How to Save on Homeowners Insurance While Increasing the Protection of Your Home and Family

Posted in: Personal Insurance

In a previous blog post, Why Homeowner Rates Vary Greatly? we discussed a number of factors that affect your homeowners insurance premium, but did you know that there are also several incentives that could help you save even more money on your policy? Consider these five savings tips, which will also help protect your home and family in addition to lowering your rate.

Install an Alarm System

Many insurance companies offer significant discounts if you have a centralized alarm system installed in your home. The 10 largest homeowners insurance companies offer discounts of up to 20 percent. Plus, an alarm-equipped, single family home is more than 60 percent less likely to be burglarized than a similar home without an alarm.

Install and Maintain Smoke Detectors

A homeowner who has had smoke detectors installed and ensures they are in working condition can typically expect a five percent discount on their homeowners insurance.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 72) requires new homes to have a smoke alarm in each bedroom, one outside the bedroom area that is close enough to be heard through closed doors, and a minimum of one on each level of the home.

NFPA is less stringent with existing homes. You are not required to have a smoke alarm in each bedroom. If you have an older home, although you may not receive a higher discount with more smoke detectors, you may still want to consider following the same requirements as a new home for a better protection of your valuables and for your family’s safety.

Purchase a Fire Extinguisher

Whether you’re grilling in your backyard in the summer or using a wood burning stove in the winter, a fire extinguisher could save you 10 percent on your homeowners insurance premium, as well as protect your family and home. Even your dryer, if the lint is not cleaned out regularly, can be a big culprit for house fires, and having an extinguisher handy could make all the difference. I recommend having one in at least your kitchen and garage.

Install Deadbolt Locks

If your home’s exterior doors don’t already have deadbolt locks installed, this is another way to save almost 10 percent on the cost of your homeowners insurance. But more importantly, installing a deadbolt lock on every exterior door provides added protection to your home from potential burglaries.

Install a Flow Meter

A flow meter is a device attached to the main water line where the pipe enters your home. It is a small electronic box that is typically installed by a licensed plumber. The flow meter allows you to set the water flow levels for when you are away from home for an extended period of time. This is important, because your house uses water even when you are not at home, for instance, your ice maker in your fridge. So, by setting the meter to allow only for ice production, it will shut off your water if a leak occurs or a pipe breaks to prevent your house from flooding.

While typically only high-net worth houses are offered five percent discount for having a flow meter, it is definitely still worth installing one in any home for the following reasons:

  • It can help you avoid serious water damage if a pipe bursts and floods your home, which can become very costly if you need to hire a professional cleaning crew, combat mold issues, and/or replace walls and floors.
  • Preventing water damage with a flow meter will save you the deductible as well as the time and aggravation from filing and settling claims.
  • Overall, installing a flow meter will help slow your annual premium increases.

If you take advantage of all five incentives, you could save up to 40 percent combined on your homeowners insurance while increasing the safety of your family. Following these best practices will also help make you a more attractive candidate to insurance carriers, by positively affecting your insurance score, and potentially qualifying you for a better premium, which is in addition to these incentive related discounts.

It is also important that you work with a broker who represents your best interests when shopping for a homeowners policy or reducing your current premium. While direct insurance writer companies can only offer you their packages at their rates, a broker will negotiate on your behalf with their wide network of insurance carriers to provide you with different options and obtain the most suitable policy at the best rate possible. If you have any questions regarding homeowners incentives or would like help lowering your rate, please contact me at dreeve@psafinancial.com.