingles, wiring, boilers, heating and air-conditioning are just a few of the areas you will want to check for any needed repairs. We strongly recommend that you check to make sure smoke and carbon dioxide detectors, fire and burglar alarms are always in good working order. Most carriers provide discounts for any devices that are installed to prevent loss.
  • Pay Your Bills On Time-A good credit record can be a significant asset in underwriting and  ensuring the best pricing from your insurance carrier. We also recommend you check your credit report on an annual basis to identify any errors that may appear.

At a time when every dollar counts, these simple suggestions can really make a difference!

By Karen Skoler, CPCU

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I have worked with various individuals at Petschauer and have found each to be responsive, courteous, and thoughtful. Each year, the contact for my auto policy proactively seeks new bids and has consistently saved me money on my policy.
Ryan Huber
Quality attentive service is hard to find, but at Petschauer Insurance that’s what you can expect from their always friendly staff . It’s what we’ve experienced for all these many years.
John from Forest Pork Store Inc.
I have been with Petschauer Insurance for over twenty five years. The staff is knowledgeable and professional. Petschauer writes both my personal and commercial insurance and they provide excellent counseling. I truly trust the firm and their staff. Thank you.
Mike Matonti
From the first time I spoke with Lori Halloran at Petschauer Insurance, I knew she was a special person. She is a woman that conducts herself professionally, with compassion and full knowledge of all types of insurance Petschauer has to offer. While speaking with her, as she explained and answered all of my questions, I felt like I was speaking with family…which is another way to describe this company. She has a way of making very confusing decisions so simple and easy to understand. I even added another insurance policy to my two renewal policies because of her. My last renewals could have been processed via mail but I really wanted to take the time to drive and meet this wonderful woman face to face. She greeted me with this huge beautiful smile, which matched her personality perfectly. So, I just had to go back another time just to say “Hi” and bring her flowers in appreciation for all her help and also celebrate a new friendship. The Petschauer “Family” has been there for me since my first policy when I was 19 years old, and now I’m a “senior”. I’ve been with them forever and don’t plan on going anywhere else. Thank you Lori for your dedication and to the rest of the Petschauer staff.
Jane Deitlein
Spence-Chapin has had the pleasure of working with the wonderful John Petschauer, Inc. for 15+ years. They have always provided excellent service to us–with great knowledge, expertise, and patience — even in the most challenging situations. There has not been one time when they have not been immediately accessible to us, even at a moment’s notice. We thank them for their work and celebrate their 60th anniversary, while looking forward to working with them for another 60 years and beyond!
Petschauer is great. I never had a problem.  They always call me back. Fabulous employees who are always willing to help.
Marty Bruno
I have been with Petschauer Insurance for a long time. My account executive Lori Halloran is like family to me: she is always there when I need her and is very knowledgeable and understanding. I wouldn’t go anywhere else for my insurance needs.
Vincent Falcone
My family and I are long time personal and business clients of Petschauer Insurance. We sincerely appreciate your responsiveness and the quality of service that Petschauer provides. We have recommended your company to others because of our satisfaction with your service. We look forward to doing business with you for years to come.
Greg Weiss
I have had the pleasure of working with various members of the Petschauer Team, both personally and professionally for 20+ years. And I couldn’t have done it without them. They go above and beyond. Heidi, Narima, Sherri and LuAnn don’t just bring to us the products they offer, they help me to understand the specifics and evaluate what makes the most sense for me, my family and my employees. I always feel I have a better understanding of an industry I have no understanding of so that I can evaluate the offerings in a smart way, cost effective way. They are proactive with renewals, allowing us the time to do our due diligence, evaluate our plans to be sure we’re properly covered and are always there to listen and help with special circumstances. Their kindness, caring and willingness to lend an ear when needed, really makes them stand apart from the rest. Heidi and her family have built a beautiful culture at Petschauer and I highly recommend them to anyone I meet.
Jamie Stedman-Novo
Excellence in customer service and it’s a one stop shop for all my insurance needs.
Tom Haines