Homeowners can do a number of things to ensure they get the best home insurance rate possible, and today I'd like to share some of my top suggestions, created with the help of manifested data and proven reports.
While most companies' premiums for home insurance policies proposing the same coverage and policy forms are usually within $50 to $100 of each other. I should mention, too, that homeowners with repossessions, collection items, judgments, late payments and bankruptcies in the last five years of their credit history, will pay more for insurance – and may even be denied.
That being said, here are 3 ways to lower the cost of your home insurance:
Increase your deductible
Deductibles are the amount of money you have to pay toward a loss before your insurance company starts to pay a claim, according to the terms of your policy. The higher your deductible, the more money you can save on your premiums. Nowadays, most insurance companies recommend a deductible of at least $500.
If you can afford to raise your deductible to $1,000, you may save as much as 25 percent. Remember, if you live in a disaster-prone area, your insurance policy may have a separate deductible for certain kinds of damage. If you live near the coast in the East, you may have a separate windstorm deductible; if you live in a state vulnerable to hail storms, you may have a separate deductible for hail; and if you live in an earthquake-prone area, your earthquake policy has a deductible.
Combine home and auto policies under same insurer
Some companies that sell homeowners, auto and liability coverage will take 5% to 15% off your premium if you buy two or more policies from them. But make certain this combined price is lower than buying the separate policies from different companies.
Improve your home security
You can usually get discounts of at least 5 percent for a smoke detector, burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks. Some companies offer to cut your premium by as much as 15 or 20 percent if you install a sophisticated sprinkler system and a fire and burglar alarm that rings at the police, fire or other monitoring stations. These systems aren't cheap and not every system qualifies for a discount. Before you buy such a system, find out what kind your insurer recommends, how much the device would cost and how much you'd save on premiums.
Louis Settle is an insurance agent with Liberty Mutual