The cost of home insurance stops many people from purchasing a policy. Fortunately, there are ways to cut costs and save money while finding cheap home insurance coverage that protects your home and your possessions. We’ll share tips here, along with a rundown on what type of coverage is available, and how to figure out what policy is right for you.
Not all plans are affordable, and not all are worth the cost. Depending on where you live, how old your home is, and other factors, you might be surprised by your options. Here are our top tips for finding affordable homeowners insurance that is a good deal in terms of value.
Purchasing a policy with your existing insurer may seem like the easiest and least expensive route. But depending on your insurance needs, another company may provide lower rates. Don’t be afraid to shop around and source quotes from a few companies before making a choice.
The easiest way to compare house insurance providers online is through our free comparison tool. Input your Zip code in the form above and find a list of most-recommended insurers in your area. Then you can obtain an online quote from companies that fit your needs.
Although you won’t always find the best deal with your current provider, it’s possible that they offer bundle discounts that can save you money. If you already have car insurance or previously took out a renters insurance policy, you could save money by sticking with your existing provider for homeowners coverage too.
Other discounts may apply, such as a clear claims history, your status as a non-smoker, or the fact that you are married or even widowed. Some companies also give new customers a discount for switching to their services. Similarly, a good payment record with your other obligations can help bolster your qualifications when it comes to qualifying for the cheapest house insurance. Ask whether a positive payment history can help your case.
A deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance provider will take responsibility for any damages. The higher your deductible, the more you pay out of pocket if disaster strikes. However, a higher deductible also means lower monthly costs, an important consideration when calculating the overall price. If you can raise the deductible and pay less per month, it might be a better deal than continuing to pay higher premiums.
Depending on your insurer, you may be eligible for discounts on emergency preparedness. Between storm protections such as roof repairs or storm shutters, and other additions, you could receive valuable discounts in exchange for planning ahead.
Functioning early warning equipment like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are essential in every home, but did you know that installing a fire protection system can earn you discounts on home insurance? Some systems notify fire personnel remotely, but even sprinkler setups reduce the odds of a fire disaster in your home.
Look to the declarations section of your home insurance policy to find the deductible, which will either be an amount in dollars or a percent of the total amount of the insurance plan.
Another advance protection that can reduce costs is a home security system. Along with sensors and alerts, adding deadbolts to your home’s doors, and other protections, you reduce the chances of experiencing a break-in that could cost you and your insurer money. A burglar alarm is a relatively small price to pay in terms of savings over time on insurance costs.
If you have an existing policy with your insurer, you’ll want to ask about multi-policy discounts. But whether you are sticking with your current provider or shopping around, ask about any other discounts they may offer. For example, some companies offer discounts to unions or employees of specific companies. Many insurers also give senior or military discounts.
Although referrals from friends or family are helpful and online search tools help narrow your choices, it’s worth performing background research before agreeing to the terms. Consider looking up the company you have chosen on the Better Business Bureau website. You can find out if the carrier has any pending litigation, customer complaints, or other issues.
Like any other large purchase, it helps to have good credit when applying for insurance. However, maintaining decent credit over the long term will help save you money. Check regularly to ensure that your credit score is in good standing and ask your agent if any discounts apply if it increases.
If you are about to purchase a home and want to know what to expect when it comes to costs, you can save money by doing a little research before buying. Find out whether the home you want to buy lies in a floodplain or has other questionable history. Homes that have weathered a few heavy storms may incur more considerable insurance costs, whether in the form of higher premiums or higher deductibles, if not both. A property that is in an area with a high crime rate may also cost more to insure.
If you already own your home and it’s in a high crime rate area or a floodplain, consider whether you can use other money-saving tips to reduce costs elsewhere in your policy.
Flooding is not covered in most basic homeowners insurance plans so you may have to pay for extra coverage if you live in high-flood risk areas.
Like homes in floodplains, your home may have unique qualities or vulnerabilities that require additional insurance. For example, a storm could cause flooding in your home due to the property layout and features. Even if you don’t live in a flood zone, your house could sustain water damage.
Before you install an in-ground pool or order a hot tub, consider the impact those features will have on your insurance costs. Pools are a liability for homeowners because of the drowning risk they pose to not only the inhabitants of the home, but also visitors. The higher the risk, the higher the premium for your insurance plan.
Depending on your home’s location and local regulations, you may have to purchase additional insurance beyond a standard homeowners policy. Flood insurance, for example, is mandatory in many areas that experience flooding. It’s helpful to know your home’s flood risk before buying, as flood policy add-ons may raise your costs significantly.
Because the roof is your home’s primary protection against water damage, its condition affects your overall insurance costs. Consider performing repairs on the roof or replacing it if possible. The up-front cost may be high, but the long-term savings on your insurance and the protection a new roof gives your home are worth it.
Although pools and hot tubs are common risk factors, other property features can cause your insurance rates to rise. For example, old buildings on your property, although uninhabited, create additional hazards. Plan to remove any old storage sheds, garages, or outbuildings before signing up for your plan.
Your mortgage lender will most likely require you to purchase a home insurance policy though you can legally own a home without one.
Having a homeowners policy is reassuring when something goes wrong in your house. However, you should think carefully before submitting a claim. Insurers may refuse to pay if they see multiple similar claims from a client, or if they suspect that any claim is fraudulent. This can cause problems later if a larger issue comes up that you can’t pay for on your own.
