Cheap Homeowners Insurance: Ways to Save
While you can’t control some factors that influence your homeowners insurance cost, such as your home’s location, its age, and its value, there are some things you can do to reduce your rates.
These tips can help you get the cheapest homeowners insurance possible without sacrificing the quality of your coverage.
1. Comparison Shop
Don’t go with the first insurance provider you find or the one your parents use. The best way to make sure you get a good deal on your coverage is to shop around. Get a quote from a few different providers, and don’t look at price alone. You’ll also want to consider:
- The reputation of the company. Check out their online reviews to get a glimpse into the customer experience you can expect.
- The amount and type of coverage offered. You might save a few dollars with an actual-cash value policy, but you will sacrifice coverage. It’s wise to only consider policies that offer replacement-cost coverage.
2. Get the Right Amount of Coverage
When you find an insurance provider you trust, this part should be easy. A quality insurance provider will help you select the appropriate amount of coverage for your home, your belongings, and your liability. Not too much coverage, which can drive up your premiums, and not too little, which leaves you inadequately protected.
Ideally, your policy will offer replacement cost coverage for both your home (which means you can rebuild with similar materials at the current market rate) and your belongings (which allows you to replace your missing or damaged possessions with similar, new items).
3. Bundle When Possible
Many insurance providers offer you a discount when you purchase multiple policies through them. For example, bundling home and auto insurance is a common discount.
4. Rethink Your Deductible
Typically, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium will be. While it may be tempting to choose the highest possible deductible to offset your monthly bill, be careful. You don’t want to choose such a high deductible that it puts an unreasonable financial burden on you when you need to make a claim.
For reference, Kin customers can choose between the following deductible options: $500, $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 or 1, 2, 3, or 5 percent of your dwelling coverage.
5. Avoid Risky Investments, If You Can
While you can’t pick up your home and move it to a new location, you can opt out of adding things to your home that may raise your premium. For example:
- Swimming pools usually raise the cost of your coverage because they increase your liability exposure.
- Trampolines, while fun, are injuries waiting to happen. Trampolines raise your risk of visitor injuries and so increase your liability coverage needs.
6. Make Your Home Safer
Certain updates to your house not only make the home safer, but they can also cut your home insurance costs. For example, the following improvements may reduce your bill:
- Fix your roof. A new roof can substantially cut down on your insurance costs. Some areas may see savings up to 10 percent.
- Mitigate wind risk. This is a big money saver if you live in hurricane and flood-prone areas in Florida, Texas, and Georgia. In fact, in Florida, insurance providers are legally required to offer discounts for wind-resistant homes. Consider investing in stronger roof-to-deck and roof-to-wall attachments, storm shutters, fortified garage doors, and shatter-proof windows.
- Upgrade your HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems. Newer systems often fetch a substantial discount.
- Get a generator. Some insurers offer a discount for homes that have a backup generator.
- Invest in a centrally monitored security system. Depending on where you live, you can get a 5 to 7.5 percent discount on your insurance from Kin when you have proof of a centrally monitored security system.
- Install an automatic water shut off. Kin offers customers a discount when they have a system that automatically shuts off the water supply when a leak is detected.
Before making big investments, talk to your insurance agent to see what kind of discounts you can expect from each improvement. That can help you spend money that will be offset by savings down the road.
7. Boost Your Credit Score
Most insurers can use your credit score as a factor to determine your premium. The logic is the better your score, the less likely you are to make a claim (and subsequently, you qualify for lower rates).
To improve your credit score and reduce your insurance bill, you can:
- Pay your bills on time.
- Don’t carry a balance from month to month.
- Don’t use more than 30 percent of your credit limit.
- Don’t take out more lines of credit than you need.
8. Review Your Policy When You Renew
We get the impulse to buy and forget about your coverage, but a yearly review is a good practice for a few reasons:
- You want to make sure your coverage still reflects the reality of your living situation. If you remodeled or bought some valuable new belongings, you want to make sure your policy still offers adequate protection.
- You get to see if you qualify for more discounts. If you made security updates or upgraded your home’s systems, you may be eligible for lower rates.
- You want the chance to get rid of coverage you no longer need. Got rid of that trampoline? Great! Before you renew your coverage, let your agent know about possessions you no longer need to protect and liabilities you no longer need to address.
9. Ask Your Agent for Pro Tips
Every insurance provider offers different discounts, prices, and coverage. So while the tips here apply to most insurance companies, you’ll get the best insight from an agent who can give you the scoop on:
- Loyalty, senior, or alumni discounts
- Automatic payment discounts
- Claims-free discounts