How can I lower my homeowner’s insurance costs?

submitted by Rick Meyers, AAA Insurance Broker/Nichole Meyers, Richboro Office,

  • Raise your deductible. The deductible is the amount of money you have to pay toward a loss before your insurance pays. Raising a $500 deductible to $1,500 or $2,500 can save up to an additional 10% each increase.
  • Buying home and auto policies from the same company. Many companies offer multi-policy discounts if you buy homeowners and auto insurance with the same company, this will typically represent a savings between 10-30%.
  • The home can make a difference. Newer homes are likely to have lower rates. Pre-1930 homes or homes that have not been updated can be more expensive to insure.
  • The location can make a difference. Insurance premiums are lower if you live within five miles of a manned fire department and within 1000 feet of a hydrant. Avoiding flood zones will save you money.
  • Avoid other risks. Trampolines and aggressive dog breeds can raise your insurance rates and sometimes disqualify you from certain coverage.
  • Insure your home, not the land. Dwelling coverage covers the building, not the land. When calculating how much insurance you need, subtract the price of land from the property value. Approximately $150/square foot will rebuild a standard home in Bucks County.
  • Improve security. Smoke detectors can bring discounts of 5%. Centrally monitored fire and burglar alarms, like ADT or Ring Door Bells may offer discounts up to 10%.
  • Senior discounts. Insurance companies have found that retirees stay at home more and notice fires earlier than working people. Seniors also have more time for maintaining their homes. If you’re at least 55 years old and retired, you might qualify for a discount up to 10%.
  • Check your policy. Shopping 14 days or more in advance of your effective dates can save you money. Insurance agents, especially brokers, are a great resource for information and can help you find the lowest insurance premiums. Work with your insurance agent to construct a policy that fits your needs.