Homeowners insurance policies can protect your wallet when the unexpected occurs, from disasters like fire and lightning strikes to events like vandalism and theft. The point of a policy is to save you money in the long run—but it does mean paying some upfront.
Unfortunately, different homeowners insurance companies charge different amounts for their coverage, and it can be tricky to know just how much you should pay. The This Old House Reviews Team has identified the top ways to lower your homeowners insurance premium so you don’t have to break the bank.
Here’s your answer to the common question, “How can I lower my homeowners insurance?”
No. 1: Shop Around
Choosing a reputable company with many discounts and a high degree of financial stability can save you a lot of money. Research insurers’ details and complaints history through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and look into their financial ratings from Moody’s and AM Best. Shop around every few years to make sure you’re consistently getting the best deal.
We always recommend reaching out to at least three homeowners insurance companies for quotes before you make your final decision. Read through The This Old House Reviews Team’s home insurance reviews to help you find the best potential companies to work with.
No. 2: Talk to an Insurance Agent
As you’re getting started, speak with a local insurance agent to learn what the coverage includes—and what it doesn’t. Some companies have more expensive basic policies that are more comprehensive, but you don’t want to pay for any coverage you might not need.
No. 3: Raise Your Deductible
Your homeowners insurance deductible is the amount you must pay toward a loss before your insurance provider starts to pay a claim. Higher deductibles translate to lower premiums because you pay more out of pocket when you file a claim. Most homeowners opt for a deductible of $1,000, but $500 and other amounts are available from many companies.
Keep in mind that you should be practical when choosing your deductible. Going too high could backfire—you always need to be able to afford the repair out of pocket. In addition, your policy could have separate deductibles for different kinds of damage, like hail storms, earthquakes, or wind storms.
No. 4: File Claims Wisely
Homeowners insurance companies can penalize you over time for being a high-risk customer or making many claims. They can raise your premium and, in some cases, even cancel your policy if too many rack up—which can make purchasing another policy from a different company challenging. So if the damage is affordable, it may be more beneficial to pay for it out of pocket than to file a claim.
No. 5: Purchase Your Home and Auto Policies From the Same Insurer
Bundling your home and auto insurance policies can save you as much as 15% from some companies. In general, this is more cost-effective than buying coverages from multiple companies.
No. 6: Be a Loyal Customer
Many home insurance companies reward loyal customers. Staying with the same insurance company for a number of years—usually at least 3-5 years or more—can lead to financial rewards. Being a long-term policyholder has this perk, but it’s still worth it to shop around every year or every few years.
No. 7: Invest in Safety Features
Improving your home security by installing protective devices like deadbolt locks, burglar alarms, or smoke detectors can earn you significant discounts. Some companies give greater and greater discounts depending on the degree of sophistication of these devices, cutting even more if you have alarms that call the police.
It will cost you money upfront but will make you feel more secure and save you money long-term.
No. 8: Research All Available Discounts
Different companies offer different discounts. Some offer as few as three, while others offer many more than that. Before you sign up for a policy, always research to see how many you qualify for. Many different types are available, from 55 and up to newly purchased homes, autopay, energy-efficient upgrades, and more.
No. 9: Prep Your Home for Disasters
Making your home more disaster-resistant can save you money. Check with your insurance agent to see if installing features like storm shutters or modernizing plumbing, heating, and electrical systems will result in a lower premium. This can also apply to retrofitting older homes or reinforcing your roof. These undertakings may seem expensive upfront, but they can ultimately pay off.
No. 10: Maintain a Strong Credit Score
You can reduce your homeowners insurance costs by establishing a solid credit history, as homeowners insurance companies often use credit information to determine quotes. Having bad credit may make you seem like a high-risk customer, which will drive your premium up.
Maintain a solid credit score by keeping your credit balances low, paying your bills on time, being careful not to obtain more credit than you need, and by not opening too many credit cards.
No. 11: Review Your Policy Limits and Take Inventory Annually
You never want to pay for coverage that you don’t need. Expensive items can decrease in value over time, so you may need to lower your floater for “valuable” items. There are a variety of home inventory apps online to help you catalogue your items and their value.
No. 12: Pay in Full Upfront
Many homeowners insurance companies charge fees to customers who make monthly insurance payments. Often, you can save money by paying in full when the billing cycle begins.
No. 13: Lower Flooding Risk
Flood damage is not covered by most home insurance companies, but it is the number one insurance claim in the country. You can take steps to decrease your insurance premium if you reside in a high-risk flood zone by elevating your home and utilities and installing the right flood openings.
No. 14: Consider Key Factors When Buying a Home
There are a variety of factors you can take into account when home shopping. Proximity to fire stations, fire hydrants, and emergency stations can lower the amount you pay. You can also look into homes with newer heating, plumbing, and electrical systems.
No. 15: Eliminate Safety Hazards
Some home insurance companies charge extra for safety hazards like a pool or trampoline. While these are fun, they are major liabilities. Getting rid of them can keep your premium from getting too high. In some cases, building a gate or fence around the pool will solve the issue.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is homeowners insurance negotiable?
You cannot negotiate your homeowners insurance quote, but you can lower the amount you pay by taking a variety of steps—maintaining a good credit score, paying in full, installing protective devices, researching discounts, and more.
Why is my homeowners insurance quote so high?
There are a number of reasons your homeowners insurance quote could be high. Some companies charge more than others in general, but there are factors like the crime rate in your area, whether you’re in a flood zone, your credit score, and more.
How much should my homeowners insurance be?
In 2017, the average monthly cost of homeowners insurance nationwide was $101, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Regarding the amount of coverage, the majority of homeowners insurance policies provide $100,000 worth of liability at minimum.
What home insurance is the cheapest?
This will depend on the amount of coverage you are getting for your money—the lowest dollar amount isn’t necessarily the best deal. According to our research, Lemonade has the lowest monthly rates of companies we’ve reviewed, starting at $25 per month.
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