Contrary to popular opinion, it is possible to reduce the cost of a homeowners insurance policy significantly. It is true that you have no power over some factors that affect the premium rates such as crime rates in the neighborhood and cataclysmic weather conditions. However, there are numerous ways to cut down unnecessary costs on the policy.Here are 8 money saving tips:
1. Secure your home
There are several steps you can take to make your home more secure and safe. Unsecured homes attract very high premiums. Installing sophisticated burglar alarms and deadbolt locks can earn you significant reductions in your premium rates. Some companies offer up to 20% discount for such installations. However, if you are adding these after purchasing a policy, you should find out first from your insurer the impact on the rates. Then do your CBA, cost-benefit analysis.
3. Boost your deductible
A deductible is an amount you pay in case of a loss before your insurer settles the claim. Insurance policies for homes in areas prone to natural disasters attract separate deductibles. The higher the amount, the lower your premium rates will be. In fact, doubling your deductible can cut down the premium by about 25 percent.
4. Consider multiple policies
Bundling your insurance policies can lead to major discounts. This is the insurance companies way of rewarding the customer for loyalty. Some insurance companies offer up to 15 percent discount to clients who purchase multiple policies. Therefore, when thinking of insuring your home, it may be worth it to check with your auto insurance firm.
5. Negotiate for loyalty discounts
If you have been with your insurer for a long time, you may be able to negotiate a better rate. There are insurance companies that offer 5% discounts on the premium rates for clients who have used their services for 3 to 5 years. If you have been a faithful customer for a longer period, you may be awarded higher discounts. However, you may never know such discounts exist until you ask.
6. Think again about adopting a four legged creature
Most homeowners love dogs, but insurance companies detest some of the breeds. While as a homeowner the four legged creature is a companion and security, to the home insurer, it is a liability. According to Wells Fargo, over a third of the total liability claims on home insurances are due to dog bites. There are dog breeds on the blacklist of most insurers. The usual culprits: pit bulls and Dobermans top the list. Some companies will never cover your home if you have any of these. Others who dare to will charge you an arm and a leg.
7. Review the value of your possessions annually
Homeowners insurance policy premium are based on the value of the possessions in your home. It is a general knowledge that the value of most home assets decreases with time. Nevertheless, your insurance policy will still price the premium based on the original value of these items. The downside is, when you make a claim, they first factor out the depreciated value. You can save yourself a substantial amount by annually reviewing the cost of your policy limits.
8. Live closer to a fire station
If you are keen on reducing your homeowners’ insurance rates, find a house close to a fire station. It’s a secret which all serious homeowners understand that the closer the house is to a fire station the lower the premiums. Just ensure the station is serviced by professionals and operates on a 24/7 basis.
9. Claim but don’t overdo it
Most of the homeowners are tempted to make claims for every slight problem. It is true you pay for the protection but overdoing it follows you beyond the current policy. Insurance experts believe that clients who were not judicious with their claims in the past will not change in future. Consequently, they charge higher premiums on policies to these clients.
The above eight tips will significantly cut down the premium rates on your insurance policy, but they are not exhaustive, so search out more.