Homeowners insurance tips can help you to save money and better protect your home. Homeowners insurance is typically a requirement if you have a mortgage on your home, but is something you should have anyway.
Your homeowners can cover things like roof damage after a storm or an unexpected pipe repair. It is important coverage to have to help keep costs down. These homeowners insurance tips can help you to find the right coverage, save some money on your premiums, and learn more about these policies. Renters, you should pay attention to because there will be a section about renter’s insurance.
The History of Homeowners Insurance
Have you ever wondered with homeowners insurance got it to start? At what point did someone think it was a good idea to help people to protect their largest investment with policy coverage? Like all good things, necessity is the mother of invention.
This type of insurance has been around for a long time, in some places longer than others. In the UK, London specifically, the first homeowner’s insurance policy was written in 1667. Ben Franklin followed suit in the colonies in the early 1700s but neither plan looked anything like the plans today.
It was not until the 1950’s that homeowners insurance in the US started to become a more comprehensive type plan. Prior to the 1950’s you would have to secure a different plan for each type of peril. For example, in the early days of the homeowner’s policy you would take out protection from fire, or from vandalism, or from theft, each plan would be separate.
The first comprehensive plan was introduced by the Insurance Company of North America in September of 1950. The plan was all-inclusive and actually would help homeowners save 20% over the cost of buying each plan separately, and as they say, the rest is history.
Since those early days of comprehensive home coverage, consumers have been on a mission to find better savings on premiums, ways to lower their deductibles and get easy to manage coverage. Largely most homeowners insurance tips are focused on helping homeowners find ways to save.
You Need Home Owner’s Insurance Period
Even if you own your home free and clear, you need insurance. There are so many expensive things that can go wrong in your house that can easily bankrupt you trying to repair on your own. For example, a water main break while you are away for the weekend can cause thousands and thousands of dollars in damage. Your homeowners can cover the cost of damage repair and pipe repair and you can worry about the causes of pipe erosion and what you can do differently to avoid it from happening ever again. The point is you won’t have to deal with the financial losses on top of all the stress.
Roof damage is a common issue after a storm, and roof repairs can be expensive, insurance can cover the costs of that as well. Let’s say your home is paid off but you want to apply for loans for home renovation projects, you are going to need homeowners insurance.
It sounds like something everyone would have, but there are many people that skip out on this all too important insurance to try to cut back on monthly bills. The fact is this is an insurance that you cannot afford not to have.
Renters you need coverage too. If you are a renter you should know that your personal goods are not covered by the homeowner’s insurance. That means if that pipe bursts and your record collection gets ruined that is on you. Get renters insurance.
Get an Agent
There are plenty of online discount options but it can be hard to get personalized services from an online venue. You may want to find an agent to speak to. An agent will have insight into options that you may not find online.
You may also find discounts through an agent that you cannot find online. Most importantly, you can get personalized care from an agent that you deserve. If you are faced with a massive project like roof repair, you are going to want someone who is knowledgeable on your side. Getting support from an agent can be one of the best ways to get the best insurance coverage for your budget and your home.
Be wary when you consider discount insurance rates. You want to choose an insurance plan that delivers value. Shop for value not solely based on pricing.
Some Standard Homeowners Insurance Tips
There are some pretty standard homeowners insurance tips that everyone should follow at a minimum. If you want to keep costs down on your insurance you can do the following:
- Get an alarm system installed with video monitoring
- Shop around
- Improve your homes disaster resistance
Homeowner insurance companies typically offer discounts for alarm systems and other protections for your home. Of course, the savings are nice but you also get the benefit of knowing your home is protected.
Shop around for the best deal. Premiums can vary by hundreds of dollars for the same exact coverage. Make sure you compare your options. You do not want to miss out on savings. One of the homeowners insurance tips that you rarely run across is to bundle your home and auto insurance with the same company.
Many insurance companies will offer discounts for customers that get both their auto and homeowners through the same company. It is definitely worth asking about.
Improve Your Home Protections Against Disaster
Hiring general contracting services to make improvements to your home can reap you some rewards with the insurance company. For example, if you live in a hurricane zone, adding storm shutters to your windows can help you save on your insurance premium.
