9 Tips to Lower Your Home Insurance Costs
Our premiums are already affordable but the money-saving tips below can help you reduce them even further.
1. Shop Around
Because mortgage lenders require homeowners insurance, most people tend to take out a policy with whichever company their real estate agent recommends. However, the best way to get an affordable policy is to compare quotes from several insurance providers.
Don't consider price alone. Look at the amount of coverage and what the policy protects. Check out the company's customer reviews and how easy it is to file a claim, too.
2. Increase Your Deductible
This is one of the easiest ways to save on your homeowners insurance premium. The higher the deductible you choose, the lower your premium will be. When you file a claim, your deductible is the amount subtracted from your insurance payout.
As a general rule, it's smart not to take on a higher deductible than you can comfortably spare out of pocket. If you're not sure what deductible amount is appropriate for your financial situation, ask your agent for guidance.
3. Don’t Over Insure
Make sure you accurately value your home when choosing how much coverage to purchase. Tools are available to help you determine the replacement cost of rebuilding your home in the event of a claim.
The purchase price is a starting point but this includes the value of your land, which is not something you'd have to replace after a covered event. Multiplying the local labor and construction costs by the square footage of your home is one way to estimate your home's replacement cost. This baseline can help you avoid under or over insuring your home.
4. Annual Payment
Paying monthly may be more convenient, but an annual payment usually saves you the most money.
5. Improve Your Home Security
Many insurance providers (including Kin) offer a discount for a centrally monitored security alarm, smoke detectors, and dead-bolt locks. If you don't already have a security system, ask your provider how much the discount is – the savings may offset the cost of installing the alarm.
6. Make Your Home Safer
Making your home safer can also reduce your insurance bill. For example:
- Clear brush and trim trees around your house. This reduces the damage in case of a fire or a windstorm knocks down branches.
- Hurricane-proof your home. If you live in a coastal area, consider ways to reduce the risk of hurricane damage, such as installing storm shutters and doors and upgrading your roof to a reinforced one. Learn more about wind mitigation here.
- Update your roof. A new roof can help you qualify for lower rates. In some areas, you could save 10 percent or more on your insurance.
- Upgrade the electrical, heating, and plumbing systems. Some insurers offer significant savings for new systems.
- Install a backup generator. Ask your agent before you make this investment, but some insurers will offering a small discount for this precaution.
- Install an automatic water shut-off system. This system detects leaks and shuts off your water before you have a flood on your hands.
We've partnered with three companies that help make your home safer. Find out more about them here.
7. Review Your Policy Annually
Your home changes each year, and your coverage needs may change, too. When your policy is up for renewal, take time to evaluate what updates you've made to the home, what new belongings you've acquired (or parted with), and see if you may be eligible for discounts that weren't available to you before.
8. Improve Your Credit Score
Insurers have the legal right to review your credit history to help determine your premium. As you might have guessed, a good credit score may help you nab lower home insurance rates.
Before you apply for insurance or renew your policy, see if you can make improvements to your credit score. The following can have a big impact on your score:
- Pay your bills on time each month
- Keep credit utilization under 30 percent of your available balance
- Pay off your credit card balance every month
- Don’t open new lines of credit
9. Limit Your Claims
If you can, save claims for dire situations only. See if you can make small repairs yourself or enlist the help of a skilled friend or acquaintance. You can and should rely on your home insurance to help you avoid big financial burdens, not small annoyances.
Home Insurance Discounts to Ask For
Ask your agent if there are discounts available for:
- Having a recent wind mitigation inspection
- Having a centrally monitored security and fire alarm
- Being a loyal customer
- Having a clean claims history
- Bundling insurance policies
- Enrolling in auto-pay and online statements