Yes, you can save on your home insurance
Anyone who watches TV has no doubt heard Flo from Progressive or Jake from State Farm tout the benefits of bundling – using the same insurance company for home and auto insurance. According to Travelers, customers can save an average of 12% by bundling their products.
The Grahams are paying a total of $9,864 for their landlords and car insurance — and that’s after a 20% credit for bundling and an additional 10% credit for having a central station alarm system, which signals automatically a monitoring center in the event of a burglary, fire or other problem. They also lowered their premium by increasing their deductible to $10,000.
Home insurance premiums continue to rise – the average premium increased by 1.8% in 2019, the latest year for which statistics are available, at $1,272, according to the Insurance Information Institute, an industry trade group. But it may come as a surprise to learn that more than 26% of Americans have never compared insurance quotes, according to a survey conducted by ValuePenguin in 2021. It’s likely costing them money, as the survey also found that 76% of consumers who shopped saved money by doing so.
“Some discounts are quite common, like the bundled discount,” said Angi Orbann, vice president of property for personal insurance at Travelers. “But there are plenty of other discounts that are probably not as familiar to customers.”
Here are some of the most common ways to lower your premium:
Improve your home safety and security. Installing protective devices, such as fire alarms, burglar alarms, door locks or smoke detectors, reduces the risk to an insurance company and can qualify you for a significant premium credit. “Water is a growing trend when it comes to losses, and we’re offering discounts for installing water sensors,” Orbann said. “Higher discounts are available for valves that automatically shut off water.” This is especially important for vacation homes, which can be vacant for months.
Update your home. Have you replaced your roof or, if you’re in a storm-prone area, installed impact windows or storm shutters? If so, you may qualify for a discount to fortify your home. Updating the electrical system reduces the risk of fire, which could also benefit from a rebate, according to Loretta Worters, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute.
Go green. Some companies, such as Travelers, offer a green home discount that allows policyholders to save up to 5% on their premium if their property is LEED-certified.
Improve your credit. Increase your credit score and you could reduce your premium. “The industry has proven that there is a direct correlation between credit score and the likelihood of a loss, as someone with bad credit is more likely to put off routine home maintenance,” said Spencer M. Houldin, president of Ericson Insurance Advisors in Boston. “To that end, most carriers will extend significant credit to those with higher credit ratings.”
Avoid complaints. If you are claim-free for several years, you may be eligible for a “claim-free rebate”.
Keep in mind that not all companies offer the same discounts, all the more reason to search for the best deal. And don’t forget to check with your insurance agent at least once a year to keep the company informed of any lifestyle changes or modifications to your home. You might even want to check with your agent if you’re considering moving, as location is probably the most important factor in determining your insurance premium.
“Do your own homework,” Worters said, “but your insurance agent is a good place to learn the best ways to save money.”
Robyn A. Friedman has been writing about real estate and the home market for over two decades. Am here @robynafriedman. Send feedback to [email protected]. Subscribe to our free real estate newsletter at pages.email.bostonglobe.com/AddressSignUp. Follow us on twitter @GlobeHomes.