If you are like most people, you consider homeowners insurance a necessary expense you need to put up with, regardless if you’ll use it or not. However, have you stopped to think if you are paying too much for your home insurance? An insurance specialist would likely tell you not all homeowners insurance policies have been created equal.
If truth be told, homeowners insurance policies can vary vastly. And contrary to popular belief, it is not your insurance provider’s job to ensure you are getting the best deal. When it comes to paying less for your insurance, you need to be your own best advocate.
Aside from vigilantly rechecking your policy at least once a year to ensure you are paying as little as possible, consider the following smart ways you can save on homeowners insurance:
Consider shopping around
While it’s easy to get attached to a particular insurance provider, especially if you have been with that provider for years, it is always beneficial to shop around. Even if you are happy with your current provider, it is still recommended that you compare prices and get multiple quotes to have a better idea of the amount you should be paying.
Also, if you know how much others are paying, you will have more leverage when negotiating for better rates.
Increase your deductible
One of the fastest ways to lower your insurance payment is to increase your deductible. A deductible is an amount you will be covering before your insurance kicks in. This can help a lot because the more you pay out of pocket in an emergency, the less risk the insurance provider has to assume.
Maintain a good credit score
While not always the case, your credit score might have a massive impact on your insurance rates. It is important to remember that some insurance companies consider those with poor credit “high risk,” which eventually results in a higher rate. Although not all insurance providers use credit as a gauge, it is still considered ideal to use credit wisely so you can avoid being tagged as high risk.
Improve home security
Contrary to popular belief, installing a home security system is not as costly as it seems. This might not be common knowledge, but many home insurance providers offer a substantial discount for a home with a security system.
Investing in home security systems, motion sensor lights, and additional locks is also something you should consider. To play safe, check with your insurance provider for specific details.
Consider asking for a long-term discount
While it’s not necessarily recommended that you remain with the same insurance provider for many years, there might be some way you can use your loyalty to work in your favor. For instance, if you have been with an insurance provider for more than five years, ask about long-term discounts.
Long-term discounts are rate reductions that are based on the number of years you have been with a specific insurance provider.
Take advantage of special discounts
Many insurance companies give special discounts for various factors, including student report cards, driving records, and age. However, they will not automatically apply the savings; you need to ask for them. In line with this, ask for an updated discount list annually to see if you are qualified for new discounts.
Ensure your home is disaster-resistant
While preparing for a disaster won’t necessarily lower your insurance rates, it can spare you from making expensive claims. Aside from taking precautions to protect your house, it would also be a good idea to create a household emergency plan and disaster preparedness kit.
Consider getting private insurance
If you live in an area that’s considered high-risk (prone to hurricanes, flooding, and other natural disasters), you’ve likely been told government insurance is your only option. However, it may not be the case at all times.
Check with a local insurance company to see if they offer affordable insurance options. You just might be surprised at what you can find!
Compare insurance rates by neighborhood
When it comes to homeowners insurance, several factors are taken into account. For instance, flood risk, elevation, and proximity to the ocean are considered key factors. Other things that may be considered include theft, environmental issues, and how close you are to the nearest fire hydrant and fire station.
This means, even just a few blocks can already have a massive impact on the price you will pay for your policy. When shopping for a new home, it is therefore advisable to factor in the location in your decision as the “perfect” location might not be as perfect as you think.
When it comes to homeowners insurance, you need to always be vigilant to ensure you are getting the best rate. Hopefully, the tips in this article will help you save on home insurance and help you secure the best rate possible