10 Simple Ways to Reduce Homeowner Insurance Premiums
Finding the best rates for homeowner insurance can be confusing and time-consuming. The rates and coverages can vary widely from one provider to the next. The premiums may differ in cost by hundreds of dollars, depending on the company you choose.
If you’re looking for ways to reduce homeowner insurance premiums, we offer the following tips to help you get the best coverage at an affordable rate.
Things You Can Do to Lower Your Insurance Premiums
You work hard to pay for your home so your family can enjoy the comfort and security they deserve. Protecting the home with homeowner insurance is the best way to ensure that the property can be repaired or replaced in the event of damage from fire, weather, or other catastrophes.
But, paying for the protection doesn’t have to be a burden. Here are some things you can do to reduce homeowner insurance premiums and still get the level of coverage you need.
- Only Pay for What You Need
When comparing rates for homeowner’s insurance, you don’t need to include the value of the land under your house. The land is not susceptible to the same perils as the house, so there is no need to add it to the value of the home. Doing so only results in increasing the annual premium.
- Raise Your Deductible
As with all insurance, the deductible is the amount you must pay toward a loss. The higher the deductible, the more money you save on premiums. For instance, most insurance companies recommend a deductible of at least 0. But, if you can afford to increase it to $1,000, you could save about 25 percent on premiums.
- Bundle Home and Auto Insurance
Many homeowners find that bundling their home and auto insurance with the same company helps reduce their premiums. Typically, they save from 5 to 15 percent on premiums, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Talk to the insurance companies to find out if they offer discounts for buying more than one type of policy.
- Shop Around and Look for Discounts
It’s surprising how the rates for insurance can vary depending on the company. But, today’s technology helps homeowners compare rates and get quotes from several companies. Tools on the company’s websites are designed to help you find the best rates. You can also ask an independent agent or broker to compare rates and help you make the right choice.
Furthermore, many insurers offer discounts that you may not be aware of. For instance, you may receive discounts if you:
- Don’t allow smoking in your home
- Make payments via automatic draft
- Choose paperless billing
- Recently purchased the home
- Work as a teacher, firefighter, or engineer
So, don’t hesitate to ask about these or other incentives that help reduce homeowner insurance premiums.
- Make Your Home More Disaster Resistant
Natural disasters can cause costly damage to your home no matter how new or old it may be. Windstorms, hail, floods, and other natural occurrences will cause less damage if you add storm shutters, reinforce the roof, or retrofit the home to better withstand earthquakes, you will help reduce homeowner insurance premiums significantly.
- Improve Home Security
Many insurers offer discounts of about 5 percent for certain security features such as burglar alarms, smoke detectors, or dead-bolt locks. You may also cut your premium by about 15 to 20 percent by installing a sprinkler system and fire and burglar alarms that alert the appropriate responders. Talk to the insurer to learn what types of security features they recommend. Then, compare the cost of the system to the amount of money it would help you save.
- Eliminate High-Risk Items
Outdoor items such as swimming pools, trampolines, or playground equipment are referred to as “attractive nuisances” by insurers. The items can increase your homeowners premium for several reasons. If a neighboring adult or child is injured on the equipment, you can be held legally responsible. Because of this liability risk, your insurance premiums will be higher.
- Maintain Good Credit
A low credit score may cause your insurance premiums to be higher. Most states use a credit-based score to determine insurance rates. For instance, a FICO score under 630 will result in higher insurance rates. Keep a check on your credit score, pay bills on time, and reduce credit card balances to help reduce homeowner’s insurance premiums.
- Review the Policy Once a Year
Throughout the year, you may have done some home improvements or purchased some expensive items that need to be covered by your insurance. Also, some items that are already covered may have changed in value, so you should review the policy yearly to make any necessary adjustments that could lower your premiums.
- Other Considerations
Other things that can reduce homeowner insurance premiums may not be well-known. For example, you can cut insurance premiums by buying a home near a fire hydrant or in a community that has a professional rather than a volunteer fire department.
Also, if your plumbing and electrical systems are less than 10 years old, your insurance premiums may be lower. The location and type of home can also affect your premiums. In windy regions, a brick home is more wind-resistant, which can help reduce insurance rates. If you live in an earthquake zone, wood frame homes withstand this type of disaster better. Knowing these tips can help reduce your homeowner insurance premiums by 5 to 15 percent.
You’ll also want to consider the rebuilding or replacement costs which can be significantly higher than what your home is worth. You may have to pay more for this coverage, but you want to be sure you can replace your home without too many out-of-pocket expenses.
Trust Sandifer for All of Your Insurance Needs
Sandifer Insurance has provided affordable, trustworthy insurance coverage for residents in Cheraw, SC, and surrounding areas for over 40 years. Whatever your insurance needs, contact us today to learn more about our services. We will be happy to provide a quote on a personalized policy that is right for your home, farm, automobile, business, or life insurance needs.