Essex, Morris and Passaic Counties and Surrounding Areas

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Insuring Your Home . . . straight talk about homeowners insurance!

How to Get the Best Value for Your Dollar

Buying insurance can be confusing. Price is important, of course, but you should make sure you get the right coverage for your needs. The quality of service you should expect from your agent and insurance company is also important. Shop carefully to get the best value for your insurance dollar. Your Professional Insurance Agent will provide a valuable service by analyzing your insurance needs and offering policies from several insurance companies to find the best blend of coverage, price and service.

Why Buy Homeowners Insurance?

Your homeowners policy is a safety net that protects your home and furniture -- your assets. It follows you up the street and around the world. You're covered at your neighbor's home or in a foreign land. This article can help you choose insurance that best protects your home and belongings. You'll also find ways to save money and shop for the best coverage. Know your choices.

How Much Insurance Do You Need?

Skimping on coverage can leave you dangerously unprotected. This can cost money and create headaches when your claim is on the line. Your Professional Insurance Agent can help you decide how much coverage you need.

Policy, Price and Service

You should be looking for good value, and that means quality coverage, fair prices and caring service. If your roof collapses, your furniture is stolen or your dog bites your neighbor, you want a policy that protects you, a company that pays your claim promptly and an agent who is on your side.

Advice That Pays Off

Keep records. You can maximize your claim if you have an accurate record of your belongings. Make a home inventory that lists all possessions room by room, noting their cost and when and where they were purchased. Color photos or videotape records are helpful. Have expensive items such as jewelry and art appraised by a qualified appraiser. Ask your Professional Insurance Agent to help you prepare your home inventory. Then, store it in your office, a bank safe-deposit box or a fireproof safe, and keep it current. Consider updating your inventory after the December holidays. This way, you can record holiday gifts. Update your policy. Call your agent to update your policy at least one month before renewal. Discuss any changes that could affect the kind and amount of coverage you need, such as building an addition to the house, buying new furniture or acquiring jewelry or artwork.

Lowering Your Premium without Minimizing Your Coverage

-- Raise your deductible. Most insurance companies recommend a deductible of at least $500. Raising it to $1,000 can save as much as 25 percent on your annual premium.
-- Consider using the same insurer for your automobile. Many companies offer discounts if you have at least two policies with them.
-- Add a home security alarm system. Smoke detectors, burglar alarms and dead-bolt locks can save the insured as much as 5 percent annually.
-- Don't Smoke! Some companies give discounts for non-smoking households.