Top 5 Ways to Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Rates
You can save on homeowners insurance by knowing which discounts are available, adjusting your coverage, and more. When combined, these five tips can easily add up to huge savings.
Read on to learn how to drop your home insurance rate.
1. Stack Up Discounts to Save More
There are a variety of discounts available from every carrier, but home insurance companies are not obligated to tell you about them, which makes it harder for some homeowners to take advantage of these opportunities.
It’s up to you identify the discounts you may be eligible for before purchasing a policy -- and there are probably more of them than you think. To get started on this process, take a look below and note the common discounts that likely apply to you:
Discounts for Your Policy
- Bundle auto with home insurance: up to 25% off
- Claims free (for three or more years): up to 20% off
- Switch from your current provider: up to 10% off
- Early sign up: up to 10% off
- Autopay: up to 5% off
- Age 55+ or retired: % varies
- Non-smoker: % varies
Learn more about policy discounts here.
Discounts for Your Home
- New roof: % varies
- New home construction: % varies
- Newer home (less than six years old): % varies
- Crime prevention devices, like a burglar alarm or deadbolt locks: % varies
- Leak detectors, such as for water or gas: % varies
- Fire safety devices, like smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or sprinkler system: % varies
- Upgrades that make your home more resistant to fire, water, or other weather-related hazards (such as roofing, storm shutters, plumbing, and electrical upgrades): % varies
Learn more about home discounts here.
Now, let’s say you identified five potential discounts from this list. When comparing quotes, confirm with each agent that the discounts you noted (along with any others) are offered, as well as the percentage savings for each. Say one company offers you two discounts -- that might sound great, but since you know you should qualify for more, it’s best that you keep shopping around. The next company just might offer you all five. By not settling, you could stack multiple discounts and rack up some serious savings.
2. Increase Your Deductible
Another way to lower your home insurance rate is to increase your deductible. A deductible is the fixed amount you pay out of pocket when using your home insurance. In general, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium.
Deductibles typically range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Depending on the home insurance company, you may have separate deductibles for dwelling, personal property, and liability coverage. That said, some companies are starting to offer the benefit of a single deductible, making it easier to save more out of pocket.
Here is an example of how a deductible works: let’s say your roof was damaged by a falling tree and the cost to repair it is $4,000. If you have a $500 deductible, when filing a claim, you will pay $500 before your home insurance company pays for the repair costs.
If you want to lower your home insurance rate, opt for a higher deductible. Just be aware that you will pay more out of pocket when filing a claim.
Compare the Best Home Insurance Quotes for Your Coverage Needs:
3. Minimize Claims
Speaking of claims, only file them when it is truly necessary. In other words, if the damage to your home is relatively minor, it can be more financially beneficial to pay for the repair costs yourself. Of course, do not hesitate to file a claim if the damage is moderate to heavy. Most likely, any potential uptick in your premium would be low compared to the costs to repair or even replace your home.
But the reason you want to minimize using your home insurance claims is that in general, those with no claims for at least three years tend to get the best home insurance rates.
If you haven’t had any claims for several years and you’re paying the same, or higher home insurance rate, then it is time to shop around.
4. Shop Around
So why shop around? If you have been with the same home insurance company for some time, you are likely missing out on a better rate. Why? Because if prices come down in your neighborhood, home insurance companies are not obligated to lower your rate.
It’s up to you to be proactive. Has your credit score gone up since you purchased your policy? Or has the crime rate come down in your zip code? Or maybe you made some improvements to your home? In such cases, you could be eligible for a cheaper policy. If you stick with the same company come renewal time, you could easily end up paying another year of high rates because your carrier doesn’t have to lower your rates at any point. You can avoid overpaying by shopping around at least every six months to find the best rates.
Both current and first-time homeowners can benefit by comparing three to five quotes from a variety of companies, including national home insurers, regional carriers, and brokers.
By shopping around, you can get home insurance companies to compete for you. And with CompareHomeInsuranceQuotes.com, our technology matches you with the best quotes for your needs, making it easy to compare and save.
