8 ways to lower your homeowners insurance costs

While car insurance premiums have been fairly stable in our area, homeowners insurance quotes have been steadily increasing over the past few years. Here are some ideas to save money without sacrificing important coverages:

  1. Raise your deductible – This is the quickest way to cut your costs. A $1,000 deductible will usually save you $100 or more over the standard $250 deductible. Turning in small claims isn’t a good idea anyway, because most companies look at the number of claims to decide when to non-renew a policy.
  2. Put your auto and home insurance with the same company – This usually saves at least 10% on both the auto and home premiums.
  3. Check your dwelling limit – If you would rebuild your existing home in the event of a major loss, then you need to insure it for full replacement value. But if you would just buy another house, or build a smaller or simpler house, then maybe a lower limit would be more appropriate for you. We’d be happy to help you estimate the replacement cost of your home and discuss coverage options.
  4. Reduce your contents limit – Your contents limit is a percentage of your dwelling limit, usually 70-75%. This is way more than many people need. Some companies will let you cut back the coverage to 50-60%, with a small savings in premium.
  5. Lower your insurance score – This one takes time, but can save you hundreds of dollars. The basic idea is to simplify your financial life: fewer credit cards, lower balances, fewer applications for new credit. For a more detailed explanation, see our Steps to Improving Your Insurance Score.
  6. Smoke detectors and security systems – Everyone should already have functioning smoke detectors, which usually saves you 2-5% on your home insurance premium. A central burglar/fire security system can save an additional 5-10%.
  7. Are all your rating factors correct? Check to make sure your home age, protection class, and construction type are listed correctly. If you aren’t sure, contact your agent.
  8. Are you getting all the discounts you deserve? Make sure your policy lists all your discounts. Ask your agent to run through the applicable discounts with you to make sure nothing was missed.
  9. Bonus – get a quote from Erie Insurance! OK, this one is self-serving, but we find that for many people  Erie can offer substantially broader coverage at a lower cost. Just drop me an email (chris@albionagencies.net) to get started on a no-obligation quote. (If you live outside our area, I would be happy to refer you to a local Erie agent.)

Next steps:

The information in this post is general in nature, and geared toward insurance conditions in Western New York.  As always, you should speak with an insurance adviser to determine your specific insurance needs.

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