Homeownership is costly and the homeowners insurance premium is just one of the many costs a homeowner has to contend with on an annual/monthly basis. Below, I have compiled 12 easy ways to save on your home insurance:
1. Shop around for the best rates
Insurance companies and their rates come in all sizes. Be ready to compare rates across different providers, brokers, and agents to see which one most competitively meets your needs. It is best to request that a quote be provided in writing, so you can effectively compare quotes and see what’s being covered, amounts and such. For just about the same coverage, I was able to find home insurance that was about $300 cheaper by shopping around.
2. Use your Group discounts
You may qualify for significant group discounts based on your membership of an organization, union, school alumni, or via employment. Find out if there are any such discounts available to you.
3. Review your current coverage
It’s a good idea to review your home insurance coverage at least annually. If you have made any renovations or upgrades such as replacing the roof or furnace, sold or acquired some new toys, started a home business, etc. Ensure your insurance reflects your current situation and avoid over- or under insurance.
We were able to shave $41 off our annual premium when we replaced our roof and and saved an additional $43 a few months later after I reviewed our policy and realized we were paying addional premiums for jewellery we didn’t have! Document your possessions regularly in order to keep track of what you own and ensure you are appropriately protected. I keep an inventory of our possessions using Encircle App on my smartphone.
Related: 12 Savvy Ways To Save Money On Gas
4. Increase your deductible
The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. For example, I saved about $100 by increasing our deductible from $500 to $1,000. However, ensure you do not increase your deductible to a level that would be difficult (or painful) for you if disaster strikes. The deductible refers to the amount you are expected to pay out-of-pocket when making a claim.
5. Pay Premium upfront
Some insurance companies will offer you a discount if you are willing to pay the annual premium upfront, instead of on a monthly basis. You save the company some processing fees and they may pass the savings on to you – up to a 8% discount.
6. Bundle up your insurance
You may qualify for substantial discounts if you insure both your home and car (i.e. auto insurance) with the same insurance company. Potential savings can be anywhere from 5 to 15% off your annual premium.
7. Install a home security system
Making your home as secure as possible is generally good for you and for your insurance. A centrally monitored burglar alarm combined with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can fetch you some pretty significant savings (as much as 20%) on your premium.
8. Stay claim-free
The longer you stay claim-free, the better your chances of getting significant discounts on your premium. Therefore, it may make sense for you to pay out-of-pocket for small repairs and not make a claim so you can take advantage of claim-free discounts.
9. Loyalty counts
If you stay with the same insurer for a couple of years, ask for their loyalty discount. My current insurer offers a 15% discount after 3 years of continuous insurance.
10. Quit smoking
If your house is a smoke-free zone, you may qualify for a discount on your premium. This is because the potential for a house fire occurring and damaging the property is deemed to be much lower.
11. Allow a credit check
Some insurers will ask to run a credit check on you. An excellent credit rating can get you better rates. You can check your credit score for free:
12. Other ways to lower your home insurance premium include:
- Buy a house close to a fire hydrant and/or fire station
- Install a centrally monitored alarm on your sump pump
- Install a backflow preventer on your sewer line
- Buy a newer house – rates are generally lower for newer homes because the plumbing, electrical and heating systems are less prone to having problems
- Simply ask the insurer if there are any discounts you qualify for!