5. Make Changes to Your Home
Here are some changes to your home that can lower your homeowners insurance rates:
Ditch the trampoline. You or the family may love jumping around, but home insurance companies categorize trampolines as a hazard. The reason is trampolines increase the risk of injury around the house. Having one increases your liability. In fact, trampolines send over 100,000 people each year to the emergency room.
Trampolines not only take you to new heights, but they can skyrocket your home insurance rates. If you can, donate, recycle, or sell your trampoline before you purchase a new home insurance policy.
If you absolutely can’t part with your trampoline, you can list it as an exclusion on your policy. By doing so, it won’t be covered, so you won’t pay the higher rate. However, excluding it is risky and not recommended. You alone would be financially responsible in the event someone is hurt while using it.
Avoid certain dog breeds as pets. Obviously, no one wants to part with their loving pet, nor should they. But if you are getting a new pet, you can save on home insurance by avoiding certain dogs.
To home insurance companies, dog breeds that are perceived as prone to biting people and causing injury are seen as hazards. So if you are about to adopt or purchase a new dog, consider if it has a history of biting people. If so, it is a good idea to move onto another if you want to save on home insurance. The reason is that dogs with a history of biting or injuring people can greatly increase your home insurance rates.
Whether they are actually aggressive or not, certain breeds of dogs are outright categorized as hazards by home insurance companies. If you want to get the lowest home insurance rates, avoid having the below dog breeds on your property:
- Pit Bulls
- Chow Chows
- German Shepherds
- Great Danes
- Wolf mixes
As with trampolines, if the above describes your pet and you just can’t part with your furry friend, you can exclude your dog from your home insurance policy. However, this is risky and not recommended. Since your pet wouldn’t be covered, you alone would be financially responsible in the event your dog causes damage or injury. Keep in mind that people suffer millions of dog bites each year, with many resulting in hospital bills and even lawsuits.
- Add a security system to your home. Depending on its features, a home security system can help get you a discount on your home insurance premiums. In general, aim for a security system that has a burglar alarm (with door and window sensors), a fire alarm, and professional, 24/7 monitoring. These features are crucial to securing a discount.
- Upgrade to smart home technology. Smart home technology can also help protect your home and earn you home insurance discounts. Not surprisingly, many home security systems now include and integrate with smart home technology. With smart deadbolts, water and leak detectors, doorbells, cameras, thermostats, and more, you can better protect your home from theft and damage while making it more efficient. Solar panels can also fit into this category.
- Protect your home from fires and weather-related damage. First, all homes should have properly installed and maintained smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers. If you can, also consider installing fire sprinklers. Fire safety equipment not only helps keep you safe, but can earn you homeowners insurance discounts.
If you live in a fire-zone, consider following fire safety procedures, such as clearing vegetation and keeping nothing combustible near your home. Depending on the risk, consider treating the exterior of your home with fire-retardant, or upgrading your roof and siding to fire-resistant materials. These improvements will help you get the best home insurance rates.
Similarly, if your home is an area prone to hail, high winds, tornadoes, hurricanes, or other extreme weather, certain renovations can help you save on your homeowners insurance and protect your home. Depending on where you live, consider investing in impact-resistant windows, storm shutters, and reinforced siding and roofs.
Replace your roof. Depending on where you live, and the current age, material, and condition of your roof, investing in a new one can significantly lower your home insurance rates.
First, consider your roof’s age and materials. Asphalt roofs last between 10 to 20 years in states prone to hurricanes. Clay tiles can last 40 years. Metal roofs can last between 30 to 50 years.
Also, consider where you live. Is your roof built to withstand fires or other natural disasters that are common in your area?
Next, check its condition. Is your roof leaky, sagging, buckling, or suffering from water or other damage? Instead of endless repairs, if your roof is past its prime, invest in replacing it. Your home and insurance premiums will thank you.
- Invest in new electrical system, HVAC, and plumbing. Older electrical and HVAC systems can increase the risk of fire. Likewise, aging water heaters and pipes are prone to causing water damage. If any of these describe your home’s current condition, consider making some changes. Updating your wiring, HVAC, or plumbing will not only reduce risks in your home, they will also help you get the best homeowners insurance rates.
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