Depending on where you live in the U.S., your homeowner’s insurance tab could take up a sizable chunk of your paycheck. What your insurance agent may not have revealed is that there are a few steps you can take to chip away at your annual premium – in some cases from 5 to 25 percent. For the homeowner paying $4,000 a year in premiums, the savings range from $200 to $1,000.
Here are four different insurance credit areas to explore on your own and discuss with your agent:
1. Take Out Multiple Policies With One Company. You can save money by taking out more than one type of policy with the same insurance company. For example, if you have an automobile and a homeowner’s policy with the same firm, you’ll be considered a more “valuable” customer, and therefore eligible for a discount (Rules differ by state, so check with your insurance agent on the specifics.)
2. Make Your Home a Little “Greener.” To help consumers become more environmentally conscious, insurance firms now offer credits for “green” homes. For example, Travelers Insurance offers credits for LEED-certified homes (those that the U.S. Green Building Council identifies as being designed and constructed in accordance with the rigorous guidelines of the LEED for Homes). Check with your agent to find out if low-flow commodes, sustainable lighting and eco-friendly insulation can reduce your premium.
3. Buy a “Newer” Home. If you’re shopping around for a new home, it may pay to check out some of the newer options on the market. Plumbing, heating and electrical systems of newer homes have lower risks than outdated systems, which can make your newer property a bit cheaper to insure. Homes built within the last 10 years will be your best bet if you’re interested in this credit.
4. Take Extra Safety Precautions With Your Home. Deadbolt locks and smoke detectors are considered standard, but if you have interior sprinkler systems or a monitored alarm system that calls the fire department for you, your discount could be significant. The less prone you can make your home to loss, the better the odds of getting credit for your efforts.
It’s important to note that homeowner’s insurance credits reduce your premium, with some affecting the building coverage itself and others reducing the cost of policy endorsements. Check with your carrier or agent before making changes that affect premiums and avoid scrimping on coverage just to save a few bucks.
This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. The accuracy and completeness of this information is not guaranteed and is subject to change. Since each individual’s financial situation is unique, you need to review your financial objectives to determine which approaches might work best for you.
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