Homeowner’s insurance rates are skyrocketing. Here is a list of six things that you can do to get your rates back down to an affordable level.
Raise Your Deductible.
Many companies are already making $1000 the minimum deductible on any claim. If you currently have a deductible lower than $1000, expect your insurance company to dramatically increase your rates to force you to raise your deductible. You really do not want to turn in small claims anyway. Keep reading to find out why.
Stop Turning in Small Claims.
Too many small claims can really affect your rates. Many times the rate will be higher for a person with two $1000 claims on their record than the rate for a person who only has one $10,000 claim. Insurance companies look very closely at people who turn in too many claims. Several small claims could be an indicator that a big claim is just around the corner.
If you have been with the same company for several years, it may be time to do some shopping. There are tons of reputable companies in the homeowner’s insurance market. Find a good local independent agent , and ask him or her to quote your policy with all of their companies. Some independent agents can quote with 10-20 companies at the same time. Tell them you would like to see a quote from every company they are licensed with, not just the most popular or well known. Many agents have access to regional companies that only write policies in certain areas of the country. Regional insurance companies usually do not advertise much, so they are not well known. These companies may have great rates in your area and have a good financial rating because they do not waste money on expensive television ads and marketing.
Put Your Auto Insurance and Home Insurance With the Same Company.
Some companies offer as much as 40% off their homeowner’s insurance rates if you allow them to write the auto insurance as part of the package. You may think that no one can beat your current auto insurance rate. You need to do the math on paper doing your calculations on an annual basis. For example, it may cost you $100 more per year to insure your car where your home is insured, but at the same time it may save you $400 per year on your homeowner’s policy.
Ask Your Agent About Hidden Penalties.
There are a lot of variables that go into a homeowner’s insurance quote. On the quote, insurance companies love to list all of the discounts they give you. They usually do not list the things they are penalizing you for. They just add the penalty to the base rate, and you never see it. Ask the agent if there are any items about your home that you are being penalized for. These could include things such as an old fireplace, a roof over 15 years old, electrical fuses instead of breakers, a trampoline, certain breeds of dog, smokers in the house, and old plumbing. Some things, like the location of your home, you cannot change. Some things are easy and cheap to correct. It literally could save you hundreds of dollars per year.
Improve Your Credit Score.
Credit is everything in today’s market. If you have a bad or low credit score, you are likely going to pay higher home and auto insurance rates. Get that credit score up, and you should see your homeowner’s insurance rates steadily go down. Do not forget that sometimes having no credit can affect you as badly as having bad credit. Do do not assume that your credit score is great just because you do not have any debt. Use a free service like Credit Karma to keep an eye on your credit.
Taking advantage of just one of these options should lower your rates. Take advantage of all of them, and you could see a dramatic reduction in what you are paying for your homeowner’s insurance policy.