Are you looking for ways to save on homeowners insurance? Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or have been in the market for years, there are some strategies and discounts that can help.
From increasing deductibles to bundling other policies — even leveraging smart home technology discounts — here are 9 easy strategies to help you get the best deals on homeowners insurance today!
1. Increase deductibles
This one is pretty obvious but can make a big difference. Some policies will allow you to choose more than one deductible. For example, you can choose one deductible for “Wind/Hail” coverage and a different deductible for “All Other”.
If you live in an area that has frequent wind and hail damage you’ll want to keep this deductible relatively low. If wind and hail aren’t typically a problem where you live then maybe consider increasing that deductible.
A word of caution here. Some companies offer a non-fixed deductible in place of a flat deductible. This is usually a percent of the coverage your home is insured for. So, a 1% wind/hail deductible on a $400,000 home would equal a $4,000 deductible. With home values and inflation trending up, your deductible will continue to rise as the insured amount will typically increase at renewal each year.
You can also increase your Earthquake deductible if you have Earthquake coverage. We typically advise against this as Earthquake deductibles are already really high.
2. Bundle insurance policies to save on homeowners insurance
I’m sure you’ve never heard this before in countless annoying commercials! However, it truly is one of the biggest discounts. The average savings from bundling multiple policies with the same insurance company is typically around 15-20%. So, the savings is real.
This comes with a huge “but”. Many times it costs less having your home and auto with different insurance companies even though you’re forfeiting the bundle discount. We have a lot of clients with whom we’ve placed their home insurance with one insurance company and their auto insurance with a different insurance company. We really don’t know the best combination until we dig in and look at all our options.
Some insurance companies will give a bundle discount even if you don’t have your home and auto with the same company but you have them with the same agent. This only applies to independent agents because they work with a lot of insurance companies. You’re able to have one agent to contact who can service your policies with two different companies.
3. Install smart home devices
Many insurance companies now offer discounts to homeowners who have installed smart home devices such as water and carbon monoxide sensors. These devices not only help you save on homeowners insurance, but also proactively increase the safety and security of your home. Being proactive is music to insurance companies’ ears.
For the water sensors, you can have devices that simply notify you by your smartphone or you can purchase more robust systems that have automatic water shutoff valves.
A couple quality options that have automatic shut off valves are Flo by Moen and YoLink. These systems are more expensive, however they can stop the water damage faster. Especially, if you’re not home or out of town.
4. Re-rate if your credit score increased
Your credit score is one of the biggest rating factors for your home and auto insurance as well as umbrella, motorcycle, boat etc. It cost money for insurance companies to re-run reports so they’re not going to voluntarily do this for you.
If you (or your spouse) have had an increase in your credit score, call your agent and have them re-rate your policy. Most of the insurance companies we work with will allow you to do this but not all. This is especially useful if you’ve been with a company for a long time and have never been re-rated. We’ve seen cases where the savings was up to 50%.
5. Check burglar & smoke alarm discounts
There are different levels of discounts depending on what system you have. If you have a central reporting system you’ll likely need to provide the certificate to your agent for proof. Many times people add these systems and forget to notify their agent.
6. No mortgage discount
You can receive a homeowners insurance discount if you don’t have a mortgage. So, if you’ve recently paid off your mortgage, be sure to let your agent know so they can make the change to your policy. Also, if you don’t notify your agent, your bill at next renewal is going to go to your former lender and you could lapse coverage for non-payment.
7. Avoid filing small claims
“But isn’t that what insurance is for?”, we hear quite often. Look, if you file claims your premium is going to go up. We don’t make the rules, that’s just how it is. So, if your deductible is $1,500 and you have a $2,000 claim, consider not filing the claim.
After your deductible you’re only going to get $500. You’re likely to pay more than that in higher premiums for the next 5 years due to your claim history. Sore subject, we know, but we’re not going to sugar coat it.
8. Advance quote discount
Some insurers will give a discount if you wait for 7-10 days to make the policy effective after you receive your quote. So, for all of our procrastinators out there, don’t wait until the day before your homeowners policy renews to shop rates.
9. Find a good independent agent
Yes, we’re biased because we are an independent agency. We’ll shoot it to you straight. Do you want a salesperson who works for a large corporation whose job it is to convince you why their one option is the best? Or do you want an independent agent who is able to look at pricing and coverage from a lot of insurance companies and isn’t employed by any of them? We think the answer is obvious if you want to save on homeowners insurance. Check out what our clients are saying in our Google Reviews.
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