Make Sure You're Not Missing Out on These Ten Hidden Home Insurance Credits
Property and casualty companies offer several lesser-known credits that can lower your premium
You probably know that measures like smoke detectors, a security system, and insuring both your home and car with the same company can lower your home insurance premium. What you may not know is that property and casualty companies offer several other and lesser-known credits that may reduce your premium even more.
Don't miss these 10 little-known credits that might lower your home insurance premium!
- Gated Communities
- New Wiring
- Impact-Resistant Roofing
- No Claims
- Homeowners Association
- New Ratings Models
- New House or Renovation
- No Smoking
- High-Tech Sensors
If you live in a gated community, both you and your insurer may be glad to know that you have a layer of security separating your house from home invaders. Your insurance company might be willing to give you a credit of up to 20% for reducing their risk.
The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that home electrical problems result in 67,800 home fires, 485 deaths, and $868 million in property losses in a typical year and that home wiring causes double the number of fires as electrical appliances.
So it's a good idea to get new wiring installed if your live in an older house. And if the house is old enough, you might even qualify for a new wiring credit of up to 10%.
Insurance companies are very concerned about roofs. They are impacted by wind, rain, hail, and debris from hurricanes, and once they're compromised, damage costs on a home insurance claim can increase drastically.
This is why, as more and more impact-resistant roofing materials have hit the market, insurance companies have been increasingly willing to offer homeowners rate discounts as an incentive to install a new roof. You might also be able to get a tax deduction for the upgrade.
Be aware that your company may require an approved laboratory to test your roofing material before it will issue a credit, which could range between 5% and 10%.
Remember how some auto insurance companies offer good-driver discounts to consumers who have not had an accident? Home insurance companies offer an equivalent credit.
Insurers save money when their customers don't have any claims, and they've become more willing to share some of those savings with those customers by reducing their insurance premium.
And if you've been insured for a certain number of years, you might still qualify for a long-term customer discount when you renew even if you've had a claim.
You might be able to snag a 20% credit for not having any claims.
As odd as it might seem, some home insurance companies offer customers credit of 5% to 10% for being part of a homeowners association (HOA).
Interestingly, you may not even have to be a member of the HOA to take advantage of this credit. Insurers consider your house less risky simply because of your neighbors' involvement in keeping your community safe from vandals and thieves.
This one is less controllable by consumers. Real estate is a dynamic market; neighborhood values go up and down, as well as construction costs, and home insurance actuarial experts take these factors into account when doing the math involved in developing models for insurance companies to manage their risk.
Because your insurance rate is determined using these models, it follows that the rate can also change. Sometimes insurers use new models to establish lower rates that attract new customers.
Call your agent to find out if your home needs to be recalculated. You might even be able to save money by applying for a whole new policy with the same company.
Unlike auto insurance rates, home insurance rates are often lower for homeowners buying a new house or renovating their old one.
New pipes don't leak; new furnaces don't malfunction; new wiring and electrical panels don't cause fires; and new roofs, chimneys, and foundations don't result in expensive claims.
If you're think about renovating your house, talk to your insurance agent first. He or she might be able to provide suggestions for tweaks to the project that will maximize your savings on home insurance.
You can save up to 25% for buying a new house or renovating the old one.
Although the number of smokers has fallen in the U.S., smoking is still the number one cause of home fire deaths in this country. It was the cause of 18,900 residential fires in 2007, which killed 595, injured 1,200, and resulted in $327 million in residential property loss.
As home insurance companies usually raise rates when a smoker is in the household, so they offer discounts between 5% and 15% for households with no smokers.
Home insurance companies tend to favor retired customers. Why? They often spend more time at home, where they can detect home hazards in progress—such as a gas leak, pipe break, or smoldering electrical panel—and stop them.
You might qualify for a mature insured credit if you or your spouse is 55 or older and retired, and your house is your permanent residence.
The credit could range from 10% to 25%.
Most of us think of a fire alarm or security system when we think about sensors keeping our homes safe. Insurance companies, though, are particularly interested in a new generation of home sensors able to detect water or natural gas leaks before they cause damage and turn into claims.
There are two types of water sensors: passive leak detectors—which are inexpensive, stand-alone devices that issue an alarm and/or flash a light when it detects moisture—and active leak detectors—which not only signal a leak but also shut off the water source. You can install active systems on individual appliances or as a whole-house solution. Gas detectors, in contrast, are mostly passive.
These sensors can save you up to 10%.
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