Whether you are reviewing your home insurance renewal or shopping for a new insurance policy, finding the best premium to cut your insurance costs, and save money is important. People sometimes think that if they have a price, it's already the best it can be, but over time your personal situation and the discounts an insurance company will offer may change so it is worth making sure you are getting all the possible discounts on your policy. Here are some simple ways to lower costs on your home insurance without reducing your coverage.
Top Home Insurance Policy Credits and Discounts
Everyone has heard that bundling your insurance (having your home and car insurance with the same insurance company) can save you money, or that being claims-free will give you a discount. These are the obvious discounts that we hope you are already taking advantage of. Usually, an insurance company will be aware of these facts, so getting those discounts is generally automatic.
You may have also heard that taking a higher deductible can save you money on insurance. You can learn more about how to use your deductible to save you money here.
However, there are many more opportunities to get a better price on your home insurance if you know what to look out for. Here is a comprehensive list of some of the less obvious credits that people often take for granted, or may not even know about to help you knock the price down on your current insurance premium.
Home Improvement, Green Home and New Construction Credits
When people keep their homes well maintained and have updated roofs, windows, or wiring, for example, many of the risks to the home are reduced. A newly built home may entitle you to a discount on your premium. Make your insurance company aware of any renovations and home improvements to see if you get credits. Some companies give large discounts—we've seen some as high as 37% for new homes or renovations.
Loyalty credits are discounts an insurance company may be willing to give you if you are with them for several years. Sometimes this is called a renewal discount, other times it may be a loyalty credit or even a discretionary credit that the company will give if you ask for it.
Every company is different. Even if they don't have a discount by this name, let your insurance representative know that you're shopping for the best price and you're wondering if the insurance company might review your rate due to the fact that you've been loyal. It never hurts to ask.
Good Credit Score Discount
Insurance companies have found that a good credit score is directly related to lower claims incidence. Find out if you can get a discount for having a good credit score and learn more about insurance credit scoring and how that works here.
Water Protection Device Credits
Loss mitigation devices like automatic water shut-off valves, leak detection, or monitoring systems can provide you with additional discounts on your home insurance with some insurers. Water damage is a major source of home insurance claims, so if you have extra protection, it's worth shopping around to find a company that will give you a discount for that.
Loss Mitigation for High-Risk Areas
If you live in an area that has higher than average risks for certain types of damage such as from storm-related claims, insurance companies may be willing to give you better coverage and discounts for using extra protection.
Some examples include:
- Having impact-resistant roofing or building your home to fortified roof standards can save up to 55%
- Installing hurricane or storm shutters, or hurricane-resistant laminated glass windows and doors can save you. In some states, like New York, insurance companies are required to give discounts for these types of loss prevention measures.
- Adding wind restrictive features to your home in states where there are higher hurricane risks may also get you a discount.
Gated Community or HOA Discounts
Living in neighborhoods or communities with increased security, like camera monitoring, 24-hour security guards, or even a neighborhood watch may get you a discount.
New Homeowner Credit
If you are a first-time or new homeowner, check out our tips to help you save money when you shop for your first home insurance. You might also be able to ask for a new homeowner discount. It is not available with all insurance companies, but it is worth the ask.
Alarm Systems Monitored (or Not)
A lot of people focus on the fire and burglary portion of an alarm discount and forget to tell their insurance company when they upgrade their system or include additional protection like:
- low-temperature detectors
- video cameras
- water leak sensors
- cellular back up
The addition of these protections may double the discount (if not more) over what you will get for just a standard fire and burglar alarm. When you ask if you have an alarm discount be sure and ask if any of the above are included and how much more you would save by upgrading your system. Also note that a monitored alarm system will give you the best discount as opposed to a local alarm, which is not as effective.
Smart Home and High Tech Sensor Credits
Some insurance companies may offer 5-10% in high tech sensors or smart home credits.
For rural areas and locations that are not within close proximity to a fire hydrant, investing in a dry hydrant may save thousands of dollars on home insurance premiums. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were over 1.3 million fires reported in the United States in 2017. When your home is in an area that does not have access to an adequate water supply, the price of your insurance will normally be higher. Ask what kind of discount you get if you have a dry hydrant.
New Policy Discount
Home insurance companies sometimes offer a different rate to a new policyholder. Many times the "new policy discount" could be balanced by a "loyalty discount" on renewal, but it doesn't always work that way. If you aren't getting the best rates, don't rule out your last insurer when you shop around because they may be willing to offer you a "new client discount" if you go back to them. Some companies, like Erie Insurance, for example, also offer a discount when you get a quote for your insurance more than a week before the policy is due. Sometimes it pays to shop around early to get the best price.
Before you leave your current insurance company, ask it if you are getting its best rates before you cancel, just in case it has other rates to offer. You can also ask your previous insurance company for a letter of claims experience to prove how long you were insured.
Non-Smoker Discounts and Personal Discounts
Being a non-smoker may get you a discount on your home insurance policy because it may reduce the risk of fire, but this isn't the only kind of discount an insurance company will give based on your personal profile. You may be eligible for other discounts based on:
- Your occupation
- Your education level
- Your employer
- Membership with certain organizations
- Your marital status (or if you have kids)
- Being a retiree, senior, or student
- Being mortgage-free
- Your payment plan (people who pay in one installment or choose payment plans may get discounts)
How to Get Home Insurance Credits and Discounts
The best way to make sure you get all the credits you are entitled to on your home insurance policy is to look over your policy every year. Making a call to your insurance representative and asking what they can do for you never hurts. Spending 10 minutes reviewing options and discounts could save you hundreds of dollars.
Lowering Your Home Insurance Costs
Not every company will offer discounts for all of the items on our list, but as insurance companies look to be more competitive in attracting target clients, discounts like these will come into play. Asking about these discounts will help you find the company that will give you the lowest price while saving you money on your home insurance without having to reduce your coverage.