What Can you do to Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Premium?
Homeowners insurance is required if you have a mortgage, but that doesn’t mean you have to overpay for it. While you need enough coverage to replace your home should there be a total loss, there are ways you can lower your premium without sacrificing coverage.
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Take a Higher Deductible
It seems like we are automatically programmed to take the lowest deductible available. What if you could lower your monthly premium if you increased that deductible, though? If you think about it, you pay the premiums monthly and only pay the deductible if you have to use your insurance. It might make more sense to pay less per month and take your chance on a higher deductible. If you plan accordingly, you can have the deductible set aside in an emergency fund should it ever come down to needing it, while you save money on your monthly insurance bills.
Bundle your Policies
Do you have insurance for more than your home? Maybe you have car insurance or life insurance. Your insurance company may offer a bundling discount if you get more than one policy from them. Insurance companies appreciate loyalty and tend to reward their clients that give them more than one thing to insure.
The most typical bundle is homeowner’s insurance and car insurance, but you can talk to your agent about other bundling discounts that may be available to you.
Decrease Your Home’s Risk
The insurance company insures your home against loss, which is directly related to the risks your home is under. There are ways that you can decrease the risk, though. A few common examples include:
- Reducing the risk of fire with updated electrical systems
- Adding a security system to prevent theft
- Adding certain precautions to prevent against weather damage, especially wind or water damage
Before you make any changes to your home, make sure you discuss the changes with your insurance company. What you may see as a way to lower your home’s risk may not hold the same value in the eyes of the insurance agent.
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Ask About Age Discounts
Some insurance companies provide discounts to retired clients because their risk of a claim on homeowner’s insurance goes down. Retired people tend to be home more often. This may lower the risk of burglary or a total loss in a fire. If you are home when a fire starts, you are better able to alert the fire department quickly, which may minimize the damage that occurs to the home rather than if it occurred when no one was home.
Don’t Have a Risky Past
Insurance companies look at your insurance past to determine your risk. Even if you had insurance with another company, a new insurance company could see your past claims. If you had a lot of them, you can expect your premiums to be higher or for the insurance company not to insure your home at all.
Sometimes it’s the home itself that disqualifies you for homeowner’s insurance or forces you to pay higher premiums. If you are thinking about buying a home, talk to the owner about their history of homeowner’s insurance claims. Have there been a lot of thefts, water damage, or wind damage that occurred to the home? The location of the home could be an issue, putting any insurance company at risk, which could automatically mean higher premiums.
Most importantly, you need to shop around for homeowner’s insurance. Don’t just take the first quote you get. How do you know how it compares to others in the area? Each insurance company has different underwriting requirements as each company can take different levels of risk. Obtain a few quotes so that you know which premiums are the lowest for the best coverage available.
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