In the business of insurance, customers and clients have identified two dirty words, premium, and deductible, because they imply a cost the customer will have to pay. Premium refers to the monthly, semi-annual, or annual bill a customer pays for insurance protection. A deductible is the financial portion of a claim an insured (aka homeowner) would be responsible for in the event a claim is made.
When it comes to homeowner’s insurance, a deductible can actually be structured one of two ways: it can be a flat rate (for example a $1000 deductible) or it can be a percentage of the insured structure (for example a 1% deductible on a $250,000 home would be $2500.)
Generally, the higher deductible a customer can afford, the more inexpensive the regular premiums will be. With a higher deductible, the customer is taking on more personal risk in the event of a claim, so the insurance companies reward them with a lower bill.
PRO TIP for homeowners: set up a separate savings or investment account that always keeps your deductible set aside so you can use it as needed during the time of a claim.
Also, be aware that a homeowner’s insurance deductible does not operate in the same fashion as a health insurance deductible. Each homeowner insurance claim requires the same expected deductible* and small claims do not add up until you “meet your deductible” as it does in healthcare. This means that clients should not file a claim unless the damage to the property is substantial enough to surpass their deductible. Your designated insurance agent will be able to help educate you on do’s and don’ts of filing claims.
PRO TIP for homeowners: consider bundling your home and auto insurance with the same company to earn discounts on your insurance costs.
Finally, don’t expect to write your insurance company a check for your deductible in the event of a claim. The insurance company will assess the damage and make payment to the insured minus their deductible. For example, a homeowner’s insurance claim adjusted in the amount of $10,000 with a $1,000 deductible would pay the insured $9,000.
When you understand the dirty words of insurance, they become a little less intimidating and you can control how you use them (literally and figuratively.)
*With some policy provision exceptions (like a lesser deductible for a wind claim, etc.)