Homeowners discounts

If you recently bought a home, then you'll have to take out an insurance policy to cover any damages to your new prized possession. This can be an added expense that you didn't prepare for ahead of time, though there are several ways to reduce your monthly home insurance premiums. Having a security system and being a nonsmoker are common ways to get a discount on your insurance bill. However, there are some lesser-known ways to pay less for homeowners insurance..

Shopping ahead
Rather than waiting until your policy comes up for renewal, you can begin shopping around ahead of time. This will notify your insurer that you are proactive in seeking out the best deal possible and that you place a high value on insuring your home. As such, you're more likely to be given a discount for staying with the same provider.

Better roofing
Over time, your roof is going to take a battering from the elements. From lightning, hail, snow and wind, nature can wreak havoc on the condition of your home. By installing resistant roofing and replacing shingles, you make your home less susceptible to damage and water leaks that can ruin your home and cause you to file an insurance claim. Once your home is more weather proof, insurers may view you as less of a risk, leading to a lower insurance bill.

Don't file claims
The more claims you file, the more of a financial risk you become. To insure all of your costs, providers will raise your rates. However, for minor issues like leaks, renovation projects and maintenance problems, a do-it-yourself approach could be the better solution. Paying for small repairs out of pocket can eliminate the necessity to file a claim and have your insurance company pay for it. If you go several years without a claim, then it's likely you'll get a discount.

Old age
While you certainly can't speed up the aging process, senior citizens can obtain a lower insurance bill by the mere fact of their age. Retirees specifically are perceived to be less of a risk and frequently spend more time at home. Some providers offer discounts to people as young as 50 because they tend to be more financially secure and responsible.

Insure only the structure
New homeowners shouldn't make the mistake of insuring their entire investment. The actual structure of your home, both interior and exterior, should be insured. However, the land surrounding your home should not be included in the policy because it will only raise your home's value, thus increasing your home insurance rates. When applying for insurance, only use estimates from the value of your home itself so that you aren't unnecessarily paying more.

Green building
Outfitting your home with energy-efficient materials can not only lower your insurance premium, but it can also garner federal and state rebates. Updating light bulbs, plumbing systems and electrical equipment can reduce your utility costs and make your home safer. Your insurer is likely to provide a discount because you have updated your home with newer, stronger materials.

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