The next time you are considering investing in home improvements consider investing in improvements that do double duty. Here are some things you can do to improve your home that will also lower your insurance premium:
- Update older electrical systems and plumbing
- Install a whole home generator
- Get rid of your wood-burning stove
Old outdated electrical systems are a hazard. Electrical fires are responsible for over 50,000 residential fires each year. Not only can you shave about 10% off your homeowner’s premium by updating your electrical system but you can also reduce the risk of fire in your home.
Insurance companies also appreciate when you replace old corroded piping with new pipes. You reduce the risk of a major leak with new pipes which can save the insurance company some money. Water damage is the number two reason for filing a homeowners insurance claim in the US and it accounts for over 20% of damage to homes in the United States. Fix your pipes you will be glad that you did.
Whole Home Generator
Homeowners insurance tips do not necessarily apply to everyone. Installing a whole-home generator can help you save on your insurance premiums but only if you live in the Northern half of the country where the weather gets cold enough to freeze pipes.
When the power goes out in colder regions it is not just discomfort that is the issue. Pipes can freeze and burst. If you have a generator that will kick in and get the heat running again quickly, you can avoid that situation, and your insurance company may take notice and offer you a nice discount for your efforts. Typically a discount between 4% and 10% is offered for this type of home system upgrade.
Say Goodbye to Your Wood Burning Stove
Insurance companies really do not like wood-burning stoves, and unless you are really attached to yours and willing to pay that extra premium to have one, you should consider getting rid of it. Ask your insurance agent what type of discount is available if you do not have a wood-burning stove and weigh your options.
Other Homeowners Insurance Tips
Don’t give up yet there are more savings to be had. Even after you have checked all the boxes on the other tips you still have a few things to try to see how low you can go on that premium like looking for the hidden discounts.
Do insurance companies really hide discounts from consumers? You betcha. For example, if you are retired and over the age of 55, you are likely at home during the day when more burglaries occur, that may get you a small discount, but you have to ask.
Some carriers offer discounts to members of certain professions like military discounts, first responder discounts, teachers discounts, and more. The catch is you have to ask. Talk to your insurance agent and ask what other discounts you might have coming your way.
Ask your agent about any special programs that are available that will help you save. For example, on auto insurance, you can see some savings if you take a driver safety class, ask your agent if there is a homeowner equivalent. You may get a firm no, but you never know until you ask.
More Homeowners Insurance Tips
One of the best ways to ensure you get a good rate on your homeowners insurance is to make sure that your credit is up to par. Most every insurance carrier will pull your credit report to see if your score is worthy of a decent premium. Keeping your credit score up can mean a great deal of savings on your premium.
Weigh out your options when it comes to a higher deductible. Higher deductibles can mean lower premiums but that may not be the best scenario for you. The deductible is the amount you must pay before the insurance company will pick up the tab.
Most deductibles range from $500-$2000. The lower the deductible the higher the premium. You have to get honest with yourself about your finances to determine which path is the best for you. For example, if you have enough reserve cash in an emergency fund to pay out $2000 for repairs if you need to, then you can go with that lower premium high deductible plan. If you do not have enough reserve to cover necessary repairs right now than it is best to pay the higher premium with the lower deductible.
While you are considering the deductible premium dilemma keep in mind that raising your deductible from $500 to $1000 can actually reduce your monthly premium by 25% which is a substantial saving’s.
It is important to shop around for the best plans but once you settle on one, you may want to stick with one for a while. Many insurance companies offer loyalty discounts after X amount of years. Before you make your final decision about your insurance carrier ask them if they reduce premiums for long term customers and exactly how do they define the long term.
Homeowners Insurance Tips After You Have Your Plan In Place
Once you have chosen the plan you are happy with, it is strongly recommended that you review your plan and your needs once a year. If you have made any changes to your property like added an outbuilding, shed, garage or other storage areas, notify your insurance company.
Getting the full protection that you need for your property means letting your insurance company know about changes or additions. If you don’t then you risk not having coverage when you need it.
You should review your policy every year just to be sure that you have the coverage that you need. Making sure that you fully understand what coverage you have is vital to make sure you do not wind up with any surprises if you need to file a claim.
Follow The Tips and Start Saving
Follow the homeowners insurance tips and get the complete insurance coverage that you need without breaking the budget. Putting a little bit of effort in the process can help you to save big. Even if you need to put in a claim for a home renovation, you can still save in the long run.