Things to Know when Shopping for an Affordable Homeowners Insurance
If you're a homeowner, you have to have home insurance. Even if your home is paid for, not insuring it and its contents simply doesn't make sense, because there are few of us who can afford to replace our home and its contents out of pocket if the worst should happen.
That said, just because you have to have home insurance, that doesn't mean that you necessarily have to pay an arm and a leg for it. So, how do you lower the cost of homeowners insurance? Here are some tips.
Increase Your Deductible
As your deductible goes up, your home insurance premiums go down. Simply carrying a $1,000 deductible as opposed to a $250 deductible could reduce your premium by as much as 30%. You can put the money that you save on your premiums in an emergency fund that you can access if you should incur damage to your home. You'll likely make up the difference in no time, and it makes a lot more sense to have your money in the bank working for you than helping an insurance company's bottom line.
Review Your Riders
Each year, take a look at what you've added onto your homeowners insurance policy. For example, you might have paid extra to insure your jewelry. Did you sell that jewelry, and forget that you were paying to insure it?
Install Security Features
Every year, nearly $5 billion dollars in property is lost because of theft or damage. Smoking alone causes at least 23,000 fires each year - so if you don't have smoke alarms, install them! If you're in an area that's prone to burglaries, you might want to consider installing an alarm system. Both these measures will considerably reduce your homeowners insurance policy premiums, and thereby, lower the cost of homeowners insurance.
Upgrade Your Home
Global warming is causing the weather to wreak havoc all across the country. Areas that were never vulnerable to hurricanes or tornadoes before are now making the news. This can cause home insurance premiums to go up, but many companies will offer discounts for homeowners who install storm shutters and upgrade their roofing.
Don't Waste Money Insuring Your Lot
Many insurance providers will offer home insurance for the lot on which your home is built. Realistically, though, unless you live in an area where there could be subsidence due to mining activity, insuring your lot is a waste of money. It's not going to burn down or get stolen. If you don't insure your lot, you can lower the cost of homeowners insurance.
Don't Let Your Insurer Discriminate Against Your Dog
Often, insurance companies will demand higher premiums from people who own dogs who are unfairly tagged with the designation, "dangerous breed." There are, however, home insurance providers who will give you a decent rate if you permit them to do a home check. In other words, if they send someone out to your house, and that person leaves with all of his or her limbs intact, they won't consider your dog to be dangerous, and you won't pay higher premiums. You may also be able to get a lower rate if you have your dog evaluated by a vet or an animal behaviorist who determines that your dog is not aggressive. This can help you lower the cost of homeowners insurance.
Other Cost-Reducing Measures
Simply installing a deadbolt lock, or buying a fire extinguisher can reduce your homeowners insurance policy premiums and lower the cost of homeowners insurance. Ask your home insurance agent about discounts - they can vary from company to company.
Remember that your main goal is to protect your property. Make sure that you're insured for replacement value, and that you're properly covered for liability. And don't hesitate to shop around for home insurance to make sure that you get the best possible deal.