Homeowners insurance is not negotiable. If you hold a mortgage on your property, the bank will require it. And in any case, you'll want the protection for your family's investment. If the cost of your insurance is causing you anxiety, there are ways to lower it. Try some of these tips to reduce your premium price:
- Use the same company for your auto and home insurance and get a discount, usually around 10 percent.
- Increase your deductible. A deductibles is the amount you have to pay toward a loss before your insurance company starts to pay a claim. Many policies have a $500 deductible, but if you raise it to $1000 you will save significantly, sometimes up to 25 percent.
- Improve security. An alarm system can deter a break-in, and can also earn you a discount on your policy.
- Improve safety. A hard-wired fire system that alerts the fire department can also earn you some money off your premium.
- Review your policy annually. You may be paying for things you no longer have, such as expensive jewelry or fur coats.
- Maintain good credit. People who maintain a good credit score often get a better deal on insurance premiums.
- Ask about discounts. There may be a partnership with your employer, credit union, alma mater or some other association you are affiliated with that grants you a discount.
- Don't count the value of your land. You should consider the cost of rebuilding the structure of your house should it be destroyed, but land value shouldn't figure into that number.
- Ask for improvement credits. If you upgrade your electrical system, plumbing or roof, that reduces the chance for a claim, so your insurance company may offer you some money off your premium.
- Kick the habit. Not only is smoking bad for your health, it may increase your homeowners insurance premium. Be sure to tell your provider if you're a non-smoker or if you've quit recently.
Homeowners insurance is great for your peace of mind, plus it doesn’t have to strain your wallet. Contact your agent and ask about discounts.