Homeowners insurance is an important financial safeguard to protect you, your home and other assets from potential disasters or accidents. It’s also an added expense homeowners need to budget for. Depending on the size and location of your home, as well as which insurance provider you choose, policy prices can vary widely. To help you save money while maintaining quality coverage, the Insurance Information Institute offers the following tips:
To secure the best deal, do some comparison shopping by getting quotes from at least three insurance providers. Don’t consider price alone, though. Because you’d be dealing with a company after an accident or other emergency, test an insurer’s customer service while you’re shopping, and choose a company whose representatives take the time to address your questions and concerns.
Raise Your Deductible
A deductible is the amount of money you’re responsible for paying toward an insured loss. The higher your deductible, the more money you can save on your premium; therefore, if you can pay above the minimum $500 or $1,000 deductible, for example, you may reduce the cost of your homeowners policy. If you live in a disaster-prone area, your insurance policy may have a separate deductible to cover major disasters, so take this into account when considering whether to raise your standard homeowners deductible.
Many companies that sell homeowners insurance also sell auto insurance and umbrella liability policies. If you buy two or more insurance policies from the same provider, you may be able to reduce your premium. To ensure you’re getting the best price, make certain any combined price from one insurer is lower than buying the coverages separately from different companies.
Make Home Improvements
If you live in a disaster-prone area, you’ll have more insurance options to choose from if you take certain preparedness steps, such as installing storm shutters and shatterproof glass or reinforcing your roof. Also consider modernizing your heating, plumbing and electrical systems to reduce the risk of fire and water damage. These precautions may prevent excessive damage and the related work and stress involved in rebuilding.
Ask About Discounts
Consult your insurance professional about available discounts, which vary from company to company and state to state. For example, most insurers provide discounts for home security devices, such as smoke detectors, dead-bolt locks or burglar alarms, but be aware that some of these measures aren’t cheap and not every system qualifies for a discount. You may also be eligible for a discount if you’ve been a long-term policyholder with the same company.
Review Coverage Annually
Review your home inventory and any upgrades to your house. Make sure your homeowners policy covers any major purchases or additions to your home, and also check that you’re not spending money for coverage you don’t need. For example, if an expensive piece of jewelry or painting is no longer worth what you paid for it, you’ll want to reduce or cancel that item’s floater insurance and pocket the difference.
Every dollar saved on your homeowners insurance policy is a dollar you can use elsewhere, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp on protection. Use these tips and consult a professional to help ensure you’ll have proper coverage at the best price.