16 Things To Do About Homeowners Insurance Rate Increases in 2024
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Homeowners insurance rates went up 27%, on average, going into 2024, even more if you live in certain states that face severe storms. Everyone is asking why homeowners insurance rates have increased, especially when they live in a relatively risk-free area. Well, the answer is complex, and it revolves around some factors, which homeowners can control and others they cannot. Inflation, war, a labor shortage and severe storms are some factors that have left insurers reeling and without any choice but to raise rates across the country. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you’re paying the lowest amount possible without compromising on coverage. Here are the 16 best ways to pay as little as possible on home insurance premiums in 2024.
1. Talk To Your Insurer
While most insurers will not drastically reduce your home insurance insurance rate for being a loyal customer, some do offer a small discount. It’s a good idea to speak with your agent to see how many discounts you can and also figure out how you can reduce your rate in the future. They will be familiar with your profile, so they will know how you’re rated. Ask lots of questions!
2. Shop Around To Get the Best Rate
After you get your existing rate as low as it can go, compare home insurance rates to see whose homeowners insurance rate increases are the most reasonable. Just make sure that when you compare pricing, you’re comparing apples to apples, not policies with different coverages and limits. Some agents rope you in with a low price only for you to find out afterwards that you’re only covered for a house fire, so ask questions about the coverage!
3. Increase the Deductible for Lower Monthly Payments
When you increase the deductible, you’re agreeing to have that amount deducted from a claim payout if your home is damaged or destroyed. A higher deductible will make your monthly payments drop substantially, and if you’re not the type of person who likes to file claims, this is the best option for you to save money. Do keep in mind, however, that with the high deductible deducted from your payout, you may need to reach into your wallet to complete a project, if the claim amount is not enough.
4. Upgrade Home Security System
Don’t rig up your home with a cheap and ineffective home security system and hope that your home insurance company will give you the discount. The more comprehensive the home security system, the less likely a chance that you will be burglarized. Therefore, your risk decreases. Ask your insurance agent which home security systems they recommend based on the discounts offered.
5. Get Discounts
Each insurer has their own roster of discounts but every insurer has at least a few. It’s always a good idea to go over this list, whether it’s with your current insurer or another you’re considering after comparing rates. If you reap enough discounts, you may be looking at premiums that are 25% cheaper. Seriously.
6. Improve Your Credit Score
Unless you live in California, Maryland or Massachusetts, your credit rating will be used to derive an insurance score. Your rate will depend heavily on your credit score so spend the next few months working on improving that score so your home insurance rate can go down. You’ll have to make timely payments and to pay off outstanding debts in collection for your credit score to improve. After four to six months, your credit score should be higher, and you’ll be ready to compare home insurance rates.
7. Bundle Home and Auto
In many cases bundling home and auto policies is an easy way to get a big discount. In some cases, however, you may be able to snag a better price if you buy them separately. It’s a good idea to get a quote with and without a bundle to see which is more beneficial to you.
8. Eliminate Unnecessary Coverage
If you can lock up your expensive jewelry at the bank, it may be cheaper than buying a home insurance endorsement. Or, if you look closely at the limits of your contents coverage, also called personal property coverage, you may realize that you do not need an endorsement because you’re covered. It’s a good idea to do an inventory of everything you own and would need to replace to determine whether you have adequate coverage or if you need an endorsement because you do not.
9. Make Home Improvements
If you have a roof that’s on its last leg, you will be rated higher than if you have a relatively new roof. The same goes for building a fence around a pool or trampoline. Ask your agent what they will discount in home improvements before you start a new project.
10. Re-evaluate Rebuilding Cost
Take into consideration how much prices have gone up in materials and labor, along with shortages due to severe weather events. Also, do not mistake your homeowners insurance dwelling coverage to include the value of the land. It should only be to rebuild the home and other structures. Do not confuse the market value of your home for the rebuilding cost. Otherwise, you may be paying much more in home insurance than necessary.
11. Switch From Government to Private Insurer
Especially when it comes to flood insurance, you will likely find cheaper home insurance buying from a private insurer because policies are priced more competitively.
12. Insure at Actual Cash Value Instead of Replacement Cost
You will receive less money if you buy an actual cash value policy, which factors in depreciation, than a replacement cost policy but it’ll be much less expensive.
13. Avoid Filing Small Claims
Every claim you file will increase your home insurance rate. It’s a good idea to avoid small claims and only to file one if the repair or rebuilding is quite expensive and out of your budget. Another reason to avoid filing small claims is your insurer may drop you for filing too many claims. Your deductible will also be subtracted from the payout so keep that in mind when trying to decide if it makes sense to file a claim or not.
14. Avoid Buying a High-Risk Dog Breed
Aggressive dog breeds or certain animals may be excluded on your home insurance policy, meaning you won’t have the usual coverage you’d have if the dog were to bite a non-family member who visits the home. Some insurers will simply raise your rate because of the pet.
15. Stay Insured
Just as it is with car insurance, you will see a higher home insurance rate if you’ve had a lapse in coverage. Staying insured will ensure that your rate stays as low as possible. Prioritize your insurance coverages so you don’t end up paying more each month. Also, it’s a huge risk to take to go without home insurance. If you ever need to rebuild your home, doing it without assistance will surely break the bank.
16. Move to a Neighborhood With Cheaper Insurance Rates
One of the most important factors in how you’re rated by an insurance company is where you live. If it’s a high-crime neighborhood, your chances of experiencing a burglary are much higher. Also, where you live determines the risk of natural disasters. You’ll see that states, like Florida, which see many hurricanes have the highest home insurance rates.