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How can I obtain statistics about my mother's house to challenge exhorbitant homeowners insurance?

My 89-year old mother resides in Albany in an old home at 390 Mountain Street.  I've tried unsuccessfully to get the stats about her house (e.g., date built, square footage, etc.) in an attempt to reduce her homeowners' insurance.

I appreciate your advice.
  • May 18 2010 - Delaware Avenue
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Answers (3)

I'm an insurance agent as well, and I would tell you that the tax assessors websites are often wrong on the stats for your home.  They can give you and idea, but don't think they are guaranteed.  A couple of things you can do are to check her credit.  Credit has a hugh impact on rates now.  You may think she has great credit, but I would check it anyway.  I've seen someone turned down on a homeowner's policy because of an old directv bill they didn't know they even had a balance on.  She also might check to see if she can get a % deductible instead of a set dollar amount.  Some companies offer a 1% of the home value deductible option that is cheaper than a set deductible.  If she still has a car, I would definitely call around to see who offers the best multi-policy discount.  We have one now in TN that offers 20% off.  Hope this helps.
  • June 16 2010
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Laura,

Find out if your mother has had a bunch of claims,
or ANY claims involving water.  That will make a BIG difference in her rate.  That will also carry over to the next insurer too.

Once you have this and the stats on the home, call her insurance company/agent and ask why she is paying this price and can it be reduced..

Then start shopping for insurance to see if you can get a better deal, or if that is the right price.

Here is what Consumer Reports says:

Shop for better options. In moving to a new company, you might lose the "loyal customer" discount that can be 10 percent or so of the premium. But if that base premium is relatively high, you may still save money by making a switch. Be sure to compare terms as well as price. A lower-priced policy that has more exclusions is not necessarily a savings, especially if you need to make a claim.

When Consumer Reports surveyed subscribers in 2008 about their homeowners insurance, we found that among those who switched to a new carrier in the prior four years, more than half paid less for coverage. An independent agent or insurance-shopping Web site may be able to provide quotes from a variety of companies.

Price is just one component of a good policy; how well the company responds when you really need it is crucial. Our Homeowners Insurance Ratings, published in the September 2009 issue of Consumer Reports (and available to subscribers), detail the claims experiences of 10,700 Consumer Reports readers with 16 insurance groups. The highest-rated insurers were Amica, USAA, and Chubb.

Dennis Smith, ABR, SRES, e-PRO, CDPE, Realtor® Lic #00476662
Taylor Place Real Estate,  Carlsbad CA
  • May 18 2010
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You can obtain this information through the Albany Tax Assessor website, which has public records of all properties.  

Try going here

It lists the year built as 1925 and sq ft as 2016.   You can get more information as well.

Please verify all information.

Good luck,

Richard Schulman
Keller Williams Realty
  • May 18 2010
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