Ways to Lower Your Home Insurance Premiums
Every homeowner needs insurance, but if you’re like most of us, you’ll want to know how to lower your home insurance premiums without sacrificing coverage. So it’s good to know that there are a number of things you can do to keep your home insurance premiums as low as possible, or even reduce them. What follows are four ways to lower your home insurance premiums.
- Don’t file any claims. If you don’t file any claims with your homeowners insurance for three years and you’ve remained with the same insurance company during that time, you should be entitled to a rate reduction. The best way to find out if you qualify for this is to contact your insurer and discuss your claims history. This is also a good time to review your policy and see if everything on your claims history is correct. If not, you should contest the data immediately.
- Switch insurance companies. It’s strange but true: home insurance rates vary enormously from insurer to insurer, so changing homeowners insurance can save you lots of cash. A good home insurance price comparison with a reliable comparison website like AgentInsure can help you determine which insurance companies will offer you a better deal than your current insurer. Once you’ve found a better deal that will give you adequate coverage, make sure to check the cancelation policy on your current insurer, which usually allows you to terminate the policy 60 days before a 12-month term is up. That way, you’ll avoid paying for double coverage, or steep fees for early termination.
- Amp up your home’s safety features. There are many different factors that influence a home’s safety. Before buying a new home, it’s always worth considering looking in a gated community, or close to a fire or police station. Both of these factors are important safety counts and will result in lower insurance rates. If you’re looking for a rate reduction, you can join the neighborhood watch, or start one if there isn’t currently one in your neighborhood. In addition, becoming a member of a homeowners association can lead to discounts because all members are expected to meet uniform safety standards. Structurally, you can install new electric, heating and plumbing to reduce the chance of fires or floods (if the existing systems are older than 10 years); install storm shutters, an impact resistant roof, and a good home security system that includes a fire and carbon monoxide alarm. Besides creating a much safer environment for you and your entire household, any or all of these measures can result in a rate reduction of five to 20 percent.
- Stop smoking. Smoking is not only disastrous for your health: it is also the leading cause of fires in the home. If you or any member of your household smokes, you’re paying high insurance rates. However, if you stop for longer than 12 months, your rates should decrease dramatically. If this situation applies to you, contact your insurance company to find out how to apply for a rate reduction based on cessation of smoking.