Published: May 2016
When you purchased your home, you may have spent months looking for the right place — one with enough space, in the right location and within your budget. While you may not be as emotionally invested in choosing a homeowners insurance policy as you were in finding the perfect house, your budget will probably be a part of the decision again. Here are some ways you may be able to keep the cost of a homeowners policy down without sacrificing your coverages.
If you have another policy, such as auto insurance, the company may offer a discount for purchasing your homeowners policy through them as well, says the Insurance Information Institute (III). If you've had coverage with the same company for several years, you may also be eligible for a long-term policyholder discount, according to the III.
Another way you may be able to reduce the amount of your premium is by increasing your deductible, the amount you're responsible for before your policy will pay for a covered loss. The III states that a higher deductible typically means lower premiums. While you may have to pay a bit more out of pocket before your insurance benefits kick in for a covered claim, you'll likely notice some savings in your premium payments.
Installing safety or security devices in your home may be another way to help reduce homeowners insurance costs, states the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. These devices, which are meant to help reduce the risk of potential damage or injuries, typically include:
Similarly, insurers may offer a discount if you make updates to your home to help make it more resistant to weather-related disasters or fire and water damage, says the III. In some states, you may be able to reduce your premiums by doing things like reinforcing your roof or adding storm shutters to help mitigate storm damage. You may also be eligible for a discount after updating heating, plumbing or electrical systems that may help avoid fire or water damage. Check with your insurance company about which, if any, improvements qualify for a discount.
Sometimes it's as simple as asking your agent if you qualify for any discounts, particularly since they may vary from state to state. For example, some insurers may give you a discount if you let them know you're retired, since being at home more often means you're less likely to be burglarized and may also mean you can spot hazards, such as fires, sooner than if you were working away from home, says the III.
While a good price may help your decision, keep in mind that a dependable insurance company, quality customer service and having the appropriate coverage in place can be very important should you ever need to file a claim. It may be a good idea to shop around and talk to an agent about costs as well as coverages before purchasing a homeowners insurance policy.