The average home in the United States costs average home in the United States costs $229,000. This is obviously a big financial investment to make.
In addition to that, the average homeowner pays $1,131 per year in homeowner insurance costs, which is a 3.3% increase over last year.
Your home is a major investment, but insuring it doesn’t have to break the bank.
Read on to learn about the steps you can take to obtain affordable homeowners insurance for your home and family’s future.
Tips to Get the Most Affordable Homeowners Insurance
Below are a list of some steps you can take to get the best price on your homeowners policy.
Step 1: Make Sure Your Credit Is in Good Shape
Insurance costs often come down to risks and rewards. One way to assess an individual’s risk is to pull their credit report.
There are free places, like Credit Karma, that allow you to look at your credit score. If you find errors on your credit report, you can dispute them and work to get them corrected.
Step 2: Have You Filed Insurance Claims in the Past?
You can’t re-write history, but the more claims you file against your insurance, the higher your rates will become. In the future, consider paying for minor claims out of pocket, as this prevents your rates from going up.
If you aren’t sure whether damage repair will cost less than your deductible, call your agent to decide whether you should have your insurance company give you a repair estimate. You don’t want to have record of any loss or damage if you can repair the cost yourself for less expensive than your deductible.
Step 3: Know What You Are Getting and Shop Around
Insurance of any kind is not the fun part of home ownership. However, read your home insurance policy carefully and when comparing to make sure they are covering the things that are most important to you.
Consider contacting the best Pasadena independent insurance agent. Independent agents have the ability to shop different insurance companies and help you find the best deal. They are also your direct line to understanding your policy’s coverage.
Large insurance companies have only their own policy options and rates to offer. In addition, several insurance companies only have a toll free number to call, and then you are dealing with online options to get questions answered on the dreaded ‘telephone tree.’ An independent agent may be a better choice for your future.
Ask About Multi-Policy Discounts
Insurers will often provide discounts if you bundle all your insurance with them. Be sure to do the math and make sure that you are truly getting cost savings if you switch from other providers. Some providers will show dozens of ‘discounts,’ but their rates are often higher than companies who don’t advertise multiple discounts.
Find an Agent and Stick with Them
Most companies reward loyalty. Find an agent you trust and stick with them, as they often will offer discounts if you remain a loyal customer. The more you switch your insurance, the less likely you are to receive a loyalty discount.
By the same token, if you do find a significant change in premiums from one year to the next, don’t be afraid to ask your agent about it. Independent agents can shop out your policy to find you a more affordable plan, and some will automatically try and find you more affordable if your premium goes up after a year’s time. Be sure to ask!
Share Your Situation
There are often discounts for members of the military, teachers, and healthcare providers. Also touch base with your insurance agent when you retire, as most companies give discounts for retirees.
Lastly, check for discounts through all your member organizations. Often times there are discounts for alumni groups, AARP, AAA, rotary clubs, and union memberships.
Step 4: Choose the Highest Deductible You Can Afford
Compare the savings across a range of deductibles. For example, if you increase your deductible from $500 to $1000, you can save 10-25% off of your premium. The higher the deductible, the bigger the savings.
The safe bet here is to stash that “deductible” money away in an interest-bearing account so that if you do have to pay a large deductible, you have it ready to go.
Step 5: Improve the Safety of Your House
Insurance companies will offer discounts if you make your home safer because it is effectively reducing the risk if something happens.
Here is a list of simple things you can do:
- Put a smoke detector on every floor.
- Put a carbon monoxide detector on every floor.
- Get fire extinguishers and put them on every floor, but especially have one in the kitchen.
- Deadbolt all exterior doors.
- Consider installing an alarm system.
- Consider an internal sprinkler system.
- If you are considering getting a pet, think about the type and breed as this can affect homeowner insurance rates.
- If you are a smoker, try to quit.
Discounts for State of the Art Building Materials
If you have recently renovated your home or are planning to renovate, consider the materials you use. They too may provide a discount on your insurance. Be cautious because major renovations can also cause your homeowners insurance to increase.
Before you improve your home, consider how its price compares to others in the area, as that affects insurance rates as well.
Here is a list to consider:
- Use fire-resistant materials.
- Consider green materials when possible.
- Install storm shutters if you are in an area where hurricanes are a risk.
- Improve or replace roofing material. Roofs are one of the most common things damaged in storms.
- Use hurricane and earthquake rated tie-downs and materials.
- Understand the impact of installing a swimming pool or spa on rate increases.
- Check if your electrical systems are up to code and if they are not, replace them.
Be sure to have an honest conversation with your insurance agent about your situation and the state of your home. There may be other discounts available, but you have to be willing to ask.
Are You Ready to Get Affordable Homeowners Insurance?
Your house is one of your largest assets and you want to make sure it is protected.
We are happy to provide you a quote for affordable homeowners insurance and flood insurance. After all, you never know what could happen and being prepared is the smart thing to do.