How can I bring my home insurance rates down?
The good news about trying to keep your home insurance costs down: The ball is really in your court. You have quite a few options available to you. And, for the most part, it really comes down to the choices you make —not the judgment made by your home insurance provider.
Here are a few ways to bring your costs down:
- Check for discounts. It’s a good idea to check the discounts an insurer offers while you're still shopping around. You may find that these discounts don't show up in the initial quotes. But an insurance company may, for instance, offer up to ten percent off to homeowners over 55 years old. You may also be looking at military discounts and retiree discounts.
- Consider insurance costs before buying your home. If you live in a flood-prone area, for instance, you're going to have to buy flood insurance on top of your standard home insurance policy. What looks like the slightly more expensive option right now may become considerably cheaper over time.
- Security, security, security. Insurers often offer up to 20 percent off if you have deadbolts, sprinklers and a burglar alarm. The more safety and security measures in your home, the lower the risk for you and your insurer. And the lower your premiums will be.
- Higher deductibles = lower premiums. You might have to pay your deductible someday, but there’s a chance it won’t need to be used. On the other hand, you will need to pay your premiums every month. If you’re looking to save money on premiums, consider raising your deductible (assuming, of course you can afford a higher deductible).
- Build a relationship with your insurer. If you buy home and car insurance on a bundled policy, you can usually save a lot of money. If you stay with the same insurer for years, discounts may kick in every five to ten years or so, up to a limit. Just like businesses in any other industry, insurers value and reward loyalty.
- Review your possessions annually. Sometimes depreciation works in your favor, and that $2,000 sofa really isn't worth insuring at $2,000 anymore. Make sure you're not buying more insurance than you need.
Contacting your insurance provider to ask about discounts is going to be your best bet for bringing your rates down. Most insurance providers would much rather help you to reduce your risk than squeeze a couple extra dollars out of you each month.