We get it. Homeowners insurance can get expensive. But Florida residents are really feeling the burn in their wallets.
Florida’s homeowner's insurance policies are actually the most expensive out of all 50 states, roughly 191% above the national average rate!
In order to combat the insane insurance costs, you have to be a savvy consumer. Here are eight ways to reduce the cost of your homeowner's insurance, today:
1. Increase your Deductible
Your deductible is the amount that you pay out of pocket, prior to when your insurance kicks in and covers the rest. Typically, the higher the deductible, the less your premium, or the cost of your insurance payment.
If you have a $1,000 deductible, for example, changing it to $2,500 might lower your premium payments. Oftentimes, increasing your deductible doesn’t necessarily mean you lose coverage, but can significantly reduce the cost of your homeowner's insurance.
2. Buy Several Policies from One Insurer
Look for a provider who offers multiple insurance plans. Oftentimes, they will offer reduced rates if you bundle and purchase more than one policy, such as coupling your homeowner's insurance with auto and flood coverage.
However, even if they offer you a deal, be sure to do your research. It may still be a wiser investment to go with separate providers, in certain instances.
3. Shop Around for New Policies
Just because your insurer had your back the past two years, it doesn’t mean their coverage compares to improved offers now. Although it’s comforting to have an insurer your trust, you could cost cuts by making a strategic move to a new insurance provider instead of simply renewing your policy.
When the time to renew your policy starts to roll around again, buckle down and do some research. Cast a wide net to get an idea of recent cost averages for the level of protection you seek. Then, review a narrowed down list of providers on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Here you’ll be able to see reviews and complaints to help you make a final decision.
4. Look at your Policy & Current Assets Annually
Each and every year, you’re going to acquire and get rid of new assets in your home. If you went on a minimalist purging spree, perhaps you have less interior contents to insure. Or, if you were previously protecting an expensive collection of jewelry that you sold and put into savings, you might be able to nix any upgrades you had outside of your regular homeowner's insurance policy.
Even if you haven't really purchased large, new items, consider how your current assets may have depreciated in recent years. Technology especially loses its value relatively quickly, so if you had some expensive cameras, computer systems, etc. racking up your coverage, consider calling your provider and reassessing your plan.
5. Gear up for Natural Disasters
In Florida especially, we have to worry about hurricanes, storms, and flooding threatening our home and its contents. By simply better fortifying your house, you could reduce the cost of your homeowner's insurance.
Consider adding storm shutters, hurricane doors or replacing your aging roof. Look for ways you can modernize your heating or plumbing too, as improvements to these can reduce your risk of electrical fires and water damage (not to mention increase your energy efficiency!). Sometimes taking down old or dying trees— that could fall onto your home— could reduce your costs as well.
Homeowners insurance policies typically don’t include flooding damage. As a SWFL resident, you could save thousands of dollars by making some upgrades to your home’s flood protection. Consider installing proper flood openings or elevating your home. While costly initially, these upgrades could save you money in the long-term by showing your provider you’re prepared.
6. Upgrade your Home’s Security
Review your home’s current security measures. Could you add a burglar alarm or home security system? Maybe it’s simply a matter of adding more deadbolts on your doors or locked fencing around your property.
Ask your insurance provider how these upgrades could reduce your homeowner's insurance cost beforehand, as not all upgrades will help you qualify for better rates.
7. Maintain a High Credit Score
If your credit score recently took a dive, it could be affecting your homeowner's insurance costs while you search on the market. Insurers look at this score and could perceive you as a high-risk customer and set your price based on that data.
Make sure you’re paying your bills on time and paying off your credit cards to improve your credit score before shopping around or asking your current provider for discounts.
8. Look from the Outside In
Take a good look at your property. Is there anything there which could be perceived as potentially dangerous? Insurance companies can increase your homeowner's premiums because of a pool, for example, as someone could fall in and drown. We’re not saying you should get rid of your pool, but simply adding fencing around it could help reduce your homeowner's insurance premium.
Do your children bounce on a trampoline? The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimated that there were 104,691 emergency room treatments due to trampoline injury in 2014. Although your policy probably doesn’t cover this kind of injury, your insurance provider could be increasing your premium because of it. Look for hazardous items and consider ways you could remove any dangers.
Do you Have the Right Coverage?
These tips for reducing your homeowner's insurance cost are a great place to start. As mentioned, a huge way to save is by finding a better rate with a new provider.
Here at Culbertson Agency, we offer affordable plans for Florida residents, including our highly-praised homeowner's insurance.
Give us a call at 239.210.7710 or request a free quote, today.