Ways to Save Money on Homeowners Insurance

Raise your Deductible.  Raising the deductible on your homeowner’s insurance policy from $250 to $1000 can save you as much as 30 percent per year. 

Improve your Credit Score.  Almost all insurance companies base their insurance premiums on a person’s credit score since research has told them there is a correlation between low credit scores and filing insurance claims.
Bundle your insurance coverage.  Many insurance companies will give you a discount if you buy all of your insurance policies through them. For example, at one time State Farm claimed that they give a forty percent discount if a person insurances both their house and cars with them.

Take Inventory of your Belongings.  Don’t wait until after a crisis has occurred to try and determine what you owned and how much it is worth.  The insurance company will nickel and dime you or refuse to believe you owned this or that.  The best way you can get the most out of your insurance company if your home should be destroyed by a fire or natural disaster is to have a thorough inventory of all of your belongings with photos and video and receipts if you have them. If you own something of exceptional value, such as a Monet painting, it is your duty to tell your insurance company beforehand.  If you don’t do it now, start saving all of your receipts for clothing, appliances, electronics and such.  Your inventory list with photos and receipts should be kept in a binder and stored in a location safe from fire and where it could be easily grabbed in an emergency.  A portable, fire-proof lock box is a good place.

Take advantage of discounts.  Many insurance companies offer discounts to people who are 55 or older, who have installed dead bolts or have rewired and updated their homes.  If you live inside a gated community, if your home is near a fire hydrant or if you haven’t made an insurance claim in many years (about ten), you might receive a discount.  Think of updates you’ve made since you last talked to your insurance agent, such as installing a new alarm system, that could reduce your insurance premiums.
Install sprinkler systems and burglar alarms.  Insurance companies usually give discounts to homeowners who are less likely to file an insurance claim because they have taken steps to prevent theft or fire damage.  A monitored security system can save as much as 20 percent on premiums.   A sprinkler system can reduce your premium by just $20, but every little bit helps. 

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Investigate a Neighborhood Before You Buy a House.  Homes located in high crime neighborhoods, in areas that flood, in regions where there are hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes, all come with higher insurance premiums, usually about 15 percent higher.  Consider this before buying a home and try to get an estimate of what your annual homeowner's insurance premiums will be before buying the home.

The Age of Your Home Matters.  Older homes come with higher homeowner's insurance premiums because they are more likely to catch on fire due to old wiring, much more likely to flood due to old pipes or have rotting floors.  Any home older than ten years comes with a higher premium.  If you install new wiring or new plumbing in an older home, let your insurance agent know and you should get some sort of discount.

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