Automatic payments are a convenient way to guarantee you never miss a billing cycle, but many companies also give discounts if you pay automatically. Discount amounts vary, but you could save 5% or more each month. Signing up for your company’s autopay feature is one of the easiest ways to get the most low cost homeowners insurance possible.
In some cases, government programs for properties in high-flood risk or other potentially dangerous areas can help bring down the cost of your premium. However, the opposite can also prove true. Carefully compare the terms of both types of plans before you commit.
Although you sign a contract for insurance, just like any other service, it pays to revisit the terms occasionally. Whether you start a new job, make upgrades to your property, or bumped your credit score up a few points, you may be leaving money on the table by keeping your policy as-is.
Because the cost of your plan depends on what it would cost to rebuild your home after a disaster, you may not necessarily use the price tag amount to determine coverage needs. The rebuild costs can also vary depending on the market value of your home, so this is worth checking out before you renew your policy.
If you are considering adopting a pet, check whether your existing or prospective insurance carrier has limitations on pet species or breeds. Many carriers blacklist particular breeds of dogs, especially those with a reputation for being vicious. However, some carriers also list dogs that most pet owners do not consider a risk. Check ahead and put off adopting a pet until you can confirm it won’t affect your rates or insurability.
Although homeowners policies require itemization of many big-ticket items, insuring those items separately can save you money. If you have valuables such as jewelry or expensive electronics in your home, taking out another type of insurance on those items can reduce your overall insurance costs.
If you’re purchasing a new home, it can be difficult to wade through all the paperwork, including insurance-related information. However, it’s important to read through your plan and understand your responsibilities. For example, many new homeowners think that homeowners insurance covers home systems, like heating and air or other major appliances. The higher price of a plan isn’t so palatable when you realize it doesn’t cover the interior or appliances of your home.
A homeowner’s worst nightmare is finding out that an insurance policy won’t reimburse them for the loss of their home due to the property owner’s negligence. Unfortunately, if you don’t perform regular maintenance on your home, an insurance company can refuse to pay out and accuse you of neglect. Conditions like mold, termites, leaking or broken pipes, or sewer disasters are mostly preventable, so odds are, your insurer won’t cover them.
If you already own your home outright, your insurance costs will likely be lower than if you are making payments. Confirm that your company or agent knows that your home is paid off to see if you qualify for a lower rate. If not, consider shopping around to see if another insurance company will give you a discount for outright home ownership.
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If you’re shopping for a new home, comparing the most affordable and most expensive states for homeowners insurance might help you narrow down a geographical location. If you’re moving across state lines already, choosing an area with lower costs is a smart way to save money. Regardless, knowing how your state measures up can indicate how expensive your premiums will be.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost of homeowners insurance is about $1173 per year. However, within the US, rates vary widely.
At an average of $643 per year, Oregon holds the number one spot as the cheapest state for homeowners insurance in the nation. Utah and Idaho are comparable choices at just under an average of $700. Conversely, Florida is the most expensive overall. The average costs there are $1993 per year, alongside Texas and Louisiana, where premiums are just over the $1900 mark.
Overall, the top five states with the lowest rates were:
The five states with the highest rates were:
At first glance, it might not make much sense that some states have nearly double the homeowners insurance costs as others. However, states like Florida and Texas commonly experience flooding and hurricanes. Oklahoma and Kansas are more susceptible to fires and earthquakes.
Still, not all cities in each state have the same calculated risk. Averages are helpful in determining trends, but your quote may not match up exactly with what your state’s average is. Relatively affordable home insurance is available nearly everywhere, as long as you know where to look and how to save money.
In general, the value and location of the home and the property it sits on will dictate the value and therefore cost of your coverage. However, there are other factors affecting home insurance quotes that are less visible.
Natural disaster risk
Many areas in the United States are at higher risk of natural disasters than others. For example, Florida is more prone to flood-related disasters than landlocked states. Along with the fact that many areas of Florida are densely populated, its exposure to the sea means more residents there experience hurricanes, mudslides, floods, and more.
Property conditions can also influence home insurance rates. For example, if your home has sinkholes or seasonal flooding, your risk of a disaster may be higher than average for the area. That means your premiums are higher than average, too.
Other factors like construction costs can also affect the cost of your insurance plan. If you live in a state with higher construction costs, you can expect to pay more in premiums because the insurer will have to pay more for related claims. Areas with lower construction costs often have lower insurance rates, despite the potential presence of environmental hazards.
Construction costs vary based on where you live and how much labor costs, but materials can affect the bottom line as well. If your house is wood, you may pay a higher premium than if your home is mostly brick, cement, or stone. Homes that are wood have a higher risk of damage than more sturdy construction, meaning your house is less of a risk to the insurance company if it’s brick or stone.
Although the location is a significant factor because of the odds of a natural disaster affecting your home, your proximity to emergency services is also crucial. Homes that are further away from fire hydrants or firehouses are more likely to sustain worse damage in a fire than homes that are close to water sources and personnel.
You know that having a wood burning fireplace is more dangerous than a typical HVAC system, but did you know it could affect your home insurance rates? Even if you purchase smoke detectors for every area of your home and equip yourself with fire extinguishers, your rates may be higher if your property has one or more fireplaces.
Other hazards that can affect people’s safety are trampolines, pools, and potentially aggressive pets. The age of the home and the presence of old pipes or electrical systems can also affect premium amounts.
Find the best homeowners insurance
companies near you.