12 ways to save on homeowners insurance
You can save money on
homeowner's insurance a number of ways. Discounts from your
insurance company are available for a wide variety of
reasons, ranging from the type of building material used to
build your home to how close you live to a fire station.
These discounts will vary by state and insurance company.
Here are 12 ways you can save money on your homeowner's
- Shop around.
Check with many different insurance companies to get rate
quotes. Do your friends or family members like their
insurance company? Check the Internet using online quotes
like the ones here at MSN Money.
- Raise your deductible.
The deductible is the amount of money you have to pay
toward a loss before your insurance kicks in. Typically,
deductibles start at $250.
Increase your deductible to:
$500 and save up to 12% on your premiums
$1,000 and save up to 24%
$2,500 and save up to 30%
$5,000 and save up to 37%.
Just make sure you can afford to pay the higher deductible
out of pocket if something should happen.
- Buy your home and auto
policies from the same company.
Many companies will give a multiline discount if you buy
both homeowner's and auto coverage from them.
- Consider insurance when
buying a home.
If you're looking at buying a home, think about the cost
of insuring the home. A newer home's electrical, heating
and plumbing systems and overall structure are likely to
be in better condition than those of an older home. This
can lead to a discount on your premiums.
You'll also want to consider the construction of the home
and where you live. If you live on the East Coast, you'll
want the house to be able to stand up to wind damage,
while on the West Coast, you need to keep earthquakes in
- Insure your home, not
While your home and its contents are at risk from fire,
theft, windstorms and other perils, the land your home
sits on is not. Don't include the value of the land in
deciding how much homeowner's insurance you need to buy.
- Improve security and
Items such as deadbolt locks, burglar alarms and smoke
detectors usually can bring discounts of 5% each,
depending on the company. Your insurance company may also
offer a significant discount of 15% or 20% if you install
a sophisticated home-security system. If you're thinking
about buying such a system, check with your insurer to see
which systems they recommend and which will earn you a
- Stop smoking.
Smoking accidents account for more than 23,000 residential
fires every year. Some insurers offer to reduce premiums
if no one in the home smokes.
- Senior discounts.
Insurance companies have found that retired people stay at
home more and spot fires sooner than working people. Older
people also have more time for maintaining their homes. If
you're at least 55 years old and retired, you might
qualify for a discount of as much as 10%.
- Group coverage.
Alumni and business associations often work out insurance
deals with an insurance company, which includes a discount
for association members. Ask your association's director
about any such deals.
- Stay with an insurer.
If you've kept your coverage with a company for several
years, you may receive special consideration. Several
insurers will reduce their premiums by 5% after staying
with them for three to five years; and some companies will
discount you as much as 10% after six years.
- Check your policy
You want your policy to reflect the value of your home and
belongings. If you review your policy every year, you will
be able to make the necessary adjustments. If, for
example, you just sold a valuable painting, you won't need
the same amount of coverage. But if you added a garage,
you'll need to increase your coverage.
- Look for private
If you live in a high-risk area (one that is especially
vulnerable to coastal storms, fires or crime) and think
you'll be forced to buy homeowner's coverage from your
state's high-risk insurance pool, check first with an
insurance agent. You may find that you can still buy
insurance at a lower price in the private insurance market
than from the insurer of last resort.