Consumers Trying to Find More Wiggle Room on Home Insurance Costs

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  • These days, even with the economy improving, many consumers may struggle to fit everything they need to buy into their household budgets, and as a consequence, many may end up shopping around for all kinds of things. That includes home insurance coverage, and the issue may be particularly notable for those who also have to pay federal flood insurance bills every year. Agents must be cognizant of these issues when dealing with consumers looking for better prices.

    With home insurance costs mounting in many parts of the country, exacerbated by prices for coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program, many homeowners may be looking to take somewhat drastic measures to reduce these costs, according to a report from the Indianapolis television station WISH. That comes even as the federal government has moved to help keep these prices as low as possible, and the future increases to rates for such coverage relatively predictable. However, that still leaves many paying thousands of dollars or more per year right now, even if it allows people moving into homes in areas deemed likely to flood to keep the same insurance rates as the previous owners paid.

    “With all of the changes in the flood insurance world, although there have been a lot of positive changes with the new affordability act, they haven’t quite trickled down for implementation yet,” Elizabeth Marshall, an Indianapolis insurance agent, told the station. “[The new law is] a huge relief for people who are trying to buy and sell their homes.”

    What can people do?
    When it comes to helping to keep costs as low as possible, consumers might be able to do a little more in terms of protecting themselves from larger increases in the future, the report said. Some may be able to obtain “elevation certificates,” which can be granted to those living below or above the expected flood level, and can reduce premiums significantly. It may also behoove people who live in the redrawn flood zones – which will be released this summer – to attend local meetings that will be held in their areas to discuss the impact of the recent changes.

    Insurance agents may also have to work with people to help them find more affordable coverage for other types of home insurance as a means of allowing them to squeeze these plans into their budgets. The more flexibility they’re given, the more likely they may be to stick with the company or agent that helped them.