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3 not-so-obvious ways you could pay less for home insurance

A home is something many people are willing to pay a little extra for, and sometimes top dollar, to get exactly what they want. Homeowner’s insurance? Not so much. No one brags about how much they paid for their home insurance policy, and if they do, it might be time to cut off their bar tab. The idea is to get the most coverage for the least amount of money.

So what can you do to keep your premiums and your escrow payments to a minimum while also maintaining your peace of mind? Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, dead-bolt locks and home security systems with 24-hour monitoring are all on the “no-brainer” list of things that can lower your home insurance costs. You can also choose a higher deductible, which will lower your premium as well.

Here are three more things you can do that are less obvious but can potentially have the same benefit:

Update your roof

A roof that is outdated, damaged or made of substandard materials can lead to a smorgasbord of costly repairs to virtually every corner of your house. Leaks and structural problems can destroy walls, studs, wiring and even your foundation. Insurance companies take this potential mayhem into account when they set your rate, so check your roof and make sure it’s in good condition. If it’s not, bite the bullet and have the necessary updates done using impact-resistant shingles. It’ll cost you some money in the short term, but the savings you’ll see on your monthly insurance bill will pay for the improvement over time. And you can’t put a price tag on not having to worry about your house falling down!

Improve your credit score

Just as banks and mortgage companies use your credit score to predict how likely you are to pay back your loan, insurance companies use your insurance score to predict how likely you are to file a claim while you’re covered by them. In both cases, the higher your score the better. In fact, your insurance score is largely determined by your credit score. According to InsuranceScored.com, historical data indicates a distinct correlation between someone’s credit rating and the number of insurance claims they file. The higher their credit score, the fewer insurance claims, and vice versa.

So, the insurance score you are ultimately given is based on a combination of your credit score and your past history of filing insurance claims. The solution to paying less? Get your credit score buttoned up (which is a good thing to do anyway) and think twice about picking up the phone about every little thing that goes wrong with your house (although you should never hesitate to call your insurance agent if you experience a major loss or need a significant repair).

Stop smoking

Similar to getting your credit score in order, quitting the cigs is something you should have in the works already. But in terms of lowering your homeowner’s insurance premium, the term “where there’s smoke there’s fire” definitely applies during the underwriting process. If you’re a smoker, it’s assumed that you regularly strike a match or ignite a lighter either inside or in close proximity to your home, and the risk of a house fire is higher than with a non-smoker. So, cease being a smoker, pay less for insurance and prolong your life by becoming healthier.

If you’re looking to lower your home insurance costs, there are many ways to do it…and the not-so-obvious ones each offer an extra benefit!


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