Ways To Reduce Your Home Insurance Cost & Still Protect Your Home
December 21, 2022
Home insurance is one of those necessary costs that every homeowner simultaneously dreads and is grateful for.
We appreciate the security that home insurance provides, a safety net to protect the life we have worked so hard to build in case of an emergency.
At the same time, home insurance is expensive, and we might dread the payments because they require us to part with our hard-earned dollars.
When shopping around for home insurance, most homeowners hope to find the most affordable plan to protect their homes and belongings in the event of unforeseen circumstances. The good news is that while home insurance premiums will always be a reality of home ownership, there are many ways to save on it.
Finding a good insurance plan begins with finding the right insurance brokers. Sometimes reducing your home insurance costs is truly as simple as speaking with your licenced broker and letting them do the heavy lifting for you. At Nation West Insurance, we pride ourselves on matching clients with the perfect plans to suit their needs and budget every day of the week.
In addition to relying on your broker, there are also many ways you can personally work on reducing the cost of your home insurance. But be sure to run them by your broker before making a final decision!
Let’s take a look:
5 Ways To Reduce Your Home Insurance Costs
1. Increase Your Deductible
A deductible is the portion of an insurance claim that the policy owners pays for themselves. For example, suppose you have a $1,000 deductible, and your basement floods during a rainstorm to the tune of $5,000 in damages. In that case, you’ll be responsible for paying $1,000 upfront before your insurance covers the remaining $4,000. A standard deductible is currently $1,000. Increased options are generally either $2,500 or $5,000.
If you’re willing to shoulder a higher deductible in the event of an emergency (e.g., raise your deductible from $1,000 to $2,500), you can often reduce your annual insurance premium (the total amount you pay for your coverage per year).
2. Keep the True Cost of Rebuilding in Mind
When selecting a home insurance plan, keep in mind that the amount you’re insured for does not need to reflect the price you paid for your home.
Why not? Because the lot your home is built on doesn’t need to be insured to the same extent as your home itself. To get a more accurate picture of the amount of coverage you actually need, don’t consider the resale value of your home; instead, consider what it would truly cost to rebuild your house in the event that it was completely destroyed.
Nearly always, the calculated cost of re-building is less than the price you paid for your home and property combined. Taking this difference into consideration can substantially lower your home insurance premium.
3. Seek Out Specific Discounts
Insurance companies offer different types of discounts to different types of people. Are you a senior who’s at home more than the average homeowner? A non-smoker who represents less of a house fire risk? Perhaps you are mortgage free or have a strong credit rating?
These are all examples of scenarios that may result in reduced home insurance premiums—and there are many more. Taking the time to find out if you qualify for any specific discounts can really pay off.
4. Review the Value of Possessions
Even the most prized possessions depreciate in value over time. And while some insurance policies cover losses at Replacement Cost Value (the amount you would pay to replace an item at today’s current value), many calculate Actual Cash Value instead. In this scenario, the depreciation value is subtracted from the Replacement Cost Value to arrive at a lower total.
In practice, this means that if you have expensive items that you purchased extra insurance for on top of your basic home insurance policy, you may wish to cancel your floater insurance as the items depreciate in value. If you calculate wisely, this strategy can save you a bundle of money every year.
5. Improve Home Security
Ask your insurance company if there are any discounts associated with improved home security. For instance, upgrading your doors and locks or installing a new fire and burglar alarm or sophisticated sprinkler system might actually reduce your homeowner’s insurance. Ask your broker about home alarm systems. Discounts can be applied when alarms are monitoring burglary and fire risks.
How To Reduce the Risk of Having To File a Claim
While lowering your home insurance premium is a great goal in and of itself, the deal becomes even sweeter if you never have to file any insurance claims at all. Here are some measures you can take to reduce your risk of having to file insurance claims:
Spring Preventative Measures
Springtime is the season of flowers and birdsong. It’s also the season of floods and a common time to discover damages related to snow and ice.
Inside Your Home
- Check for fire hazards, including frayed cords, loose plugs, extension cords, and faulty electrical systems.
- Check fire extinguisher expiration dates.
- Have your air conditioner professionally cleaned before summer usage.
- Ensure your furnace and hot water heater haven’t sustained any damage.
- Replace smoke detector batteries.
- Make sure all your plumbing appears to be undamaged.
- Clean your dryer vent pipe and complete routine maintenance on other household appliances.
Outside Your Home
- Check your roof for any damage or leaks.
- Clean gutters and downspouts.
- Assess tree health and remove branches that may have been damaged over the winter.
- Tune up your lawnmower and other power tools before usage.
- Repair cracks in driveways and walkways.
Winter Preventative Measures
We appreciate our homes in winter more than in any other season, so do your part to keep your home safe when the snow flies.
Inside Your Home
- Be fire smart when it comes to holiday decorating; candles, electric lights, and other decorations all have their risks.
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Inspect and clean your fireplace before using it.
- Clean the lint from your dryer regularly.
- Be sure to meet your pets’ seasonal needs; housebound animals can cause plenty of damage.
- Keep water trickling if you suspect your pipes may freeze.
Outside Your Home
- Protect your home from theft with a well-lit exterior and a home security system.
- Insulate exposed pipes.
- Keep your property cleared of snow and ice (including your roof, if necessary—but take proper safety precautions).
- Promptly remove any branches or debris caused by winter storms.
Protecting Your Home While on Vacation or Leaving for the Winter
Heading to the tropics for a while? Don’t forget to leave your home protected while you’re away:
- Prevent your home from appearing unoccupied. Arrange for someone to collect the mail and shovel the snow. Also, consider motion-sensor exterior lights and interior lights that operate on timers.
- Keep thieves at bay with a security system. Also, secure all doors and windows with deadbolts and store your valuables while away.
- Keep your home and plumbing warm while you’re away. While you don’t need the temperature to be cozy, you do need it to keep the water in your pipes flowing.
- Perform winter maintenance (including on major appliances) before you leave.
- Have a plan and contact person ready in case of any emergencies. If possible, have someone check the exterior and interior of your home regularly (most insurance companies recommend this, and some require it).
To conclude, homeowner’s insurance is a necessity for owning your own home, but it doesn’t have to break your bank account. With the help of the professional team at Nation West Insurance, we’re confident you can find the perfect policy to meet your needs and suit your budget.
Contact us today to set up an appointment!