While it’s comforting to know your home and your personal possessions are covered when it comes to homeowners insurance, the financial burden of that coverage may often feel like too much. Luckily, many companies offer several discounts that you may qualify for.
How Do Homeowners Insurance Discounts Work?
Each insurance carrier offers several different options when it comes to homeowners insurance discounts, which range from bundling multiple policies for a total discount to roof upgrades and choosing to purchase a newer home.
Some discounts, like bundling or new home discounts, are available and applied when you first purchase your policy. Most insurance carrier offers some form of discount for those purchasing a newly built home. Different discounts will also be available throughout the policy term as you work on the home, like a roof upgrade or a loyalty discount.
It is essential to understand that discounts can be capped, so even if you qualify for all available discounts, you may only get a total discount of, for example, 30% or whatever the carrier’s cap is. Discounts will also vary by state.
What Kinds of Homeowners Insurance Discounts Exist?
The best way to determine what types of homeowners insurance discounts are available is to ask your agent or carrier. Since each carrier and state is different, comparing the discounts available to you is the most beneficial way to determine how to save the most money.
Even though each insurance carrier may differ in the home discounts they offer, here are a few factors that may earn you a discount:
New Home and Safety Features
Some discounts will be available depending on the newness of your home or certain features of your home. Often, homeowners who build or renovate their homes qualify for discounts since upgraded utilities like electricity and plumbing are less likely to fail and trigger an insurance claim, which saves the carrier money. It may also be possible to get a discount from your insurer if your upgrades prevent damage to your home in areas with severe weather like tornadoes or hurricanes.
Adding new safety features such as a fire alarm, fire extinguisher, smoke detector, burglar alarm, sprinkler, water shut-off device, and deadbolt on an exterior door could also earn you a discount. Living close to a fire hydrant or water supply could also earn you a discount on your homeowners policy as your house could be quickly rescued in case of a fire. If your roof is new or newer, your carrier could offer a discount for that as well since roof repair costs can be hefty.
Your Individual Profile
The types of discounts you qualify for are determined by your individual profile. A military discount may be available to current and past military members, veterans, spouses, and children of military members. Those working in specific occupations may also be eligible for discounts. This could include teachers or those who belong to a specific organization or union. Check with your insurance carrier to see if your occupation qualifies.
You may also qualify for a discount if you’re a senior or retired. A house must be your primary residence, you must be over 55, and you must work less than 24 hours a week outside your home to qualify.
Your Policy Details
In addition to discounts that are related to your personal information and where you live, there will be policy-specific ones as well. Again, these vary with each carrier. Many insurance companies will give you a discount if you are shopping for coverage ahead of time, as they appreciate that you are not waiting until the last minute to obtain coverage.
Some insurers will offer a discount for being claims-free for a certain period of time, and for being a loyal customer if you have been with the carrier for a while. You may also receive a discount for paying in full or signing up for automatic payments. Check with your agent to see if there are other policy-specific details that you qualify for.
Most Common Types of Homeowners Insurance Discounts
As discussed, there are many different types of discounts for new and existing homeowners insurance policies. Here are some of the most common home insurance discounts to ask for when shopping for a new policy or reviewing your current one. Keep in mind these are the most common and not a complete list.
Many insurance companies offer a multi-policy or bundling discount. If you need additional coverage beyond homeowners insurance, such as auto or life, you could receive a discount for placing more than one policy with your insurer. A typical discount for bundling is up to 20%, which could help you save a good amount of money.
New Home/New Buyer
You could receive a discount for either being a first-time home buyer or purchasing a newly built home. Many insurance companies perceive these types of purchased as a lower risk, so they offer a small discount for a period of time. Usually, a home built within the last 1-10 years qualifies as “new.”
One of the easiest ways to get a discount on your homeowners insurance policies is to sign up for paperless billing, automatic payments, or pay for the policy in full. Since the insurer saves money by sending you things electronically, paperless is an attractive option, and they reward you when you sign up. Also, knowing that the policy is already paid or that you have signed up for automatic payments signals to the insurer that you will not let your policy lapse.
Upgrades of any sort could qualify you for a discount, especially a new roof. Since roofs are expensive to repair and replace, the insurer likes it when it’s upgraded, and you would receive a discount for a period of time. Be sure to notify your agent of a roof upgrade and any other remodeling you may have completed.
Because an HOA or gated community is highly regulated and often protected with some security, they generally present fewer risks than those that are not. So, insurance companies often provide a discount for living in one.
Being loyal to an insurance company could be rewarding, as some will offer a loyalty discount. While it is essential to shop around to make sure you are getting the best deal, staying where you are may be more beneficial if the discount is enough.
Those over the age of 65 may qualify for a discount. The reason for this is that those 65 and older tend to be retired and spend more time at home, which means less risk. If something happens to the home, they are there to prevent a more significant claim.
As the name suggests, remaining claims-free can earn you a discount with most insurance companies. The longer you go without a claim, the less risk you present to the insurance company.
Since security and fire alarms allow for a quick response when activated, many insurers will offer a discount if you have a burglar or fire alarm installed. A simple security measure like a deadbolt can sometimes earn a discount, too, and sprinklers are a bonus as well. Connect with your insurance agent to discuss whether you may be eligible for discounts based on any smart home devices, as well.
Military members are often offered discounts on their homeowners insurance policies as a thank-you for their service. Some other occupations can also qualify for a discount, like first responders, teachers, and those who belong to a union. Remember, ask your insurer if they have a discount for your occupation.
How To Qualify For a Homeowners Insurance Discount?
Since home insurance discounts are often specific to your unique situation, do the following to see if you qualify for any.
Ask Your Agent or Carrier
To determine if you qualify for a homeowners insurance discount, simply ask your insurance agent or carrier. Whether you deal directly with an agent or the insurance company, you can ask them if you qualify for any additional discounts. They will know what questions to ask to ensure you get the best deal available.
It is always a good idea to shop around and compare quotes. Not only do the discounts vary between insurers, but so do coverages and premiums. You want to ensure you are getting the best coverage for the best price, and one of the best ways to do that is to compare multiple policies and quotes.
While the insurer will give you specific discounts automatically when you purchase a policy, like an advanced quote or paperless discount, they will not always know that you have qualified for a discount. You must communicate any changes you have made to your home throughout the year. Don’t wait until your policy renewal, or you may leave money on the table.
Alternative Ways to Save On Homeowners Insurance
Of course, there will be situations where you don’t qualify for discounts, but still want to save money. When this happens, you must look at other ways to save on your homeowners insurance policy.
Almost every insurer is going to check your credit report before you can purchase a homeowners insurance policy. Those who have poor credit scores will, unfortunately, have to pay higher premiums. Maintaining a good credit score can help you save on your homeowners insurance premiums.
While it may not be the best or most recommended option, you can make some coverage changes to help lower your premiums. For example, the higher deductible you choose, the lower your premiums will be. If your current deductible is $500, you can increase it to $1,000 if the savings make sense. Remember, if you have a claim, the payout will be reduced by this amount if it is an approved claim.
Relocating is not always an option for people, but it can be a great way to save money on your homeowners insurance. For example, if you move to an area with a lower risk of natural disasters, or into an HOA or gated community, you would then qualify for discounts as your situation may be considered lower-risk.
Upgrades are often looked at by the insurance company as a positive and will often earn you a reduction in premium costs. Even if you have added value to your home, you may qualify for a discount if you upgrade your roof or even plumbing, heating, and electricity. If you live in an older home, the insurance company will ask if you have knob and tube wiring and if so, it will be a good idea to get it replaced since this system is outdated.