If you are buying or renting a new home, you’ve probably learned by now that home insurance is expensive. Many people become discouraged and end up “settling” for a policy that doesn’t have great coverage. This doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some tricks to choosing the right insurance coverage plan and keeping it affordable:
Insurance agencies are companies, like any other, that are willing to offer incentives to get your business. Many insurance agencies offer bundled coverage—allowing you a better rate when you buy multiple policies together. Doing this simplifies the claims process and can save you as much as 30% on the cost. These days some insurance agencies are offering life insurance policies within bundles, which can save you even more.
Upgrading security at your home will also reduce insurance rates. Having functioning smoke detectors, fire alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors will help keep your premium low, but installing advanced detectors and alarm systems can keep them even lower. For instance, you can cut your monthly premium by up to 20% by connecting to a central monitoring system. If you are renting and cannot install a central system, you can still lower your renter’s insurance rates by installing upgraded door locks and smoke detectors, as well as making general upgrades to the security of the property (of course, get your landlord’s permission before making any major alterations).
Like any product, you want to consider different insurance policies from different companies before you buy it. Instead of signing onto the first policy you find in the chaos of buying your home, take the time to shop around for the best rates. You should compare coverage policies and premiums from at least three different insurance providers and weigh the value of each policy offered.
Keeping a good credit rating is important. A high credit score doesn’t just allow you finalize your home purchase, lease, or loan—it also keeps your insurance premium low. Make it a point to pay all of your bills on time and keep your credit card balance low to keep your insurance premium low.
Lastly, raising your policy’s deductible is another way to save. Your deductible is the set amount of the damage you agree to pay out-of-pocket for a claim before insurance covers any damages. If you can afford to pay a little more out-of-pocket if you do have to file an insurance claim, you can raise the deductible to lower your monthly interest rate. The drawback, however, is that you could end up paying a large amount out-of-pocket if your house was significantly damaged. But insurance is, by nature, a gamble.
Don’t be afraid to take the time needed to evaluate all of your insurance policy options before you sign. If you are renting or buying a new home, keep these tips in mind and find the coverage you need without overpaying.