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How to Save on Homeowners Insurance

If you own a home, it’s likely your largest single investment, so it makes sense that you would want to insure it with the best policy possible. Of course, nobody wants to overpay for insurance. The good news is that there are lots of ways to save on homeowners insurance and still get the coverage you need at a price that fits your budget.

Key Takeaways

  • The average homeowners insurance policy in the U.S. costs about $1,200 a year.
  • The price you pay for homeowners insurance depends on your insurance company and a variety of personal and property-related variables.
  • You’ll likely have your policy for a number of years, so it’s a good idea to get the best price possible while maintaining the coverage you need.

How Much Is Homeowners Insurance?

The average homeowners insurance policy in the U.S. runs about $1,200 a year, according to a report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Your premiums could be higher or lower than that, depending on factors such as your home’s replacement value, location, age, size, condition, and security devices. Your marital status, claims history, and credit history also play a role, as do the coverage limits and deductibles you pick. Each insurer weighs these factors differently, so costs also depend on the company you buy your insurance from.

How to Save on Homeowners Insurance Costs

While some variables can’t be changed—the size of your home, for example—you do have control over some factors that can affect price. Here are 10 ways to save money on homeowners insurance.

1. Shop Around

Policy prices vary by company. Do some comparison shopping to make sure you get the best deal—and keep in mind that’s not necessarily the cheapest option. It’s a good idea to get quotes from at least three companies. You can call them directly, work with an insurance agent, or find information online.

2. Understand Rebuilding Costs

Rebuilding costs are not the same as what you paid to buy the home. That’s because the purchase price includes the value of the land, while rebuilding costs apply only to the home. In general, land isn’t at risk from theft, fire, storms, and other hazards, so don’t include its value when you pick coverage limits. Otherwise, you could end up overpaying for more coverage than you need.

The higher your deductible is, the lower your premium will be, but make sure you can afford to pay the deductible if disaster strikes.

3. Increase Your Deductibles

A deductible is the amount of money you pay toward a covered loss before your plan kicks in. The higher your deductible is, the lower your premiums will be, and vice versa. If you raise your deductibles even $500, you may be able to save on your annual premiums. Just make sure you can cover the deductible if disaster strikes.

4. Bundle Your Policies

Insurance companies reward customers who bundle plans. If you buy two or more policies from the same company (e.g., homeowners insurance, auto insurance, and an umbrella policy), you may qualify for a discount. Crunch the numbers to make sure the bundled pricing is actually cheaper than buying separate policies from different companies.

5. Make Your Home More Disaster-Resistant

Updates or improvements that make your home more resistant to fire damage, water damage, and weather-related disasters can help lower premiums. Depending on the insurer and where you live, you may qualify for a discount if you reinforce your roof, add storm shutters, or update your heating, plumbing, and/or electrical systems.

6. Mention Your Home’s Security Devices

Most insurance companies offer discounts for homes that have security devices, such as smoke detectors, burglar alarms, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, water leak detectors, gas leak detectors, and dead-bolt locks. If you don’t have these devices now but decide to add them later, be sure to update your policy.

7. Ask About Other Discounts

Depending on the insurer, discounts may be available if you’re a new homebuyer, age 55 or older, retired, a nonsmoker, or you work from home or set up automatic payments to pay your insurance bill. Be sure to ask if you qualify for any discounts and check back whenever your situation changes (e.g., you turn 55). You should also periodically check to see if the company offers any new discounts you should know about.

8. Be Rewarded for Your Business

Many insurance companies offer discounts to reward long-term customers. If you’ve been insured with the same company for several years (or more), be sure you’re taking advantage of any available loyalty discounts.

9. Review Your Policy Each Year

Review your policy each year to make sure you have enough—but not too much—coverage. For example, you might need to bump up your coverage limits if you buy a new piano or build an addition. If you sell your Star Wars collectibles, you may be able to lower your coverage limits or cancel your floaterif you have one.

10. Explore Group Coverage Options

Your employer may administer a group insurance program. Similarly, some professional, alumni, and business groups offer packages at reduced rates. For instance, organizations such as AAA, AARP, and wholesale clubs offer discounts to their members. Still, just because you’re getting a discount doesn’t mean you’re getting the best rate. Be sure to compare at least three options before making any decisions.

The Bottom Line

When you review your policy each year, it’s a great time not only to confirm you have the right coverage but also to speak with your agent to make sure you’re getting the best rate—and taking advantage of any available discounts.

Of course, price is important, but it’s not the only factor you should weigh when shopping for (or renewing) a homeowners insurance policy. Be sure you also consider the company’s reputation and customer service. That way, if disaster strikesyou know you’ll be in the best possible shape.

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