Home insurance is a type of coverage that caters to losses and damages of property, furnishings, and other assets in a home.
- Combining your home and auto insurance with the same insurer. Insurance companies want your business and as much of it as possible. Binding your auto insurance with your home could result in discounts on your premiums. Typically, providers offer insurance for motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, boats, etc.
- Buy a newly built house or condo. The newer the property, the fewer issues arise that will result in claims so you will be considered low risk in the eyes of the insurance company.
- Have an alarm system that is properly installed and monitored. One part of the policy insures against theft, having the precautions in place is likely to result in fewer claims being made. You can usually get a 5% discount for having an alarm system, smoke alarm, and dead-bolt locks.
- Pay your premiums annually as it saves you more money than paying it monthly.
- Don't get too much coverage. Getting too much means your premiums are higher, and insurance companies will guide you to those larger coverage plans. Make sure to ask yourself “do I really need this?” Make sure you take a good look at your home’s contents and see if you have excessive coverage for certain things (such as electronics or jewelry).
- Allow the insurance company to do a credit check on you. Having this credit check done would allow the insurer to see if you have a good credit rating and therefore could give you a discount on your premiums as you will be less likely to file a home insurance claim.
- Don't file small claims. Not making a claim is a good way to obtain a discount on your premiums.
- Increase your deductible (the amount you must pay). This allows your premiums to go down; you will be responsible for more of your claim, but your premiums will decline.
- Maintain and safeguard your home. Make sure you have a working smoke alarm, maintain heating and other systems regularly, and inspect your property for potential trouble areas. Some companies offer more discounts (15-20%) if you have a sprinkler system, fire and burglar alarm that calls the police, fire, or any other monitoring station. BEFORE you buy any of these expensive systems, find out what your insurer recommends and how much you would save on your premiums.
- Want a discount? Ask! Tell your financial advisor about all the safety and security features in your home and find out what discounts you could be eligible for. You should ask your advisor for a full list of the discounts that are applicable to your account. Discounts includes: a mortgage-free discount, claims-free discount, loyalty discount, close proximity to the fire station, number of smoke detectors, and having a home monitoring system.
Remember to keep these tips in mind the next time you look for home insurance or if you already have insurance! It is never too late to keep your options open or to have a conversation with a financial advisor.