14 discounts that can help lower your home insurance premium

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When deciding which homeowners insurance company is best for your home and personal assets, you’re typically going to look at companies’ financial strength, their rates, the robustness of their coverages, and how they handle claims. But another important factor you should keep in mind is what kind of discounts a company offers on your insurance premiums.

The kind of discounts available to you varies from company to company, but just about every insurer will trim anywhere from 5% to 20% off your premiums if you choose a high deductible, disaster-proof your home, or bundle your homeowners and auto insurance under a single carrier. Companies also have discount opportunities for modernized homes with risk-prevention technologies like smart thermostats and water leak sensors.

Whatever company and policy you choose, be certain that your insurer is living up to their end of the bargain and applying all of the discounts to your bill that you deserve.

In the following guide, we’ll list off all of the home insurance discounts you should be aware of, which we broke up into three categories: policyholder discounts, policy discounts, and home improvement discounts.

Note: it’s important to shop around each year for homeowners insurance, something not many Americans do. Here’s how you can re-shop

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Policyholder discounts

You’ll typically get discounts on your home insurance premiums if you make your home safer and more fortified, or if you lessen your insurance company’s liability by agreeing to pay more out of pocket in the event of a loss. But there are also a few discounts that you, the policyholder, may be eligible for that have nothing to do with your home’s characteristics or your specific policy.

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Policyholder discount: Married or widowed discount

Insurance companies like the idea of individuals being present in the home, as it lessens the risk of potential hazards compared to if you’re single and no one’s there to hold down the fort while you’re out. Generally, if you’re married, the likelihood of someone being home goes up, so chances are you insurer will reward you with lower rates. Be sure to get new home insurance quotes if you tie the knot.

If you’re married or planning to walk down the aisle soon, make sure to discuss money matters with your partners (hint: a lot of couples don’t!). It will strengthen your marriage in the long run. 

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Policyholder discount: Senior citizens discount

Different discount but for similar reasons as the married or widowed discount. If you’re a senior citizen, there’s a better chance you’re retired and spending time in the comfort of your home than if you’re of working age and away at your nine-to-five.

Outside of saving on homeowners insurance costs, here are some ways to boost your income in retirement

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Policyholder discount: Affinity group discount

If your employer offers homeowners insurance from a specific carrier, or if your alma mater or utility company has a partnership with a carrier, you may be able to get discounted rates with that company.

If you’re already insured, be sure to check the company website for their list of partners and affiliates. If you’re a member or in any way connected with partnering companies, you may be eligible for lower rates.

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Policyholder discount: Loyalty discount

If you’ve been using the same insurance company for five or more years, most insurers will give you a discount on future policies. The reasons for this discount are twofold: insurers are rewarding you for being a loyal client, as brand loyalty is a crucial driver in such a competitive industry. They’re also rewarding you for paying your premiums on time and not having a bad claims history. If your account wasn’t in good standing, your insurer would probably drop you before you were eligible for a loyalty discount.

While loyalty discounts are nice, you should continue to compare policies and make sure your home has the best possible insurance. Here’s a primer on homeowners insurance costs

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Policyholder discount: New home or new customer discount

A newly constructed home means new wiring, new plumbing, a finished basement, and a new roof. New homes are also generally cheaper to rebuild than older homes with obsolete features. If the insured property was built in the last five years, chances are your insurer will give you a discount on your premiums.

Some insurance companies may also offer discounts to first-time customers as a token of gratitude for choosing them to insure your home.

Looking for a home? Check out this winning home offer letter

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Policyholder discount: High credit score discount

Maintaining a high credit score makes it significantly easier to own a car or a home, and it also helps keep your insurance premiums low, as your insurer has the added guarantee that you pay your bills on time. If you have a solid credit history, your insurer may gift you with a discount.

Looking to boost your credit score? Here are five easy ways to improve your credit in 30 days or less

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Policyholder discount: Non-smoking discounts

Smoking is not only bad for your health, but it’s also a potential fire hazard. If no one in your home smokes, you may be eligible for a discount. You can also get discounts on life and disability insurance if you don’t smoke.

Smoking can affect your other insurance premiums, like life insurance. Learn about life insurance costs here.

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Policy discounts

There are certain modifications you can make to your policy or bill that may affect how high or low your home insurance premiums run. If you agree to pay for all of your insurance up front, pay more out of pocket, or have multiple policies with the same insurance company, you may be eligible for the following discounts.

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Policy discount: High deductible discount

Your deductible is the amount you pay your insurance company out of pocket for a covered loss before they reimburse you for the remaining amount. If you agree to pay a deductible higher than the insurer’s standard amount (which typically ranges from $500-$1,500), your insurer may give you a discount for taking on the added liability.

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Policy discount: Bundling discount

If you get your homeowners and auto insurance from the same company, your insurer may reward you with a bundling, or multipolicy discount. You’ll also have the added advantage of only having to deal with one insurance company for all your property insurance needs, and bundling discounts are generally the highest discounts available, as they hover around 20% to 30%.

Here’s how to save money by bundling.

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Policy discount: Paid-in-full discount

If you pay a year’s worth of insurance premiums up front, your insurer will typically reward you with a small discount.

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Policy discount: Claim-free discount

If you’ve gone a number of years without submitting a homeowners insurance claim, you’ve made life easier for your insurance company, and most insurers will reward you with a discount on your rates.

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Policy discount: HOA discount

Homeowners associations are looked at favorably by insurance companies, as HOA property is generally surveilled and well-maintained, lessening the risk of theft and vandalism. Because of that, insurers will typically hook you up with lower premiums if you belong to an HOA.

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Home improvement discounts

There are also certain modifications you can make to the home itself that impact your rates. If your home has certain safety features that better protect your home and the contents inside your home against certain perils like storms, fires, and theft, your insurer may reward you for lessening the financial risk.

Before you go knocking down walls, make sure you review these hidden remodeling expenses you probably haven’t considered. 

It’s also commonplace for insurers to offer discounts for modernized homes with designated “smart home” devices. Some insurers, like Travelers, even offer affiliate discounts for smart home devices bought through Amazon that you can then use for discounts on your Travelers policy.

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Home improvement discount: Home security or safety discounts

You’re typically eligible for discounts if you have a fire alarm, deadbolts for your doors, and a fire extinguisher. But you may be in line for even heftier discounts if you:

  • Fit your home with more robust security and safety features, like a sprinkler system, or a security camera system that you can monitor from anywhere in the world from your smartphone
  • Arm your home with a burglary alarm that alerts the authorities directly
  • Install internet-of-things (IoT) devices with spatial awareness that monitors plumbing leaks before they cause too much water damage

Be sure to let your insurance company know about any safety or security features in your home, and if you recently had a protective feature installed, let your agent know immediately to get a discount on your premiums.

Here are some other easy home upgrades you can make. 

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Home improvement discount: Storm-proof discount

Fitting your home with storm-proof roof shingles, hurricane-resistant windows, impact-resistant garage doors, and steel doors and frames may net you a considerably large discount.

If you are the victim of a natural disaster, here are some tips on updating your homeowners insurance

This article originally appeared on Policygenius and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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