10 Tips on How to Lower Cost of Homeowners Insurance

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 05:47 - Nina Bernice

Homeowners insurance will cover damage and repair costs to a home, and is required by most mortgage companies and banks. While the monthly premiums may seem like a large cost, there are several easy ways to lower the cost of a homeowner’s insurance policy while also making the house safer. In an article I read entitled "Cheap Home Insurance" (cheapinsurance123.com/home-insurance.html), the writer discussed the importance of getting insurance in one of the considered largest ivestment of a family.

-The first way to reduce insurance costs is to shop around for a different insurance provider. Make sure that any insurance company being considered is legitimate and has a record of honoring their policies. Many banks, mortgage lenders and realtors can offer suggestions for reliable companies, both on their websites and in person so the homeowner can easily comparison shop to find the best deal for them.

-Many companies will combine insurance policies for cars and homes, and may offer a discount for bundling these policies together. Finding a company that will do so may lead to significant savings, as well as the ease of only having one insurance policy to deal with.

-The next step is to increase the deductible on the policy. Raising the deductible can reduce monthly premiums by a significant amount - an insurance broker can provide more details for specific policies and amounts. While it may seem counter-productive to increase the amount the homeowner has to pay before insurance will step in, having the specific amount of the deductible set aside in the bank means that premiums will be down and there will be no need to scramble to pay the deductible in an emergency. As long the amount of the deductible is reasonable and achievable for the homeowner, this is probably the easiest way to save money on insurance.

-Simple things like installing new alarm systems or smoke sensors can make a difference, since they are preventative measures that will keep the house safe and reduce the likelihood of needing to file a claim. Install basic safety and detection systems to save money.

-Inform the insurance provider about any upgrades or improvements to the home. These can increase the value of the house, which providers should be aware of so they can adjust the premiums accordingly. Many providers are willing to give homeowners a list of improvements that will lower insurance costs if they are asked.

-Pay attention to credit scores. People with good or excellent credit may get a discount on their policy or premiums. Even people that have bad credit may be eligible for a reduction in their rates if they can demonstrate that they have been paying their insurance premiums on time and in full. A quick call to the insurance company may result in a significant savings.

-Every few years check to see if any new discounts are available. It is worthwhile to make the same call to save money, and the homeowner may also be eligible for a loyalty discount if they stay with the same company for a certain number of years.

-Make safety upgrades to the house. In addition to protecting the home and the residents, these can reduce the amount due in premiums without reducing coverage. Some common upgrades are redoing the roof, installing fire-proof roofing and wall covering, getting new garage doors and upgrading heating, electrical and plumbing systems.

-People that live in natural disaster prone areas may also receive a reduction in insurance costs for improvements such as installing storm shutters in tornado and hurricane areas, wooden frames in earthquake zones and brick houses in areas of high wind.

-Pay off the mortgage. Many insurance companies will reduce insurance rates if the home is owned outright, with the logic that the owner will take better care of the house since it is officially theirs.

Helpful Readings:

12 Ways to Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Costs” – publications.USA.gov
Tips to Lower Your Home Insurance Bill” - familyhandyman.com
Why is Homeowner Insurance Important” - budgeting.theknot.com