After buying a new house, you'll need to purchase homeowners insurance.
Getting comprehensive coverage takes some time to shop around and figure out which insurance riders are best for your new property. Even if the home inspection reveals that the structure of the home is free of damage or other issues, you may still be at risk from floods or earthquakes, two risks that require additional money for full coverage. With the cost of homeowners insurance on the rise and the need for riders adding to expenses, you may be wondering how you can reduce the price of insuring your home.
The good news is coverage providers have various ways for you to protect your home for less. In exchange for lowering your chances of filing a claim, home insurers are willing to trim your premiums. However, they aren't often advertising the many methods you can employ to get a discount. Here are some factors that lower the cost of coverage:
Smoke detectors and fire alarms
In addition to alerting you of a fire, detection systems can lower homeowners insurance expenses. Of course, they are a necessary tool for any home, even if you're not looking to save money. They can help you alert emergency responders sooner if there is a fire, thereby lessening damage to your home and helping to keep you safe. This will likely mean a smaller payout when you make a claim, a noticeable benefit for your insurer.
You may even net a bigger discount for installing a more sophisticated fire alarm system, such as one that includes sprinklers or automatically contacts fire officials. Fire extinguishers are also useful for protecting your home and lowering your premiums.
Abstaining from smoking
Whether you've never picked up a cigarette or have kicked the habit, home insurers want to reward you. Tens of thousands of fires are caused by smoking each year, and coverage providers are aware of this point. For this reason, nonsmokers present less risk.
Even if you find the safest neighborhood around, you'll likely take extra steps to fortify your home against threats. These additional measures can not only make your family feel more secure, but they can also invite more discounts.
Location is important for more than entertainment. If you live close to a fire or police department or in a gated community, your home insurer may provide a discount.
Like smoke alarms, deadbolts are a fairly inexpensive way to make your home more secure from threats. Ensuring that one is installed at each of the entryways into your property can lead to savings and can act as another barrier against thieves. Many homeowners have integrated security systems as well, resulting in discounts of at least 10 percent in some cases.
While home buying is mostly led by younger first-time buyers, many older Americans purchase a home in retirement. In addition to getting the reward of relaxing after working hard for years, older homeowners can receive a discount simply for their age. If you're in the 55-or-older group, you could see discounts of at least 20 percent.
If you're purchasing a brand new home, you'll likely to get a lower premium. New properties are more likely to withstand environmental hazards and less likely to have old plumbing, roofs or wiring.
Be sure to ask your insurance provider which discounts you can receive. Keep in mind, however, that they can vary across insurers and from state to state. Additionally, be sure the fire or security systems you consider are eligible for your carrier's discount and provide the biggest reduction possible.