Depending on where you live, your home insurance may amount to a hefty chunk of change — but going without coverage isn’t an option. Reducing your home insurance costs can substantially reduce your expenses, and (if you’re looking to purchase a home) increase the amount of money you can spend on a property. Here are some easy ways to pay less on your homeowner’s policy.
1. Look at Insurance When You’re First Buying Your Home
There are a lot of things that can impact an insurance policy: exactly where a home is, how old it is, and how much it’s worth. Insurance is often going to be more expensive for an older home than a new home, so you may not actually be saving any money by purchasing an older home. Getting quotes on properties as you look at them is a good idea.
Consider the fact that things such as older roofs, HVAC systems, and foundations are more likely to need repair. Roofs, in particular, usually need to be replaced after 20 years, which is something that your insurance policy is going to consider.
2. Bundle Your Home Insurance with Other Policies
Home insurance, auto insurance, boat insurance — these are all policies that can be bundled together for additional savings. While sometimes you can get a better deal by working with multiple companies, a lot of the time you can negotiate cheaper rates through bundles. If you’re already looking to reduce the costs of other insurance policies, this can be an excellent choice.
3. Avoid Getting Insurance through Your Mortgage Company
Depending on your mortgage company, you may either be required to get insurance through them or you may be able to get insurance on your own and provide proof of insurance to them. It’s almost always better to do the latter. When your mortgage company gets insurance, they’re really working to protect themselves: they’re going to insure the property foremost, and your belongings second. They also aren’t looking to save the most money.
4. Realistically Calculate Your Insurance Needs
A standard homeowner’s policy will cover personal items such as your clothes, furniture and appliances. So in the event of a claim, you will be reimbursed a percentage of your dwelling coverage amount (up to the limits listed on your policy). However, if you have any special items and possessions such as art, jewelry and other collectibles, you will need to purchase additional coverage.
5. Make Sure You Don’t Have a Lapse in Coverage
A lapse in homeowner’s coverage is one of the major single factors that tends to cost insurance to rise. If you change your homeowner’s policies, you should seamlessly move from policy to policy. A lapse in coverage often indicates that either the homeowner was irresponsible or that major issues could have happened to the property during the lapse.
6. Install Home Protection and Home Modifications for a Better Rate
Most home insurance companies will give you a discount for security systems, smoke alarms, and flood detection systems. And, of course, it’s also better for your house. Even dead bolts sometimes reduce your rates, and you may not always remember to check that box on your home insurance form. In terms of security systems, monitored security systems tend to get better rates than self-monitored systems, and sprinkler systems can substantially reduce rates.
7. Always Ask If There Are Any Discounts Available
Some discounts aren’t highly publicized. Student discounts, senior discounts, and military discounts are among the most popular, but there are also discounts for government employees, teachers, and unions. Ask if there are any discounts that could apply to you, as you could be surprised what’s available.
8. Get the Help of a Knowledgeable Insurance Broker
An insurance broker works with multiple insurance companies to find the best deals for you. They are independent, so they aren’t interested in selling the services of a single company. While it’s important to generally shop around, an insurance broker can do that shopping for you. Further, insurance brokers don’t make money from you: you don’t have to pay them, they make money from the insurance companies.
Like any insurance policy, homeowner’s insurance is going to be highly variable depending on your home and you. Working with a knowledgeable insurance broker will help you get the best possible rates, while also maintaining the coverage you need to remain protected. For more information about home insurance, contact us at 1.844.929.4768.