Everyone wants to reduce their homeowners insurance premium, but not everyone knows about hidden homeowners insurance credits that can be applied to lower their bill. Don’t stop at raising your deductible, installing a smoke detector and burglar alarm or taking a multi-line discount with your insurer. Reach for savings with these homeowners insurance credits.
Save big money on homeowners insurance
Madelyn Flannagan of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America reminds homeowners that while insurance agents are primarily concerned with minimizing loss, the benefit to homeowners is of course lower premium payments. Individual homeowners insurance credits can be worth up to 25 percent off the monthly premium.
“Insurers give a discount to encourage people to be more careful and to better understand the homes they’re insuring,” Flannagan told Bankrate.
Get credit for your gated community
The added layer of security living in a gated community affords the homeowner may reduce premiums by as much as 20 percent, depending upon the insurer. Reducing the risk of vandalism and theft keeps everyone except the vandals happy. If you happen to live near your local fire department, there may be additional savings. Ask your homeowners insurance company.
Don’t get your wires crossed
New electrical wiring can qualify for as much as a 10 percent premium credit, according to industry estimates. The U.S. Fire Administration states that home electrical problems result in 67,800 fires per year, which led to 485 deaths and $868 million in property loss, according to 2006 data. Installed professionally, new wiring minimizes outages, shortages and fires. It saves both lives and money in the long run.
Install impact-resistant roofing
Wind, rain, hail and debris wear down a roof over time. If a roof is compromised, damage claims can cause insurance premiums to spike dramatically. With impact-resistant roofing that uses the most up-to-date UL 2218 materials, homeowners may be able to enjoy a 5 to 10 percent savings on their homeowners insurance each month. Go for a Class 4 roof, which is the sturdiest available and most attractive to insurance companies.
Avoid small claims whenever possible
Fewer claims translate into lower insurance premiums; it’s a fact. Many companies offer a 20 percent discount if a homeowner goes claim-free for 10 years. Even if you’ve had a claim, however, there may still be discounts available. Keep in mind that many insurers will drop a homeowner after 2-3 small claims, according to Kiplinger.com.
A homeowners association has its benefits
Even if you are not a member of a homeowners association, if your home is located within an HOA area, some insurers will grant the insured a 5 to 10 percent discount. Having a group of like-minded neighbors who want to preserve the safety of their community counts.
“It’s because of the security aspects of HOA communities, with things like community watch,” says Flannagan.
Going smoke-free is a benefit to your health and the health of your home. According to Flannagan, most insurers charge non-smokers 5 to 15 percent less on their homeowners insurance premiums, due to the reduced risk of fire and tobacco smoke damage to walls, ceilings and property.