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Owning a home can be expensive, and so can the cost of home insurance. In the United States, the national average cost of home insurance for $250,000 in dwelling coverage is $1,383 per year, or about $115 per month. Your cost for coverage can vary by where you live, how much coverage you need, the types or coverage you require, as well as other personal information and the home’s characteristics.
If you’re looking for a way to cut down on the costs of your homeowners insurance, one of the best ways to lower your premiums may be to take advantage of the discounts you qualify for. Knowing how to get home insurance discounts can help you when shopping and comparing quotes to find the best deal. Understanding the types of discounts available may also help you make other decisions, like whether it’s worth adding a security system to your home.
How can I get home insurance discounts?
Home insurance rates are based on factors that increase or decrease risk, including how likely it is you will file a claim under your policy. When you reduce your risk of filing a claim by taking certain measures around your home, your insurance company will often reward you with a discounted rate.
One of the highest-percentage home insurance discounts available is for bundling insurance policies. With a home and auto bundle, you insure both policies with the same carrier. Not only is it easier for you to keep track of your insurance policies, but it also means you should be eligible for some kind of bundling discount with the insurance company. Although home and auto is the most common bundle, you may also have the option to bundle life and other insurance policies with some carriers to get a multi-line discount.
Security and safety measures are another way to get a home insurance discount. These measures make your home secure, which reduces your chances of a break-in. They can also alert you to things like fires and gas leaks, which could save your family from injuries or even death. Security and safety measures are usually devices, such as:
- Deadbolts on exterior doors
- Fire extinguishers
- Smoke detectors
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Water leak detectors
- Gas leak detectors
- Burglar and fire alarm systems
- Sprinkler system
Some smart home devices, like smart thermostats and home monitoring systems, can sometimes get you a discount on your home insurance, depending on the company. Some insurance companies also partner with certain smart device companies, offering additional incentives, including free devices.
Making updates to your home that can make it more resistant to damage is another way to get home insurance discounts. Installing an impact-resistant roof or storm shutters to lessen damage from a storm may help you get cheaper home insurance. Some insurance companies also offer discounts for upgrading to a new electrical, heating or plumbing system if you live in an older home.
Some home insurance companies reward you for staying with the same company year after year. Loyalty discounts vary and are not offered by all companies. For instance, Allstate rewards new customers with a discount up to 10% and continues the same discount for each year you remain a customer.
The longer you go without filing a claim, the more you typically stand to save on home insurance with this discount. Most insurance companies give the discount after you have been claims-free for either three or five years. The discount remains until you file a claim under your homeowners insurance.
If this is your first time buying a home and shopping for a home insurance quote, don’t forget to mention that you are a new homebuyer. Not only can first-time homebuyers qualify for this discount, but some companies also extend the lower rate to buyers of brand new construction—even if they have owned a home before.
Early signing discount
The early signing discount is a reduced rate on your home insurance for signing up with the company before your current policy expires. Most companies send renewals out between 30 to 60 days before renewal. If you shop and sign up with a new company before the renewal effective date, you may qualify for this discount.
How do home insurance discounts work?
Not all home insurance discounts work the same. Some are effective right away, while others only work when you do something like improving your home. For example, you can get an early signing discount when you sign up before your current policy renews. But you will not qualify for a home improvement discount unless you make a modification or upgrade to your home. Here are some helpful tips to remember when looking for home insurance discounts:
- Discount amounts can be capped: Though some home insurance discounts are stackable, most insurance companies cap the total amount you can save on a policy. Though the amount varies by the insurance company, you can usually qualify for up to 40% in discounted savings, but not more than that.
- Not everyone gets the maximum amount: If you have seen the language “up to” when shopping for insurance, it means not everyone qualifies for the maximum discount. To get the highest discount, you usually have to meet certain qualifications. For instance, a company may offer a 5% discount for being claims-free for three years but only offer the full 10% to a homeowner with five years claims-free.
- Discounts vary: Where you live and the insurance company you choose matter. Not all states allow all discounts, and not all insurance companies offer the same amount or level of discounts. When shopping for home insurance, it does not hurt to ask for home insurance discounts and research what’s available in your state.
- Comparison shop for best results: Just because a company offers lots of home insurance discounts does not mean it offers the best price. The only way to know you are getting the best deal on home insurance is to shop around and get multiple quotes for the same coverage. The most important factor is your final price, not how many discounts are applied to your policy.
Other ways to save
Discounts are not the only way you can save on home insurance. Some companies offer discounts if you are married. You may even get better rates depending on what ZIP code you live in (except in California and Michigan, which restrict use of ZIP codes as a rating factor for insurance). Purchasing only what you need for home insurance is another way to save.
Other ways to save include:
- Not smoking
- Living in a gated community
- Having a certain occupation, including being in the military
- Being retired
- Increasing your home insurance deductible (make sure you can afford the additional out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a claim before considering this option)