1. Think: Location, Location, Location
Homes close to fire hydrants and fire stations cost less to insure.
2. Play Lucky Sevens
How much life insurance coverage do you need? Some experts suggest multiplying your annual salary by seven so your spouse is covered for 5 to 10 years (talk to an agent about your specific situation).
3. Consider Flood Insurance
Almost 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from lower-risk areas, so consider picking up this extra policy. (We're talking about natural-disaster-type flooding; home insurance policies do cover damage caused by plumbing overflows.)
4. Rethink That Pit Bull Purchase
Some companies won't insure your home (or will charge you more) if you own certain breeds of dogs -- including pit bulls, rottweilers, and huskies. Why? In recent years, dog bites have accounted for about a quarter of all home insurance liability claims.
5. Keep Driving Your Red Wheels
It's a myth that auto insurance companies charge higher premiums for red cars. What does impact premiums? Your age, claims history, and the age and model of the car.
6. Step on the Scale
Because extremely overweight people are more likely to develop health problems as they grow older, life insurance companies often charge them higher premiums.
7. Insure Your Work Zone
If your home is damaged by a fire, you don't want to find out that your homeowners insurance doesn't cover your computer, garage, or key files because they're "business assets." If you run a business from home, get a rider or a separate policy.
8. Buy New or Renovated 9. Get Health Insurance
Homes that are less than 10 years old or have been completely renovated within the last 10 years cost less to insure. And if your home is made of fire-resistant materials, like brick and masonry, you can save even more money.
You might think that your and your spouse are healthy and don't need insurance. Or that you can't afford it. But the reality is no one can afford to go without it. When illnesses develop or emergencies pop up, medical costs climb quickly, and when you're dealing with serious issues, you don't want to have to worry about money. If where you work offers health insurance, don't decline it unless you're already getting coverage under your spouse's plan. If you're independent workers, you may also qualify for Freelancers Union
. And no matter what your income is or your medical history, you can get coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Just go to HealthCare.gov
to review and select a plan through the marketplace. Open enrollment start in Nov. and lasts a few months, but special enrollment can occur at any time when certain life events occur, such as getting married (congrats newlyweds!), having a baby, losing your job or moving.
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