Can you reduce the cost of your homeowners insurance?

The cost of homeowners insurance is based on numerous factors, including neighborhood crime rates, the condition of the home, frequency of natural disasters in your area and distance to the nearest fire station. However, you can reduce your insurance premiums by fortifying your home against disaster, filing insurance claims sparingly and maintaining good ties with your insurance carrier.

You may not be able to control the occurrence of natural disasters or theft, but you could take measures to protect your home from unnecessary damage. By installing storm shutters and shatterproof glass windows, reinforcing the roof or retrofitting the foundations, you could convince your insurance agent to lower your premiums. Furthermore, protecting your house from theft by installing an alarm system can lower your insurance, as well.

Maintaining good ties with your insurance carrier is another way to reduce your insurance costs. Keeping the house in good shape, overseeing minor repairs promptly and updating the inventory of the house regularly can be seen as acts of good faith by insurance companies thus reducing the premium. For this reason, retirees, who have more time on their hands, are often given insurance discounts. In addition, by bundling auto and home insurance together or agreeing to raise the deductible you can get a deal for lower premiums, too.

It's important to consider carefully when it's worthwhile to file an insurance claim and when it's not. Insurance companies usually raise your premium each time you claim. Therefore, unless the amount is significant, it's in your best interest to cover the damage yourself, keeping a clean record with the insurance company.

On the other hand, some factors beyond your control can cause an increase in premium rates, such as a decline in the stock market, several natural catastrophes in a given year and a sudden increase in the number of claims that a particular insurance company has to handle. In this case it may help to switch insurance providers to one who can offer you lower premiums for your homeowners insurance.