If you own a home or are in the process of buying one, you’ll need to get home insurance. And if you’re like most consumers, you probably want to know how you can reduce your insurance costs.
Here are five ways to reduce your premiums:
1. Bundle up
When you get wireless, internet, and TV services from one company, you’ll often receive a discount. Did you know the same deal often applies to insurance? If you buy home and auto insurance from the same company, you’ll usually get a discount on both products. Some insurers may reduce your premiums by 5%, 10%, or even 15%.
2. Look for additional discounts
You could also get different types of discounts, such as:
- Affinity discounts—Your occupation or membership in an association (professional, union, or alumni) may qualify you for a discount. Membership really does have its privileges.
- Non-smoker discounts—Smoking is bad for your health and can lead to higher home insurance premiums. But if everyone in your home is a non-smoker, you may be able to get a discount since there’s a lower risk of a fire.
- Loyalty discounts—Staying with the same insurer for a long period of time may lead to a discount down the road. That means customer loyalty can pay off.
- Mature client discounts—You probably don’t think there are benefits to growing older. But there are and one of them is the possibility that you’ll have your insurance premiums reduced.
3. Take precautions
Protecting your home can also lower your insurance premiums. Installing an alarm system to prevent theft, putting in a backwater valve or sump pump to protect against basement flooding, and installing a sprinkler system to stop a fire from spreading can all lead to reduced premiums. And if you decide to upgrade the plumbing, electrical, or heating in your home, you could also qualify for lower premiums.
4. Increase your deductible
If you have a higher deductible (the amount you pay towards an insurance claim), you should be able to pay lower premiums. But before you decide to increase your deductible, make sure you can afford the extra costs in case of a loss. For example, raising the deductible to $1,000 from $500 will reduce your premiums. But if there’s $5,000 worth of damage to your home due to a fire, you’ll then have to pay the first $1,000 to fix the damage while the insurance company will pay the rest.
5. Shop around
Just like how you should look for the best mortgage rate before you buy a home, you should also shop around when trying to get an insurance quote. Doing so can save you save you some money.
To estimate your insurance costs, get a home insurance quote.
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Flickr: André Carrotflower