Meschter Insurance can always find you the best rates available but we thought you might want some more information on how you can keep some of your hard earned cash in your pocket with savings on your homeowners’ insurance.
Here are eight ways to save on your homeowners’ insurance.
Increase Your Deductible
As I’ve shared with you earlier, increasing your minimum deductible from the typical $250 to a higher amount, such as $500, $1,000, $2,000, or $5,000 can save you a lot of money.
Buy Insurance Only For Your House… Not For Your Land
Because your land can’t be destroyed in most disasters, such as fire, windstorm, hail, lightning, tornado, hurricane, theft, and so on, you don’t need to insure it. So, buy only enough insurance to rebuild your home to the way in was prior to the loss, and to replace all your personal belongings if they’re damaged, lost, or stolen.
(If you live in an area where a disaster like a flood or earthquake could destroy your land completely, then you may consider insuring your land as well.)
Buy Your Home And Auto Policies From The Same Insurance Company
When you buy both your home and auto policies from the same insurance company, you may be able to save 5 to 10%. And, if you buy other policies, such as life, health, or business, from them, if available, then you may save even more.
Improve Your Home Security And Safety
By installing an alarm system, dead-bolt locks, and smoke detectors, you can save at least 5%. And, by installing a good sprinkler system and an alarm system that is monitored 24 hours a day by a monitoring facility, you can usually save 10% to 20%. Check with your insurance company to see what kind of discounts they give for having such systems.
You may be entitled to a discount if no one in your family smokes. Since smoking-related accidents are responsible for about 23,000 house fires a year, many insurance companies charge the homeowners’ who have smokers living with them more premiums.
Stay With One Insurance Company As Long As Possible
When you have your homeowners’ policy with your insurance company for 3 to 5 years, and if you have good claim history, then you may be entitled to a 5% discount. And when you have been with them for 6 or more years, then you may get a 10% discount.
Ask For A multi-policy Discount
When you have both your homeowners and auto insurance with the same carrier you can get an extra 10 – 15% on both policies.
Review Your Homeowners’ Policy Once A Year
To make sure you don’t buy more insurance than necessary, each year, make a list of your personal belongings. Include everything you and your family members own in your home and in other buildings on your property, such as the lawnmower you keep in the shed. (Exclude your car and certain kinds of boats that must be insured separately).
For major or high-value items like computers, stereo equipment, refrigerator, watches, jewelry, and so on, write down this information beside each one…
Brand name and model number
Date of purchase
Estimated present value
Also, if you’ve made any improvements or additions to your home during the year, such as installing a new room or remodeling the kitchen, list them as well.
After you’ve listed your possessions, then estimate what it would cost to replace them all at current prices. Compare this amount to the amount of coverage you have for personal property. If you have too much coverage, then consider reducing it. Conversely, if you don’t have enough coverage, then increase it.
By the way, even if you do have receipts for all your large or high-value items, you may consider photographing or videotaping them, as well as the other belongings you keep inside your home; in your shed, attic, basement, and so on.
In fact, take your cell phone, camera or video camera, and go around your home, room by room. Record everything, including the stuff stored in your closets, kitchen cabinets, drawers, bookcases, boxes, and so on.
After you’ve done so, keep your inventory and visual records away from your home, preferably in a safety deposit box at a bank.
Keeping good records of your belongings not only helps your insurance company process your claim faster, but also helps you get the right payment from them for your loss.