• 11 Secret Ways to Save on Your Homeowners Insurance «


  • 11 Secret Ways to Save on Your Homeowners Insurance
  • 11 Secret Ways to Save on Your Homeowners Insurance

  • You know you need homeowners insurance, but what you may not know is how many different types of discounts that your carrier offers. According to Bankrate.com, there are at least 11 types — and chances are, most will be a surprise to you.

    That’s because, unless you seem like you’re about to jump ship and hand your money over to someone else, an insurance agent has no incentive to tell you about them. Agents typically are paid commissions on policies, so the more you pay, the more they make.

    “They don’t really want to give that information out,” Crissinda Ponder, Bankrate.com insurance analyst, told DailyFinance. “They don’t have to, either. Some homeowners might not know they need to be asking these questions. It’s up to consumers to take the initiative.”

    There are two main principles at work. One is that the less risk you seem to be, the less the insurer can afford to charge you. The other is once the insurance company has signed you up, they know there’s a statistically good chance you’ll be paying them for a long time, and they want that business.

    11 Ways to Qualify for Discounts 1.You have more than one type of insurance with the carrier, and it wants to encourage you to keep all of your business.
    2.An alarm service or sometimes even smoke detectors will qualify for protective services discounts.
    3.You avoid claims for a certain period, maybe two or three years, depending on the insurer, and you’re demonstrably a lower risk.
    4.A newly built or renovated home might be more durable and is certainly earlier in its realistic lifespan.
    5.Your house has disaster-resistant roofing.
    6.Senior citizens, sometimes as soon as they turn 50, get a break.
    7.You’ve just purchased your home, and the insurer want to lock you down as a new customer.
    8.After some number of years, you might qualify for a loyalty discount.
    9.You have a work or organizational affiliation that the insurer rewards with lower rates.
    10.You’re a nonsmoker.
    11.You shop for insurance well ahead of when a policy comes up for renewal.
    (For a breakdown of which carriers offer which discounts, Bankrate created a convenient chart.)

    There were more unusual discounts, as well, such as having had an interior inspection of the home done recently, being a married or widowed owner, insuring for up to 100 percent of a home’s replacement value and having a LEED-certified green home.

    This list came from looking at the websites of the ten largest insurance companies that operate nationwide. Sometimes the discounts were fairly easy to find on dedicated pages. Other times, turning up the opportunities required some digging.

    Not all insurers offered the full range of discounts; only two — multiple policies and protective items — were offered by all the companies. There’s also no guarantee that all the discounts appear on a company’s website. The only option is to be aggressive with the insurer and ask about all the types of discounts that might apply.

    But be wary of getting too attracted by a discount. “It doesn’t mean it’s the best deal for you, so it is important to shop around,” Ponder said.


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