Your home insurance provides you with vital financial protection against things such as fire and theft. However, you don’t have to pay more than you have to. Here’s a list of 5 our top DIY ways to save money on your home insurance costs.
1. Secure your home
Generally, this is the first thing you should consider. Making your house very secure helps to prevent break-ins. It will also mean much cheaper home insurance. Firstly, you could install a burglar alarm. Although installing a working alarm can lower your premiums, ensure that the insurer approves the model. Some policies insist it’s always on, and your claim might be rejected if you’re burgled when it’s turned off.
Secondly, get the correct locks. You must ensure that all your external windows and doors have the right locks. Some insurers state the type of locks you need; therefore, go through the policy documents carefully to ensure you have the correct ones.
Another way is to install a safe. If you’ve insured valuables in your content policy, putting them in a safe might significantly reduce your premium. You could also opt not to insure them an lower the cost if you’re confident they’ll be protected from theft in a safe. Lastly, you can join your local neighborhood watch scheme. Primarily, some insurers lower your premiums if you’re a neighborhood watch member since it might lower the risk of your property being burgled.
2. Shop around for the right deal
When looking for a home insurance policy, it would be best to get a range of quotes. Since prices will differ between different insurers, you’ll need to shop around to find the most affordable deal. Furthermore, before you start comparing different home insurance quotes, determine what you want to cover and look out for policies that provide everything you need.
Generally speaking, it will cost you much more ling term when you purchase a cheap policy that doesn’t offer you the protection you require, and you need to pay to replace or repair your possessions out of your pocket. In case you have a mortgage, your particular provider might provide a home insurance policy that you could take out with your loan. So, shop around before you go for this because it might not be the best deal.
3. Get a combined policy
In general, home insurance may be divided into two separate policies: contents insurance and building insurance. Contents insurance covers your personal belongings while buildings insurance covers your home’s bricks and mortar. You could purchase both together as a combined home insurance policy, which could work out much cheaper than buying them separately.
In most cases, insurers will issue a discount if you decide to purchase both policies with them. It is also prudent to compare individual properties and contents policies with various insurers since this might work out cheaper. In case you rent your building, you’re not responsible for insuring the property you live in. Therefore, you only need to get a contents insurance policy.
4. Build a no claims bonus
For each consecutive year that you hold a home insurance policy and don’t make a claim, you’ll earn a no claims bonus. So, the more years you’ll go without claiming, the lower your particular home insurance will cost. Therefore, it pays to ensure your property is protected against damage and theft.
As aforementioned, you could also take security measures that might not directly affect the overall insurance cost, but will help lower the risk of theft:
- Install security lights
- Keep your lights on a timer when you’re going on holiday to look like you’re home
- Lock all your garden tools away in your garage or shed
- Don’t hide a spare key around your front door
- Keep valuable items such as laptops out of sight
You could also do certain things to make your house less prone to damage, such as:
- Keeping your property in proper condition, for instance, keeping the guttering clear
- Removing any trees within ten meters near your home
- Insulating water pipes so they don’t freeze in water; this could result in flooding
- Installing smoke alarms around your home
Although practicing all these things might not guarantee you’ll never have to make a claim, you’ll lower the risk of specific things going wrong and build you no claim bonus.
5. Don’t over-insure
When you purchase a policy, you need to ensure that you obtain high enough cover limits for your contents and buildings. However, if you have too much, you’ll be incurring more than you have to. If you want to ensure that you only incur for the cover you require, you should calculate:
- All your contents’ value. You could do this by summing up the cost of all your possessions.
- Your home’s rebuild value. It’s how much it can cost to rebuild your property from scratch, and not its market value.
If you apply for a policy, try matching the cover as closely as you can to these amounts. Generally, some insurers will allow you to set the cover level to the precise values you require.
Ensure to follow the five tips for saving insurance costs. Don’t underinsure your home to save money. Although this is tempting, it might lead to a substantial financial burden that some homeowners might never recover from. In case you have some hundred dollars with you, hire a professional appraiser who can evaluate your property and ensure you get the correct replacement and coverage costs in your policy.