Many factors go into determining how much you pay for your home insurance. The condition of your home, its location and even the breed of your dog are just some of the things that insurance companies take into consideration. At the end of the day, the math is quite simple – the more risks factors have, the higher your home insurance costs will be. But of course, no one wants to pay more than need be, which is why we’ve compiled a list of things you can do to help you pay less for your insurance. Here are seven ways to lower your home insurance costs.
1. Don’t Settle
There are a lot of insurance providers to choose from. Just because one offers you a high price, it doesn’t mean that the next one will too. Each company has its own way of assessing risks, which means that each company can review your situation differently.
The only way to know that you’re getting the best price for your circumstances is to look around. Compare as many quotes from different companies as you can to see which company can offer you the lowest price for the coverage you need. It is a little time-consuming, but you’ll be happy that you did it.
2. Increase Your Deductible Amount
The deductible is the amount that you’re required to pay towards a loss prior to your insurance company paying your claim. If you can’t pay the deductible for a claim, it won’t be processed and you won’t have cover.
For example, if your deductible is $500 and you get damage to your roof valued at $3000, you will receive a claims amount of $2500 from your insurance company. You’ll be liable to pay the $500 not covered by your insurance provider.
The lower the deductible, the higher your premiums will be. This is why choosing the right deductible is one of the best ways to lower home insurance costs.
In the example above, you could save on premiums by increasing your policy so your deductible would be $1000. Talk to your insurance provider about different options for deductibles on your policy. At the same time, don’t make the mistake of setting your deductible too high.
Since you’re responsible for the deductible, you need to be certain that the amount you agree on is one that you’ll be able to comfortably manage if you have to file a claim.
3. Consider Your Pets
As much as you love your dog, some insurance companies might penalize you for its breed. Unfortunately, if your dog is considered to be a dangerous or aggressive breed, it can be harder for you to find insurance.
Examples of such breeds commonly discriminated against include Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Bullmastiffs, Siberian Huskies, Chows, German Shepherds, Presa Canarios, Boxers and Great Danes. Based solely on your dog’s breed, some insurance companies may outright refuse to offer a home insurance policy with them.
Home insurance will normally cover you if your dog bites a visitor on your property. Home insurance providers look at data on the risks for different breeds. Flagged breeds typically have a somewhat higher risk portfolios.
However, if your dog is on the list, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all hope is lost. Some insurance companies are willing to offer you insurance, but typically at higher rates.
When you approach an insurance company, make sure that you have all the details of your pet (which should include its bread and history) ready at hand. If you’ve taken measures like routinely using a muzzle, or taken your pet to classes to change bad behavior, that could play in your favor. Other companies may require that you sign a liability waiver for dog bites so you can’t claim for them, in which case you can still take out a home insurance policy.
4. Keep Your Roof in Great Condition
The condition of your roof matters. Older roofs are usually worn out, meaning they aren’t able to protect your home against the elements as effectively as a newer roof can. Old roofs are prone to leaks, which can also cause damage to your home’s interior structures.
Consequently, insurance companies will typically offer lower rates to homeowners with newer roofs and people whose homes have older roofs will have to pay more. So, make sure that your roof is always well-maintained.
While you’re at it, take care of other parts of your house like adding storm shutters to your windows and reducing the risks of water and fire damage by keeping your plumbing, heating and electrical systems up to date.
Ask a company representative or insurance agent how you can make your home more resistant to natural disasters. Generally, the better you maintain your house, the lower your insurance will be. Just remember to speak to your insurance company whenever you make any improvements or repairs to your home so that you don’t miss out on any money-saving benefits that may come with the improvements.
5. Choose Your Location Wisely
If you’re still in the market for buying a house, try to choose a home that isn’t located in high-risk areas. The location of your house will how much you pay for your home insurance.
For example, if your home is either close to a fire hydrant or a professional (rather than volunteer) fire department, your insurance costs will be less compared to a house that isn’t near these facilities. This makes sense, because you have more protection in case of a fire to prevent extensive damages.
Low-crime areas are more favored by insurance companies as well. Neighborhoods that have increased security, such as 24-hour security guards, camera monitoring, and a neighborhood will be better.
6. Home Security and Protection Devices
Installing smoke detectors, burglar alarms, dead-bolt locks, sophisticated sprinkler systems, smart home technology systems, low-temperature detectors, video cameras, water leak sensors, and any other system that improves your home security will help to cut down insurance costs.
Since these systems are expensive, you should always speak to your insurance company first to find out if getting them installed can lower your premiums. Also find out which systems your insurance provider would most recommend based on your area and how much you’ll save on premiums.
7. Get Rid of What You Don’t Need
This is one of the easiest ways to lower home insurance costs. Some people make the mistake of getting more coverage than they need. At bare minimum, your policy should only cover your most important possessions.
Make it a point to annually review all the possessions under your policy and remove or reduce the cover for anything that has lost its value. The rule is simple – if you don’t need it, don’t pay for it. But be careful of underinsuring as well. You don’t want to cut back on valuable cover that you’ll need in an emergency.
Tip: Bundle Your Insurance
If you haven’t been taking advantage of this, you might be able to get some easy savings. Bundling your home and car insurance under the same company is a simple way to lower your insurance costs. Just make sure that the combined price is actually lower compared to how much it costs to buy the two coverages from separate companies.
Try these simple ways to lower home insurance costs. The best part is you’ll still get the coverage that you need. Insurance isn’t supposed to be a financial burden, so taking the time to find out ways you can cut down on costs will go a long way.
As time goes by, your situation may also change and it’s key that you constantly speak to your insurer to make sure that you’re getting all the discounts that you qualify for. If you’re looking for home insurance for the first time, the most important thing you can do to lower your costs is to figure out what your risks are and then minimize them.