The ultimate hack for your home insurance is to get quick help when you need it, high payouts with low deductibles, and the lowest policy fees available. Insurance companies need to make money too, so demonstrating responsible use of your dollars and your possessions, such as cars, will keep your rates lower if you choose to bundle.
Bundle Your Policies
You can save money on your homeowner’s insurance by bundling it with your automotive insurance. Because your homeowner’s policy is often tied up in your mortgage payment and your mortgage payment is often the biggest chunk of your budget, make sure your family is aware of what this means.
Maintaining a good driving record is critical to keeping vehicle insurance costs low. As your children become drivers, make sure that they are aware of what their actions can do to your household budget if they make a poor choice. Several tickets, or worse, a DUI, can force you to seek out different car insurance. Not only will this raise the price of your vehicle insurance policies, but it can actually raise your monthly mortgage payment.
Check out all the ways that a student-aged driver can demonstrate that they are a good risk. Keeping grades up, avoiding driving violations, and avoiding tickets for poor maintenance such as headlights or license plate lights can all contribute to keeping insurance rates low.
Finally, take a look at the age of the car you’re driving. If your car is older and paid off, you may be able to cut back to just liability coverage. Of course, in the event of a totaling event such as a hailstorm, you would be out of pocket for any glass repair.
Buy The Right Add-Ons
Add-ons to your home insurance policy may be a good choice. For example, if you have a small business and store stock or tools in your home or garage, you may need additional coverage. If you are renting out your space during the busy tourist season, you may need short-term rental insurance in Arizona or other areas where you may own rental space.
Carefully review the electronics coverage in your basic policy. If you have special computers related to gaming or other hobbies, additional coverage may be necessary. For those who work from home, extra coverage to cover your laptop, printer and scanner may also be a good investment.
Talk to your insurance agent about any plans to rent out a room on a more permanent basis. Many homeowners are taking this step to reduce the burden of their mortgage during times of inflation. Make sure that you’ve purchased the right add-on for a more permanent tenant situation to reduce the risk of loss if such a tenant does any damage or suffers an injury on the property.
Disaster-Proof Your House
Go beyond the minimum when you make repairs. If your house needs a new roof, upgrade your shingles to those with a stronger hail tolerance or a higher UV resistance rating. If your region is getting more earthquake activity, bump up the stabilization on your house.
Take a careful walk around your foundation. If you notice cracks between the soil and the concrete when the soil dries out, you could be at risk of pest invasion or instability of the walls. At the very least, make sure your gutters are clean and functioning effectively to avoid puddling down the foundation in the next heavy rain.
If your region is heating up in the summertime, consider upgrading your windows. Window replacement is an excellent time to inspect the structure of your house in the event of a bug infestation or dry rot. You may choose to add motion detector lights over the windows or glass-break alarms inside the house. Make the corrections and notify your insurance agent of this improvement; not only can these upgrades lower your insurance costs, but you will have increased the replacement value of your home.
Revv Up Security
Increase the security around your home. If you’ve been thinking about adding a security system, contact your agent to see which company can lower your insurance costs.
Make sure you get photos of the improvements that you’ve made, such as
- door cameras
- motion detector lights
- house alarms
If your home is older, carefully review the requirements for your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Updating to a hardwired unit with a battery backup can keep you all safer and doesn’t have to break the bank.
If a dog is part of your security system, make sure the pooch you plan on will not be left uncovered by your homeowner’s insurance. Like it or not, there are breeds that your policy doesn’t have to cover. If you’re not sure, call your agent before you go looking for a dog.
Keep An Eye On Your Credit Rating
As noted in the first point above, everyone who uses family insurance can impact the cost by making positive behavioral choices. Smart money management will also have an impact on the cost of your insurance.
If your credit rating is terrible because you’ve come out of a difficult financial patch, do your best to address any balances that have gone to collections to get them off your history; you may be able to get the new owner of the debt to settle. If your credit rating is low because you have a hard time paying debts on time, it’s time to create a weekly date with your bank account and your partner where you sit down and schedule payments for the most recent bills.
Good credit can have an impact on every aspect of your life. If you want a different house, you’ll likely have to apply for a loan. Repairing your credit when you’re ready to move is not a good choice.
You don’t want to find out that your insurance was not sufficient after the fact. Before you make big changes to your property or to the population of your household by bringing in renters, make sure you’ve got the right coverage.
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.