When you buy a home, you try to find savings wherever you can. Your lender will require you to have a home insurance policy to take out a mortgage. It’s a good deal for the lender, who gets protection for his investment, but it’s a good deal for you, too, because it protects your home from specified events. But it will add to the cost of your home — an average of about $880 a year, the Insurance Information Institute says.
However, you can cut that cost by taking advantage of insurance discounts. Providers offer a variety of savings opportunities – discounts can come with certain payment plans or simply be a result of outfitting your abode with deadbolts. Explore the following discounts and ask your agent whether you qualify.
Five common home insurance discounts
One of the best ways to save money on insurance is by bundling your policies. Purchase your auto and home insurance policies from the same provider and you can secure a substantial discount. Home-auto bundles can save you as much as 20% off your premium. In addition to being a great way to lower your insurance price, home-auto discounts are also convenient. You won’t have to worry about dealing with two different companies.
Fire and smoke detectors
Some discounts require very little action on your part. You probably already have fire and smoke detectors, and those sensors can actually save you 5% on your premium. A household with safety devices is a win-win for insurance companies. Customers stay safe and are less likely to file a costly claim due to smoke damage.
Not smoking also can work to your advantage financially. If you don’t smoke, you’re doing your health and your wallet a favor. Nonsmokers can achieve as much as 20% off the cost of their insurance.
Not having filed any claims in the past few years is one of the greatest indicators to an insurance provider that you probably won’t file many in the future. Since being claims free makes you a low-risk customer, your insurance carrier might reward you with up to 20% off your premium.
Similar to fire and smoke detectors, alarm systems to help keep your home safe from intruders will also help lower your premium for insurance. With this discount, you can possibly save 10% on insurance.
Remember this: Available discounts and caps vary depending on which state you call home. If you want to save more money on insurance and are wondering which discounts are available in your area, call an insurance agent.
So how much can you save? Providers generally set a cap on discounts of about 18-20%. With maximum use of discounts, the average homeowner could potentially save about $176 per year. But you can make those savings work for you, too, by using them to pay down your mortgage. Just take the money you would have spent and, instead of blowing it, apply it to your largest debt. It might not sound like much, but anytime you can reduce your principal you’ll come out ahead, particularly over a period of years.
C. Wiley is the Editor of the HomeInsurance.com blog.
Read more tips about Saving Money on Housing.