Homeowners insurance is a necessary expense of home ownership, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay more than you need to for it. Fortunately, there are several ways you can save money on your homeowners insurance premium while still making sure you’re covered against natural disasters and theft.
We consulted our home security experts, as well as a great guide from our friends at FLASH (Federal Alliance for Safe Homes) called “A Homeowners Insurance Guide to Natural Disasters,” to bring you the most current information on how much coverage you really need. Whether you’re in the market for a new policy, or you want to reduce the premium of your current one, here are six easy ways to keep more money in your pocket.
Tip 1: Shop around for the best value.
Shopping around is one of the best ways to reduce your homeowners insurance premium. Call at least three reputable homeowners insurance companies and compare policy coverages line for line, keeping in mind that the least expensive policy doesn’t always offer the best value. According to “A Homeowners Insurance Guide to Natural Disasters,” most property insurance policies exclude coverage for earthquakes and floods, so if these natural disasters are likely in your area, make sure to bargain accordingly.
The insurance business is notoriously competitive, so once you’re armed with the details of each policy, don’t hesitate to try and negotiate with your preferred provider for the lowest rate possible.
Tip 2: Protect your possessions with a monitored home security system.
Installing a monitored home security system is a money-saving tip many homeowners aren’t aware of. In fact, a number of insurance companies may reward you with a discount of 15 percent or more if your home is protected by a monitored home security system. That’s because homes with security systems are three times less likely to be burglarized than those without one, and that means there is less chance you’ll file a claim. If you’re considering protecting your home with a security system, don’t hesitate to ask your insurance carrier how much you could save by doing so.
Tip 3: Raise your deductible.
Generally, the lower your insurance policy deductible (the amount you pay before your insurance takes over) the higher your insurance premium. Raising your policy deductible is a tried and true way of saving money on all types of insurance, including homeowners insurance. For example, raising your deductible from $500 to $1,000 could lower your premium by as much as 25 percent.
Tip 4: Make sure you don’t have too much coverage.
There’s a good chance your insurance agent warned you about the risks of being under-insured, but he may not have mentioned you can also be over-insured. Under-insured means you don’t have enough insurance to adequately protect your belongings; over-insured means you’re paying for more coverage than you need.
One of the best ways to prevent being over-insured and wasting your hard-earned money is to review your policy annually when it is up for renewal. Check the policy line for line, keeping an eye out for floaters, which is additional insurance for items that aren’t covered in your standard policy, such as jewelry and artwork. If you no longer have the items, or their value has decreased substantially, you might be able to lower your coverage and save money.
Tip 5: Consolidate your insurance policies.
If you’re looking to save money on your homeowners’ insurance premium, consolidating various insurance policies could be the answer. Ask your insurance provider what other insurance products they sell, and how much you might save by buying more than one product, such as homeowners and auto. Not only is there a good chance you’ll get a reduced rate on both policies, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of paying just one bill.
Tip 6: Analyze your credit report.
Now you have one more reason to review your credit report for accuracy on an annual basis. Believing that a poor credit history correlates to an increased insurance risk, it’s common for insurance companies to look at your credit report before quoting you a rate. The good news is, a superior credit history could reward you with lower than average premiums.
As you can see, there are many easy ways to reduce your homeowners’ insurance premium without sacrificing coverage, and as we mentioned a home security system is one of the best. If you’d like to learn more about the many benefits of a home security system, click here.