By Catherine Powell
|Image courtesy Pixabay|
You’ve heard of the twelve days of Christmas, right? If you’re like me, you’ve probably already started your holiday shopping. That means creating debt at the end of the year that you’ll need to pay off next year. To help you put a little more ho, ho, ho in the holidays, I thought I’d show you how to can get some jingle back in your jeans by employing twelve different ways to save money on homeowner’s insurance.
you asked your agent about available discounts?
If it’s been more than a year since you last spoke to your insurance
agent, now’s the time to touch base to ask about available discounts. Everything from loyalty to senior
discounts could apply to you. If
you don’t ask you won’t get these and other available discounts.
- Have you recently made improvements to your home? Some of them could qualify for a discount. If you recently replaced your air conditioner or hot water heater, you could qualify for a discount on your homeowner’s insurance. The same holds true if you replaced or upgraded your home’s plumbing or electrical system.
- Are you considering replacing your roof? If you are, this could represent another way for you to save on homeowner’s insurance. Insurance companies offer big discounts for materials that are tougher than asphalt. However, even higher grades of asphalt shingles may also qualify for a discount. Just make sure you touch base with your agent to find out if the type of roofing materials you intend to use will reduce the cost of your homeowner’s insurance.
- Can replacing your garage door save you money? It may if you intend to replace the existing door with a hurricane-resistant model, or you install a retrofit kit designed to brace your existing door against the worst that Mother Nature can throw at it. Hurricane-force winds are known to damage or destroy garage doors. Once the door is breached, water damage is almost a certainty. Some insurance companies will reduce the cost of a policy by as much as 10% for homeowners who significantly beef up the strength of their garage door.
- Make safety and security upgrades to your home. If you’re looking to find those gifts that keep on giving, you may wish to consider adding a burglar alarm or a damage detector to your shopping list. Make sure you check with your agent to find out whether the make and model of either are on the list of approved purchases. Especially with home security systems, some insurers insist on a monitored system, while others will give you credit for a simple video surveillance system. You may even be able to get a discount by simply installing a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide detector, a leak detector, or a fire alarm in your home.
- How many insurance policies do you have and how many companies are they with? One of the easiest ways to save some folding green is by bundling multiple policies with one insurance company. It can also make paying your insurance premiums easier and streamline the claims processing. If your auto policy and your homeowner’s policy are with two different companies, give your agent a call to find out how much you could save by putting both under one roof.
- Have you ever considered raising your deductible? If you currently carry a $500 deductible on your homeowner’s policy, ask your agent how much it will save you every year if you raise it to $1,000. Insurance companies like it when homeowners pay for minor damage themselves rather than submitting a claim for every little thing.
- When was the last time you checked your credit score? Since the cost of insurance is based on risk, the higher your credit score, the lower the risk you represent to an insurer. If you’re looking for a way to reduce the cost of insurance of all kinds, consider ways of increasing your credit score.
- Are you an empty nester? If your children are grown and gone, perhaps it’s time to consider eliminating that treehouse or trampoline, either of which will affect the cost to insure your home. So too will the removal of a swimming pool. Called “attractive nuisances” in the industry, the elimination of them can save you money since their removal reduces your liability risks.
- Have you heard the old adage, “A stitch in time saves nine?” Some insurance companies will give you a discount if you replace that old rubber washing machine hose with a no-burst stainless steel hose. This 5-minute fix can save you 5-10 times the cost of the hose when it comes time to pay your next premium. It will also save you the hassle of repairing water damage should your existing washer hose burst.
- How can paying help you save? Some insurance companies offer a prompt-pay discount for policyholders who pay their bills within 10-days of receipt, as opposed to those who wait 30-days to pay in full. You may also be able to save some money if you opt-in for paperless billing. Check with your agent to see if either of these options apply to you.
- When was the last time you shopped your policy? If it’s been a year or more since you last spoke to your agent, one of the best presents you can give yourself could be to call to have your policy shopped. If you work with an independent insurance agent, chances are he or she has access to scores of different agencies from which to choose, along with software that makes comparison shopping as easy as point and click.
Catherine Powell is the owner of A Plus All Florida, Insurance in Orange Park, Florida. To find out more about saving money on all your insurance needs, check out her website at http://aplusallfloridainsuranceinc.com/