Insurance Smarts: Saving Money on Your Homeowners Insurance

Monday, August 18, 2014, AM | Leave Comment

Owning a home is part of the American dream. What they don’t explain is the costs that come along with home ownership. From utility bills to homeowners association fees there is a lot that comes with your house tab. Here are some ways to save money on one essential homeowner cost: insurance.

Insurance-Smarts

Image Source: Flickr

  • Shop Around

    Insurance policies are fairly standardized: an insurer cannot sell a policy at a drastically different price than their competitors. However, this doesn’t mean you should settle for the first company you find, quite the opposite.

    The way to save money on insurance costs is to find a company that offers the best deals and discounts for the policy you need. Talk to an agent or broker about finding an insurer that will take these discounts or insurance credits out of your homeowner’s policy:

    • Increased Deductible: Increasing your deductible (the amount you pay out of pocket in the event of an accident or theft) can save you money on your monthly premium. You should not increase your deductible to the point that you would not be able to make the payment in the case of an accident, but upping the deductible just a little can help you save big.

    • Age: If you or your spouse are over the age of 55 and/or retired that may help you manage your homeowner’s insurance costs. You may qualify for a mature insured credit if you are a senior citizen and your home is your primary residence.

    • Homeowners Association Membership: Homeowners associations offer security and a sense of community. Membership also makes you eligible for insurance discounts. The security offered by a good HOA factors into your costs, reducing your premiums.

    • Good Insurance History: Your claims history can have a huge impact on your insurance costs. If you have no previous claims, your homeowner’s insurance costs may be decreased by as much as 20%.

  • Make Improvements

    Improving your home’s safety or security can reduce your insurance costs. Consider taking these measures:

    • Replace old wiring. Damaged wires increase the risk of electric shock and house fires.

    • Improve your security system. The safer your home is from theft and vandalism, the lower your insurance premiums. Consider adding cameras, motion detecting lights, and improved fencing.

    • Have a home inspection. Proving your home is free of safety and health hazards can have a positive effect on your homeowner’s insurance.

    • Renovate. New cars have higher insurance costs, but houses are different. Newly renovated houses have fewer safety issues than older ones, which affects homeowners insurance.

    • Improve your roofing. Solid roofing protects from many weather-related problems and, by extension, decreases your insurance premiums.

  • There are time limits on many liability issues and insurance credits, so you may want to consult with legal counsel or your insurance provider regarding the benefits these improvements may have and how much time you have to complete them (source: Bronson Jones & Co., an ICBC Lawyer firm in Vancouver).

  • Bundle

    Combining several insurance policies can save you money on each one. Once you’ve found an insurer you like, talk to your agent about bundling your policies.

    Common combinations include home and car packages, multiple vehicles, or a boat or RV and your home. The more you can combine with your homeowner’s policy, the lower your overall costs will be.

Homeowner’s insurance protects you and your family from everything from natural disasters to theft. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay an arm and a leg for it. Use these tips to reduce your premium costs without decreasing your protection.

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