You've finally purchased your first home -- congratulations! You sailed through the closing of your home but did you get homeowner's insurance? You can't opt out of this coverage like dental or health insurance. And, in some cases, you must have it before you even buy your home. So now that you've come to the harsh realization that you need homeowners insurance, it's time to look for the most affordable options. Here are Insure.com's nine tips for decreasing the cost of homeowner's insurance:
- Shop around - Check with several different home insurance companies to get rate quotes. Don't be afraid to ask friends and families members if they're happy with their homeowner's insurance policy.
- Raise your deductible - Typically homeowner's insurance starts at $250. But if you increase the deductible to $500, you could save up to 12 percent on your monthly premiums. Take a look at how much you save if you increase your deductible by the following amounts:
- Increase the deductible to $1,000 save up to 24 percent
- Increase the deductible to $2,500 save up to 30 percent
- Increase the deductible to $5,000 save up to 37 percent
- Buy your home and auto policies from the same company -- Most companies will give you a discount on both policies if you buy both policies from them.
- Consider insurance when buying your home -- When you're looking at purchasing a new home think about the cost of insuring your new abode. A newer home's electrical, heating, and plumbing systems and overall structure might be in better condition than an older home. This might lead to a discount on your insurance premiums.
- Insure your home, not the land -- While your home and its contents are at risk from fire, theft, windstorms, and other perils, the land your home sits on is not. Don't include the value of the land in deciding how much home insurance you need to buy. Your agent can help you assess the coverage you need.
- Improve security and safety -- Little safety precautions such as a dead bolt lock, burglar alarms and smoke detectors can provide savings of 5 percent each (depending on the company.) In addition, your insurance company may also offer a significant discount of 15 percent to 20 percent if you install a "top-notch" security system.
- Stop smoking -- Believe it or not, smoking accidents still account for more than 23,000 residential fires every year. Some insurers will offer to reduce premiums if no one smokes in your home.
- Look for group coverage -- Large employers, alumni associations and business associations often work out insurance deals with an insurance company, which includes discounts for employees and members.
- Stay with an insurer -- If you've kept your coverage with a company for several years, you may receive special consideration. Several insurers will reduce their premiums by 5 percent if you stay with them for three to five years. Some companies will discount you as much as 10 percent after six years.
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