Scottsdale Insurance

If you're not concerned with Scottsdale home security, perhaps you should be. The United States is the world’s most burglarized nation, with a burglary occurring every fifteen seconds! And, while we like to think of our Scottsdale neighborhoods as safe, the sad fact is that even in the best of neighborhoods throughout America there are unscrupulous people ready to steal your valuables right from the very home in which you live. The majority of home burglaries occur when you are away from your home — especially when you and your family are on vacation or out of town.

Improve Scottsdale home security by joining a neighborhood crime watch

Make Scottsdale Home Security a Top Priority

You can take some proactive measures to make sure your home is a little safer when you’re not there. Improving your home security can also help to lower your homeowners insurance rates as well. Follow these guidelines to improve your Scottsdale home security.

Install a good alarm system.

Most industry experts agree that the most important feature of any alarm system is its ability to act as a deterrent. If a potential burglar sees that your home is protected by an alarm system, he is less likely to run the risk of choosing your house. There are too many other homes that probably have no security or alarm systems from which the robber can choose.

Get to know your neighbors.

While it may sound like a suggestion from the 1950s when the vast majority of Americans thought nothing of leaving their houses unlocked, the simple truth is an observant and caring neighbor can be important in warding off burglars. If you have close friendships with your neighbors who agree Scottsdale home security is important, let them know you are going to be away from your home for a few days. Perhaps one of them may be willing to collect your mail, newspapers or packages that may be delivered in your absence. These are often telltale signs would-be robbers look for when scouting a home that may be unoccupied for a short period of time –– long enough for a robbery.

If your neighborhood has a crime watch group committed to improving Scottsdale home security, make sure you alert them about your plans to be out of town or on vacation. It always helps to have additional eyes watching your property, just in case it was being targeted for illicit activity.

Break out the spy equipment.

With the technology of today it’s much easier and more affordable than ever to connect your Scottsdale home security cameras to your smartphone, tablet or laptop. This allows you to keep an eye on your home and your belongings remotely, giving you an added sense of security, peace of mind and the ability to contact the police if you see something suspicious. Even less expensively, you can install one or more “dummy” cameras that may act to deter potential burglars. Some people use a combination of both real and dummy cameras to ensure they can optimize their Scottsdale home security.

Install motion sensor lights.

Burglars are like vampires. They love the darkness, but hate the light. By installing motion sensor lights the chances of deterring a potential robber are greatly increased. No burglar wants to have bright lights shone on him that may enable neighbors to get a good look at him or be able to provide the police with a good description.

Don’t make your house alluring to crooks.

Most burglars have an idea of what they are looking for when they choose a home to rob. Simply put, they look for the easiest and most accessible targets that offer the highest potential.

So don't make it easier for them than it needs to be by having your valuable belongings in plain view if a burglar looks through a window. Position your curtains, drapes or blinds so your electronics such as computers and flat screen TVs aren't easily seen from outside your home. Keep guns and rifles locked in gun safes or gun racks. Don’t leave jewelry on top of your dresser. Make sure your valuable silverware is out of sight in a cabinet — preferably a locked one. Crooks are opportunists, so if they don’t immediately see something worth stealing they may move on to another house.

By following these and other smart ideas, you can improve your Scottsdale home security. Find more tips for lowering your homeowner insurance rates under our Scottsdale Insurance section of articles under Scottsdale Real Estate Categories to your right.

Most people know and understand that you can lower the monthly premium on your Scottsdale homeowners insurance by raising your deductible. But whether it makes sense to do so can vary.

The deductible for a Scottsdale homeowners insurance policy typically ranges from $500 to $1,000, but may be as low as $250 or as high as $5,000.

The deductible is the amount of a loss you must cover out of pocket. The deductible for a Scottsdale homeowners insurance policy typically ranges from $500 to $1,000, but may be as low as $250 or as high as $5,000.

An analysis done for an online insurance site found that raising a deductible to $2,000 from $500 lowers the average annual premium by a wide range, depending on where you are, anywhere from 6 to 40 percent.

For the analysis, the study was based on premiums for a two-story, single-family home insured for $140,000 (which is a price range that is a challenge to even find anywhere these days).

The catch of a much higher deductible, of course, is that you risk not having enough cash on hand to cover the deductible if you need it. Many Americans lack significant savings, so paying several thousand dollars to cover a major loss may be a stretch.

Homeowners with a robust emergency fund can afford to raise their deductible, but if you're living paycheck to paycheck, or if you're not a consistent saver, be careful. Plus, if you raise your deductible significantly, that means you’ll be responsible for more minor damage. You’ll be self-insuring for smaller losses.

Other Ways to Save on Scottsdale Homeowners Insurance

Many insurers offer discounts if you buy multiple policies, like Scottsdale homeowners and automobile coverage, or if you take steps to reduce risk, like installing security or sprinkler systems. Others may offer a discount if you have your premium automatically deducted from your bank account. So you should check with your insurance agent.

Also, according to the Insurance Information Institute, If you’re at least 55 years old and retired, you may qualify for a discount of up to 10 percent from some insurers (the rationale being that you’re probably at home more, so you may spot potential problems more quickly).

To get more information on Scottsdale homeowners insurance and how premiums are calculated for different homes and different coverages, check out our other articles over in the Scottsdale Insurance section under Scottsdale Real Estate Categories.

We also offer tips on a daily basis on Twitter and our Facebook Page. Some of which may deal with Scottsdale homeowners insurance. Check us out there as well.

Scottsdale homeowners insurance is something many home buyers don't have first and foremost on their minds when thinking of buying a new home, but your Scottsdale homeowners insurance could add up to a major expense  if you don't keep some things in mind.

