Being a proactive homeowner is key to getting the best deal on insurance to protect your home. By reducing risks and working with your insurance agent to get all the benefits and deductions available to you, your insurance premiums could lower substantially.
Here are four tried-and-true strategies for lowering homeowners insurance rates:
1. Improve home security
Home security systems, smoke detectors, and fire alarms all improve home security because they alert homeowners and first responders to harmful situations. Insurance companies reward such precautions in various ways, including providing discounts.
Security systems range from single devices, such as motion sensors, to Internet-enabled whole-house systems. Because there are significant differences in detection and reporting capabilities, check with your insurer before purchasing a system to learn whether it meets the necessary requirements.
2. Improve your home’s disaster preparedness
No home is disaster proof, but it can become more disaster resistant if you prepare it to withstand storms and other external forces.
For example, installing fire-resistant landscaping, strengthening the roof to withstand heavy snows, improving roofing materials to reduce the risk of leaks, and adding storm shutters to protect windows against high winds all help to mitigate the risk of damage. Retrofitting homes to withstand earthquakes may further reduce insurance premiums.
Modernizing heating, plumbing, and electrical systems to current codes helps reduce the risks of water damage from faulty pipes or fires from electrical faults. Installing a sprinkler system throughout the house could further reduce fire risks.
For new homes, choosing the right building materials (such as cement siding or metal roofing), may reduce risks and lower insurance premiums. But be aware that if the choice of materials increases rebuilding costs, you may lose any insurance premium savings. Check with your insurer before selecting materials.
3. Check for home insurance discounts
Insurance companies offer many benefits you may not even realize are there. For instance, Nationwide members can save by bundling insurance policies such as homeowners or renters policies with auto, boat, motorcycle or life insurance. Additional savings may also be possible based on your claims history.
4. Review your policy annually
Life events or improvements to your home may qualify you for discounts or create new policy needs. Endorsements for such things as home office equipment or expensive possessions including Oriental rugs, grand pianos, or jewelry may not be necessary if the items are no longer in your home. A free policy review can help you understand what’s covered by your policy, and can help you determine whether your needs are covered.
Speak with an agent about potential home improvement and safety products that may reduce your insurance costs and regarding your eligibility for discounts.