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Saving Money on Homeowners Insurance


Companies offer several types of discounts, but they don't offer the same discount or the same amount of discount in all states. That's why you should ask your agent or company representative about any discounts available to you.


Here are STEPS you can take to help you SAVE MONEY on your HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE:


1) RAISE YOUR DEDUCTIBLE

Deductibles are the amount of money you have to pay toward a loss before your insurance company starts to pay. Deductibles on homeowners policies typically start at $250.


Increase your deductible to
$ 500 -- save up to 12 percent
$1,000 -- save up to 24 percent
$2,500 -- save up to 30 percent
$5,000 -- save up to 37 percent
Depending on your insurance company.

2) BUY YOUR HOME AND AUTO POLICIES FROM THE SAME INSURER

Some companies that sell homeowners, auto and liability coverage will take 5 to 15 percent off your premium if you buy two or more policies from them.


3) WHEN YOU BUY A HOME...

Consider how much insuring it will cost.


A new home's electrical, heating and plumbing systems and overall structure are likely to be in better shape than those of an older house. Insurers may offer you a discount of 8 to 15 percent if your house is new.

Check the home's construction:
In the East Brick, because of its resistance to wind damage.
In the West Frame, because of its resistance to earthquake damage.
Choosing wisely could cut your premium by 5 to 15 percent.



Avoiding areas that are prone to floods can save you about $400 a year for flood insurance. Homeowners insurance does not cover flood-related damage.


The closer your house is to firefighters and their equipment, the lower your premium will be.


4) INSURE YOUR HOUSE, NOT THE LAND

The land under your house isn't at risk from theft, windstorm, fire and the other perils covered in your homeowners policy. So don't include its value in deciding how much homeowners insurance to buy. If you do, you'll pay a higher premium than you should.


5) IMPROVE YOUR HOME SECURITY AND SAFETY

You can usually get discounts of at least 5 percent for a smoke detector, burglar alarm, or dead-bolt locks.


Some companies offer to cut your premium by as much as 15 or 20 percent if you install a sophisticated sprinkler system and a fire and burglar alarm that rings at the police station or other monitoring facility. These systems aren't cheap and not every system qualifies for the discount. Before you buy such a system, find out what kind your insurer recommends and how much the device would cost and how much you'd save on premiums.


6) STOP SMOKING

Smoking accounts for more than 23,000 residential fires a year. That's why some insurers offer to reduce premiums if all the residents in a house don't smoke.


7) SEEK OUT DISCOUNTS FOR SENIORS

Retired people stay at home more and spot fires sooner than working people and have more time for maintaining their homes. If you're at least 55 years old and retired, you may qualify for a discount of up to 10 percent at some companies.


8) 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 3 to 5 years; by 10 percent if you remain a policyholder for 6 years or more.


9) COMPARE THE LIMITS IN YOUR POLICY TO THE VALUE OF YOUR POSSESSIONS AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR

You want your policy to cover any major purchases or additions to your home. But you don't want to spend money for coverage you don't need.


10) LOOK FOR PRIVATE INSURANCE FIRST

If you live in a high-risk area --- one that is especially vulnerable to coastal storms, fires, or crime --- and have been buying your homeowners insurance through a government plan, you should check with an insurance agent or company representative. You may find that there are steps you can take that would allow you to buy insurance at a lower price in the private market.