For some, getting homeowners insurance just seems like another expense in a long line of expenses, but if you have a mortgage it’s required, and it’s not hard to save some money if you know what to look for. Read on to know 15 practical strategies for this.
To make sure you’re getting the right bang for your buck, you need to know whether your insurance company has a good track record. Make sure your insurance company is reputable in your region and always research their claims process. Reading reviews online is a good place to start.
2) Hire an Insurance Broker
Brokers are able to sell insurance products through many different companies, so you can hire them to do the hard part for you They’ll find the products that best fit your needs and present them to you. Plus, they can sometimes find you deals that you might not be able to find on your own.
3) Boost Your Deductible
Having a higher deductible can lower your premium and put some savings back in your pocket, but make sure you have enough money put aside to cover that deductible in case you have to make a claim. Many claims on a homeowners policy cause your rates to increase for years to come, depending on your state, so before you make a claim on something small, contact your agent to find out if it’s a smart thing to do.
4) Choose a safe neighbourhood
If you’re planning to move soon, consider the community you are moving to. Is it in a high-risk flood zone? What does the crime rate look like? Is there a reserve tank or a pond near your property? Looking for a home in a low-risk community will typically mean lower insurance costs for both your home and your auto.
5) Install Security Systems and Improve Structural Integrity
Security systems, special burglar alarms and dead bolt locks can protect your home from thieves, making it less of an insurance risk. Moreover, upgrading and fixing electrical and plumbing systems can help prevent future damages as well. Ask your agent what kinds of discounts your insurance company offers. Many will give you a discount for having a monitored alarm system or updated electric or plumbing systems.
6) Have your home reinforced by professionals
Upgrading your home is something you want to invest in, especially if you live in areas which are prone to having earthquakes, hurricanes and major storms. Hiring professionals to install storm shutters and doors as well as to reinforce roof, floor and walls can protect your home and minimize risk. Ultimately, this will result in a safer dwelling but can also get you more discounts on your insurance.
7) Exclude the land value
When it comes to homeowners insurance, you don’t need to include the value of the land into the replacement coverage of your home. However, even when the land is excluded it’s very normal for the replacement cost analysis to be more than the market value of your home.
8) Get an expert opinion to avoid filing small claims
If you have damage to your home and you’re not sure whether you should make a claim, consulting experts like contractors could save you money in the long run. For small repairs that can be handled out of pocket, try to avoid making an insurance claim as it will keep your claims record clean therefore adding to more claims free discounts in the future.
9) Have a good Claims History
Most companies have a system where they can access a large database of customer claims in the past. Not having to file claims in the last three to five years can significantly lower your premiums as insurance companies may offer you that advantage.
10) Get Insurance Bundles
More often than not, insurance companies offer different coverage like auto, life and home. As much as possible, purchase multiple policies from the same insurer so you can get some discounts. Plus, you’re saving time and effort.
11) Make sure your credit is in good shape
A lot of insurance companies do credit checks. Thus, your credit score can affect your home insurance premiums. To help lower your premium, make sure that you are able to pay off your balances and pay your bills on time to improve your credit score.
12) Ask for additional discounts
Take some time to talk to your insurance agent and inquire about how you can get other discounts. Living in a gated area, having a non-smoking household, being a member of certain organizations, enrolling in electronic funds transfer payments and your profession can sometimes help you get special deals on premiums.
13) Have an Umbrella Policy
To supplement your existing basic liability policy, an umbrella policy covers a higher limit and beyond claims directly involving your home when any unforeseen events occur. Adding it can be less expensive and can help reduce your financial risk.
14) Shop around to compare
When you don’t have an independent agent, you may find that you want to shop around your insurance every so often if your rates are beginning to climb. The beauty of having an independent agency is that they can keep an eye on the different insurance companies and have a better idea of which companies are competitive in which markets. Let your independent agent keep up on this stuff for you so you can spend more time with the fun stuff.
15) Keep your options open when your policy is about to expire
Although some insurance companies can offer you lower rates for being a loyal customer, if your rates start to rise or if you’re buying a home for the first time, you need someone in your corner to help you get the right coverage.
Make sure you protect your home. Cornerstone Insurance Agency provides excellent deals to help you find the best combination of price, coverage and service for your car, home, business, or life insurance. Call us today at (770) 413-0807 or visit our office. You may get a free quote from us here.