Your homeowner’s insurance may enable you to recover the value of your house and everything in it if a disaster happens. That’s a big security blanket under which homeowners everywhere sleep more soundly at night. Start with a policy from a reputable insurer. From there, the key is to secure the best premium rate possible for the amount of homeowner’s insurance coverage you need. Discounts can drive the rate down, but they vary widely depending on a range of factors.
So, you should review your homeowner’s insurance policy periodically. Examine your coverages, gather a few competitive bids, and use these 6 tips on how to reduce your home insurance rate:
How to Cut Your Homeowner Insurance Cost
You may already have a reasonable premium price on your homeowner’s policy, but you won’t know how competitive your rate really is until you do a little homework. You’re off to the right start by reading these six tips for reducing your homeowner insurance cost.
Periodically Compare Several Bids
Shop the web for home insurance providers and ask friends for recommendations of their insurers if they’re happy with their homeowner’s policies. Collect and compare premium prices from several companies. Be sure you’re making apples-for-apples comparisons by ensuring that the coverages each carrier is offering are the same as their competitors are offering you for whatever price each company quotes.
Ask for Any Applicable Discounts
When you’re collecting bids for homeowner insurance, ask each company’s agent to list all discounts you’re entitled to receive under their system. Every insurance carrier offers its own choice of discount types and amounts. For example, insurers often offer a discount on homes that are very close to a fire station, other emergency response facilities, or even a fire hydrant. Be sure to ask about discounts for your home’s proximity to those or other critical services.
Bundle Your Home, Auto, and Other Policies
Take advantage of lower rates for bundling policies for your homeowner, auto, RV, and other insurance products that can be bundled. Bundling your home and auto policies with one provider can save you up to 15% on your overall insurance costs. Before you switch carriers to bundle policies, ask the provider you want to use exclusively to confirm the discount amount to make sure you will realize worthwhile savings.
Improve your Home Safety and Security
Many home insurance carriers will apply a discount of (often around 5%) to policies on homes with smoke alarms, security alarms, dead-bolt locks, or other installed features that reduce risk. You may receive a discount of up to 20% for the installation of a fire sprinkler system. For the best possible discount, the system you install may need to include multiple advanced features. For example, a fire and/or access security alarm system that automatically alerts the fire department, police, or other response services. Keep in mind that adding these systems to your home can be costly. Before installing a system, consult with your insurer to confirm that it qualifies for a discount and how much money it will save you.
Avoid Things that are High-Risk for Insurers
Home insurers have firm practices of avoiding some types of risk. It can be challenging to find an insurance company that will cover certain kinds of high-risk features or activities homeowners have in mind for their residential properties. For example, insuring a swimming pool, a trampoline, a mini-skate park, or other sports features might be excluded from your coverage under some policies. Even having a particular dog breed can cause your home coverage to be categorized as a higher risk. That means your premium cost may be higher, or your coverage may exclude risks associated with these.
Raise Your Deductible
The deductible is the amount you will pay out-of-pocket in case of a claim before your insurance company covers the remainder of the loss. Usually, agreeing to a higher deductible can significantly reduce the cost of your insurance premiums. For example, in some cases, increasing the deductible from $500 to $1,000 may drop your premiums by up to 25%. That can add up to big yearly savings without much added risk to you. But, be sure you can afford to pay the amount of the deductible you set for your policy.
When You’re Ready to Shop for Home Insurance
Like most other things, homeowner’s insurance costs continue to increase as time goes by. But, the tips above can help you get the lowest home insurance rate possible. Just remember to check with your insurance agent about any changes you want to make to reduce your rate. Also, before you make changes on your property that will increase the risk for your insurer, ask how much your rate will be affected! Finally, don’t make the mistake of shopping only based on the lowest cost, as you need to make sure you have enough home insurance coverage if you ever need it.