4 Smart Ways to Control Your Homeowners Insurance Rates
When you consider how much money you’ve invested in your home, you likely understand the need to cover it against a variety of contingencies, from natural disasters that wreck the structure to disastrous burglaries. Homeowners insurance plays a critical role in this protection, but only if you can afford your policy premiums.
Fortunately, you hold more control over what you pay for homeowners insurance than you might assume, especially when you know some smart ways to reduce your rates without making the wrong kinds of compromises in the process. Put these four dollar-savvy strategies to work for you when shopping for homeowners insurance.
1. Clean Up Your Credit
Your credit score can make a big impact on your homeowners insurance rates. Insurers want to know that the individuals they insure know how to handle financial responsibilities and will probably pay their premiums on time. They, therefore, factor your credit score into the final quote you receive for your coverage.
Homeowners with an excellent credit score may pay up to 150 percent less than those struggling with a poor credit score. However, any significant improvement could lower your quote. Keep paying bills in a timely manner, reduce the amount of debt you put on credit cards, and check your credit report for damaging inaccuracies.
2. Look for Discount Opportunities
The quotes you receive for homeowners insurance may drop if you take advantage of whatever discounts your insurer will consider. Some of these discounts may hinge on specific actions such as the installation of smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, and home theft alarm systems.
You may also find ways to save on your homeowners insurance through your association with particular groups. For instance, your membership in a community homeowners association may work in your favor. Insurers may also offer you a discounted rate based on your military service.
3. Accept a Higher Deductible
Like many other forms of insurance, homeowners insurance typically includes some sort of deductible. This deductible represents the maximum amount you might need to pay for theft restoration or home repairs before your coverage kicks in. Many homeowners choose a low deductible to reduce their out-of-pocket expenses.
If you worry more about meeting your premiums every month than meeting your deductible in the event of a catastrophe, consider accepting a policy that includes a relatively high deductible. Raising the deductible from a standard minimum of $500 to $1,000 could reduce your premiums by up to 25 percent.
4. Re-Shop Your Insurance Every Year
You don’t have to stick with the same insurance policy, or even the same insurer, year after year. In fact, doing so can cause some serious problems if you’ve added possessions or features that your current policy doesn’t cover. You may also find yourself paying extra for types of coverage you no longer need.
To make sure that you always pay a competitive price for a policy of the right size and scope, get into the habit of re-shopping your homeowners insurance (and other forms of insurance as well) every year. Your insurance advisor can evaluate any changes in your needs and look for the policy that meets those needs affordably.
You don’t necessarily have to leap from one insurer to another to enjoy lower rates for the same level of homeowners coverage. If you’ve used the same insurer for many years, your insurance company might offer some sort of preferred-customer or loyalty discount, giving you plenty of reason to continue that loyalty.
If you need help securing the right levels and types of homeowners insurance at rates you can afford, talk to the professionals at Kenneth Rhodes & Associates Inc. We can evaluate your current situation and help you find the ideal insurance solution. Contact us today for a free quote.