Tips for lowering your insurance premiums
We all know the price of something invariably goes up over time. This applies to homeowners insurance as well. For the most part, the rate increase is due to rising property values and the costs of repair. Statistics show that insurance rates have increased an average of 50% over the last decade. That’s pretty steep and means less discretionary money to spend on eating out, going to the movies, or taking a nice vacation.
However, there are things you can do to reduce your rate. Let’s look at some of them and find ways your family can save money.
1. Increase your deductible
This might seem like a difficult choice. If you have to pay more out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in, how does that save you money? It is a trade off, but it will lower your premium. According to TheBalance.com, “If you have a low deductible of $50 to $100, consider raising it to at least $500 to $1,000. You could save up to 25% on your premiums.” That’s money you can put into savings in case something does happen. Just be careful how much you raise the deductible. Take stock of what you earn, and what you are able to save, to make sure that you can afford the higher out-of-pocket expense you may incur if there is damage or a break in.
2. Reinforce and add safety measures
There are many things you can do that will help safeguard your house. These include adding storm shutters or impact windows and updating utilities such as electric wiring and water pipes. If you are in an area that is vulnerable to hurricanes (Hello Florida, Texas, Gulf Coast and East Coast), there are sometimes discounts available to get your house up to a stronger code. Hurricane reinforcements can include adding water barriers and sealing roof decks; reinforcing and anchoring roofs, floor, and walls; adding approved gable ends; and installing hurricane-rated doors and garage doors. While doing these upgrades are not cheap in the short term, they can be of great benefit. They will lower your insurance premium, but also help ensure you don’t end up having to rebuild everything in the event of a hurricane.
You can also reduce rates by adding home security measures such as an alarm system, hard-wired smoke alarms, and deadbolts.
3. Protect against flooding.
According to insurancematch.com, “Flood damage is the number one insurance claim in the United States.” The one thing you must understand is that most homeowner’s policies don’t cover flood damage, which means you have to buy separate flood insurance. However, you may be able lower your insurance rates by installing proper flood openings, elevating utilities above ground level, and elevating your home.
4. Shop around and ask about available discounts.
Do your homework when researching insurance companies. Ask around and get several quotes. Also ask about available discounts. Some may offer a discount if you bundle services, such as auto or life insurance. If you have a claim-free history you may also be able to negotiate a discount.
5. Do you really need to file a claim?
If you make several or frequent claims, it could drive up your premiums as the insurance company could view you as high risk. You may even risk having your policy canceled. So, before making a claim for a minor incident, decide if you might be better off in the long run if you pay for the repairs yourself.
6. Monitor your credit score.
Your credit score doesn’t just matter when applying for a home loan. According to TheBalance.com, “Insurance companies are increasingly using credit information to price insurance policies.” Keep open credit card accounts to a minimum, don’t get too close or go over your charge limit, and always pay your bills on time. A healthy score can mean a healthier bank balance thanks to lower insurance rates.
Follow these 6 steps to help lower your premium. If you need a consultation about your insurance needs or you have questions about reducing your rate, contact Avante Insurance today.