9 Tips to Save on Homeowners Insurance
A home is one of the biggest purchases most people ever make. It makes sense that, after your closing day, you’ll be looking for ways to save cash. One way you might be able to do so is by cutting down on your home insurance costs.
1. Bundle Your Policies
Probably the best way to save money on your insurance costs as a new homeowner is to bundle your policies. The most common bundle is home and auto insurance. If you work with an insurer that also offers life insurance, you can probably bundle that as well.
The amount you can save with bundling varies by state. But on average, research has found that bundled insurance savings are typically around 16%. When you’re buying bundled insurance, make sure that the combined price you’re paying is lower than what you’d pay to buy the two policies separately from other insurers.
2. Raise Your Deductible
Your deductible is the amount you pay if you need to make a claim on your insurance. It’s different than your premium, which is what you pay monthly to keep your policy.
Most deductibles start around $500. For example, say that you were robbed of $1,500 worth of items and want to file the loss with insurance. This is a covered claim for homeowners insurance, so you’d need to pay $500 first before the insurance company covers losses.
Making your deductible higher than $500 will cut down on your monthly premium cost a lot. Your insurance is willing to offer a lower premium because you’ll pay more if you have a claim. Common options include $1,000 or $1,500.
Just keep in mind that your deductible shouldn’t be too high, or it wouldn’t make sense to file a claim. Consider the robbery example we used above. If your deductible was $1,500, it wouldn’t make sense to file the claim with your insurance, so you’d have to cut your losses.
One final thing to note – you may have a separate deductible for specific parts of your policy. For example, many insurances have an earthquake deductible or hail deductible. You may or may not be able to adjust these, but if you can, they are an additional way to save money on a monthly basis.
3. Modernize Your Heating, Plumbing, and Electrical Systems
Home insurance is meant to protect your home in times of disaster. If you have an older home, disaster could be more of a risk because of outdated heating, plumbing, and electrical systems. If your home is over 50 years old, these systems were not meant to handle our modern lifestyles. Even worse, they may have deteriorated over time, leading to even more safety hazards.
You may not be able to afford renovations right away, especially if you used most of your savings on a down payment. But it’s definitely something to consider, especially for your own safety. You’ll be far less likely to submit a claim, and because of your decreased risk, your premium will be lower.
4. Apply Weather and Natural Disaster Resistant Updates
In addition to updating your house’s core systems, you may also want to think about adding weather-resistant updates to protect your home during a natural disaster. For example, if you live in an area where earthquakes are common, you can reinforce your house to prevent the chance of major structural damage. This will lower your monthly premium because it reduces the potential for damage.
If you live in a hurricane or tornado-prone area, you might consider reinforcing your roof or adding storm shutters to protect your home from strong winds. This should lower your premium even further.
Just remember, flooding is not usually a natural disaster that’s covered by home insurance. So even if you make certain upgrades, these may not result in discounts. If you live in a flood zone, you may even want to purchase additional flood insurance to keep your home safe.
5. Add a Home Security System
Security systems can alert you if intruders try to break in, giving you time to call the police and have them intervene. They reduce the risk of a burglar stealing your things, which lowers your potential risk, and therefore, premium.
You don’t have to go all-out with a premium security system service, either. Simple things like installing deadbolts, smoke detectors, and fire alarms are all enough to qualify for a discount. Of course, if you have some room in your budget, installing a sprinkler system, signing up for a monitoring plan, and getting security cameras can all add further discounts.
6. Look for Additional Discounts
While having a safer home is ultimately the way to score the best savings on a homeowners insurance plan, there may be other ways to get discounts. For example, many insurance companies offer an age discount to senior citizens.
You might also find military discounts, teacher discounts, and more. When you’re building your quote, ask your agent about any possible ways to save money to see if you qualify.
7. See if Your Work Offers Coverage
If you’re part of a group insurance program at your workplace, you may also qualify for homeowners insurance through that plan. This may not be advertised openly, so you might have to do some digging or ask your HR department for more help. Often, these plans can be cheaper than what you’d pay on your own.
Even if your work doesn’t offer homeowners insurance, you may be part of a business, alumni, or professional group that does. Review the benefits of your memberships in any organization to see what potential discounts lie in wait.
8. Lower Your Coverage
When people buy homeowners insurance, one mistake they make is insuring the entire value of their home purchase. In truth, most people don’t need quite that much. When you buy a home, you aren’t just paying for the house. You’re also paying for the land it sits on.
Unless there’s a catastrophic event, your land will probably be fine even if your home is destroyed. So there’s no real need to pay for coverage on it. If you live in an area with high land value or just have a lot of property, this could save you big on your premiums.
When figuring out how much coverage you need, you also need to think about your possessions. If you have a lot of high-value items, you may want to keep your coverage a bit higher to account for their value. But if you’re using beat-up furniture that’s 10 years old, it might not be worth it to insure it for full value.
9. Increase Your Credit-Based Insurance Score
You probably know about your credit score from buying a house. But what you may not know about is your credit-based insurance score. This is a slightly different figure that uses similar calculations to determine your reliability when it comes to managing money. It takes into account your payment history, outstanding debt, credit history length, pursuit of new credit, and credit mix.
Your credit-based insurance score will never be the sole factor in determining your premium. And in some states, it’s illegal for insurance companies to consider credit scores. But if you live in a state that permits it, your credit score can definitely come into play.
Increasing this score may take some time, but you can start by paying down your debts, not opening new credit cards, and being on time with all payments.
Best Way to Save? Switch to InsureOne
If you’re looking for the most affordable home insurance, switch to InsureOne. We work with multiple carriers to provide you the best possible coverage at low costs. Ready to get started? Get your free online quote today or call us with your questions at 1-800-836-2240.