If you are looking to save money on your bills, reducing your home insurance cost will help. Several companies offer a home insurance discount under certain circumstances – just like they do with auto insurance. If you have made changes to your home recently you may qualify for one or more – or, you may be able to make some changes to ensure that you get a discount.
The changes or additions that need to be made are those that will reduce the risk of loss to your home. Before you make any changes to get a discount, talk to your home insurance agent. They can give you specifics on what you can do to get a discount. Some of them will be more affordable than others, but most likely, you can get one or two rather easily.
Some discounts are rather easy to get just by talking to your insurance agent. You may get discounts for being a new home buyer, a non-smoker, setting up automatic payments to pay the premiums, or if you are 55 or older.
The following discounts may also be available:
Combine Insurance Policies
If you have auto insurance and homeowner’s insurance (and more), you can bring them to one insurance company and will often get a discount for having multiple policies. At the same time, an insurance company may give you a discount for staying with the same insurer. This may be for five years or more. The cost will often drop after five years and then again after ten years.
Reduce Damage from Potential Disasters
Natural disasters can end up being costly for insurers after they occur. You can talk to them about how to reduce their risk and get a discount. To protect your home from hurricanes, for instance, you can add storm shutters and get stronger materials for your roof. In earthquake areas, homes can be reinforced to be able to withstand them when they occur.
Another way to reduce risks from disasters would be to upgrade your home’s systems that may cause an increased risk. This includes your heating systems, plumbing, and electrical systems.
Beef Up Your Home Security
Adding things like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, deadbolt locks, and a burglar alarm can often reduce your insurance costs by five percent. You may even get 15 to 20 percent off your bill if the alarm automatically notifies police and fire departments. Getting a discount, however, requires that you get an approved system.
Increase Your Deductible
All insurance policies have a deductible. If you raise your deductible amounts – which will make your insurer less liable – you will pay less each month. Before you reduce it, make sure that you can come up with the deductible amount if a disaster occurs to ensure your home can be repaired. Deductible amounts are often based on certain amounts for specific types of disasters – but you may be able to save as much as 25%.
You can always shop around for a different home insurance company. Companies offer different rates. Before you switch, make sure that you check on their track record – especially if you have never heard of that company before. Avoid new companies that do not yet have a history of paying out claims.
You will get the largest discounts for having a new home, but discounts will vary between states. After that, the largest discounts come from bundling your policies and having fire-resistive construction, and for being loyal to the same insurer.