Depending on your 'up front' rate, there are some things that could make your Scottsdale homeowners insurance rate rise in the future to become a major expense. With added risks, homeowners should take action to do all they can to prevent home insurance from spiraling out of control.

Here are some tips to avoid higher Scottsdale homeowners insurance costs in the future…

Keeping Scottsdale Homeowners Insurance Rate Increases to a Minimum

Scottsdale homeowners insurance rates will be affected by adding a swimming pool to your home.

Rethink certain home additions – Although adding a new feature to the home like a swimming pool seems like a great way to boost the home's value and fun at the same time, adding on a pool may increase your Scottsdale homeowners insurance. Attractions like swimming pools will likely lead to a greater chance that someone will be involved in an accident and having a liability claim could result in higher insurance rates.

Keep credit accounts current – Lenders usually look at credit scores to calculate Scottsdale homeowners insurance rates and if homeowners do not keep their accounts in good standing, this could mean elevated rates. Make sure to pay credit obligations on time, avoid unnecessary debt and do not close older accounts to keep credit scores high.

Choose your next home's location carefully – Scottsdale homeowners insurance costs could be lower by moving to homes that are relatively new. House hunters should look for houses that have electrical, heating and plumbing systems that are less than 10 years old. There are also certain safety features near homes that could make a difference, such as, if a fire hydrant is close to the property. Prospective homeowners looking to find a home that could reduce their Scottsdale homeowners insurance costs can contact us to learn more about finding a home with potentially lower insurance costs.

Find more articles pertaining to saving money on your insurance costs under our Scottsdale Insurance Info to your right under Scottsdale Real Estate Categories.

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Just because you have Scottsdale homeowners insurance doesn't mean it's a smart move to file a claim when something happens. Whether it's a water heater that leaks and causes some damage to your drywall, or a toilet that leaks and causes damage to your wood flooring, filing a claim on your Scottsdale homeowners insurance is not always a smart thing to do.

Filing a claim on your Scottsdale homeowners insurance is not always the smart thing to do.

Before you file your claim, you need to consider your past claim history and what this new claim might mean to your future relationship with your insurance company. Even though insurance companies exist to protect you from loss, they also need to make a profit. So they look for ways to minimize what they pay out.

That means dropping people they see as bad or low-profit—risks. Whether or not they drop you depends on a number of factors that may have nothing to do with your loss in the scenarios above, including your credit rating, where your house is located and whether or not you've filed any (or many) claims before.

Scottsdale Homeowners Insurance Claims Can Cost You Big Time

One of the best ways to wind up in the company's cross-hairs is to file a number of minor claims with a low deductible policy. Even worse, moisture-related claims are put in a central database that all insurers can access. Once one insurer drops you, it becomes much more difficult and expensive to find coverage from another company. That could be a much bigger problem for you than paying for a new water heater and drywall now, or replacing some hardwood flooring.

Read your Scottsdale homeowners insurance policy carefully. Pay particular attention to what the policy says about water damage. Failure of a water heater is usually a "covered peril," but you should also look to see if the policy covers the mold and fungus damage that often results from waterlogged drywall. Bear in mind that even if the policy does cover mold, the very word is a red flag to many insurers because so many homeowners filed claims for mold damage after a rash of storms a few years ago.

Talk to your insurance agent. If you've filed claims in the past, ask how this new claim would affect your premiums and policy renewal. You may not get a completely candid answer or one that will still be in effect when renewal time rolls around, since insurance companies often change their guidelines, but it will give you some insight.

Consider raising the deductible on your Scottsdale homeowners insurance policy to the highest level you can afford. That will eliminate the potential problems that come with making small claims, and will lower your annual premiums as well. The money you save on premiums may be enough to cover any small claims you might otherwise think about filing.

Find more articles pertaining to Scottsdale homeowners insurance under our Scottsdale Insurance section of articles to your right under Scottsdale Real Estate Categories. We also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook, sometimes pertaining directly to Scottsdale homeowners insurance.

Higher rates for Scottsdale flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program took effect on April 1st. The increase hiked individual policy premiums for homeowners in high-risk areas by as much as 25 percent.

The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 carries some premium increases of up to 18 percent for primary homeowners and 25 percent for owners of vacation homes or rental properties. A new surcharge will also be assessed.

Scottsdale flood insurance rates went up on April 1st by as much as 25 percent for some homeowners

Most homeowners' insurance policies don't cover flood damage, although many cover natural disasters such as hurricanes, with the most expensive policies tied to coastal properties that are most vulnerable to storm damage.

Most consumers in designated low-lying zones must buy special coverage to add protection against floods. The average premium for Scottsdale flood insurance is $650 a year, according to the federal flood insurance program.

Scottsdale Flood Insurance Isn't Mandatory

Scottsdale flood insurance isn't mandatory in most cases, especially if you own your home outright. But homes and businesses in flood-prone areas are required to have flood insurance to qualify for federally insured mortgages. Essentially, this means that flood protection is needed by a majority of homeowners.

Although Scottsdale flood insurance is not mandatory, like with windstorm coverage, flood insurance rates for some properties in high-risk areas can be much higher. About 5.2 million Americans carry flood insurance policies. The premium increases are estimated to affect about one million of these homeowners according to a spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which administers the flood program.

Because of massive hurricane damage, from Katrina, Sandy and other destructive events — the flood insurance program has racked up billions of dollars in debt. But last year's Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA) eases the impact of rate increases for many policy holders.

In passing HFIAA, Congress rolled back price hikes called for under previous legislation, the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, after coastal property owners, state lawmakers and real estate interests complained.

Find more articles as they relate to Scottsdale flood insurance under our Scottsdale Insurance section of articles to your right under Scottsdale Real Estate Categories.