6 great tips to lower your home insurance costs
Owning a home is great but it can be expensive. Between the up-keep, mortgage rates, property taxes and so on, the money going out can all start to add up.
While some of those expenses are non-negotiable or unavoidable – if you need a new water heater, you need a new water heater – others, such as house insurance, do have a little wiggle room.
Following are some suggestions on lowering your yearly home insurance rates.
Be a wise consumer and shop around.
As with so many aspects of home ownership, you need to do your research and shop around. Yes, you may have been with the same people for 10 years, and they may even be giving you a small discount for that, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do better. Talk to friends, neighbours or even your realtor to see who is out there. Plus, now comparing rates is super easy with online quote options.
Raise your deductible.
The deductible is the money you must pay out of pocket before your insurance company begins to pay a claim. The higher your deductible, the more money you can save on your premiums; of course, it also means the more you’re paying if something happens to go wrong. But raising your deductible from $500 to $1,000 can save you up to 25 percent on your rates. Different areas may have different or separate deductibles for specific issues, such as floods or earthquakes, so you’ll want to investigate that further.
Insure your car, while you’re at it.
When you insure your home and vehicles with one company, it means more business for them, which is why they often offer a 5 or 10 percent savings incentive for people who can bundle up a few different items.
Save up and pay once annually.
While a monthly payment plan is easier to deal with financially, there will be extra administrative charges typically. So start planning ahead, start saving up and do one lump-sum payment.
Improve your home’s security.
Some companies offer small discounts for smoke detectors, burglar alarms or even dead-bolt locks. A fancy sprinkler system or a fire/burglar alarm that rings at a monitoring station can result in even better savings with most insurers. But before you start spending money on them, check with your agent for qualifications and recommendations.
Weigh the costs before making a claim.
A claims-free discount on home insurance can be significant. Even though you may have a broken window or stolen bike, it could less expensive in the long run just to deal with it on your own rather than file a claim.