Protecting your home with insurance is a no-brainer. Your mortgage lender probably requires you to carry it in the first place. If your home is paid off, this policy can help fund repairs resulting from any unexpected mishaps. But, if you are looking to free up a little room in your household budget, there are a few lesser-known ways to save money on Homeowner’s Insurance.
The average cost of Homeowner’s Insurance nationwide is $1,083 for a one-year policy, or $90.25 per month. Considering the invaluable protection you are getting from fire, theft, injury and weather-related damages, that monthly payment is more than worth it! But, you may be able to pay even less.
Save Money on Home Insurance with these Installations, Upgrades and Repairs
Some upgrades are just for luxury’s sake – like that chef’s kitchen with a large island you have been dreaming about. Other updates can pay off big time by earning you Homeowner’s Insurance discounts. Remember to check with an agent before you bust out the sledgehammer or call a contractor!
1. Monitor the age and condition of your roof.
Insurers consider a roof to be “high risk” if it is 10 years or older. These structures take the brunt of the impact from wind, rain, ice, snow and hail, so it’s easy to understand why it is so important to replace or upgrade them regularly. For the greatest weather protection, consider a roof with hail-resistant Class IV shingles.
2. Beef up your home security.
A home security system can save you anywhere from 5-10% on your home’s insurance policy! You might consider installing dead bolt locks, motion lights or video monitoring. However, third-party monitoring will qualify for the largest discount.
- Note: Homeowners in a gated community enjoy heightened security measures to help prevent theft, and may qualify for a similar discount.
3. Rethink the toys in your yard.
Sometimes eliminating risk means getting rid of stuff you already have. If you own a trampoline or a tree house, you are already paying a premium for the increased risk of injury on your property. These items cost more to insure because, unfortunately, they can cause accidents (and sometimes more than just a broken arm).
If your kids are not ready to part with these items, installing a net around them will help reduce the risk of injury – and maybe the price you pay to keep it.
4. Install a water shutoff device.
Water damage is costly, to say the least. And while flooding due to snow or rain is hard to predict, a water shutoff device can help prevent damages resulting from plumbing issues. Unlike a water leak sensor that merely sends alerts, a water shutoff device cuts off a home’s water supply when it detects an issue.
- FYI: With an average annual Homeowner’s Insurance discount of ~3%, a $200 water shutoff device pays for itself in about six years.
5. Remove old structures on your property.
Do you really need the flimsy tool shed in your backyard? Structures that are detached from your home are protected by your policy’s Other Structures Coverage – so getting rid of them could reduce the amount of coverage you need.
Read more about the types of coverage included on a standard Homeowners Insurance policy.
6. Be a responsible pet owner.
Insurers may charge a premium, limit or even refuse coverage for homeowners with dog breeds that are considered “dangerous”, including (but not limited to):
- Pit Bulls
- German Shepherds
- Doberman Pinschers
See the list of commonly restricted breeds. Some insurers will cover a “dangerous” pet that is taken to obedience classes or routinely secured in a cage. Contact an Insurance Broker to discuss your pet’s needs.
7. Think twice about a pool, hot tub or outdoor spa.
Installing a pool will increase your Homeowners Insurance. Aside from the obvious value (i.e., expense) of the pool, you will need to have liability coverage for any water-related accidents that could occur. In order to secure coverage, you may have to meet specific security guidelines, such as installing a fence.
8. Fence-in the backyard.
Fences keep away anyone who shouldn’t be on your property: whether it be burglars, wanderers, the neighbor’s pets or disease-carrying pests. For serving as a crime deterrent, a fenced-in backyard could bring down your home’s insurance premium. If you have a pool or “dangerous” pet, a fence may even be required.
9. Bundle your protection with the same insurer.
Bargain hunters may be tempted to shop for the lowest rates on their home and auto insurance, even if that means carrying two policies with different companies. However, bundling these policies with the same provider can unlock significant discounts – in most states, a multi-policy discount is 20-30%.
- Note: Bundling isn’t just for home and auto policies! Certain carriers offer multi-plan discounts that also include Life Insurance, Boat Insurance, Motorcycle Insurance, Renters Insurance and multiple vehicles.
10. Ask an agent about payment discounts.
Looking for other ways to save? Ask your Insurance Broker if you are eligible to receive payment discounts, such as a:
- Paid-in-full discount: For those who choose to forego monthly payments;
- Online payment discount: For submitting payments electronically;
- Student discount: Which may have a “good grade” component; and,
- Retiree discount: For those who are likely to be home more often.
The Cost & Benefit Analysis of Making Updates to Your Home
Some upgrades pay for themselves in insurance discounts. Remember the $200 water shutoff device? Other costly updates, like a new roof, may not ever be completely recouped. In doing this cost-benefit analysis, it is important to remember the overall value of improving your home’s safety.
If those pricey, impact-resistant shingles help ensure your home survives a record-breaking hailstorm, consider it a dollar well-spent. Having a claim-free record helps guarantee that your Homeowner’s Insurance rates will continue to stay low. Best of all, you have the peace of mind in knowing you have taken a proactive (rather than a reactive) approach to keep your family safe.
Protect Your Home with a Homeowner’s Policy
Your home is your livelihood. At Webb Insurance in St. Charles, our team of local agents will help build a policy that is customized to your home’s unique features. As an independent broker, we will help you take advantage of competitive pricing for industry-leading home insurance coverage.
If you are a current customer, set up a complimentary consultation to see what discounts you may be eligible to receive.