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5 Things You can do Today to Lower the Cost of Your Homeowner's Insurance Posted January 26, 2008

Almost every homeowner buys homeowner's insurance. Obviously if your home is being financed you have no choice but to purchase homeowner's insurance, but the vast majority of homeowners who have paid off their homes still elect to pay for homeowner's insurance each month.

Why?

For a very good reason. For the majority of people in this country their home represents their largest single investment and their most valuable asset. Who wouldn't want to protect that?

Still, there is no point in spending any more money than you have to in order to get the protection that you need. And – fortunately – there are several simple things you can do that could very well save you money each and every month on your homeowner's insurance premium.

Keep in mind that you can combine all 5 of these suggestions and thereby combine your monthly savings as well – but if even only one of these suggestions applies to your particular situation you could still save hundreds, even thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your policy.

  • Make minor repairs to your property and to your landscaping. Part of the cost of your homeowner's policy goes toward protecting you from potential lawsuits arising from the possibility that someone could be hurt while on your property – especially if they are injured by something that could have been foreseen and prevented. Fill in potholes and take care of any other landscaping needs; repair or replace loose floorboards on porches and decks; replace or repair loose railings on porches or decks; trim dead or cracked branches from trees; replace buckled or cracked walkways and whatever else you can find that will make it less likely that someone could be hurt while on your property. Call your agent with a list of the work you are thinking of performing and ask what your savings will be before you do the work – your agent may have additional ideas.
     
  • Add motion-sensitive floodlights around your property. While it's true that motion-sensitive lights can be triggered by animals on your property, the fact remains that burglars do not appreciate these lights in the slightest and protecting your home from burglars should reduce your monthly homeowner's insurance payment. At the same time that you are installing the floodlights, make sure to trim all bushes away from windows where burglars like to hide. Make your home, especially its doors and windows, visible from the street in order to deter burglaries. Stand back from your home and look at it from the point of view of a burglar and ask yourself how easy does it appear to get into your home? Make changes to reduce even the possibility of a burglary. Again, make a list of things you intend to do and run it by your insurance agent in order to get an idea of how much you could save. Again, your agent may have even more suggestions.
     
  • Make sure that every single outside door on every single structure on your property has a working deadbolt lock. Also, make sure every window has a working lock, even windows on upper stories. While it is not possible to put a deadbolt lock on a sliding glass door, it is possible to place a stick in the inside track of the door to prevent the door from being forced open. However, that by itself is not enough since sliding doors can be lifted up and yanked out of their tracks in a matter of minutes. To prevent this from happening you need to open your sliding door and then drill three evenly-spaced holes in the center of the upper track. Put screws in each of these holes, screwing them down just far enough for the door to slide under the heads of the screws, but with the screws extended enough to prevent the door from being lifted up and out of its track. Once again, call your agent before starting this work and ask how great your savings will be once you have secured all of your doors and windows.
     
  • Do you know what the most common reason is that homeowners file a claim against their homeowner's insurance? Most people think it's because of fire. Actually it's exactly the opposite. It's because of water damage. If your home is more than ten years old your insurance premiums may very well begin to reflect the increased potential for a water pipe to burst or for a hose leading to the dishwasher or the ice maker in your refrigerator to rupture and to flood your home while you're out for the day or sleeping at night. Ask your agent what upgrades you would need to make (and if you could do some or all of them yourself) in order to get a reduction in your monthly premiums.
     
  • Look into the possibility of getting a home protection system that is monitored 24/7 and which alerts the proper authorities if your home is broken into or if there is a fire in your home. It's important to remember that you need to discuss this with your insurance agent before you agree to purchase any system as not all systems are regarded equally by insurance companies – some systems will save you as much as 30% each month on your homeowner's insurance bill, while other systems may save you next to nothing. While your monthly savings may not quite cancel out your monthly cost for the system, isn't it nice to know that you and your family as well as your home are getting all of this protection and that a good part of the cost is actually being paid for by a reduction in your monthly insurance premiums?

Well, that's 5 things you can do over just the next few days that could potentially save you a huge percentage of your monthly cost for homeowner's insurance, plus there are scores of other things you can ask about which could also save you money – such as if there is someone 55 or over who is retired and at home most of the time, such as paying your premiums on a yearly basis rather than monthly, such as combining all of your various insurance policies with the same company for a Multi-Policy Discount.

Another thing you should do is to simply ask your agent point-blank if there are any unannounced discounts available which might apply to you. You'd be surprised at the number of times you can find an additional discount that you never even thought to ask about.

The final thing you should do once you've done everything you can to reduce the cost of your policy is to get online and compare the cost of your policy among as many insurance companies as you possibly can. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that you only need to make your comparisons on just one website – each website will only compare a few insurance companies.

If you want to insure that you will find the very best price possible for your homeowner's insurance you will need to take the time to make your comparisons from at least 3 different companies which can be done all right here on this website. Once you've done that, I can almost guarantee that you are going to save money over what you are currently paying for your homeowner's insurance – and your savings will continue year after year.


3 Reasons to get a Home Insurance Quote Online

  • Quick Response
    Get your quote in minutes rather than waiting for a written quote
     
  • Get the Best Rates of Multiple Companies at one Location
    Rather than making many phone calls just visit one site for all you insurance quotes
     
  • No Waiting on Hold
    Many insurance companies take a long time to attend to their prospective customers. Getting a quote online is convenient

 

Homeowner Insurance is Changing

There was a time when the homeowner policy was by far the best buy in property and casualty insurance. The policy was actually under priced. It is now starting to fall in line with the rest of the insurance world. Natural disasters have been mounting over the last twenty years. Toxic mold has caused a new problem with homeowner rates in several states. Law suits have increased and the homeowner policy has been a target for more litigation. All of these things have an impact on rates. The homeowner policy is still a wonderful buy and there are many options to keep the rates manageable for most people.

Multi-Line Homeowner & Auto Policy - It makes too much sense to place the homeowner policy with your auto insurance company. This would seem obvious to many but the fact still remains. There are many mono-line homeowner and auto policies in the market place. The multi-policy discount is at least 10%. Insurance companies view their multiple policy customers different than the mono-line policy holder. They remain with them longer and are more profitable. You are disadvantaging yourself by not combining your auto and home insurance with the same company.

High Deductible - Buy replacement cost and purchase your policy with a high deductible. The homeowner policy has much less claim frequency than an automobile insurance policy. There is no need to purchase a home policy with a low deductible. There aren't enough claims on the average home policy to warrant the additional premium that you pay on a low deductible. Home insurance should be purchased to protect you from a financial disaster. It should not be used like you would use a health policy where you turn in a claim with every doctor's visit.

Increase Coverage Where Needed - Purchase the most extensive coverage that you feel necessary to replace your dwelling and replace all of your contents. Make sure that you add special coverage on things that increase in value over time. These are things like fine arts, jewelry, furs, and antiques. These things have limitations under the main policy provisions. Increase your liability coverage if you own a swimming pool or a trampoline. Some companies have identity theft riders and other special coverage. The homeowner policy can be your most creative insurance purchase. Use high deductibles and use the savings in premium to increase limits on the dwelling or contents as well as some of these specialty riders for some of your unique personal property items.


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