Owning a home can be the fulfillment of a dream, or a nightmare, depending on how smoothly things go. If you simply sail through life without a care in the world, then it’s a pleasant dream. However, if one bad thing after another keeps happening owning a home can be disastrous–unless you’re properly insured. Having adequate coverage is necessary, but you also want to be able to do it without breaking the bank. Following are a few money-saving home insurance tips.
Shop for the Best Deal
Among the best ways of saving money on home insurance is to shop for the best deal. Go online and get some home insurance quotes, then compare them with quotes from the more traditional brick and mortar insurance companies. Once you have your best offer, decide on which company to go with. If you already have insurance of one sort or another, contact your agent and see if they can meet or beat that price.
Stick with One Company
One of the main reasons you want to give your present insurer a chance to equal the lowest offer you’ve collected is because most insurance companies will reward long-time customers with lower rates. If you’ve been with a company for awhile, it may be in your best interest to stick with them even if their prices are a bit higher than the quotes you’ve gathered.
Developing a relationship with a reliable company takes time, and once you’ve established a rapport the company may give you preferential treatment. Insurance companies make money off repeat business, so they may work harder and faster to satisfy a claim if you’ve been with them for a long time.
Raise Your Deductibles
Probably the best way to ensure you can save money on home insurance is to raise your deductibles. Because it’s standard practice within the insurance industry, having a high deductible on your homeowner’s policy will mean lower premiums. However, raising your deductible will mean you need to have enough money on hand to cover it if you need to file a claim. The reason for this is that the deductible must be paid before the insurance company will release a check to you.
In order to make sure you have the money available to handle the deductible payment you should open a savings account designated for emergency use only. If you deposit money into the account on a regular basis and never have to file a claim, it will continue to accrue interest and develop into a nice little nest egg.
Don’t Carry Too Much Insurance
Take a close look at your insurance coverage from time to time and make sure you’re not carrying too much insurance. Although it’s never a good idea to be under-insured, being over insured is a waste of money. If your property is worth in the neighborhood of $250,000, and your insure covers twice that, then you’re paying too much.
Another way to save money is to bundle your insurance policies. This is quickly becoming a selling point for insurance companies, so now is a good time to take advantage of it. By combining your homeowner’s policy with your health, life and auto insurance coverage you can save quite a bit on premiums. The insurance company will reduce your payments because it will cost them less to handle the paper work. Fewer employee hours translates into savings for you.
Storm-Proof Your Home
Storm-proofing your home will save money. If you install storm-proof shutters on doors and windows, your insurance premiums will go down. Re-roofing your home with storm-resistant shingles will accomplish the same purpose. Putting weather sealant on basement walls will also reduce your payments, especially if you live in a flood plain. The weather sealant won’t prevent damage if the water rises too high, but will reduce the likelihood of having to file a bunch of small claims, which would increase your premiums.
Increase Home Security
A good way to make sure your insurance premiums go down is to increase the security of your home. By installing deadbolt locks on windows and doors, you’ll make it much harder for thieves to break in, so your insurance payments will decrease. Adding a security alarm will reduce it even further, especially if the alarm rings into a manned security business or a police station. Installing solar-powered lights along walkways will reduce your overall liability, which will also lower your insurance premiums.
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