There are ways to minimize rate increases in homeowner's insurance.
The state Department of Commerce has a list of tips for consumers. Suggestions include:
* Shop for rates. If a customer changes insurance companies, retain the old policy for 59 days, which is the time period a new company has to deny coverage.
* Check to see if the current insurance level is appropriate and make sure the premium has been correctly calculated.
* Ask agents about insurance ratings to make sure an inacuracy on a credit report is responsible for a low credit score.
* Increase deductibles or reduce optional coverage.
* Take advantage of discount programs such as those for non-smokers.
* Putting homeowners or renters insurance with the same company as auto insurance can provide a discount.
* Filing too many claims may hurt a consumer and make them rethink filing claims for smaller losses. The commerce department reported some insurance comanies will nto renew a policy if a customer files two claims within three years.
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