What are some of the best homeowners insurance discounts to take advantage of? How can one easily find a cheapest home insurance? Whether buying a car, shopping for furniture or paying for a college education, most everyone is looking for a discount of some sort. Knowing where to go, what to look for, and how to prepare are all essential in order to get the best deal. It is the same with finding discounts on a homeowners Insurance policy. With the proper knowledge and guidance in the direction you should go, you can take advantage of many discounts without sacrificing excellent coverage.
Often the time to best consider homeowners insurance is before you buy the house. Knowing what factors will affect the cost of your home insurance premiums can help you choose the right house that will allow you to purchase a very affordable homeowners insurance policy. Read on to learn some of the factors that will affect the cost of your home insurance policy and then learn some of the discounts that you can take utilize to lower your rate even further.
FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE COST OF HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE PREMIUMS
Location. In purchasing a business or real estate we have already heard the primary factor to take into account is location, location, location. It is also an item that homeowners Insurance companies take into account. If the area has a history of crime, fires, hurricanes, flooding, and other natural disasters, you will be looking at increased premiums. Over time they can add up to a considerable sum.
Age of Dwelling. The age of the home is taken into consideration because many older homes have outdated electric and heating systems. The older wiring throughout the house does not meet many of the electrical codes that are required in newer homes and the heating units do not have the safety features of today’s systems. As a result the possibility of fire and damage are greater and yes, you guessed it, higher premiums.
Type of construction. The material that your house is mainly constructed of will also be a factor in amount you pay for premiums. Remember the Three little Pigs? It was only the house made of brick that withstood the wolf’s huffing and puffing. Likewise when it comes to houses withstanding damage, homes made of brick, block and masonry receive a better rating than those made of wood. Fire and wind damage are just naturally a greater possibility with a home constructed mainly of wood.
Fire protection. Many factors are taken into consideration win the area of fire protection. The distance to a fire station, whether a fire dept. has up to date equipment, the training level of its firefighters, and finally that particular fire stations response history. I recently talked with a man whose father’s home burned to the ground because the fire department arrived 35 minutes after the call for help was sent out. (The fire station was less than five miles away.)
Number of living units. Owning a townhouse or condo can mean a more expensive insurance policy. Multi-family dwellings cost more in premiums because although you may take all the steps to keep your dwelling in good repair and free from safety hazards, your neighbors may not be so conscientious and what affects one dwelling will in all likelihood affect the homes that closest to it.
Age of the Homeowner. If you’re under the age of 55 and still working you’re out of luck in being considered for a discount. A “Mature Homeowners” discount is often available for those who are over 55 and retired.
The above are often factors that you have no control over, you can’t change your age, the age of your home, or the location of the fire station; they are what they are (unless of course your are in the market for a new home – then you can certainly be on the lookout for homes that lend themselves to cheaper homeowners insurance rates). However, there are some proactive measures that you can put into place in order to be eligible for discounts on your homeowners insurance policy.
COMMON HOME INSURANCE DISCOUNTS
Protective Devices. Installing different security devices can earn a discount on your premiums. A security alarm system that is hooked up to alert the local police station is considered a good deterrent to theft and will reduce the amount you pay in homeowner premiums. (Even installing dead bolts on all the outside exits will usually earn you a discount.) Also, fire protective devices such as smoke alarms, sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers are all items that qualify you for a discount.
Consolidating Your Insurance Needs. Many Homeowners Insurance companies also offer Auto Insurance. Almost all of them will offer you a nice sized discount if you will insure your autos along with your home with them. An added advantage for you is that you are dealing with a single insurance agency.
Keep a Good Credit History. Advertising in all the different forms of media are constantly bringing to our attention the necessity of having a good credit history and the need to frequently check on its standing. However, there may be certain aspects of maintaining a good credit history that you may not be aware of. You should not apply for too much credit. Credit that is checked several times in a short period of time can make your credit look bad. If you’ve just moved into an area and there are suddenly numerous stores you’ve never had access to before, be careful about going hog wild in acquiring their charge cards. Also, gas and airlines offering you perks for using their card mean more credit checks. Strangely enough, or should I say fortunately, credit checks made by insurance companies have no ill effect on your credit rating. By law (in most states) homeowners insurance companies are allowed to check your credit record, note whether you pay your bills on time and use that information to determine the cost of your insurance policy and even make a decision as to whether they will offer you coverage on your home. However, although some state laws allow homeowners insurance companies access to a person’s credit history, it does state that an insurer may not make a decision based solely on your credit report.
Take the Highest Deductible. By raising your deductible to $1,000 or $2,500 you can save as much as 20% on your premiums. If you’re willing to pay that higher deductible should the need arise, there’s a good chance you will come out ahead.
COMPARE DISCOUNTED HOME INSURANCE RATES
With the above information in mind, be sure to ask your insurer about the factors that could reduce your premiums. Questions are free and if they net you a discount that might otherwise have gone overlooked, who cares if the agent thinks you are a bit driven. After all, driven to find the best discount is a good thing. A timely put question could be just your ticket to the cheapest home insurance!