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Find ways to cut insurance premiums

September 2, 2014

There's no fighting it:  Once you've purchased a home, you'll have to spend some of your hard-earned cash protecting your property with a home insurance policy. While it won't be as much as your mortgage, home insurance is a steep bill that can severely cut into your funds.

But according to Florida CBS affiliate WINK News, homeowners in the Sunshine State can save a major chunk of change regarding home insurance if they follow a few simple rules.

Mitigating wind in a coastal area can save a homeowner big on insurance premiums.

Keep your home from blowing away

The first rule that could save you money on a home insurance policy is wind mitigation. In 2012, the Florida Wind Mitigation Form started requiring hurricane straps, which hold the roof and walls of a home together, to have three nails instead of two.

Florida Central Home Inspections reported that Wind Mitigation Insurance is generally the only inspection that promises some sort discount on your insurance premium. The state first started offering a wind mitigation discount in 2006 if a homeowner sought and received a certified review from a qualified inspector.

Put down the straps

Alex Moriarty, owner of Maximum Solutions, helps homeowners put down the correct number of nails on hurricane straps.

“We check each one and make sure each one is correct,” Moriarty told WINK News. “The state average is about 39 percent of their policy so it's a huge savings. That's the main thing it saves, is the uplift from hurricane winds. It's going to keep your roof attached to your house.”

John Pelusi, a homeowner in Fort Myers, Florida, told WINK News he expects to save “approximately $1,000" on his homeowner's insurance plan, which he considers a sizable chunk of cash.

Moriarty's company has already worked on 600 houses in the last 18 months. He said it typically costs $800 to $900 for the fix, but it is an investment most homeowners can get excited about.

“It looks like just from getting these straps put on, I'm probably going to be saving almost $2,500 a year,” homeowner Noelle Tietz told WINK News.

If a person plans to live in a home for a long time, the work can be especially advantageous. The Florida Department of Finance said it could save a family $25,000 over 10 years, as 15 percent to 70 percent of insurance premiums could be related to wind-damage risk.

Consider examining hurricane shutters

Another way for homeowners to save is by having a home inspector check their hurricane shutters.

“They would just take a look at the shutters, make sure they are wind rated, fill out the form, get it to us, and typically, it would save them about $120-180 dollars,” Matt Brown of Culbertson Agency in Fort Myers told WINK News. “It costs $40 so it's better than Vegas odds for sure.”?

Homeowners interested in finding a customized insurance policy for their needs should contact SelectQuote Auto & Home. SelectQuote offers comparison shopping from a dozen of the nation's leading insurance providers.