A tightening economy forces many homeowners to look for ways to cut monthly costs. While homeowners insurance is a necessity to protect the value of your assets, there are various ways to adjust your policy that allow you to pay lower premiums. Here’s a take at the most effective strategies to save money on homeowners insurance.
Don’t skimp but do look around at different plans
When you decide you want to buy a home, plan on researching diligently while you search for the right insurance policy. Don’t just settle for the first link you find online. It’s better to spend more time developing a list of candidates than do a comparative analysis on coverage and costs.
It pays to analyze multiple insurance plans, especially with homeowners insurance. Each insurance company sets its rates based on its criteria. Some insurers are more pet-friendly than others, and many view certain dogs as high risk. The more risks an insurer assigns to your lifestyle, the more you’ll pay in monthly costs. Consider your insurance needs, then find the firm that delivers the coverage you’re looking for within your budget.
Raise your deductible
One of the most basic ways to lower your monthly home insurance premium is to raise your deductible. This means you’ll be paying more out of pocket when you file a claim before the policy covers the rest. Meanwhile, you’ll enjoy lower monthly costs without sacrificing long-term benefits.
Purchase your policies from the same provider
Another technique for lowering insurance costs is buying from an insurer that bundles different insurance plans together. Many insurers sell a wide range of coverage plans, so it’s fairly simple to find one that offers home, auto, medical and other types of insurance.
Make your home more disaster-resistant
No home is completely immune from natural disasters, no matter how well it’s built. Flooding and earthquakes, for example, can do massive damage, especially to older structures. That’s why a standard homeowners insurance plan usually doesn’t cover flooding or earthquakes. However, you can still get both types of coverage as add-on endorsements.
The more you modernize your home to be more disaster-resistant, the better chances you may convince your insurer to lower your rates. Installing shatterproof glass is one way to protect against heavy storm damage. Replacing old wires and electric fixtures will help reduce the risk of an accidental fire. If you live in an earthquake zone, consider investing in upgrading your home to resist seismic activity.
Never confuse what you paid for your house with its rebuilding expenses
Remember when you file a claim that you will be reimbursed based on the costs of restoring your home, not its current market value. So if your home burns down in a fire, your settlement will pay to build a new home, which is affected by current material and labor costs. The land value does not factor into this equation.
Find out if you qualify for a discount on home security devices
Talk with your insurer to determine if the agency provides discounts for lowering crime risks, such as installing a home security system. Alarms and surveillance cameras help deter crime and signal you care about taking proactive measures. Not only can security devices connect with local law enforcement, but the mere existence of these systems can also deter criminals from trespassing on your property.
Seek out other discounts
Home insurance discounts are possible simply by asking your insurance agent about them. Insurers typically don’t promote discounts in their marketing, so you need to initiate the conversation. Your insurance agent may know of multiple discounts. Find out if you can get a lower rate when you turn 55 or retire. Another potential discount may accompany upgrading your plumbing system.
Look into group coverage
Group coverage is another option for lowering homeowners insurance rates. Check with your employers to see if they offer group plans on homeowners insurance. Various professional organizations offer group plans at lower-than-normal prices.
Try to maintain the same insurance provider
Maintaining the same insurance agency over many years is another way to lower your rate. Since the insurance business is so competitive, insurers look for ways to reward loyal, long-term customers. The cost of acquiring new customers cuts into profits, whereas the more customers an insurer retains, the more economically sustainable it will be.
Review the value of your possessions and your policy limits annually
Protecting the value of your personal possessions should be a priority if you own expensive assets. Many homeowners often assume that the standard homeowners’ plan is a turn-key solution for all perils when it’s not. Your policy will state disasters that it covers and may mention exclusions. In order to know exactly what your policy covers, it’s best to review it thoroughly with your insurer.
By reviewing your policy on an annual basis, you’ll be able to update your coverage for changes that might occur in your assets. It’s helpful to take inventory and make a comprehensive list of your possessions that you expect to be covered by your homeowners’ insurance.
Your insurer can identify which items are or aren’t covered by the plan. From there, you can customize your policy with add-on coverage and adjust coverage limits.
Use this guide to help lower your homeowners’ insurance rates. Figure out which strategies work best for your budget, then take action. Contact our experts at J. Archer Insurance Group to learn more about getting the most out of insurance coverage at affordable costs. We’ll help you save money and secure the coverage you need.