Everyone knows the importance of homeowners insurance; however you may not be aware of how many different types of discounts that your carrier offers. Bankrate.com recently revealed that there are more than 11 types and most of these will come as a real surprise.
This is because unless you show signs of being about to leave your current provider and give your money to another supplier the agent has no reason to tell you about these. Agents are normally paid a commission on all policies meaning that the more you spend the more they will make.
In a recent interview with the DailyFinance, Crissinda Ponder, an insurance analyst with Bankrate.com revealed that agents do not want to tell you certain information and there is no requirement that suggests they have to. Therefore the only way to save on Homeowners Insurance is to take the initiative.
Homeowners insurance has two main objectives the first being the less risk you appear to be the less the insurer will charge you and the other is than once you have taken out the insurance there is a good chance that you will be paying them for the long term and they want the business.
Ways to Qualify for Discounts and Save on Homeowners Insurance
- If you have more than one type of insurance with the company they will want to put all of your business through them.
- Having an alarm or maybe even smoke detectors will mean you are eligible to qualify for protective service discounts.
- You make no claims for a period, commonly two or three years depending on the criteria of the insurer and you are then perceived as a lower risk.
- New builds or renovated homes are seen as more durable therefore they have an earlier realistic lifespan.
- Your home is complete with disaster-resistant roofing.
- Senior citizens are applicable for discounts some as early as 50 years.
- You have recently brought your home and the insurer wants to keep you as a new customer.
- After a number of years, you could qualify for a loyalty based discount.
- Your job or organization entitles you to lower rates with the insurer.
- You do not smoke.
- You shop around for your insurance in plenty time prior to your renewal.
Bankrate created a convenient chart which shows the discount rates available.
There are also a number of unusual discounts, such as being married or a widowed homeowner, having had an interior inspection of the home done recently, taking out insurance for 100% of the replacement value of your home and also having a certified LEED green home.
This information was compiled by looking at the websites of the ten largest insurance companies operating worldwide. Some of the discounts were easy to find as they were shown on a dedicated page whereas others were only found after a lot of digging.
It is not all of the insurers that offer a full range of discounts and it was proved that only the multiple and protective items were offered by all insurers. It could be that the only way to save on Homeowners Insurance is to be aggressive with the insurer and find out what types of discounts could be applicable.
Ponder also warned about being attracted to an insurer just because of the discounts as this does not mean that it will be the best option for you.
Buying Your Home and Auto Policies from the Same Insurer
The majority of companies that sell homeowners insurance will also offer auto and some type of liability insurance. Some of these companies will offer a reduction of up to 15% on your policies if you purchase two or more policies for them. It is important to check that the combined price is less than if you were to buy the policies separately elsewhere.
Make Your Home More Resistant To Disaster
Ask the insurance agent what you can do to make your home more resistance to disasters. You could save on Homeowners Insurance by adding shutters and improving your roof to the elements. Find out from your insurance agent or company representative what you can do to make your home more resistant to windstorms and other natural disasters. If you live in an older home you may be able to make it more disaster proof and by modifying the heating, electrics and plumbing you could save on Homeowners Insurance.
Discounts for Home Security Devices
It is commonplace that you can get a discount of at least 5% if your home has smoke detectors, alarms and dead-bolt style locks. There are insurance companies that will reduce your premiums by up to 20% if you fit a sprinkler system, watch out though as these are very expensive and not all systems will qualify in the eyes of the insurer. Remember that before you implement anything to save on Homeowners Insurance you should take into account the costs involved and find out what the saving will be prior to fitting.
If your employer has a group insurance program, find out whether a homeowner’s policy is available and whether it is a better deal than you have been offered elsewhere. Professional groups may be entitled to an insurance package at reduced cost.
Look for Private Insurance if You Are in a Government Plan
If you home is in a high risk area which is vulnerable to storms, fires or crime and you have been purchasing your homeowner’s insurance through a government plan, find out which insurance companies may be interested in your business. It could be that there are steps that you can take to qualify you to buy insurance at a lower price through a private market.