When buying a house, you don’t just have to consider the purchase price. You also need to factor in the cost of homeowners insurance. The good news is -- there are ways you can save on your monthly premium. Here’s what to consider when you’re shopping around for your plan.
Bundle your insurance plans
If you’ve already got car insurance, check to see how much you can save by bundling it with a homeowner’s policy. Most major insurance companies offer good discounts if you have more than one plan with them. You can save as much as 20 percent by bundling.
Take advantage of other discounts
In addition to bundling, many insurers offer other discounts. This can include everything from having no prior claims to setting up an electronic funds transfer (EFT) for your payments. Be sure to ask the agent when you’re comparing prices.
Go for a higher deductible
If you’re willing to pay more out of pocket when you file a claim, you could see huge savings in your monthly premium. However, you should exercise caution because you don’t want to end up paying a deductible that you can’t afford.
If your home has a security system, it can protect you from break-ins. So it stands to reason that you can save on your policy if you are less of an insurance risk. Look for systems that contact local personnel directly, as they’ll save you the most. You may also save by adding elements to your home such as storm shutters, which will protect it from damage during bad weather.
Improve credit score
Your credit score is used by insurance companies to calculate your rates, which means the better your score is, the less you will pay. Having a low score makes you more of a risk, so be sure your credit score is in good shape before shopping around.
Home fires can be devastating, and preventing fires is a top priority for insurers. You may receive additional discounts for every permanent smoke alarm in your home, as well as a sprinkler system. And you could also score some savings by being a non-smoker. Many home fires are accidently started by smokers, so they’re considered a greater risk.
Eliminate safety hazards
Yes, your kids love that trampoline. But it can cost you in the long run with higher insurance premiums. The same goes for a tree house. And if you have a pool, be aware that it can also be a liability. If you don’t want to get rid of the pool, then make sure you have the proper fencing installed around it to limit the possibility of an accidental drowning.
Lastly, don’t forget to shop around. Just like with a mortgage, every insurer will quote you a different price, so it pays to talk to several companies. Each company has their own methods for calculating rates, and you could see a sizable difference from one to the next. By looking at all your options and asking about available discounts, you’ll be confident that you’re getting the best rates.