The price you pay for your homeowners insurance is not the same across the board. It can vary by hundreds of dollars depending on the insurance company you buy your policy from. Here are some things to think about when buying homeowners insurance.
Shop around. It’ll take some time, but could save you a decent about of money! Quotes on homeowner’s insurance can vary by hundreds of dollars for the same coverage on the same home. Get at least three quotes and make sure each insurer is offering the same coverage. It’s not always apples to apples.
Buy home and auto policies from the same insurer. Some companies that sell homeowners, auto and liability coverage will take 5 to 15 percent off your premium if you buy two or more policies from them.
Raise your deductible. Deductibles are the amount of money you have to pay toward a loss before your insurance company starts to pay a claimIf you can afford to raise your deductible to $1,000 from $500, you may save as much as 25% on your annual premium.
Make your home more disaster resistant. You may be able to save on your premiums by adding storm shutters, reinforcing your roof or buying stronger roofing materials. Install a smoke detector, burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks and you may save at least 5 percent. Some companies may 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 alerts the police, fire department, or other monitoring stations.
Maintain a good credit record. Insurers are increasingly using credit information to price homeowner insurance policies.
Stay with the same insurer. If you’ve kept your coverage with a company for several years, you may receive a special discount for being a long-term policyholder. Some insurers will reduce their premiums by 5 percent if you stay with them for three to five years and by 10 percent if you remain a policyholder for six years or more.
Review the limits in your policy and the value of your possessions at least once a year. You want your policy to cover any major purchases or additions to your home. But you don’t want to spend money for coverage you don’t need anymore. Some items depreciate over time so review your policy annually, so you don’t have too much coverage.
Upgrade older features in your home. If you have an older home update your plumbing, electrical and heating and/or air conditioning systems to prevent fire or unwanted leaks. You’ll be less risky and can reduce your rates.
Don’t insure the land. Homes can be damaged in fires, floods, and other mishaps, but there’s not much that can go wrong with land. Purchase enough insurance to cover the value of your home and let the land take care of itself.
Give up smoking. Insurance costs more for smokers because of an increased risk of fire-related claims. If you smoke, and are serious about lowering your bill, consider quitting. If you were a smoker when you took out the policy but have recently quit let your insurer know.
Here’s another must-do tip: you start to review your current policy, it’s also a good time to take photos and take stock of the items in your home. That way you’ll be prepared and have proof if ever need to make a claim. This is especially important if you have some unique or expensive items.
I love to help my people maintain their home in a responsible, cost-effective way, but this article should not be taken as insurance advice in any way. Please talk to your licensed insurance agent to make sure you have the right coverage for you.
I'm McCall Carter and I love helping first time home buyers make their first home more affordable and I love helping sellers looking to move up to their forever home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true.
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Lehi, UT 84043
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