With the recent spate of natural disasters, home insurance rates are projected to increase in the coming months. There is no substitute for good insurance so you cannot simply cancel your policy to save money. However, you can do a number of things to minimize the effect of the potential rate increases regardless of where you live – Mesa, Louisville, Memphis, Long Beach, Colorado Springs, etc.
- Shop Around.
The best thing you can do for your insurance policy is to shop around for the best rates and coverage. While we will discuss customer loyalty further down the list, you need to remember that you are a free agent as an insurance consumer. Too many people dislike the process of doing their insurance research and filling out applications. Therefore, they just accept the insurance company’s automatic renewals each year. In addition to doing yourself a disservice by not looking for the best rates, you may not be properly reviewing and evaluating your policy regularly. The shopping process can also force you to give your policy the once-over that it needs.
- Ask Questions.
It might seem obvious, but the world of insurance discounts is not always straightforward. Companies offer a multitude of discounts and not all of them relate to your home or risk factors. Some may be related to your affiliations with organizations or other factors. Without inquiring about discounts available to you, it’s possible that you are overlooking some savings that are yours simply for the asking. Making these inquiries with your insurance company may also tip them off to the fact that you are considering a change. If you have been a good customer by paying premiums on time and not making excessive claims, they will want to retain your business. As the saying goes, “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”
- Review Your Coverages.
Too many homeowners do not regularly review their policy. If the coverage is excessive for the value of your home and personal property, make an adjustment that will reduce your premium. You can also inquire about raising your deductibles, as that will often lead to substantial savings. If your deductible is very low and you can easily absorb a higher deductible in the event of a claim, it may make sense to save the premium.
- Consolidate Policies.
Insurance companies like long-term customers that pay premiums on time and don’t make claims. If you fall into that category, you can potentially leverage your history into some savings. Make sure that you are receiving a customer loyalty discount if your insurance company offers one. You can generally also save by combining your auto and umbrella policies with your home insurance policy at the same insurance company. Multi-policy discounts are fairly common among insurance companies.
- Take Advantage of Simple Discounts.
If your insurance company offers discounts for quick improvements or changes around your house, you should consider the long-term benefits. For example, some will offer discounts for water-detection systems or alarm systems. If you’ve already been thinking about these improvements, leverage their installation to your advantage if your insurance company offers you a discount on your premium. Additionally, some insurance companies can even direct you to preferred vendors that will offer a special rate on the installation, thereby creating two discounts for you.