Last week we examined four discounts that lower the cost of home insurance including:
- A home’s age
- Account / multi-policy
- Alarm / protective devices
- Mature homeowner
There are a number of other ways to save too! Here are 9 more items that help if they apply.
Gated Community: Living in a gated community reduces the amount of drive by traffic restricting who has access to your home. It also indicates there’s a security presence nearby. Gated communities dramatically lower the amount of theft claims for the homes within it. The savings for living in a gated community ranges from 5% to 20%.
Home Location: Where your home is also impacts what you pay. Homes that are within 5 miles of a fire station and 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant pay less than homes located in rural or semi-rural areas. The reason is the fire department is able to respond more quickly to put out a fire reducing the amount of the overall claim.
Home Wiring: If you own an older home and are considering a major renovation look into rewiring it. Rewiring an older home reduces the risk of a fire due to shorts and sparking. In order to access this credit, you’ll need proof in the form of detailed receipts from a licensed electrician. Depending on the age of the home and the insurance company, you could save up to 10%.
Hail Resistant Roofing: Thousands of roofs were replaced in the Dallas / Fort Worth area last year due to the April tornados and the June hail storm. If you anteed up and replaced your roof with hail resistant shingles, be sure to let your agent know about it. Most companies provide a 5% to 10% discount for hail resistant roofing. You’ll need proof either in the form of a certificate, a detailed receipt or labels from the shingle bundles but it is worth the effort.
Claim History: The fact is claims impact what you pay for home insurance including:
- The amount of a claim
- The number of claims
- The type of claims
Large claims, frequent filing of claims and certain types of claims such as water losses, fires and burglaries will drive the cost of home insurance up. If you don’t have any claims then you’ll be able to take advantage of that too! You’ll save up to 20% on your home insurance if you don’t have any claims.
New Rates: Home insurance rates aren’t static, they change every year. Right now, most home owners in north Texas are experiencing rate hikes due to last year’s storms and the wildfires of 2011. That will change at some point in the future. They’ll come back down and we’ll be able to re-rate our existing and new clients in rates that are much more attractive than they are now.
Smoking: Smoking is still one of the top causes of home fires and the leading cause of home fire fatalities in the U.S. Smokers, as a result, pay more for their home insurance than non-smokers. If you quit, informing your agent can help lower your home insurance premiums.
Marital Status: Being married has its advantages when it comes to home insurance. Insurance companies typically charge a lower rate for married home owners than single home owners. This may also apply to couples in a committed relationship where they’ve co-mingled their finances.
Credit: Having good credit means you pay less for home insurance than having moderate or poor credit. Most Texas home insurers have used credit for rating purposes for about 8 to 10 years based on a study that showed people with good credit file less claims than those with poor credit. A person’s credit rating is a predictor of future claims activity. This practice has been adopted in most states. If you want to pay less for all your insurance, improve your credit score.
What are you doing to pay less for home, condo and renters insurance? Share your comments and questions with us on our Facebook page or in the comments section of our blog. We’d love to hear from you!