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Although it’s a necessary part of owning a home, property insurance can be expensive. The average homeowners insurance premium for a standard policy costs $1,272 per year, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Fortunately, insurers offer homeowners insurance discounts if you meet certain requirements.
Here’s what you need to know about homeowners insurance discounts:
How can I get home insurance discounts?
Your homeowners insurance premium may be higher or lower than the national average, depending on your location, home features, and personal financial situation. Insurers use this information to determine your risk profile as a homeowner.
Insurance premiums are typically cheaper if an insurer determines that you’re less likely to file a claim — for example, if you live in an area with mild weather or a low crime rate.
But you can also take advantage of certain discounts to lower your home insurance premium even more. If you’re looking for a break in pricing, ask your insurance provider about the following discounts.
An insurance carrier may offer multi-policy discounts when you buy at least two insurance policies from it. Policyholders typically save between 5% and 15% on their premium when they combine policies, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Bundling auto and home insurance policies is the most common, but you can also bundle home insurance with other types of policies, such as life insurance or motorcycle insurance.
Install additional security or safety features
A safer home can also reduce your premium because the insurer takes on less risk.
Installing smoke detectors, burglar alarms, or deadbolt locks on exterior doors can typically fetch a home insurance discount of around 5%. More sophisticated features, such as a sprinkler system or an alarm that summons first responders, may get you a discount of 15% to 20%.
Make home improvements
Making your home more resistant to natural disasters is another way to get home insurance discounts.
You might, for instance, add storm shutters or high-impact glass, reinforce your roof, or retrofit your home so it can withstand earthquakes. Modernizing your heating, plumbing, and electrical systems can also lower the risk of fire and water damage.
Some insurance providers reward customers for sticking with them for years. For example, you might get a 5% discount when you maintain a policy with one carrier for three to five years, and you may save more if you remain a policyholder for six years or more.
While remaining loyal to one carrier has its perks, it’s a good idea to periodically shop around so you know you’re getting the best rate. Changing carriers can sometimes net you a more significant discount than remaining with the same one.
How do insurance discounts work?
Homeowners insurance discounts can lower your premium without sacrificing coverage, but the amount you save will depend on the provider and the type of discount.
Some discounts are offered when you sign up for a policy, while you may become eligible for others later on. You can check with your insurance carrier periodically to make sure you’re maximizing your discounts.
Here a few things to look for when shopping for a home insurance policy:
- Watch for the term “up to”: This means not everyone gets the maximum amount. To get the highest discount, you’ll usually have to meet specific criteria.
- Discounts vary by state: Depending on where you live, the types of available discounts can vary.
- Discount amounts can be capped: Some discounts are stackable, but insurance carriers limit the total percentage of discounts you can get. The cap varies with each insurer. Speak with your insurance agent to find out what your provider’s discount cap is.
- Comparison shop: Insurers may offer a lot of home insurance discounts, but that doesn’t mean they offer the best price or coverage. Make a habit of periodically getting home insurance quotes from at least three providers. You’ll also want to make sure they have a reputation for providing high-quality service if you need assistance in filing a claim.
Related Read: How Is Homeowners Insurance Paid?
Additional ways to save
You can save on homeowners insurance in many other ways, such as:
- Raise your deductible: Your deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket if you have to file a claim. You can typically choose from several amounts, such as $500 or $1,000 or more. A higher deductible will lower your premium, though you’ll want to be sure you can afford to pay it should you need to file a claim before making changes to your policy.
- Improve your credit: Insurance carriers in some states can use your credit history when setting your premium, so improving your credit may help you save money. However, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Washington either ban or limit insurance providers from using credit to determine rates. Oregon and Utah also have similar prohibitions. So, while improved credit is good for your financial health, it won’t help lower your premium if you live in one of these states.
- Avoid smoking: Because smoking in the home increases the risk of fire, insurance carriers often provide a discount for non-smoking homeowners.
- Personal factors: Insurers may also provide discounts for married couples, as they typically present less risk than their single counterparts. Retired people often get a price break too because they’re more likely to be at home and can address emergencies quickly.
- Military experience: Some insurance carriers offer home insurance discounts for active or retired service members and their families.
- Where you live: Gated communities and those with a homeowners association typically have a stronger security presence, which lowers risk for the insurance provider. So you might get a price break just by living in one of these neighborhoods.
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