In recent years, households across our commonwealth have experienced a steady stream of costly natural disasters. These severe weather events have cost Kentuckians more than 1 billion dollars in estimated disaster-related claims in the past 10 years.
Because of inflation, as well as the higher costs to repair homes and the recent losses from natural disasters, homeowner insurance premiums have spiked nationally. Kentucky is no exception. Home insurance rates have been on the rise since the pandemic and are predicted to increase an average of 9% in 2023. In this article, we discuss ways to save money on your homeowner’s insurance policy.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Start by improving your finances. Look for ways to build healthy savings and lower any outstanding payments you have, such as student loans, credit cards, or other high-interest consumer debt. Managing your money wisely can help you prioritize spending. Look for “spending leaks” to plug, or those frequent or seemingly small purchases that can drain your account over time. This might mean cutting back on entertainment, travel, or eating out. Examining your spending habits can help you identify how to “free up” money for essentials.
Also work to establish and maintain a solid credit history. Having good credit can reduce your insurance costs. Similarly, a poor credit history or low credit score labels you a “risky” consumer and can increase how much you pay for homeowner’s insurance. To protect and build your credit, always pay your bills on time and keep your credit balances as low as possible. Never take out more credit than you need, and regularly monitor your credit report to look for errors or fraud that need correcting. If your credit standing has recently improved, discuss this with your insurer to see if you are eligible for discounts.
WHAT SHOULD YOU NOT DO?
Do not be tempted to cancel or significantly reduce your insurance coverage, even if you have paid off your mortgage. As Kentuckians have experienced firsthand recently, severe weather often comes with little warning but can cause major devastation. Not being properly insured could affect your financial future and could quickly deplete your life savings or retirement funds. Also do not assume your current coverage is adequate. Revisit your policy to make sure your property is properly insured, especially considering inflation rates and rising home prices.
WAYS TO LOWER PREMIUMS:
Shop around. If the last time you shopped for homeowner’s insurance was when you bought your home, it may be time to comparison shop. Prices can vary from provider to provider. By comparing multiple quotes, you can determine what company can offer you the lowest premium. Always use caution when comparing coverage to make sure a lower premium doesn’t mean less insurance coverage.
Talk with your agent about eligible discounts that may lower the cost of your policy, such as upgrading your roof, electrical, or plumbing. Other discounts may include simple upgrades like installing additional fire extinguishers or security systems, bundling services such as home and auto policies, or company loyalty programs. Some companies offer claims-free discounts; lower rates depending on your payment method such as automatic drafts or paying in full; discounts for non-smoking households; and even occupational discounts for emergency responders or active military.
RAISE YOUR DEDUCTIBLE:
If you can afford to pay more out of pocket initially, increasing your deductible could lower your premium costs. When a homeowner files a claim, depending on their policy, they will pay a certain amount of money upfront, known as a deductible, before the insurance company will pay. The higher the deducible, the more money a homeowner can save on their premiums. If you have an emergency fund that could cover a higher deducible if incurred, this may be a way to save.
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Try shopping at the Farmers Market in Somerset on Wednesday and Saturday’s before going to your regular store. Prices at the Farmers Market uptown and Woodstock Farmers Market are usually cheaper than at the grocery store. Other farmers in our county sell items from their own locations at special prices and are guaranteed fresh.
Get your pressure canner gauge lid checked out at the Extension Office each weekday from 8:00 to 4:30. Free canning publications are available to you, and a free Ball Canning Book for asking. Just ask for the book or publications when you visit the office.
Attend our free cooking class on Tuesday, August 22 at 11:30 at the Extension Office. Please call to register at 679-6361. We need to know the numbers coming so we can have enough food prepared.
The Cards R Us Club meets on Monday, August 28, at 9:00 o’clock. This is a free class where you make cards for events that you need. The group meets on the 4th Monday of each month at 9:00.
Our first homemaker training class will be on Monday, August 28 at 1:00 o’clock. It is open to the public. The class will be on Scamming with Megan Gullett, the FCS Agent in Russell County. No registration is required.
Twice Baked Acorn Squash
2 medium acorn squash (1 — 1 1/2 pounds)
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
4 strips turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 thinly sliced green onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Heat oven to 350. Cut squash in half, discard seeds. Place squash flesh side down on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until tender. Carefully scoop out squash, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. In a large bowl, combine the squash pulp with the remaining ingredients. Spoon into shells. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through and top is golden brown. Store leftovers in the refrigerator within two hours.
Alice J. Roden started working for Trending Insurance News at the end of 2021. Alice grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. A writer with a vast insurance industry background Alice has help with several of the biggest insurance companies. Before joining Trending Insurance News, Alice briefly worked as a freelance journalist for several radio stations. She covers home, renters and other property insurance stories.