#1 Get Rid of Dangerous Toys
There are certain items such as trampolines and swimming pools that insurance companies label as dangerous. Having these types of items in your home can seriously impact and increase your home insurance costs.
It has been shown that trampolines are one of the leading causes of emergency room visits for children. In fact, nearly 68,000 children under 14 were treated for trampoline-related injuries in 2011 alone.
There are steps you can take to minimize the risk of these items and keep your home insurance bill intact. Make sure to install proper protective gear around a trampoline and put a security fence to enclose a pool area. This actually happens to be a requirement for many local building codes too. If you have taken these precautions, definitely get in contact with your insurance agent so they can change your home insurance plan appropriately.
#2 Be Selective of Your Pets
There are certain breeds of dogs that owners can have in their homes that will dramatically increase their home insurance premiums.
Actuarial data has shown that certain breeds of dogs are aggressive and can cause your premiums to go up. If you own a Rottweiler, Pit-Bull, Doberman, German Shepherd, Akita, Great Dane, etc. your home insurance premiums can go up. It doesn’t even matter if your dog is a puppy or if they have never hurt anyone before.
In fact, dog bites accounted for more than 1/3 of all home insurance liability claims in 2012 amounting to about $489 million.
#3 Do Not Insure Your Land
It has become standard practice to insure the land that the home is located on but it is often wasted money. The majority of damages that occur involved in an insurance claim come from inside the home and not from the land. You can really save a lot on your insurance costs from insuring just the home and not the surrounding plot of land it sits on.
The amount of savings you will realize of course depends on the size of your land; you will definitely want to talk to an insurance agent for more information.
#4 Secure Your Home
You can lower your costs pretty easily just by taking the necessary precautions to protect your home. Most insurance companies will provide a 2 to 15 percent discount for devices that make a home safer. These items include window grates, dead-bolt locks, window bars, and smoke/fire/burglar alarms.
By taking these steps you can reduce the damage to your home in the event of a burglary or natural disaster. Thus, when there are fewer damage claims then insurance companies will not need to charge you as much.
#5 Create of Take Part in a Neighborhood Watch Program
By creating or participating in a neighborhood watch program in can actually reduce your home insurance costs. The group’s presence in a neighborhood has statistically been shown to lower crime rates in that particular area.
Insurance companies will not automatically give you a discount for being apart of one of these programs. It can lower your premiums indirectly though because if the crime rate lowers in an area then your costs will be reduced. Crime rates are input into an algorithm that insurance companies use to determine rates. Thus, when crime rates decrease so do home insurance costs.
#6 Perform Smart Renovations
If you make renovations that make your home more disaster-resistant then this can help lower your home insurance costs. For instance, you can actually lower your premiums by installing storm shutters and shatterproof glass, or reinforcing your roof or buying stronger roofing materials.
You can also upgrade your heating, plumbing, and electrical systems. By taking this action you can reduce the risk of fire and water damage thereby lower your premium.
Before making any renovations, definitely talk to your insurance agent first to determine what impact your renovations will have on your home insurance rates. It would not be good if you performed a renovation to lower your rates and it doesn’t actually affect them at all.
#7 Make a Smart Move
This tip doesn’t apply to everyone but if you are moving anytime soon then it can be helpful. If your home is located closer to certain facilities then it can actually reduce your home insurance rates. For instance, if your home is located more than five miles away from a fire department then it can increase your premiums by 20% or higher. Thus, if you move closer to one you can dramatically reduce your bill.
If you live closer to a firehouse then emergency personnel can respond to an emergency at your house more quickly thereby lowering potential damage. This in turn will then lower your monthly home insurance bill.
The surrounding geographical area can also affect your rates. For instance, homes located by forest on the West Coast are more prone to fires. At the same time, homes located near the coast on the East Coast are more prone to wind storms and hurricanes. Therefore, if you live in these regions the risk of damage to your home increases which will in turn raise your home insurance bill.