It seems that nearly all insurance buyers are trying to save as much money as possible while still being able to protect themselves. Homeowners insurance is the policy that insurance buyers should be cautious about when trying to save a few dollars in insurance premium.
A person's home is typically their single largest investment and coverage for the asset should not be sacrificed for the sake of saving a few dollars. Now that being said, there are a number of ways to save money on your homeowners insurance without cutting your overall coverage amount for your home and valuables.
1) Combine your Home and Auto Insurance with the same insurance company. Most insurance companies offer multipolicy discounts to customers who purchase both home and auto insurance from the same company. These discounts can be as much as 20% or more on each policy.
2) Consider raising your deductible. Insurance companies give additional credit to customers who carry higher deductibles on their policies and homeowners insurance is no exception. If a customer is paying $500 per year on his/her homeowners insurance with a $500 deductible, they can probably save $50+ dollars in premium cost per year by increasing their deductible to $1,000. Although this option may not be the solution for everyone, it is worth noting that if you are like me and have not had a claim in nearly a decade, you could have saved at least 1 years premium - $500 - by making the deductible change.
3) Smoke Alarms, Deadbolts and Fire Extinguishers. Many homeowners insurance companies give credits for many items that are standard in most new homes. Customers should verify with their insurance agent that they are receiving all credits available for such things as smoke alarms, deadbolts, fire extinguishers, etc.; granted you have them in your home.
4) Home Security Systems. Nearly every homeowners insurance company offers premium credits for Home Security Systems and depending on the type of system (monitored, etc.), the premium credits can be significant. Please see the GDI Recommends page for a link to one of our recommended partners, Soundscapes, for a home security audit as well as great quality work for all your electrical and audio/video needs.
5) Automatic Payment Options. Most insurance companies charge what are called Installment Fees, also known as Billing or Processing Fees. These are typically range from $1-10 and are charged each time the insurance company sends you a bill. If your homeowners insurance premium is $500 and you are billed monthly with a $5 installment fee, this means that you are paying an additional $50 ($5 per month for the 10 billing months) to the insurance company. This is essentially a form of finance charge, which in this case results in a total charge that amounts to 10%. By electing automatic or electronic payments, most insurance companies waive, or at least reduce, their installment fees.
There are a number of other ways to save on your homeowners insurance in addition to those listed above. Please contact Lorraine Azevedo at GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. in Turlock to find out how.
Matthew Davis MBA, AAI