1. Raise your deductible.
A typical deductible is $250. Most insurance companies recommend a deductible of at least $500. The higher your deductible, the more money you can save on your premiums.
2. Buy your homeowner and auto insurance from the same company.
Some companies that sell homeowners, auto and liability coverage will give as much as 15 percent multi-policy discount if you buy two or more policies from them.
3. Make your home more disaster-resistant.
Ask your insurance company representative what steps you can take to make your home more resistant to windstorms and other natural disasters. You may be able to lower your premiums by adding storm shutters, reinforcing your roof or buying stronger roofing materials. You can retrofit older homes to make them better able to withstand earthquakes. In addition, consider modernizing your heating, plumbing and electrical systems to reduce the risk of fire and water damage.
4. Insure the house, not the land.
The land under your house isn't at risk from theft, windstorm, fire and the other perils covered in your homeowner's policy. So, don't include its value in deciding how much homeowners insurance to buy. If you do, you will pay a higher premium than you should.
5. Make your home less attractive to burglars
You can usually get discounts of at least 5 percent each for smoke detectors, dead-bolt locks and a burglar alarm. Some companies cut your premium by as much as 15 to 20 percent if you install a burglar alarm that rings at the police station, or if you install a sophisticated sprinkler system. You may also get a discount for a security system that alerts an outside service. These systems are not cheap and not every system qualifies for a discount. Before you buy such a system, find out what kind your insurer recommends, how much the device would cost and how much you would save on premiums.
6. Get several homeowner insurance quotes.
Prices for the same coverage can vary by hundreds of dollars, so it pays to shop around.
Get free, no obligation quotes for homeowner insurance at www.howtocutyourexpenses.com
With over 20 years of experience as a personal financial educator and counselor, Vernon Williams has developed in depth knowledge of what it takes to achieve financial success. Today, he is a sought after trainer and speaker by organizations from both the public and private sector. He is the author of 425 Ways to Stretch Your $$$$. He donates 20 percent of all sales proceeds to the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund. This fund provides scholarships for children of service members who have been killed on active duty since September 11, 2001. Learn more at legion.org/scholarships
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