Increase Your Deductible
As with auto insurance, homeowners insurance policies can have deductibles applied. The deductible is the amount of liability the policyholder has to meet instead (if the cost of damage is within the deductible amount) or as part of any claim on their insurance. By carrying the highest deductible you can afford you can reduce the cost of your insurance premium. This could be by as much as 25% as a result of increasing your deductible from $100 to $1000. Of course you will have to meet the first $1000 of any claim should the need arise.
Improve Your Home Security
Most insurance companies offer discounts for home safety features such as smoke detectors, burglar alarms, dead bolts, and fire extinguishers. It is also of benefit to live in a Neighborhood Watch Area. Homes with a fire and burglar alarm system hooked up to a third-party monitoring company receive higher discounts than homes with a simple bell alarm.
Insuring two or more vehicles with the same insurance company can save you 10 – 15% on your premiums. If you cover your homeowners insurance and auto insurance together, you can reduce your premiums by another 10 – 15%.
Before buying a home, consider its construction type. A concrete block and steel home (CBS) usually costs less to insure than a wood frame house.
Where you Live
Country dwellers can generally expect to pay higher insurance premiums than those who live in towns. There is usually a longer distance between the home and the nearest fire station. If this is more than five miles and if your home is also more than 1000 feet from the nearest hydrant, this will probably result in higher insurance premiums.
If you live or are thinking of moving to a hurricane prone area you will need to get a quote for both windstorm and flood cover if you can. Many insurance companies will not offer such cover. If you can find it installing hurricane shutters should result in a discount on your premium.
Claims Free Record And Renewal Discounts
If you have not had a claim under your policy during the past 3 – 5 consecutive years, you could receive up to a 15% discount, depending on the insurance company. Most companies will discount your premium once your policy has been in force for 3 straight years. Check with your insurer to see what no claims discount is in place. If you are seeking a new quote always check the no claims discount you can receive, and over what period.
Mortgage Free Discounts
Some insurance companies target people who have paid off their mortgage and offer them premium discounts of up to 5%. Make sure there is no claw back on no claims or other discount when considering such offers.
New And Renovated Home Discounts
A majority of insurance companies offer a discount for new homes, and you may qualify if your home was built in the last 10 – 15 years. A recently renovated home also costs less to insure. If you have just bought or are buying a house it is worth checking when the last major electrical, heating and plumbing update was completed on the home. This information could get you a discount with your insurer.
Non-Smokers And Early Retiree Discounts
Some companies will offer a non-smokers discount of up to 15%. To qualify you must be a non-smoker and not permit smoking in the home by anyone at any time. Retirees or senior citizens are usually offered discounts as they generally spend more time at home and are less likely to be affected by fire or break in.
Live-In House Keeper
Some insurers offer up to a 2% premium credit if you have a live-in employee as this is regarded as reducing the risk of burglary.
The above tips give some guidance on how you might reduce your homeowners insurance costs. Make sure you get the discounts you can, but don’t expect your insurer to have a ‘tick box’ discount list, giving 10% for a non-smoker, adding another 10% for no claims, another 15% for new home, another 15% for monitored alarm, and then another 10% because you are a retiree. It does not work like that. Remember also, the cheapest deal is not always the best, and a known and trusted insurance company that have always given reliable service at a fair price might not be worth leaving for a saving of $25 or even $50 a year!