June 22, 2007  
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Featured Issue: Smart Insurance Tactics for Homeowners

If you have a mortgage, you already know you're required to carry homeowners insurance. The package policy probably went into effect the moment you purchased your home. In truth, that coverage is intended to protect your lender, as much as you and your family, against property damage. But, it also includes liability protection against injuries or property damage caused by you or your family. Even damage caused by your pets!

Choose the Right Policy

The lender obviously has a large and legitimate financial stake in your house, and therefore has a vested interest in its physical protection. However, homeowners should take an even bigger interest in ensuring that they have adequate, fairly-priced coverage. It's part of good financial planning and home management.

For instance, are you really certain you have the best policy for your needs? Could you be paying too much? Do you have enough coverage now to protect new purchases or home improvements you've made? When was the last time you updated your inventory? Or do you even have an inventory? When was the last time you reviewed or updated your policy?

In the flurry of activity that accompanies settlement, many home buyers don't have adequate time to delve deeply into the details of the homeowners' insurance policy they're buying.

Get the Most for the Least

After the dust has settled, so to speak, it's a good idea to sit down and scrutinize your homeowner's insurance policy; make any necessary changes; and, most importantly, use smart tactics for getting the most for your premium dollars.

It's not difficult, if you lay the proper foundation and do regular policy maintenance. You take care of your home, right? You also need to do regular upkeep on your homeowners insurance.

Here's how:

Create or Update the Inventory

Too many homeowners fail to create this all-essential documentation of their possessions for insurance purposes. Without it, you will probably not be carrying the right amount of insurance in the first place. More . . .

Re-assess Your Coverage Needs

Insurance professionals recommend that you review your policy every year. Here are some of the typical reasons: More . . .

Discover the Discounts

There are a variety of ways in which you can whittle down the cost of homeowners insurance. Some are common sense. Others may surprise you. More . . .

Smart Home Insurance Resources

The National Insurance Consumer Help Line - 1 800 942-4242

Locate Your State Insurance Department - This handy map, provided by the Insurance Information Institute, has links to the insurance department sites for all 50 states. More . . .

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