If you own a home, chances are it is your most valuable asset. You want to make sure it’s protected against loss. If you have a mortgage, you are required by your lender to have insurance. If you own your home outright, you want to make sure to have insurance to cover any type of event that would cover you if a major repair is necessary or if your home is declared a total loss after a natural disaster, fire, or another catastrophic event.
Here are eight ways you can save money on your homeowner’s insurance:
- Shop around – Make sure that you get comparisons on your homeowner’s insurance policy. Make sure you get an apples-to-apples comparison with coverage limits and deductibles the same for every quote you get.
- Understand the coverage limits and deductibles – You should make sure that you understand every single item related to your insurance policy before you settle in on a policy or renew your existing policy. Go line by line and make sure you can explain what every item and every amount means. If you can’t, do your homework!
- Combine your policies – If you have auto insurance or life insurance, you can often save money on all of your policies by using one insurance carrier. I use Allstate and this saves us 30% on both policies.
- Raise your deductible – If you need to file a claim, you’ll need to pay the deductible before the insurance kicks in. Raising the amount can save you a significant portion of your insurance, especially considering that most years will see you not filing a claim. Just make sure you have the funds available to pay the deductible in the event that a situation arises where this comes into play.
- Install an alarm system – One of the most common claims is that resulting from theft. A good alarm will deter many would-be burglars, and your insurance company should reflect this in your premium.
- Have a relationship with your insurance agent – My agent and I know each other. We’re not golf buddies, but if I call, he can easily remember me. If he/she knows you personally, you have a better chance of receiving better service. My agent called me out of the blue offering a policy change that increased our coverage while lowering our premiums. I don’t think he would have done so had I not ‘checked in’ with him every few months.
- Move – OK, this one isn’t possible for most, but I write it so that you consider the fact that your location will affect your rates. If you live in a city where break-ins have gone up, chances are your premiums will go up accordingly. If you’re thinking of moving to a low-cost area, just understand that a good portion of your savings could potentially be offset if the insurance company deems this a risky area.
- Pay your premiums up front – Most insurance companies will allow you to pay your premiums every month, but they’ll charge you a service fee for doing so. If you pay the entire premium up front (usually for 12 months), you can avoid this installment fee. Don’t worry, you’re not locked in to your premium. If you move or change carriers, your insurance company will issue you a refund for the unused portion.
Thank you for reading.