Saving time and money is a – number one – priority for many homeowners… between home repairs, bills and the like, owning a home can be an extensive, long-term endeavor.
One area that you can start saving time and money on immediately is your homeowners insurance policy. Over the last few decades, homeowners insurance rates have more than doubled! Luckily, there are a number of ways to lower the costs of your insurance premiums and save you money.
1. Shop Around
It should go without saying, shopping around for the right homeowners insurance policy can help save a tremendous amount of money. Not all insurance policies are the same, so it’s best to set aside some time to do your research.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (www.naic.org), has a wide array of information on major insurers including typical rates charged and customer complaints.
While trying to save as much money as possible is great, price should not be the only factor in your decision. Be sure to check consumer reviews, guides and speak with multiple insurance agents to ensure you’ll be in good hands.
#2. Look for Discounts
When you’re speaking with an insurance agent, be sure to ask about discounts. Many companies will have different discounts depending on the state in which you live. You may even be eligible for discounts based on your profession or employer, don’t be afraid to ask your insurance agent!
#3. Bundle your Insurance Policies
If you’re dealing with more than one insurance policy, there can be a variety of benefits for having the same insurer handle multiple policies. For example, by having your auto insurance policy AND your homeowners insurance policy handled by the same insurer, you’ll more than likely be eligible for discount programs they may offer.
At the time of setting up your homeowners insurance policy, be sure to ask your agent about their other insurance offers and get a quote for all that you may need… this will help ensure you’re getting the best rates.
#4. Increase your deductibles
Deductibles are money that is paid out of pocket before the insurance company starts to pay for a claim. The higher the deductible is set, the more money you’re going to be saving. Many insurance companies have different deductibles depending on the type of damage that can occur to your home. Discuss viable options with your insurance agent to keep your deductibles within reason and ensure your home can be covered thoroughly.
#5. Pay the Bill in full
Many insurance companies will have additional fees for having a monthly payment installment. By paying the bill in full at the start of your first cycle, you can avoid these fees and save money in the long-run.
#6. Good Credit = Lower Premiums
Your credit score will always be checked by insurance. They do this to determine your “risk-factor” and to set a price for your policy. Working towards improving and maintaining a clean credit score can help you not only save money for insurance but, can help for a plethora of other credit-related situations.
#7. Stay Loyal to your Insurer
Most insurance companies will offer discounts for long-term customers. If you keep your policy for several years, you may be eligible to receive a special discount for your long-term coverage. You’ll still want compare and be sure your rates with the discount are better than any other company’s policies.
#8. Don’t pay to insure land
Simply put, you want to insure your home and the items in it… not necessarily the land. Ask your insurance agent if the land is covered under your policy, if so, consider dropping it. The land will be fine in most cases, the insurance should be put to work where it’s needed most, like all of the valuable stuff in your home.
#9. Fortify your home and prevent possible damage
Simple preventative measures can be taken to reduce your premiums. For many reasons, outside forces can impact your home and cause damage, simply steps can help in making sure this is less than likely.
- Remove excess brush and trim trees – wildlife and nature can play a toll on any home
- Remove old structures on the property – old structures aren’t worth higher premiums
- Improve your home security – protect your home from damage and break-ins
- Reduce chance of flooding – standard homeowners insurance does not cover flooding.