Over time, the average price of items increases. this can apply to your homeowners insurance, just like any other good or service. Over the last decade, homeowners insurance has increased an average of 50% nationally. This happens because as your home and property increase in value, the cost to repair or replace it also increases. insurance companies must meet these rising costs and that may be why your premium goes up.
By modifying your policy and making some long-term investments, you can keep your insurance costs under control. Before you make any changes to your homeowners policy, be sure to check with your insurance agent to make sure your changes won’t compromise your deductible. Call one of our insurance advisors at (844) 522-0543 to see how much we can help you save.
ways to save on home insurance
1. increase the deductible.
Increasing your deductible can have an immediate impact on your insurance costs. A higher deductible will result in a lower premium because you will have to pay more out of pocket when a claim is filed. If you decide to increase your deductible, be realistic. You don’t want to find yourself unable to pay for a critical repair because you can’t meet the cost of your deductible.
read more: do I have to have a $1000 homeowners insurance deductible?
2. reinforce your home.
Investments like adding storm shutters, reinforcing your roof, retrofitting an older home to withstand earthquakes, and upgrading your utilities can lower your insurance costs. these improvements minimize the risk of fire and water damage. If you live in hurricane territory, you may qualify for discounts through wind mitigation upgrades. this may include adding water barriers by sealing the roof deck; reinforce and anchor your roof, floor and walls; add approved gable ends; and installation of hurricane resistant doors and garage doors. Initial costs can be high, but long-term investment can lower your insurance costs. these improvements will also make your home safer.
3. reduce the risk of flooding.
Flood damage is the number one insurance claim in the United States. If you are in a high-risk flood zone, there are steps you can take to lower your insurance premium. You may be able to lower your insurance costs by installing proper flood openings, raising your utilities above ground level, and elevating your home. If you live in a low to moderate risk area, consider adding flood insurance. while this may initially cost you more, you will be protected from flood damage. Your homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover flood damage, so adding flood insurance could save you thousands of dollars down the road. The average cost of flood repair is about $30,000!
4. look for discounts.
When shopping for insurance, ask a licensed insurance agent about discounts. Just like car insurance, there are various discounts available ranging from the customer loyalty program to combining your policies to enjoy a claim-free history. It never hurts to ask – call our insurance advisors today at (844) 522-0543.
5. remove unnecessary coverage.
Evaluate your policy and drop any coverage you no longer need. however, always make sure your coverage is sufficient to replace the structure(s) and contents of your home. saving a few bucks by lowering your coverage can cost you a lot more if your home is damaged and you need to rebuild it from scratch. talk to an insurance agent about the costs of rebuilding your home. In the event of major damage, you’ll want to have enough coverage to rebuild your home. If you don’t have enough coverage, you’ll have to pay out of pocket to rebuild your home, and that could be extremely expensive.
It’s also a good idea to do a home inventory. In the event something happens to your home, you’ll want to know what things need to be replaced and how much they’re worth. Once you create a home inventory, store it in a safe place like one of these home inventory apps. Everyone’s situation is different and your homeowners insurance policy will reflect that, so speaking with an agent is always the best option.
6. delete old structures.
If you have other buildings on your property, you’re probably paying for them on your policy. consider removing your dilapidated shed to save money on your premium.
7. group your policies
bundling your insurance policies can save you some money. check with your agent about moving all your other policies to the same company as your homeowners insurance. Most insurance companies offer rewards to customers who have multiple policies.
8. decide carefully about making claims.
Claims can increase your premium. a large number of claims could cause insurance companies to view you as a high-risk client. depending on your provider, you could even face cancellation for filing too many claims. If it’s a small claim that you can pay out of pocket, it could save you money in the long run by paying it yourself.
9. excludes land value.
Check with your agent to see if your land is covered by your insurance. if so, consider leaving it. You are more likely to need coverage for your home, contents and other structures on your property than for the actual land. however, talk to your agent before canceling anything.
could you be saving more on your home insurance? Discuss your options with an insuramatch advisor today at (844) 522-0543.
or request a quote online:
10. remove weeds and trim trees around your house.
For those who live in wildfire-prone areas, removing natural fuels and creating voids around your property will reduce your wildfire risks and your insurance payments. fell any trees that are dead or dying. they can fall and do a lot of damage too.
11. improve home security.
Adding hardwired smoke detectors, burglar alarms, and deadbolts to your home can save you some money. check with your insurance agent first to make sure this will lower your premium.
12. choose your dog’s breed carefully.
Some dog breeds have a reputation for being aggressive. Some insurance companies have a list of dog breeds that will increase your homeowners insurance premium. Sometimes an insurance company may deny you insurance coverage because of your dog’s breed. a docile, family-friendly breed of dog won’t necessarily lower your insurance costs, but it’s less likely to increase them. if you’re considering an exotic pet (like a snake), make sure your policy covers it!
13. toys and other safety hazards.
cpsc estimates that in 2014 there were 104,691 emergency room visits associated with trampolines. Trampolines, tree houses, swimming pools, and other items can increase their owners’ premiums. Worse yet, your policy may not cover these items at all. check your policy. If your insurance company is charging you more because you have a trampoline or pool, you can save some money (and injuries) by getting rid of them. they are a great responsibility! If you have a pool and you don’t want to get rid of it, make sure there is a fence around the pool to reduce the chance of someone accidentally falling in.
14. improve your credit score.
Your insurance company looks at your credit score. If you have bad credit, your premiums will be higher because your insurance company sees you as a high-risk customer. clean up your credit by lowering your debt-to-income ratio and pay credit card bills. taking care of your personal finances is important, consult these resources.
15. Shopping around.
See also: Does home insurance cover hail damage?
It’s worth looking into insurance every few years, but be careful. Not all insurance policies are the same. be wary of insurance companies that offer you reduced rates but aren’t sure how the policy will be different from the one you have now. While you may be able to save a little, you may not have enough home insurance to cover you in the event of a major disaster. Also, ask about the length of coverage. Sometimes you may think you’re getting a great rate, but it’s actually a six-month policy and not an annual one.
Want to shop around with the help of an expert? Call one of our insurance advisors at (844) 522-0543 or request a homeowners insurance quote online. we can help you compare coverage and save.
16. know those clauses, the terms and conditions and the exclusions.
The cost of your policy is affected by what is covered and what is not included. For example, an insurance company may be less expensive because it doesn’t cover anything to do with pets. While this isn’t good for pet owners, it might be fine for homeowners without pets. Knowing the ins and outs of your coverage can help you save money and choose the right insurer for your needs.
A common misconception among homeowners is that flooding is covered by their homeowners insurance policy. homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage! It is important to obtain a flood insurance policy to help protect against flood damage. floods can happen anywhere, not just along the coast. Most flood claims cost thousands of dollars, and without a policy, you could pay for the damage yourself.
17. distance from emergency services.
Insurance companies may offer premium discounts for homes in close proximity to fire hydrants, fire stations, and emergency services. If your house catches on fire, a fire department half a mile away will probably get there faster than one 12 miles away. You can advocate for better emergency services, including asking your city to install a fire hydrant if you live near a public water main and there isn’t one near you.
18. pay your bill in full.
Most insurance companies charge you fees for making monthly insurance payments. paying in full at the beginning of the billing cycle can help you save on your premium.
Although insurance costs may be rising, there are ways to lower your premium. Knowing your options is the first step to saving on your home insurance. Talking to your insurance agent is also important when it comes to lowering your insurance costs. An agent will know what coverage you need and don’t need and will be aware of insurance discounts you may qualify for. Because insurance is specific to the policyholder, your insurance agent can help you get the best insurance for you.