Homeowners paid an average annual premium of $1,096 in 2013, the latest available, according to the Insurance Information Institute, a New York-based trade group. That represents a 6% increase over 2012.
One easy way to save is by bundling insurance policies. In its analysis of rates offered by major insurance carriers, insuranceQuotes, an online insurance marketplace, found that consumers could save an average of $314 per year by combining their auto and home, condominium or renters policies with the same insurer.
Home improvements-including the roof, windows, electrical or plumbing systems–may also qualify for a premium discount. Many homeowners neglect to notify their agent when they renovate. Installing a security system-particularly one that automatically dials the police or fire department-can qualify for a 5% to 10% premium discount as well.
There are plenty of other lesser-known discounts that might be available, depending on the insurance company, from being a non-smoker to owning a home built with “green” features like Energy Star appliances or sustainable materials like bamboo. Of course, rates vary widely based on geography and the type of home being insured, and not all discounts are available from all insurance carriers.
Here are a few things to consider before applying for insurance:
- Consider costs before you select a home. You might save on insurance if you purchase a house that is close to a fire station, has a new electrical or plumbing system or was built recently.
- Ask about discounts. This is particularly important if you’ve renovated your home recently, added a security system, storm protection or stopped smoking.
- Other options. There are two other ways to reduce your homeowners-insurance premium, although they don’t technically qualify as discounts. The first is to raise your deductible. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium. The second is to maintain good credit. Customers with poor credit could pay twice as much for insurance as those with excellent credit, according to insuranceQuotes.
by: Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2016 issue