Homeowners insurance is one of the most irritating things about owning a home, but there are some tips and tricks to managing the cost. Unfortunately, a lot of people take some very shortsighted roots to save a little money today that can end up costing them big in the future. For instance, you could lower home insurance cost by taking a higher deductible, but that could come around to bite you when disaster strikes. You could end up spending more out-of-pocket than is financially feasible. Likewise, taking the minimum possible policy could end up with a huge exposure if your insurance is insufficient to cover your losses.
Five Ways to Save Money – Without Leaving Anything Out
1. Shop around. Independent insurance agents have more leeway to custom craft coverage then agents who are bound to a single issuing entity. Take the time to sit down and talk with individual agents. Website quotes don’t always take into account all the factors of a homeowner’s policy. You could end up with lower home insurance cost, but not enough coverage to rebuild your home or replace cherished possessions. An ethical agent will let you know ins and outs of the coverage you are seeking, and explain items such as named perils, loss of use, and replacement versus rebuilding costs.
2. There is no such thing as a disaster-proof home. However, there is a disaster-resistant home. Some ways to knock dollars off your premiums include reinforcing your garage door, reinforcing and strengthening your roof, adding a gabled or hipped roof, adding storm shutters, and modernizing heating, plumbing, and wiring which will reduce the risk of fire or water damage. In-home sprinkler systems can act to extinguish a fire before the fire department even knows there is one, while smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can save your family’s lives.
3. Making your home more secure. Having a home security system, or camera set up makes it less likely that you will need to file a claim for theft. Additionally, putting in exterior lighting can increase the value of your home while making it an unattractive target for criminals who like to remain unseen. Additionally, installing deadbolt locks and steel framed doors, securing windows and sliders, and reinforcing garage doors makes your home a harder target. Keeping landscaping away from windows and doors also offers burglars less in the way of hiding space.
4. Discounts, discounts, discounts! There are numerous discounts targeted to retirees, non-smokers, good drivers, and even for people with good credit. There are also discounts for people who bundle coverage for home and auto, for a primary residence add in other insurable such as boats and watercraft.
5. Get a clue. In this case, make that a CLUE. CLUE stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, and this is a report that could save you a lot of money. When looking at buying a house, you may not know anything other than it has a terrific patio and yard for the kids and a freshly renovated kitchen and bath. The report details the claims history of the property and can show you a sea of waving red flags if there are a number of claims of the same type. This is some of the information that property insurers use to set your homeowners insurance rate.
Getting a lower home insurance cost doesn’t have to mean sacrificing coverage. However, homeowner’s insurance will still be a sizable expense depending on the age of your home, its claims history, its current condition, crime in the neighborhood, and other factors. It can be frustrating to try and nail down coverage that meets all of your needs, and occasionally some compromise will be necessary. If there are items that do not fall under the coverage of your homeowner’s policy, you can always look into additional coverage (called Inland Marine Policy) for items specific coverage for possessions such as expensive jewelry, electronic equipment, or antiques.
Getting Real with Lower Home Insurance Cost
The best route to finding a lower home insurance cost is to speak with an independent insurance agent. Together you and your E&L agent handcraft coverage that keeps you and your possessions covered, without making your wallet a casualty. With over 20 years of experience in crafting coverage, independent E&L is ready to help you to get the coverage you need when you need it. Call today and find out just how many more tips and tricks we have to share!