Owning a home can be expensive even if you look for every way to cut back and save on your bills. Homeowners insurance adds to the cost of owning a home, but it is one of the most important things you will pay for. Not only does homeowners insurance protect the structure of your home, it also covers your personal possessions and provides legal protection in the event someone else is injured on your property.
Because homeowners insurance is something you can’t do without, it helps to know that there are ways that you can reduce your costs while still getting all the coverage you need. For example, asking about discounts, making modifications to your home or choosing a policy based on your individual needs can all drive down your costs. Below, learn more about getting cheap homeowners insurance that will cover everything you need.
Get the Coverage Level You Actually Need
In most cases, you can receive the necessary coverage with a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. However, getting additional types of insurance may be wise depending on where you live. For example, if you reside in a region prone to natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, consider getting a policy that specifically covers these issues. Flood and earthquake insurance is rarely included in a regular policy and almost always must be purchased separately.
At the same time, you generally don’t want to over-insure your home by getting a level of coverage or type of insurance that you do not actually need. With that in mind, it is usually a good idea to take a survey of all your possessions as well as the features of your home. If you have rare or hard-to-replace construction features, such as those found on some older homes, you might want to get a modified policy that will specifically cover the cost to replace these features. If not, a standard policy may cover any repairs you need.
Similarly, if you do not have expensive collectibles such as jewelry, furs, silverware or other similar items, you might find that it is unnecessary to get a policy with extra coverage. Most standard policies will cover up to $2,000 for damaged or stolen items in this category.
Ask About Home Insurance Discounts
Getting a discount is perhaps the easiest way to save money without necessarily making modifications to your coverage. Certain types of discounts can be found through just about any insurer, but most companies also have their own special discounts. For this reason, it’s important to shop around not just to compare costs, but to look at the extra savings you might qualify for with different companies.
Many insurers will help you save money if you bundle multiple policies with them, such as home, auto and life. You can also get discounts for being a loyal customer, being a nonsmoker or even being married. Always ask your insurer for any savings that you might qualify for, as some companies have obscure discounts that you might not be aware of.
You can even search for additional discounts such as cable and TV discounts, to help make paying for your home more affordable.
Make Home Modifications to Save More Money
While you might qualify for some discounts automatically, getting others may require that you do a little work around the house. For example, installing a monitored system for burglaries, leaks or fires will usually result in a discount. Putting in dead-bolt locks or making other security improvements may help as well. However, before spending money on any home modifications, be sure to ask your insurer if there are any special requirements for getting a discount.
Consider Raising Your Deductible
Your deductible is the amount that you must pay out-of-pocket before an insurance company will accept a claim. When you set a higher deductible, it means that you will need to cover more of any given repair yourself before you are eligible to make a claim. As a result, insurers will typically offer a discount due to the fact that you are less likely to reach your claim-making threshold for smaller repairs or issues. Increasing your deductible from $500 to $1,000, for example, may result in a discount. Ask your insurer about any requirements you may need to meet in order to qualify for a discount on a higher deductible.
Work on Your Credit Score
In most states, insurers can look at your credit score in order to determine what rates you are eligible for. While this can affect your rates when you first sign up, your credit score can also impact your insurance costs when your policy is reviewed or renewed. As far as insurers are concerned, having a good credit history means that you are statistically less likely to make a claim.
Doing things such as paying your bills on time, paying down high-interest debts and correcting any errors on your credit report can improve your score. Maintaining a lower level of debt compared to your available credit is always a good idea as well.