Homeowners insurance protects your home if it’s damaged from a storm, theft, vandalism or other disaster. Save money on your homeowners insurance policy in eight ways.
Disaster-Proof Your House
You may cut premium costs when you make your home more resistant to disasters. Reinforce the roof, install storm shutters and trim trees. Consider upgrading your home’s electrical, heating and plumbing systems, too, as you reduce fire and water damage risks. With these steps and others recommended by your insurance agent, you may cut insurance costs.
Improve Home Security
Certain security upgrades reduce your insurance costs. For example, you could save up to 20 percent if you install a fire and burglar alarm or sprinkler system that connects automatically to a monitoring station. A burglar alarm, deadbolt locks or smoke detector installation could cut costs by five percent. Before you make these upgrades, verify that the system you wish to install does qualify for an insurance discount.
Review Your Policy Annually
Every year, schedule an insurance review. Verify that your policy covers the value of your home and the possessions you currently own. You may find that you don’t need riders for expensive collections you recently sold, or you may need to increase policy limits to cover a recent remodel. When you know exactly how much homeowners insurance you need, you can shop for an accurate quote.
Maintain Good Credit
Your insurance rates depend in part on your credit score. Pay your bills on time, keep credit balances low, and correct all credit report errors.
Raise Your Deductible
Increasing your deductible from $500 to $1000 can lower your annual insurance rates by 25 percent. Discuss your budget and needs with your agent as you choose your deductible.
Ask for Discounts
Most insurance companies don’t advertise the discounts they offer, but you can ask. You may save money if you’re home more often and able to spot potential trouble sooner. Your age or professional organization membership could also qualify you for a discount.
Bundle Insurance Policies
If you buy your homeowners insurance and auto insurance from the same company, you may qualify for a five to 15 percent discount. Crunch the numbers, though, to ensure you get the best price on both policies.
Most insurance companies reward loyal customers with discounts of up to 10 percent after six years of consecutive coverage. However, you may find cheaper rates and reliable service elsewhere. Request quotes from independent insurance agents and compare coverage options and rates as you find the most affordable homeowners insurance.
With these eight tips, you save money on your homeowners insurance. For more details, talk to your agent.