With homeowners insurance being a must-have, it’s easy to set a policy and forget about it. But are you paying more for it than you should?
Many people think there’s not much they can do about their insurance costs, but that’s not true. Changing needs and discounts have a huge impact on how much you pay. Taking steps to lower your premiums can add needed money to a tight budget.
To help you cut costs, let’s look at 8 tips for lowering homeowners insurance premiums.
1. Become a Better Insurance Risk
The riskier the property, the more a homeowner will pay in premiums. That’s why it may be worth the effort to talk to your insurance agent to see what steps you can take to lower your home’s risk.
Installing better locks and a security system will better protect against theft. Hard-wired smoke detectors, a sprinkler system, and replacing old wiring will save on fire risk.
Storms and hurricanes cause major damage in the Florida area. Installing things like hurricane-rated doors and adding strong anchoring to your home’s deck can minimize the damage.
Even something as simple as having a fully fenced in yard when you have a pool will cut down on your home’s risk.
Talking to your agent will give you a personalized assessment of what you can do to better secure your home.
2. Increase Your Deductible
Your deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay out-of-pocket before the insurance company starts paying on a claim. Generally speaking, the higher the deductible, the lower your premium.
If you have a low deductible of $500, consider raising it to $1,000 or even $1,500. Since you’re agreeing to take on more of the risk, your insurance company will lower your costs.
That also helps protect you from filing small insurance claims. If you have $1,000 in damages, most people wouldn’t file a claim with a $1,000 deductible. Too many small claims may cause an insurance company to penalize your account with a higher premium.
That being said, don’t agree to a deductible you wouldn’t be able to afford out-of-pocket. Having an emergency fund in savings would help ease the stress of coming up with extra money when needed.
3. Bundle Your Policies
A great way of lowering homeowners insurance costs is to bundle all your insurance needs with one company.
Besides homeowners insurance, most people have auto insurance, life insurance, and so on. Many insurance companies will give a discount if you buy and bundle two or more of your insurance policies through them. Average savings range from 5 – 15% on costs.
Just don’t forget to do your homework. Compare the cost of bundling versus buying two separate policies from different companies before making the move.
4. Explore All Potential Discounts
Insurance discounts don’t stop with just bundling your policies. Not exploring other discounts offered could leave money on the table.
Does your employer have a relationship with an insurance company that could help you save money? Have you been “claim-free” for a long time? Do you live in a gated community or are you recently retired?
Many insurance companies reward customers with discounts that might surprise you. All you have to do is ask to see which ones you qualify for.
5. Improve Your Credit Score
A lot of people don’t associate the cost of their homeowners insurance to their credit score. When in fact many insurance companies use your creditworthiness to value the price of your premium.
If your credit score leaves something to be desired, work on getting that number up. Focus on paying off high debt and make regular, on-time payments.
You can check your credit report for free once a year by going to annualcreditreport.com. If you want to keep regular tabs on your score and get personalized recommendations, join a credit monitoring service, many of which are also free.
6. Review Your Policy and the Value of Possessions Once a Year
Another great way of lowering homeowners insurance costs is to stop paying for coverage you no longer need. What you had a year ago may not be what you have now, so review your policy and possessions once a year.
Did you get rid of an expensive piece of furniture? Is your vintage fur coat no longer worth what it once was? Changes in your possessions can have an impact on what you pay out in premiums every month.
Even life changes are worth evaluating. Did you get rid of a dog or swimming pool? Are you newly retired?
Communicate any change that could affect your homeowners insurance policy to your agent. It might surprise you to see how much little changes can add up to big savings.
7. Stay with the Same Insurance Company
Loyalty pays off in many ways and saving on your homeowners insurance is one of them! Many insurance companies reward long-time customers by giving them a discount. The longer you’re with the company, the bigger your discount.
Before you jump ship and go with someone else, take a look at how long you’ve been with your current company and when they give loyalty discounts. You might be closer to seeing a dip in your premiums than you thought.
8. Do Your Homework
Taking the time to do your homework and compare companies will show in savings and coverage.
It’s important to not only know you’re getting a good price, but that you’re getting the insurance coverage you need. Don’t jump at the cheapest price. Compare the benefits to see what you’re getting for the money.
An insurance company with a solid reputation is also important. A low rate with no customer service when you did it is not worth the savings. Finding the right balance of price, coverage, and service takes effort but gives you the best bang for your buck.
Cash in on Savings When Lowering Homeowners Insurance Costs
Take back more of your hard-earned money. By lowering homeowners insurance costs, you can make sure your home and biggest investment stays safe at the right price.
Ready to find a better price on your homeowners insurance? Contact us today! We’d be happy to answer any questions and give you a personalized quote.