Shopping tips for homeowners insurance

Some insurers offer discount for good credit

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

On all those reality TV shows that follow the ups and downs of first-time homebuyers, most of the financial discussion revolves around the price of the house itself. Occasionally, they'll throw property taxes into the calculation. The words "homeowners insurance" don't seem to come up. But homebuyers need to factor it into their budgets. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners said the average homeowners insurance policy, covering the building, personal property and liability, cost $822 in 2007. However, some states can be significantly pricier: Florida and New York, for example, each had an average cost of more than $1,000 that year. Then, there are the potential add-ons and extra coverage for flooding, wind damage or earthquakes. On the flip side, the diligent and savvy consumer can score some discounts, but he or she might have to ask for them specifically. Five things for homebuyers to keep in mind about homeowners insurance: 1. How much insuranc...