More on Home Insurance
More on Home Insurance
How low can your homeowners insurance premiums go?
When deciding which homeowners insurance company is best for you, you’re going to look at companies’ financial strength, their rates, their coverages, and how they handle claims. But another important decider is how many premium discounts the company offers.
Discount types will vary from company to company, but just about every insurer will trim a solid chunk off your premiums if you choose a high deductible, disaster-proof your home, or bundle your home and auto insurance under a single carrier. Some companies also reduce your premiums if your home is fitted with risk-prevention devices like smart thermostats and water leak sensors.
Whatever company and policy you choose, be certain that your insurer is living up to their end of the bargain and applying all applicable discounts to your bill.
In the following guide, we’ll list off all of the home insurance discounts you should know about, and we broke them up into three categories: policyholder discounts, policy discounts, and home improvement discounts.
IN THIS ARTICLE
You’ll typically get discounts on your home insurance premiums if you make your home safer and more fortified, or if you lessen your insurance company’s liability by agreeing to pay more out of pocket in the event of a loss. But there are also a few discounts that you, the policyholder, may be eligible for that have nothing to do with your home’s characteristics or your specific policy.
Insurance companies like the idea of individuals being present in the home, as it lessens the risk of potential hazards compared to if you’re single and no one’s there to hold down the fort while you’re out. Generally, if you’re married, the likelihood of someone being home goes up, so chances are you insurer will reward you with lower rates. Be sure to get new home insurance quotes if you tie the knot.
Different discount but for similar reasons as the married or widowed discount. If you’re a senior citizen, there’s a better chance you’re retired and spending time in the comfort of your home than if you’re of working age and away at your nine-to-five.
If your employer offers homeowners insurance from a specific carrier, or if your alma mater or utility company has a partnership with a carrier, you may be able to get discounted rates with that company.
If you’re already insured, be sure to check the company website for their list of partners and affiliates. If you’re a member or in any way connected with partnering companies, you may be eligible for lower rates.
If you’ve been using the same insurance company for five or more years, most insurers will give you a discount on future policies. The reasons for this discount are twofold: insurers are rewarding you for being a loyal client, as brand loyalty is a crucial driver in such a competitive industry. They’re also rewarding you for paying your premiums on time and not having a bad claims history. If your account wasn’t in good standing, your insurer would probably drop you before you were eligible for a loyalty discount.
While loyalty discounts are nice, you should continue to compare policies and make sure your home has the best possible insurance. At Policygenius, we make it easier to compare and buy homeowners insurance online, and our licensed representatives can help steer you toward a policy that makes sense for you and your home.
A newly constructed home means new wiring, new plumbing, a finished basement, and a new roof. New homes are also generally cheaper to rebuild than older homes with obsolete features. If the insured property was built in the last five years, chances are your insurer will give you a discount on your premiums.
Some insurance companies may also offer discounts to first-time customers as a token of gratitude for choosing them to insure your home.
Maintaining a high credit score makes it significantly easier to own a car or a home, and it also helps keep your insurance premiums low, as your insurer has the added guarantee that you pay your bills on time. If you have a solid credit history, your insurer may gift you with a discount.
Smoking is not only bad for your health, but it's also a potential fire hazard. If no one in your home smokes, you may be eligible for a discount. You can also get discounts on life and disability insurance if you don’t smoke.
There are certain modifications you can make to your policy or bill that may affect how high or low your home insurance premiums run. If you agree to pay for all of your insurance up front, pay more out of pocket, or have multiple policies with the same insurance company, you may be eligible for the following discounts.
Your deductible is the amount you pay your insurance company out of pocket for a covered loss before they reimburse you for the remaining amount. If you agree to pay a deductible higher than the insurer’s standard amount (which typically ranges from $500-$1,500), your insurer may give you a discount for taking on the added liability.
If you get your homeowners and auto or life insurance from the same company, your insurer may reward you with a bundling or multi-policy discount. You’ll also have the added advantage of only having to deal with one insurance company for all your property insurance needs, and bundling discounts are generally the highest discounts available, as they hover around 20% to 30%.
If you pay a year’s worth of insurance premiums up front, your insurer will typically reward you with a small discount.
If you’ve gone a number of years without submitting a homeowners insurance claim, you’ve made life easier for your insurance company, and most insurers will reward you with a discount on your rates.
Homeowners associations are looked at favorably by insurance companies, as HOA property is generally surveilled and well-maintained, lessening the risk of theft and vandalism. Because of that, insurers will typically hook you up with lower premiums if you belong to an HOA.
There are also certain modifications you can make to the home itself that impact your rates. If your home has certain safety features that better protect your home and the contents inside your home against certain perils like storms, fires, and theft, your insurer may reward you for lessening the financial risk.
It's also commonplace for insurers to offer discounts for modernized homes with designated “smart home” devices. Some insurers, like Travelers, even offer affiliate discounts for smart home devices bought through Amazon that you can then use for discounts on your Travelers policy.
You’re typically eligible for discounts if you have a fire alarm, deadbolts for your doors, and a fire extinguisher. But you may be in line for even heftier discounts if you:
Be sure to let your insurance company know about any safety or security features in your home, and if you recently had a protective feature installed, let your agent know immediately to get a discount on your premiums.
Fitting your home with storm-proof roof shingles, hurricane-resistant windows, impact-resistant garage doors, and steel doors and frames may net you a considerably large discount.
About the author
Pat Howard is an Insurance Editor at Policygenius in New York City, specializing in homeowners insurance. He has been featured on Property Casualty 360, MSN, and more. Pat has a B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University.
Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.
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