Homeowners are always looking for ways to save on their home insurance. Unfortunately, most homeowners stop at the smoke detector or a security system. Some even think the multiline discount they receive from insuring their home and vehicle with the same company is enough.
The fact is that they aren’t and this is because the insurance companies have a number of credits that are available that can lower a homeowners insurance premium up to 25 percent.
Here are the 10 hidden home insurance credits that you may or may not know about:
1. The Gated Community
If you live in a gated community, the insurance company will help you save money through their recognition that there is an additional layer of security between burglars and you.
Even if you don’t live in a gated community, where you live has an effect on the rate that you pay. This is logical considering some communities are more prone to crime than others. If you live near a fire department, you can even lower your bill that way because the fire department can get to you faster in case a fire breaks out.
2. Quality Roofing
Roofing comes in many forms nowadays, including impact-resistant roofing. Insurance companies are very concerned about roofing since it takes a beating from hail, wind, and flying debris. Because the roof is the first line of protection against the weather, damage to it can cause other damage to the home. If you invest in impact-resistant roofing, your insurer will love you.
3. New Wiring
New wiring can keep you from having an electrical fire. There are many homes with wiring that is not up to code. Every year, there are nearly 68,000 home fires, nearly 500 deaths, and $868 million in property damage, according to the USFA. When new wiring is installed right, it is much safer and less likely to catch fire or cause outages.
4. Be Claims Free
If you are claim free, then you could get a discount. There are some insurance companies offering this claims-free credit when a certain amount of time passes without any claims. For instance, there are people who have gone ten years without a claim and they have managed to receive a 20 percent discount. Many companies work to reward longevity, which also helps keep customers around even longer. Even if you have a claim, you may be able to get a long-term customer discount when you renew your policy.
5. Homeowners Associations
Some insurance companies will give individuals discounts for the company that they keep. If you are a part of a neighborhood homeowners association, then there may be a discount for you. Homeowners associations require homeowners to maintain their homes in a specific way in order to meet the covenants and requirements of that organization. Even if you are not involved in a homeowners association, how your neighbors keep the community safe from vandals and thieves can impact your rates.
6. Ratings Models
Insurance changes all of the time. Because real estate is a dynamic market, neighborhood values rise and they fall. Construction costs also go up and down and this gives insurance companies a model to go on when they manage their risk.
If your insurance rate flows from the models, then the rates can change with them. Sometimes the rates change in your favor. And then there are times that new models are created just to draw in new customers at lower rates.
This is one reason why it pays for you to call your agent once in a while. You may be able to apply for a new policy with the company but based on the new models. This can save you a percentage on your premium.
If you have renovated or you are thinking about it because you are tired of the same old thing, go for it. Renovations can result in discounts. For instance, new pipes are less likely to leak than old leaks, a new roof is going to be tougher than an old one, overhauling the foundation means no cracks and leaks, and repairing cracks and other issues means a stronger structure.
Even if you replace your furnace, electrical panels, or chimney, the insurance company needs to know about it. So if you are considering renovating, check with your insurance agent so that they can tell you ways you can tweak the project to maximize the discount.
8. Stop Smoking
If you are a smoker, you can kick the habit and receive a discount. This is because smoking is associated with fires. If you smoke, the odds of a house fire go up. If you stop, then the odds go down. To make sure you receive this discount, there needs to not be a single smoker living in the home.
9. Get Older
Of course you’re going to get older and this can work to your advantage. Home insurance companies love it when retired individuals open policies with them. This is because these individuals spend more time at home. Being at home more means knowing when a hazard exists, such as a pipe break, gas leak, or a bad electrical wire.
If you or your spouse are over the age of 55 and you are retired, then you could receive a discount just for getting older.
Smoke detectors, gas sensors, water sensors, and even carbon monoxide detectors are all affordable and easy to find. If you have these high tech devices in your home, then you increase the odds of a discount. The fact that these devices keep the home safe is why the discounts exist. Many times a smoke detector has alerted a family of a potential fire or a small fire before it grew too large to deal with. The same applies to natural gas leaks that could lead to explosion, leaks that could cause flooding, and carbon monoxide that could signal something terrible happening somewhere within the home that could also result in death.
If you check with your agent on all of these home insurance credits and also check to see what else they can offer you, you can save a great deal on your homeowners insurance. This can translate into you having a fantastic policy at a much lower cost than what your neighbor may be paying for one that doesn’t offer as much coverage.