If you own a home, insurance is a necessity and required if you have a mortgage. But homeowners insurance might be costing you more than it should. Thankfully, there are Continue Reading
If you own a home, insurance is a necessity and required if you have a mortgage. But homeowners insurance might be costing you more than it should.
Thankfully, there are ways to lower your monthly homeowners insurance premiums without sacrificing essential coverage.
Many insurance companies provide incentives and discounts that can help you save money and lower your homeowners insurance costs.
10 Discounts to Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Rate
Tired of overpaying for homeowners insurance? We don’t blame you.
Small changes — like bundling your coverage and installing security features — can help save money on your homeowners insurance policy.
Here are 10 ways to score a home insurance discount and lower your monthly premium.
- Add security features to your home.
- Bundle your home and auto insurance
- Make improvements to your home
- Ask about loyalty discounts
- Get a claims-free discount
- Raise your deductible
- How you pay can help you save
- New home discount
- Homeowner-specific discounts
- Explore other homeowners insurance discounts
1. Add Security Features to Your Home
Adding certain security features and smart devices around the house can help save you 2% to 15% on your homeowners insurance. The exact discount will depend on the company, the devices you have and where you live.
Security and safety measures can include things like:
- Water leak sensors
- Smart smoke detectors
- Motion sensors
- Carbon monoxide, radon or gas leak detectors
- Burglar alert systems
- Fire alarms and fire protection systems
Some insurance companies even give you a discount for installing less high-tech safety features like deadbolts on exterior doors, fire extinguishers or even an automatic sprinkler system.
Insurance companies offer discounts if you install these gadgets or devices because they make your home safer. A safer home means less risk for the insurer.
2. Bundle Your Home and Auto Insurance
You’ve probably heard the TV commercials from insurance companies like Progressive and Liberty Mutual.
You could save big by bundling your home and auto insurance!
They’re not wrong. Buying more than one policy from the same carrier tends to be one of the best and most widely available discount you can get.
You can usually save anywhere from 5% to 15% on your homeowners premium by taking out two or more insurance policies with the same company, according to data from the Insurance Information Institute.
Bundling your auto and home insurance with a single carrier also makes it easy to keep track of all your coverage in one place.
Similarly, you can usually save money by insuring more than one home through a single insurance company.
While most people get a bundling discount with home and auto insurance policies, you can usually bundle home insurance with other types of coverage, like life insurance or RV insurance as well.
3. Make Improvements to Your Home
Have you completed any home renovations recently? You might have made yourself eligible for a homeowners insurance discount without even realizing it.
Many insurance companies will lower your homeowners insurance premiums if you upgrade your home with impact-resistant roofing, hurricane-resistant windows or storm shutters.
Contact your insurance company and request a new inspection of your home to evaluate the improvements and maximize your savings opportunities.
4. Ask About Loyalty Discounts
If you’ve been with the same insurance company for three years or more, you may qualify for a discount.
However, homeowners insurance loyalty discounts vary and not all companies offer them.
Something else to keep in mind: You might be able to save a lot more money by switching to a different insurance company than you would sticking with your long-standing insurer — even if they offer a loyalty discount.
5. Get a Claims-Free Discount
Just like automobile insurance, homeowners insurance companies often give you a discount if you haven’t filed a claim for a certain amount of time.
Most insurance companies award this discount if you’ve been claim-free for either three or five years.
6. Raise Your Deductible
Raising your home insurance deductible is an easy way to save money on your monthly premiums.
Homeowners can shave an average $260 off their insurance rate by raising their deductible from $500 to $2,500, according to a rate analysis by Insurance.com.
That’s because insurers realize you’ll probably file fewer claims if you have a higher deductible.
Keeping an extra $1,000 to $3,000 in your emergency fund can ensure you have the extra cash on hand to cover out-of-pocket expenses if you need to make a claim.
7. How You Pay Can Help You Save
Most home insurance companies will give you a small discount if you pay a year’s worth of insurance premiums up front. It’s similar to the discount you might receive by paying auto insurance premiums annually or every six months instead of paying month to month.
In this digital age, most insurers also offer modest discounts if you opt for paperless billing or pay your premium via automatic bank payments.
8. New Home Discount
If your home was built in the last three to five years, you might be eligible for a discount.
That’s because features like new wiring and a new roof are less likely to fail and result in a costly insurance claim.
You may also be able to snag a discount by upgrading outdated plumbing and electrical systems on your existing home.
9. Homeowner-Specific Discounts
Some insurers reward you with a discount for simply being you.
Here are a few examples:
- Military discounts. Many companies offer home insurance discounts for veterans and active-duty military personnel. You might even qualify if you’re the spouse or child of a military member.
- Employment, organization and association discounts. Teachers, firefighters and law enforcement personnel may qualify for a modest price break.
- Retired homeowners discount. Some insurance companies offer discounts to retirees over the age of 55 who work outside the house less than 24 hours a week. You might also save some money on insurance premiums if you’ve paid your house off in full.
10. Explore Other Home Insurance Discounts
Some lesser-known homeowners insurance discounts can also net you savings on your insurance policy.
Other discounts and ways to save include:
- Living in a gated community
- Belonging to a homeowners association (HOA)
- Living in a smoke-free home
- Getting rid of high-risk items, like trampolines
- Maintaining a good credit score
- Living near a fire hydrant or fire department
How Do Home Insurance Discounts Work?
Many home insurance discounts take place automatically, so you don’t have to apply for them per se.
For example, if you bundle multiple policies with one carrier or pay your premiums in full for the year, these discounts will be factored into your policy without any extra leg work on your part.
However, it never hurts to give your home insurance company a call and ask if they can conduct a discount review to see if you qualify for additional savings.
This is especially helpful if you’ve recently made upgrades or improvements to your home, such as installing a security system or smoke alarms. Your home insurance agent may not be aware of the changes otherwise — and you could miss out on a lower rate.
It’s also important to note that insurance companies will cap how much you can save, even if you’re eligible for multiple home insurance discounts. For example, an insurance company may limit your savings to 20% to 35% total.
How many discounts you can receive varies. Check with your insurance company to see what discount amounts and limitations apply.
Compare Quotes From Other Insurers
It pays to shop around.
While qualifying for a discount can make your current homeowners insurance policy more affordable, you might be able to save much more money by simply switching to a new company.
It’s generally recommended to comparison shop for home insurance once a year or so to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
It’s also important to understand how much home insurance coverage you actually need so you don’t overpay for your policy.
Many companies provide easy-to-use home insurance quote tools on their websites. Or, you can ask an independent insurance agent or broker to shop around for you.
Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.