Every homeowner must purchase homeowner’s insurance. It is part of the reality of owning a home. However, it is an expense that can easily become exorbitant if a homeowner is not careful. Thankfully, many insurance companies offer discounts that help to defray the costs of this type of insurance. Following are some easy ways to get a homeowner’s insurance discount.
Double-check your current coverage
The first place to start when you are trying to lower your homeowner’s insurance cost is by reevaluating your current coverage. There is a chance you could be over-insured, and therefore, paying too much money. You need enough coverage to replace your home if the need arises. It is important to include coverage for rebuilding costs, replacement of possessions, the cost of disaster-related living expenses and liability to others. Coverage beyond these basic necessities may be excessive and could be driving your premium up unnecessarily.
Obtain multiple insurance policies from the same insurer
Many insurance companies offer multiple types of insurance coverage. These companies typically offer discounts to customers who purchase more than one type of coverage from them. If you need more than one type of insurance, it can be quite cost-effective to obtain each type from the same company. In fact, multi-policy discounts can range between 5-30%. Those numbers can easily result in a substantial amount of money that stays in your pocket.
Make some home improvements
Some home improvements not only make your house look better, but they also result in lowering your homeowner’s insurance. Improvements such as reinforcing the roof, updating the heating and electrical systems and installing shutters have several benefits. They protect the house from damaging weather, increase the resale value of the house and decrease homeowner’s insurance premiums. Therefore, making improvements such as these is worth the initial financial investment they may require, as the money is recouped over time.
Increase the home’s level of security
Insurance companies like to know that the homes they insure are safely secured from potential criminals and other calamities. As a result, tey provide discounts to homeowners who install security devices in their homes. Small security devices that provide discounts include combustible materials detectors, fire extinguishers and deadbolt locks. The devices can result in small discounts of up to about 10%. Larger security devices, such as home security systems and sprinkler systems, provide larger savings. It pays to ask your insurance company how much of a discount they offer for each security device.
Building materials discount
This discount is particularly helpful for homeowners who live in an area that is at high-risk of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or earthquake. Homes in these areas that are built with reinforced materials that are designed to withstand these disasters are often eligible for discounts from their insurers. Some insurance companies do not publicize this discount, so consumers must ask for it if they believe they may be eligible for it.
Many insurers offer customers discounts on their homeowner’s insurance if they are located near emergency responders. Homeowners who live near a firehouse or police station may be eligible for this discount. To determine if you are eligible for this discount, you must determine the distance between your house and the responding station and ask your insurance company if it falls within their parameters for the discount.
Live in a safe neighborhood
If you are moving, research your target areas closely. Homeowners who live in safe areas tend to pay lower premiums than those who live in areas that present a higher risk. If you are unsure about the safety record of any of the neighborhoods you are looking at, do some extra research. There are websites that help you determine this information. Another way to assess the safety of a neighborhood is to place a phone call to the local police department to inquire about crime rates.
The simple act of remaining with the same insurance company for many years can help to lower your premiums. Many insurance companies offer discounts to their most loyal customers.
Inquire about organization affiliations
A common trait of many insurance companies is offering discounts to customers who are affiliated with particular organizations. Some types of organizations that receive discounts include fraternities, sororities, credit unions and credit card companies. You must check with your insurance company to determine which organizations they partner with, as each company is exclusive from the others.
Do not smoke
Having smokers in the house increases the potential for a fire to start in the home. Therefore, smokers have higher premiums than non-smokers. To save money on homeowner’s insurance, either be a non-smoker or quit smoking before you purchase your homeowner’s policy.
Do not get blind-sided by expensive homeowner’s insurance. Making smart choices and asking the right questions can go a long way to helping you save money on this necessary expense. Work with a local insurance broker who can help you shop around for the lowest rates on comprehensive coverage.
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