Homeowner’s insurance rates vary widely depending on so many factors. Yes the coverage amount is the main factor but so are many others from your age to your zip code. Making sure you are adequately covered for your specific needs is crucial so it’s important to be careful as you review your coverage to lower your rate to make sure you are adequately protected.
- Shop around: Homeowners policy prices vary from company to company, so comparison shopping is important to get the best rate for the best coverage. Start by asking friends and family for recommendations or use online comparative raters. However, once you have narrowed down few options, make sure to contact the state insurance department to find out whether they make available consumer complaint ratios by company. If they do, check into the insurers you’re considering doing business with. Make sure to also check the financial health of prospective insurance companies by using ratings from independent rating agencies.
Shopping around does not mean you only shop for the best price. Coverage is the most important factor to consider . If you received several quotes for the same coverage, then price could be considered as a comparative factor. However, many would argue that service is much important than price. When you need to file a claim you’ll want an insurer that provides good customer service, so test that while you’re shopping, and choose a company whose representatives take the time to address your questions and concerns.
- Raise your deductible: A deductible is the amount of money that you are responsible for paying toward an insured loss. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. If you live in a disaster-prone area, your insurance policy may have a separate deductible for damage from major disasters, so be sure you take this into account when considering whether to raise your standard homeowners deductible.
- Package your home and auto: Most companies that provide home insurance coverage provide auto insurance as well as types of policies. Combining these policies in a package by purchasing them all from the same company helps you save substantially.
- Disaster proof your home: If you live in a disaster prone area, you will have more insurance options to choose from if you take steps to lower the risk to your home. Examples of this would be to make sure you have a defensible space between your home and any vegetation to lower fire risk, installing a metal roof, upgrading the plumbing and electrical systems, installing burglar and fire alarms, indoor sprinkler systems, … Make sure to share these mitigation steps with the agent in case they would help you get additional credits to lower the cost of your insurance.
- Review the replacement cost of your home: It is crucial to make sure your home is properly covered for the replacement cost. However, many assume that the coverage amount should be equal to the amount they paid for their home. Keep in mind that the market value of your home includes the cost of the land which is not insurable. The coverage amount of your home should be for the structures on the property based on current and local construction costs.
- Home security devices: Most companies provide discounts for security devices such as smoke detectors, burglar and fire alarm systems. Some companies have even started providing discounts for monitored security cameras on your property. Make sure to inquire about these discount. However, be prepared to provide proof of installation and contracts to make sure these systems are in place and are centrally monitored.
- Loyalty: Most companies provide some sort of loyalty credit for clients who have been insured with the company for a number of years. Although shopping around is valuable from time to time, make sure you only switch companies when the saving is substantial and worth the risk of not being renewed in case of a large claim. A loyal client is less likely to be non renewed in case his or her risk becomes too high to take on for most insurance companies.
- Regular coverage review: Make sure to also take time to review your coverage limits at the renewal. The value of your possessions might change with time, you might have built a new shed or upgraded to solar …. etc. All these changes could affect your coverage and your rate
Make sure to contact us to review your coverage or shop the many companies we represent or ask us for a possible package credit.