Whether you already own a home or want to buy a home homeowners insurance can be expensive. Over the past decade alone, the United States national average of homeowners insurance has increased by 50 percent and like most insurance policies, it’s only going to get more costly. Depending on the company you choose to provide your homeowners insurance the cost of policies can differ by hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars. There are some things you can do to help.
1. Shop around
Like most research, looking for the right insurance company to meet your homeowner needs is going to take some time, so the more people you have helping you, the better. Talking to your friends who have recently purchased a house, searching the Internet for people’s experiences with different insurers, and even talking to the different insurers directly will help ensure that you get the best rate possible. You can also visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners at www.naic.org to gather information related to a host of insurers in your state. Once you have found an insurer that seems like a good fit, no matter how acceptable the insurer is, you should always ask what they can do to help lower your insurance rate.
2. Boost the deductible
A deductible is the amount of money you will need to pay out of pocket when you file a home insurance claim. Just like with medical insurance, the higher your deductible the lower your premium will be since you will have to pay more money out of pocket if or when a claim is filed. When increasing your deductible be sure to be realistic because you don’t want to pay large sums of money out of pocket if the house incurs costly damages. Most insurance companies these days will require at least a $500 deductible, though if you can double your deductible to $1,000 you can save as much as 20 percent on your homeowner's insurance.
3. Leave out the value of your land
Since the value of the land on which your home sits doesn’t have the same risks as the house itself, you will want to make sure not to include the cost of the land when you apply for homeowners insurance. By doing this, you will pay a lower rate for the insurance plan than if you had combined the value of the land itself along with the value of the home you are insuring. By eliminating coverage you don’t need from the insurance plan you will be able to ensure you are only paying for what you need in the case you need to make a claim.
4. Buy insurance policies from the same insurer
Many insurance companies today will offer automobile insurance as well as homeowners insurance. They’ll offer you a discount if you purchase two or more policies from them. Most important, you should calculate whether you’re actually saving money by combining the purchase of your insurance policies or if it would be less expensive getting separate types of insurance from different companies.
5. Reduce flooding risk or other potential damages
Reinforcing the roof of your house, adding storm shutters, and restoring an older house that may be prone to damage from rainstorms or earthquakes, can save you as much as 5 to 10 percent on your homeowners insurance. The more robust and reliable the materials you use the better chance you’ll have of getting a discount on your insurance policy and the better off your home will be if the risk of damage presents itself. Because flood damage is the number one insurance claim in the United States. with an average of $30,000 per claim, you’ll want to do everything to ensure your home is protected from potential water damage.