If you've watched the news over the past few years, you know that more and more home insurers are pulling out of coastal communities and that across the nation homeowners insurance rates are rising. Unlike auto insurance, the typical term for homeowners insurance is an entire year. As well, it's a bit more difficult to change home insurers, though it's certainly not impossible. Even so, it is possible to reduce what you spend on this vital coverage.
Here are some suggestions:
- Shop Online: Just as with auto insurance you can save a lot of money on a new home policy by shopping online. This will allow you to easily compare multiple companies, and cut down the time you spend looking for coverage. Shopping online is one of the fastest ways to narrow down which companies offer cheap home insurance. Reputable companies will still have a live person available to answer your questions, even if you do the initial application online.
- Raise Your Deductible: The higher your deductible, the lower your actual premium. If you have the cash on hand to cover your deductible in the event of a claim, consider increasing your deductible - it can net you a savings of 15-30 percent.
- Pay Attention to Home Maintenance Recommendations: Basic home repairs and maintenance can reduce the way your insurance company perceives risk, so consider simple things like adding storm shutters, reinforcing your roof or retrofitting your home to make it more earthquake resistant, and then let your insurance agent know about the changes. Likewise, upgrading the systems in your house - especially the plumbing, heating, and electrical work - can reduce the risk of damage from fire and water, and may also save you some cash when you make your insurance company aware of the changes. Companies are more likely to offer cheap home insurance with an updated house than a home that has not been updated.
- Boost Your Home Security: Most insurers will give you a discount of at least five percent when you install a smoke detector, burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks. If your alarm system is also monitored, you may be able to save even more, and some companies will increase your savings if you also have a sprinkler system installed to help douse a fire should there be one. Most of the better systems are fairly expensive, so check with your insurance company before spending your money, to be sure they approve the brand and style.
- Bundle Your Coverage: If your home and auto insurance already come from the same company, good for you! You're likely getting a significant discount on one or both policies. You can also save money by purchasing your life insurance policy from the same company as your homeowners insurance, even if your auto insurance is with a company that only sells auto coverage.
These five suggestions are just a few of the ways you can cut costs on homeowners insurance coverage without compromising your family's safety or security. When renewal time approaches, be sure to ask your insurance agent about any other discounts that may apply to you.