10 Ways to Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Costs
- Raise your deductible. If you can afford to pay more toward a loss that occurs, your premiums will be lower.
- Buy your homeowners and auto policies from the same company. You’ll usually qualify for a discount. But make sure that the savings really yield the lowest price.
- Make your home less susceptible to damage. Keep roofs and drains in good repair. Retrofit your house to protect against natural disasters common to your area.
- Keep your home safer. Install smoke detectors, burglar alarms and dead-bolt locks. All of these will usually qualify for a discount.
- Be sure you insure your house for the correct amount. Remember, you’re covering replacement cost, not market value.
- Ask about other discounts. For example, retirees who are home more than working people may qualify for a discount on theft insurance.
- Stay with the same insurer. Especially in today’s tight insurance market, your current vendor is more likely to give you a good price.
- See if you belong to any groups —associations, alumni groups—that offer lower insurance rates.
- Review your policy limits and the value of your home and possessions annually. Some items depreciate and may not need as much coverage.
- See if there’s a government-backed insurance plan. In some high-risk areas, such as the coasts, federal or state governments may back plans to lower rates. Ask your agent.
Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. www.REALTOR.org/realtormag
In addition, do not file frivolous claims. Submitting a legitimate claim after years of paying premiums is justifiable, but frequent claims may mark you as a high risk. Consider paying for smaller losses to avoid related premium surcharges or even the chance of non-renewal.