Homeowner How-To’s: Save Money on Home Insurance

There are a few things in life that you hope you never have to use but you’re willing to pay for year after year, and homeowner’s insurance is one of them. The cost of homeowner’s insurance varies by state, ranging anywhere from $500-$2000 per year. No matter where you live or how much you currently pay, you can use these tips to save money on your homeowner’s insurance. photodune-10773508-handyman-repairing-smoke-detector-s.jpg

Focus on Safety

Keeping a baseball bat next to your bed and your burly neighbor’s number on speed dial may make you feel safe, but it’s not going to save you any money. However, homeowners who use professionally installed security systems, working smoke alarms and alert systems designed to get help quickly can save big when they shop for homeowner’s insurance.

The insurance business is all about mitigating risks, and when you’re proactive about keeping you and your home safe, you may qualify for credits, discounts and lower insurance rates. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, for example, installing an impact-resistant roof and hurricane shutters can save you on insurance costs.

Think Before You Claim:

You may think you’re just using what you pay for when you have your insurance company pay for minor issues and damage around the home, but it could actually be costing you money. The insurance industry is rapidly hopping on the claims-free credit bandwagon, and it’s a good thing for homeowners.

Though the terms may differ among companies, most companies that are participating offer discounts of up to 20% on the annual premium for homeowners who have not made a claim in 10 years. Make sure you research and take advantage of any applicable discounts your insurance company offers.

Call Your Insurance Agent:

Much like mortgage rates, insurance rates change frequently. Actuaries are constantly reassessing neighborhoods, and as they change to set new rates, your credit score may have gone up since you first took out the insurance. Alternatively, the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) might now be involved in the underwriting. Whatever the reason for a rate change, it happens, and sometimes the change is in your favor.

The bottom line is, you should never just pay your bill on auto-pilot. Schedule time to call and check in with your insurance agent periodically to see if you’re paying more than you need to. If your agent doesn’t provide any opportunity for savings, you can actually try re-applying as a new policyholder with the same company to take advantage of any promotional rates they have in place, or you can tell them you’re thinking about changing companies to see if they’d be willing to cut your rates to keep your business. You may be surprised at the results!

Bundle Up:

Homeowners who use different companies for their insurance policies might be paying too much. By bundling your recreational vehicle, car and other property insurance policies with the same company, you’ll enjoy steep discounts of as much as 30% across all policies. Be sure to get quotes for bundling from your currently homeowner’s insurance company as well as your auto insurance company so you can pick the best option.

Use these tips to start saving money today!

 

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