by Harriet Bond
(San Francisco, CA, USA)
If you own a home it is critical that you carry adequate home owners insurance to ensure you are properly protected. Insurance will give you peace of mind, but it should also not break the bank. Here are 10 ways to save money on your homeowner insurance policy.
A basic homeowner’s policy covers you for loss against your home, your personal belongings and property, and for liability. You can buy different levels of coverage and you can also buy additional coverage for specific items such as jewelry or art work.
It’s important to understand the policy you are buying and what exactly it does cover. It’s also important to be sure to read the exclusion section.
In fact if you read nothing else in your policy read what you are not covered for so there are no surprises.
Once you know what coverage you need it’s time to save some money. Follow these 10 tips to do just that.
1. Shop Around
Like with any purchase it pays to shop around. Ask friends and family for agents they have been pleased with. Check and compare rates online. Check with consumer agencies to find out a companies reputation.
2. Higher Deductibles
The higher your deductible the lower your premiums will be. This is a great way to save some money but you need to be smart about it!
Don’t choose a deductible that is more than you could afford to outlay. If you have a claim and cannot come up with your deductible your insurance will not kick in.
3. Combine Policies
If at all possible purchase your home, auto, health care, or any other policies you require from the same company. Often multiple policies can earn you up to 25% discount on all your policies.
4. Disaster Proof
Disaster proof your home so that you can earn additional discounts. Storm shutters, stronger roof materials, making your home earthquake proof can save you money. Check with your insurance agent to find out what upgrades would be beneficial.
5. Home Security
You can save anywhere from 5% to 20% a year if you install home security equipment. Smoke detectors, dead bolts, sprinkler systems, and burglar alarms are all considered home security and each earns you a discount.
6. Good Credit
Believe it or not, your credit history affects your insurance costs. That’s because the industry believes if you have good credit you are more responsible and therefore less likely to have a claim. So make sure your credit stays healthy.
7. Be Consistent
Stick with the same insurance company. Staying with the same company will usually earn you a discount on your premiums. Most companies will give you a 5% discount after 3 years and a 10% discount after 6 years.
8. Check Your Limits
Be sure to pay close attention to your coverage. Don’t pay for coverage you don’t need and do be sure to have adequate coverage where you need it.
That fur coat you insured for $10,000 ten years ago. Do you still own it? That beautiful diamond ring that cost $5000, do you have coverage on it?
9. Know Before You Buy
When in the market for a home, watch for those little things that can make the difference in your policy premiums. Fire hydrants within so many feet can reduce your premiums.
A volunteer fire department can increase your premiums. Some types of heating can increase your premiums. Some districts can increase your premiums.
10. Grab The Discounts
Many insurance companies offer a variety of discounts so be sure to ask. For example seniors often earn a discount of 10% or more. Membership in some associations will also earn you a discount.
Your homeowner insurance policy should provide you with peace of mind that should you need to make a claim you will be covered.
It deserves your time and effort to ensure you’ve got the best policy for your needs!