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Save money on homeowners insurance bills.

There are several steps that homeowners can take to save money on their home insurance, which will directly benefit them when they need to pay the bill. So the actions implemented are an indirect form of assistance.

1. Shop around and compare rates

You can save a large amount of money each and every month on your homeowners insurance bills. Shop on the internet, ask your friends for their rates, check the Yellow Pages or contact your states insurance department. Also, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has information and contacts that can help you choose an insurer in your state. Check with as many insurance agents, consumer guides, companies and online insurance quote services as possible.

2. Increase your insurance deductible

Deductibles is the amount of money that you need to pay toward a loss before the home insurance company starts to pay a claim. The higher your deductible on the policy, the more money you should be able to save on your premiums. If you raise your deductible to a still low $1,000, you can save as much as 25 percent on your homeowners insurance expenses.

3. Buy your auto and auto policies from the same insurer

Many companies that sell all types of insurance, such as auto, homeowners, and liability coverage will take 5 to 15 percent off the monthly insurance bills that you need to pay if you buy two or more policies from them. But you still do need to make certain that this combined price is lower than buying the different coverage from different providers. For example, receive your auto and home insurance from the same company and save up to 15% on your premiums. More on how to save on auto insurance.

4. Be sure to make your home more disaster resistant in order to save

Find out from your insurance company or agent the steps you can take to ensure your home is resistant to windstorms, floods or other natural disasters. Many companies will lower the amount you need to pay if you add some basic improvements such as storm shutters, reinforce your roof or buy stronger roofing materials. Even older homes can be updated to make them better able to withstand disasters such as earthquakes.




In addition, you should consider modernizing your plumbing, heating, or electrical systems to lower the risk of fire and water damage. The money spent up front of these improvements can save money over time as well as make the home safer to live in.

5. Improve your home security

You can usually get discounts of almost 10 percent for a burglar alarm, smoke detector, or if you install dead-bolt locks. Some home insurance companies will even lower your premium by as much as 15 or 20 percent if you install a sprinkler system as well as a burglar or fire alarm that rings directly at the police, fire or other monitoring stations. Before you pay to install such an improvement to your home, you need to be sure to find out what kind of system your home insurer recommends, how much you'd save on premiums, and how much the device would cost.

6. Seek out other discounts

Home insurance companies offer several other ways to save on insurance bills, but they do not all offer the same discount or the same potential savings in all states. If you're at least 55 years old and retired or close to being retired, you may qualify for a reduced rate of up to 10 percent on your bills at some companies. Also, some professional associations and employers will offer group home insurance discount  programs that may offer you a better deal than you can get elsewhere.

7. Establish a good credit record to save on home insurance bills

If you establish a solid credit history, you can lower your home insurance bills. So always pay your bills on time, not just your homeowner policy. Many insurers are increasingly using credit information to price insurance policies, including homeowners insurance policies.

8. Stay with the same home insurer

While it is a good idea to continually search for a lower price, if you have kept your insurance coverage with the same company for several years, you may be able to receive a special discount for being a long-term policyholder. Some home insurance providers will lower your insurance premiums by 5 percent if you stay with them for three to five years and by 10 percent if you are a policyholder for six years or more. But as mentioned above, you still need to make certain you are occasionally comparing this price with that of other policies.





9. Review the coverage limits in your insurance policy and also the value of your possessions at least once a year

You need your home owners insurance policy to cover any major purchases or additions that you make to your home. But you do not want to spend money on insurance bills for coverage that you don't need. For example, if your five-year-old fur coat is no longer worth the $6,000 that you previously paid for it, you will want to lower or even cancel your floater.

If anyone is wondering what that is, a floater is any extra insurance that you pay for items whose full value is not covered by the standard insurance policy such as high-end computers, expensive jewelry, or valuable art work. So evaluate this extra cost on your plan. You can then save the difference if applicable.

By Jon McNamara

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