What can I do to reduce my homeowner's insurance costs?

Homeowner’s insurance is required if you have a mortgage loan on your home, and even if you don’t, it is essential for your protection in case of losses or damages to your home. However, homeowner’s insurance can be a costly investment. Fortunately, there are a number of simple ways that you can reduce your homeowner’s insurance costs.
The most obvious way to immediately reduce your homeowner’s insurance costs is to raise your deductible. The higher your deductible, the lower your insurance premiums will be. While it is common for homeowner’s policies to carry a $500 deductible, consider raising your deductible to $1,000, which will lead to a substantial decease in your insurance premium costs. Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that if you live in a higher-risk area, such as near the coast, you may have separate deductibles for specific types of damages, such as hail or flood damages.
Typically, an insurance company will give you a discount if you maintain insurance coverage for your home, your vehicles, and any other items that need insurance coverage with the same company. As you shop around for insurance rate quotes from different companies, be sure to compare the differences between purchasing all of your insurance policies from the same companies, and purchasing the same policies separately from different companies. 
There are a number of other types of discounts on your homeowner’s insurance premiums that you may be eligible for, as well, although these discounts vary widely in their amounts and from state to state. If you install and/or maintain a security system for your home, deadbolt locks, and/or smoke alarms, your insurance company may give you a discount. Improving your home in order to make it more disaster-resistant, particularly in areas at higher risk for natural disasters, may also lower your insurance premiums; for instance, in some states and with some insurance companies, installing storm shutters and/or roofing reinforcements will result in lower insurance premiums. 
Likewise, if you are retired, you may be eligible for lower premiums since you are more likely to be at home, and thus better able to prevent burglaries and/or fires. If you are a member of a certain group or organization, such as a credit union or a professional association, you may be able to secure insurance coverage at reduced rates through those groups. Furthermore, if you stay with the same insurance company for several years, you may qualify for a discount on your insurance premiums as a long-term policyholder.
Certain aspects of your home may also get you lower homeowner’s insurance premiums. For example, if you live in an area prone to natural disasters, you might qualify for lower premiums if you own a brick home as opposed to a wood home. Making upgrades to your existing electrical and plumbing systems, or simply purchasing a newer home, might also result in lower insurance premiums. Your home’s proximity to fire hydrants, and your home’s location in a neighborhood governed by a homeowner’s association may also be factors that help to lower your insurance premiums. 

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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