Thursday, February 26, 2015, AM | 2 Comments
If you have been on the search for ways to cut your monthly spending, one option you may have overlooked is reducing your homeowners insurance. Many families are paying much more than they need to for their coverage because they are unaware of the simple steps that they can take to ensure that their home is as safe and secure as possible.
Use a Qualified Inspector
Any time that a home is being purchased, buyers should hire a third-party inspector to take a look at everything from the foundation of the home and roofing to the HVAC system and the wiring.
What separates a good home inspector from a great home inspector, however, is an individual that will tell the prospective buyers what issues will increase the premiums of their homeowners policy.
High insurance costs may be avoided altogether by finding a qualified and experienced home inspector that will give you realistic expectations on what must be changed.
Choose Your Insurance Provider Carefully
Different companies obviously will offer different rates, so shop around rather than taking the first quote that you get.
Institutions such as state insurance departments and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners are great places to research local insurance companies.
Check out if your prospective insurers have online customer complaints, and even ask these companies directly about any issue mentioned on the web.
Improve Your Security
When insurance providers are determining how much a customer will pay in premiums, one of the biggest factors is the security of the home.
Locks and floodlights are a good beginning, but most will want to consider improving their security with a more comprehensive system.
These systems are integrated into all rooms and entrances of the home and can be controlled with a simple touchscreen device or directly through one’s smartphone or desktop computer.
To see customer feedback on various features, check out NorthStar Alarm reviews or those of a provider in your particular area.
Newer systems are becoming more and more sophisticated as time goes by, with systems now integrating home automation features, smoke and CO2 sensors, CCTV systems, HVAC controls, and a host of other features.
The systems themselves are also much more affordable than they have been in the past, so a security system is no longer just for high income families.
If you haven’t taken a look at home security systems recently, you may be surprised at the versatility of features that have come to market.
Alter Your Deductible
The average deductible for a homeowners policy is generally in the range of $500 to $1,000, but homeowners can often save as much as $600 or more a year on premiums by raising their deductible to $2,000 or higher.
Those that own a home in an area that is not classified as “high risk” will generally want to pay out of pocket to keep their premiums low anyways.
By raising the deductible to $5,000 or higher, families could save thousands per year while still protecting their assets in the case of larger catastrophes such as a fire.
Separate Rebuilding Costs from Total Costs
There is one common mistake that many owners make when they determine the coverage that they will need for their home.
After purchasing a home for a certain price, owners may tell their insurance provider the price they spent instead of the rebuilding price.
The actual property that a home is built on does not need to be considered in the total amount of coverage, and this means that premiums can often be brought down.
Homeowners insurance may be a necessary monthly expense, but it is often one area that a family could be overpaying by thousands every single year when minor changes can bring down their premiums dramatically.
Anica Oaks is a Freelance writer and web enthusiast. Read some of her published work on her Google+ page.