While homeowner’s insurance is something that you certainly do not want to skimp out on, the reality is that you can keep the cost of your insurance down while still having the coverage you need. To help lower the cost of your homeowner’s insurance, try keeping these five tips in mind.
Tip #1: Comparison Shop
While it may take you some time, it is certainly worth the effort to do some comparison shopping. Be sure to consider rates as well as the quality of service. Your research should include asking people you know for recommendations, check with the state about any complaints that have been filed and checking on the financial stability of the company through rating companies such as A.M. Best and Standard & Poors. Go through this process every couple of years to ensure you are still getting the best bang for your buck possible, and don’t be afraid to ask your current company what they can do to lower your prices.
Tip #2: Group Your Policies
Purchasing your homeowner’s insurance through the same company where you purchase your vehicle insurance can often help you get a deduction on your overall insurance cost. Therefore, as you are shopping and looking at your options, be sure to inquire about potential deductions by bundling your homeowner’s insurance with other forms of insurance.
Tip #3: Make Changes to Your Home
Making certain changes to your home can often help you become eligible for certain deductions to your insurance cost. Adding storm shutters, buying stronger roofing materials, reinforcing your roof and retrofitting your home to be better able to withstand earthquakes are all ways that you can make it more disaster-resistant, which may help you qualify for certain discounts. The same is true if you reduce the risk of fire and water damage by modernizing your plumbing, heating and electrical systems.
Making improvements to your security with the addition of features such as a burglar alarm, smoke detector or dead-bolts may also help you reduce your insurance cost. Before making any of these changes, however, be sure to contact your insurance company to find out whether or not they will actually reduce your insurance cost.
Tip #4: Maintain Good Credit
A growing number of insurance companies are using credit information to help with determining insurance costs. In most states, insurers are required to advise you if your credit history is being taken into consideration when determining your insurance cost, but it is generally a good practice to maintain as good of a credit rating as possible. Be sure to verify the accuracy of your credit information and keep your credit balances as low as possible in order to have the best credit rating.
Tip #5: Increase Your Deductible
Your deductible is the amount that you pay out of pocket when you file an insurance claim. One simple way to decrease your monthly premiums is to increase the amount of the deductible. While this will leave you to swallow a greater amount of the cost if you do have to file a claim, it can help you save a significant amount every month on your insurance costs.