Your go-to guide for making home insurance premiums as light as they can be

Buying a home is expensive, and maintaining it can mean a lifelong investment. There are plenty of things one owner may deem essential that others may skip, but the universal constant is the need for homeowners insurance. Cutting corners on this isn’t really an option, but there are ways to make the arrangement work in your favor.

Ideally, your home insurance policy is best considered before you commit to buying a property. But if you’ve already moved in, there’s still plenty you can do to reduce your premiums without compromising on protection.

Location, location, location

The old real estate mantra goes for home insurance, too. Where you live can have a big impact on how much you pay every month, so if you’re in the market for a house and have the luxury of choice, think carefully. You can start saving on home insurance before moving in by selecting the safest location and property possible.

By assessing crime rates and general safety in your intended area along with how prone the property is to natural disasters and age issues, you could be avoiding buying a house with significantly higher premiums. Crime, the elements, and the property’s age all contribute to what insurers call “collective risk,” and the likelier a neighborhood is to make a claim, the higher home premiums will be for each resident.

Proximity to accident relief is a plus. Home insurers are happier if the house is close to a fire station, for instance. On the other hand, coverage rates will shoot up if it’s close to a body of water or in a high-risk hurricane/earthquake region. Some individuals may avoid settling in these areas, but most will move where they need or want to move. If it’s the latter scenario, consider flood insurance, earthquake insurance, and our next tip.

Secure your home and lower your premiums

How does up to a 25% reduction in your home insurance costs sound? It puts things like tolerating an occasionally annoying smoke detector into perspective. Proactively protecting your home against various internal and external perils is looked on very favorably by insurers. Safer properties are less vulnerable and responsible homeowners less likely to make claims.

Full fire alarm systems are a great way to protect your property from one of the most common insurance claims (a home fire occurs every 87 seconds) as are smoke detectors, which are distinct—so don’t confuse the two. Also, if your home has a wood-burning stove, you may find switching that out will lower premiums, too, unless it’s been exactingly installed.

Burglar alarms help deter crooks, and resilient door and window locks are other premium-lowering measures—as are security steps like doorbell cameras, smart lighting, and external and interior cameras.

Harsh weather can hit home at any time, and being prepared for it is another premium-friendly measure. Clear potential airborne debris from around your property (this includes low-hanging branches), invest in storm shutters for windows and doors, and maintain the house against water damage and other structural hazards.

Spend more to save more

How does spending more save you money on home insurance? Well, when you raise your deductible.

Increasing how much you’re willing to pay for an insured loss lowers how much your coverage provider has to shell out—a fact they’re likely to appreciate and consequently lower your premiums.

Deductibles tend to apply only to property damage, so be sure you understand their ins and outs before suggesting they be raised.

Bundle multiple policy types with the same insurer

Your homeowners insurance may be one of several coverages that can benefit from a multi-policy discount from the same provider. For example, bundling auto with your home insurance could see combined savings of up to 10%. Don’t take the discount at face value, however. Because no matter how much you’re saving, it could still be cheaper to have the multiple policies separately with another insurer.

You may even be offered a loyalty discount for staying with your homeowners provider after bundling, but don’t let that sway you from applying our last (and most important) tip.

Choose your insurer wisely

Never forget that the policyholder/provider relationship defines mutual benefit. Your business is valuable, so don’t waste its worth on the first insurer you find. Shop around and compare premiums for similar coverage. Do some homework into that insurer’s history of customer service, financial health, and claim payouts; their track record may change your mind.

The average cost of home insurance here in New York is around $974 a year. That’s roughly $81 a month and a very reasonable investment when the potential covered losses are considered. Apply today’s tips and vet providers carefully, and you just might see that figure reduced.

The NICRIS team wants to help you weigh providers based on your unique personal circumstances and your home’s profile. We specialize in finding the coverage that works best for you.

NICRIS Insurance focuses on providing clients with the appropriate suite of products to protect them, their interests, and their loved ones. If you need some insurance advice or would like a free, personalized insurance review, just drop us a line.