Owning a home is a goal for many Americans. Once you’ve found the home of your dreams, it’s important to make sure that your investment is protected with a homeowner’s insurance policy. Not all homeowner’s insurance policies are created equal. Coverage can vary widely, so it’s important to work with a good agent who will take the time to develop a policy that not only covers damage to your home’s physical structure, but will also provide you with adequate coverage for the contents of your home.
When shopping for homeowners insurance, keep in mind that there are several ways you can reduce the cost of coverage including:
- Increase your deductible: By offering to pay an increased amount for your deductible, you can save up to 25 percent on your monthly payment. In other words, by promising to share a larger portion of damage costs with the insurance company, you will lessen your monthly premium.
- Safeguard your home: You can save even more by protecting your home from harm in the first place. You can do this by adding smoke detectors and burglar alarms, or by installing dead bolt locks.
- Protect your credit: A good credit score can open up many doors including offering more bargaining power when it comes to insurance plans. That’s because insurance companies use credit scores to determine the risk involved in insuring you. If they can see a good level of stability (by checking such things as payment history, length of credit history, and total debt) then they may be more willing to reduce your monthly payment.
- Beef-up your home’s structure: Insurance companies love it when homeowners upgrade roofs and reinforce walls. This is because the more you do to protect your home from damage – a windy day for example – the less they will have to pay to repair the damage. So grab a ladder and a hard-hat, and then install new Class 4 roofing materials to save you big on homeowner’s insurance.
- Re-evaluate your valuables: Every item in your home depreciates in value over time as new things constantly replace the old ones. Each year, take time to consider all major purchase as well as the lost value of other items that are listed in your policy. After all, you don’t want to be paying extra for items that are no longer worth their initial value, but you still want to make sure your new plasma television is covered.
- Bundle and save: Many insurance companies offer discounts if you insure many items on the same policy. For example, you can choose to have your home, vehicles and liability insurance together under one plan to save up to 15 percent on your homeowner’s insurance premium.
- Shop around: Though the process can take a while, taking the time to price out policies with several different insurance agencies could end up saving you big time in the long run. That’s because many insurance companies offer extended deals like senior citizen discounts. Just be sure to look at more than just price because a cheap deal does not always mean a good deal. Make sure the coverage you’re getting is comprehensive, and the company is reliable and financially stable.
There are many wonderful things about owning a home. Your ability to decorate and up-grade as you see fit, the peace in knowing that you will one day own your home outright, or the fact that you know you will not have to pack and move for many years are just a few of the benefits of home ownership.
But owning a home comes with a good degree of responsibility that you may not have otherwise had, including the need for homeowners insurance. Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth – without paying what you don’t have to – with these seven easy tips to save you big on homeowners insurance.