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If you just bought your first house and have a mortgage, your lender probably requires you to buy home insurance.

Coverage is based on many factors, including the age of the house, if it’s brick or wood, and the ZIP code. For example, a homeowner would pay around $950 a year for insurance coverage of about $289, 000 on a 2, 600-square-foot, two-story house in Anna built in 1994.

Homeowners can try to lower their premium by changing coverage limits, opting for a higher deductible or qualifying for discounts.

Daniel Williams, an agent for Allstate Insurance Co. in Richardson, advises first-time homebuyers to make sure their policy includes “replacement cost” coverage, which is the cost to replace a damaged or stolen item at current prices, not “actual cash value, ” which is the replacement cost minus depreciation.

Williams also recommends that first-timers take the standard 1 percent deductible — the amount you will pay out-of-pocket before insurance kicks in. For that Anna house, the deductible would be about $2, 800.

Although a higher deductible, say 2 percent, would lower the premium to $726 a year, “it’s a lot easier to come up with $2, 800 than $5, 000 to $6, 000, ” Williams said. He doesn’t advise going below 1 percent because “there are a lot of unknowns.”

A home policy also covers personal property such as furniture, clothing and electronics against damage or theft. But if someone owns expensive items, such as jewelry or musical instruments, Williams advises that they get extra coverage. For example, replacement cost coverage for a $5, 000 diamond ring would cost $80 a year.

First-time homebuyers may be able to reduce their insurance premium if they install deadbolt locks on doors, add smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, and bundle their home and auto policies together, Williams said.



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