Homeowners’ insurance is necessary and, unfortunately, it can also be very expensive. But this cloud does have a silver lining. Although you can’t avoid getting it, it doesn’t mean that you can’t minimize the costs. Here are six insurance tips for homeowners:
1. Invest in security systems and smoke alarms
You can lower your annual premiums by maybe 5% or more just by adding a burglar alarm that is tied directly to a local police station, or one monitored by a central station. To get the discount, you just have to provide your insurer with the bill or the contract, to prove that you did get that service.
And if you have an older home, you can reduce your annual premiums by 10% or more just by installing smoke alarms.
2. Don’t be afraid to raise that deductible
When it comes to deductibles, the rule is the same for homeowners’ insurance as it is for car insurance or health insurance: the higher the deductible, the lower the annual premiums.
3. Try multiple policy discounts
Some insurers will give you a hefty discount if you sign other contracts with them as well. That’s why you should consider asking for quotes for other types of insurance from the same company that provides your homeowner’s insurance. You could end up saving a lot.
4. Plan before adding another structure adjacent to the home
If you plan to expand your home with an addition, consider the materials that will be used. Cement or steel-framed structures will cost less to insure than wood-framed structures, since the latter is less likely to succumb to fire. And think twice about adding swimming pools or devices such as trampolines, which could cause injuries. They can drive annual homeowners’ insurance costs up by 10% or more.
5. Pay off your mortgage
If you own your home, you will definitely take better care of it. Insurance companies know this. So it probably won’t surprise you to know that homeowners with no mortgage debt have lower premiums. Unfortunately, paying off your mortgage is easier said than done.
6. Never stop shopping
It’s sometimes easier to settle for one insurance that you think is good for you. But this only means that you’re losing money! Insurers are always compete against each other for your business. Just because one company offers you a great deal, it doesn’t mean that there’s something even better out there.
You should go looking for insurance at least once per year. Maybe you added an extra safety feature to your home, or maybe you installed a sophisticated sprinkler system. These changes alone could lower your premiums significantly.
The bottom line
You don’t have to throw money away on homeowner’s insurance. If you’re smart and willing, you can have a good coverage at a great price.