Saturday, November 2, 2013
Tips to Reduce Your Home Insurance Costs
All homeowners are looking for ways to reduce our home insurance costs. Costs continue to rise and budgets get tighter and tighter with each passing year. Here are 8 tips to reduce your home insurance costs.1. Increased Home SecurityMost homes are fitted with some sort of security device. To make the most of your Home Security Discount make sure that you home is fitted with: dead bolt locks, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and a burglar and fire alarm that are monitored. You do not have to have all of these to receive a discount on your home insurance so even if you only have one or two make sure that you ask for the savings.2. Keep your credit score as high as possible.While it would seem that a good credit score would have nothing to do with insurance rates, it is a fact that they do. Home Insurance companies are using your credit score as an indicator of responsibility. The theory is the more responsible the individual the less claims they will have. So, insurance companies are giving lower rates to those individuals with a better credit score.3. Consolidate your policies.Most, if not all companies that sell home insurance, offer discounts for insuring your autos with them. These discounts can sometimes save you up to 30% off of your total insurance bill. Plus, you get the added convenience of having one agent for both your home and auto insurances.4. Protect your home with updates.Discuss with your agent about the possibilities of receiving home insurance discounts for keeping your home in good repair. Some home insurance companies will offer savings for a anew roof, electrical, HVAC, plumbing updates. The discounts are generally not enough to warrant the replacement but if you needed it anyway, be sure to get the discounts if applicable.5. Make sure you are not over insured.Your home insurance coverage should not necessarily be what you paid for them home. Land values are calculated into the final sales price and should be considered when insuring the structure. In others words you cannot hurt the dirt. A good idea is to call local builders and ask them what new home construction cost per square foot is going for. Take that number, multiply that times your square footage and that is the amount that your home should be insured for. Companies will not pay more than what it is going to cost to rebuild the home anyway, so make sure you are insured correctly.6. Stay away from low deductibles.The deductible is your portion of the claim that must be paid before the insurance company pays for the claim. The lower your deductible, the higher your premium will be. Deductibles can range anywhere from $100-$5000 or more. The majority of homeowners will carry a $500 deductible, but the savings one can receive by raising your deductible to $1000 can be significant, up to 20%. It doesn't take too many claim free years to make up the difference between the two deductibles, but remember you should never raise your deductible to a level that you could not afford to pay.7. Ask your Home Insurance AgentMost of the time, an agent will make sure that you are receiving 100% of the home insurance discounts that you qualify for, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Some insurance companies have discounts that others do not. Some offer discounts that most would never dream as being a discount such as 55 and retired, non smoking, military service, law enforcement, single parent discounts, etc.8. Don't be afraid to shop AroundHome Insurance shopping is easy. Insurance shopping online is even easier. Companies like ours at HometownQuotes.com (yes, I am biased) have given you the ability to get multiple home insurance quotes by filling out a form that takes about five minutes to complete. Also be aware that not all insurance companies are created equal. There are some bad ones out there but most, at worst, are pretty good. Getting the best price is great, but check up on the company offering you that price at reputable insurance rating sites like Moodys.com or AMBest.com.