How to Protect Your Home in Rhode Island

After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, many coastal homeowners in Rhode Island and other east coast states found themselves with higher insurance rates, substantially higher deductibles, or no coverage at all when many carriers dropped their coverage of coastal areas.

Many homeowners assume their deductibles are based on a percentage of each claim filed. However, in an increasing number of cases, they are based on a percentage of the insured value of the house. For instance, if a $500,000 house with a five percent deductible receives $25,000 in storm damage, the policy would not cover any part of the loss because the deductible is applied to the house's value, for a total of $25,000, not the loss, where the deductible would be $1,250.

Legislators in Rhode Island have introduced two new bills designed to help residents suffering in this situation, one of which will keep providers from canceling or non-renewing policies based, for the most part, on location.

Rhode Island premiums rank as the eighth most expensive in the nation. But don't despair. While you can't control some factors, you can do some things to lower your rate.

If you have not yet purchased your home, keep these things in mind before you buy, and you can save money:

Here are some other factors that can help (or hurt) your rate:

Ask your agent if you can do other things to lower your rate.