The old adage, "every penny saved, is a penny earned" can easily be applied to your homeowner’s insurance policy. Many people obtain homeowners insurance when they purchase a home and never look back, forgetting that their premium is not set in stone. With the right know-how and a little effort, reducing your premium for big annual savings may be easier than you think.
- Make Your House a Safer Place to Live.
Insurance companies give brownie points to homeowners with extra security features, such as an alarm system, storm shutters, new or reinforced roof, modernized plumbing and electrical systems. Features that help reduce the risk of theft, water, earthquake and fire damage can lower your insurance premium.
- Raise Your Deductible.
According to MSN Money, just by raising your deductible from $250 to $500, you may see an average premium decrease of 12%, and 24% if you raise your deductible to $1,000. Not everyone can afford a $1,000 or $2,500 deductible, but if you can, it will save you money.
- Combine Policies.
Most insurance companies offer combined-policy discounts. If you have your auto and homeowner’s insurance policies under one umbrella company, you can save an average of 5% to 10% a year, depending on the carrier. Add life, health or disability insurance, and you can save even more.
- Shop Around.
Get quotes from a minimum of three carriers to ensure the best price and coverage. Online quotes can save you time and money, but when it's time to go over the details, discuss your options with an insurance agent who can make recommendations and provide solutions that may not be available online. Make sure your quotes offer similar coverage for an apples-to-apples comparison.
- Stop Smoking.
Thousands of house fires are started each year because of smoking. Insurance carriers often reduce premiums if there are no smokers in the house. You'll probably get a break in health care costs as well.
- Notify Your Insurance Company of Favorable Changes.
If you've removed a trampoline, added extra security and safety features to your home or realized a pricey item no longer has the same value, contact your insurance company and provide pictures and evidence documenting the change. Even better, contact your insurance company before you make the change to find out which types of changes, improvements and products provide the highest discounts.
- Home Buying Tip: Get a Quote Immediately After Your Offer is Accepted.
In case the home you would like to purchase is on an earthquake fault line, in a hazardous fire zone or has had multiple claims over the last five years, you should get a few homeowners insurance quotes as soon as your offer has been accepted. You need to make sure your potential new home is insurable before you commit to buying it.