Having homeowners insurance is a necessity, but there’s no reason to pay more in premiums than you must. Here are multiple ways to save money while still staying safe.
Insurance rates are calculated by the insurable risk you pose to the company. Most of the savings listed here reduce risk. Don’t forget: The insurance amount is for the value of the home and other structures — not the land.
Buying new. Newer homes with fire-resistant materials such as fiber cement siding will lower your insurance risk. If you buy an older home, rewiring, new siding and other potential safety improvements will lower your risk profile.
Proximity to fire station and hydrants. The closer you are to the nearest fire station and hydrants, the lower your risk potential.
Protective devices. Having the following devices will help your rates: smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, water leak detectors, monitored burglar alarms, internal sprinkler systems, and deadbolts.
No high-risk factors. Insurance companies view pools, trampolines and dangerous dogs as a risk. If you have a pool your rates will be higher for liability coverage and you must adhere strictly to requirements for a fence and locking gates. Trampoline accidents are common, and some insurance companies won’t cover them. Many insurance companies have a list of dog breeds that they consider too risky for liability coverage.
Raise your deductible amount. Your deductible is the portion of a loss that you cover from your own pocket before insurance kicks in. Lower premiums by accepting a higher deductible amount.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Consider your homeowners insurance as protection against catastrophe, such as a fire or major storm damage. Filing small claims will likely boost your rates.
Keep your credit score high. In some states, insurance companies are allowed to check your credit score as one factor in determining your rates. Good credit equals lower risk to the company and lower premiums to you.
Multi-line and multi-year. It is common for insurers to offer lower rates to households that buy auto and homeowners policies. Umbrella coverage may translate to even deeper discounts. Customer loyalty may also be rewarded with discounts.
Lesser-known discounts. Some companies offer better rates to non-smokers. Auto-draft payment will also shave a few dollars off a policy.
Shop and compare. It never hurts to shop and compare rates as your renewal period approaches. Be sure to shop rates for all coverages that would go into a bundled package. Compare having different policies with different companies and whether you can save enough that way, versus bundled rates with all your policies under one provider.