Insurance Costs Too High? Here’s How To Lower Them
The average homeowner purchasing the most common type of insurance spends around $1,132 on premiums each year. Insurance companies take many different factors into consideration before setting rates for their customers. But you can control your insurance costs. Here are several components that play a major role in determining the price of insurance for homeowners.
The age and quality of the home
Providers consider the age of a home before deciding how much to charge for insurance. Older homes with ornate construction often cost more to insure than newer homes. Properties that have been around for decades may require more maintenance to ensure that their roof, pipes, electrical wiring and appliances are in good shape and meet current standards.
The types of materials used to build a home can also affect insurance premiums. Because wooden homes are more flammable, they’re more expensive to insure than homes made out of concrete, brick or steel. Certain features in your home, such as a fireplace, can drive up your reconstruction and insurance costs, too. Three-quarters of residential heating fires are confined to chimneys, fuel burners or flues.
External factors can affect the cost of your homeowners insurance premiums. Homeowners in close proximity to fire stations or fire hydrants are more likely to end up with lower insurance rates. But if your home is located in an area prone to crime, hurricanes and other natural disasters, you may pay more for insurance since you’re more likely to file a claim.
While you can’t prevent burglaries and other incidents from occurring in your neighborhood, there are ways to protect your home and reduce your homeowners insurance costs. Installing a security system, for example, can lower your premiums by as much as 20%. Find out what your insurer requires to qualify for a discount.
The home’s replacement cost
Your home’s replacement cost determines how much you pay for homeowners insurance, too. That’s the amount of money needed to replace your entire home.
The age and quality of your home can impact the cost of replacing it along with these other factors:
- Size, layout and square footage
- Local building costs
- Interior home features
- Exterior home features
- Building materials
Replacements costs can differ greatly from a home’s market value and can increase over time. You’ll likely insure your home based on the replacement cost (how much it would cost to restore your home and belongings in the event of total loss), rather than what your home is worth based on supply and demand, the location of your home and comparable home sale prices.
Your level of coverage and your deductible
The price you pay for homeowners insurance will also depend on how much coverage you feel you need for your home and your valuables. If you have expensive personal items, for example — like jewelry, art or antiques — you may need scheduled personal property coverage. That’s additional insurance for anything not fully covered under your standard policy.
When comparing insurance policies, consider a general rule of thumb: The lower your deductible, the higher your monthly premium. A higher deductible could reduce your premiums by as much as 25%.
Not all homeowners insurance policies are created equal, so you’ll need to do your research. Shop around for insurance that will cover items you would have to replace in the event of a total loss. Then find a policy that meets your needs.
While you don’t have control over every factor that affects the cost of your insurance premiums, making certain adjustments and investments can pay off. For example, some insurance companies offer discounts when you install security systems. Others offer smart home devices free of charge.
Consider opting for a higher deductible that can lower your insurance premiums. And pay close attention to the terms and conditions before committing to a policy.
This guest post was provided by Hippo
Hippo is an InsurTech company that’s reimagining home insurance through the lens of homeowners – building policies with more comprehensive coverage for today’s consumers at up to 25% less than competitors. Hippo Insurance is available to homeowners in 10 states throughout the US and will be available to more than 60% of the nation’s homeowners by the end of 2018.