You pay your Albany home insurance premium every month, or your bank pays the premium annually out of your escrow account. Many people question if they have competitive home insurance premiums every time they write those checks. Before you call another company like Geico or ask your independent agent to shop the policy, you should review your own policy first for savings opportunities.
I’m an insurance agent. I understand the importance of home insurance. I have had several clients who have experienced house fires. Some of these fires are small but some destroy entire homes. Regardless of the fire size, the experience is always horrific and families are only able to put their lives back together through home insurance.
I know how important home insurance is, and even I wince when I have to make that payment. However, I know that I have taken the proper steps to ensure that my current home insurance policy is structured properly and in a way where I maximize my savings.
7 Reasons Your Albany Home Insurance Premium is Higher Than it Should Be
When I meet with a homeowner for the first time, I can quickly identify where the insured does not have the proper coverage and where there are savings opportunities. I will NEVER recommend inadequate coverage in exchange for lower premiums because my primary job as your insurance agent is to protect your assets. Here are seven ways to find savings on your current insurance program:
1) Home and auto insurance not with the same company
When possible, it always makes sense to purchase your home and auto insurance from the same insurance company. Almost every insurance company will offer a bundling discount.
2) Deductible too low
The standard home insurance deductible was $250 twenty years ago. The standard (or most common) deductible has now increased to $1,000. If you are financially able to handle a $1,000 loss to your home, than increasing your deductible could save you significant money year after year.
3) Not receiving fire and/or burglar alarm credits
Have you recently added fire and burglar alarm protection to your home? Maybe you just forgot to tell your insurance agent when you purchased your home insurance policy. If you have a central station alarm system, almost every home insurance carrier provides a discount to your policy.
4) Inaccurate protection class
Every home is assigned a protection class by the home insurance company. This protection class takes into account the distance from a fire hydrant and fire station, as well as the level of service that fire station provides. Homes that have a higher protection class are not as well protected as homes with a 3, 4 or 5. Ask your insurance agent to verify that you are in the correct protection class. If you should be in a lower protection class, your premium can go down.
5) Are you able to pay your policy in full?
Many home insurance carriers will offer you a discount if you pay your premium in full rather than use monthly installments. If the insurance company does not offer a discount, you will at least save on monthly installment fees that can cost you up to $72 for the year. If you currently pay by mail, you can at least change to automatic withdrawals, and many companies charge nothing or very little for this billing arrangement.
6) Not receiving all carrier specific discounts
Each insurance carrier uses its own set factors to determine rates for home insurance policies. Because of this, each carrier has its own discounts that can be applied to your policy if you meet the criteria. Make sure to ask your home insurance agent about all the possible discounts you could be receiving on your home insurance policy.
7) Rates based off old credit score
Most companies these days use your credit history as part of their pricing structure. People with better credit will pay less for their insurance in most cases. Not only is improving your credit rating a good idea by itself, it may also reduce the cost of your insurance.
Like I said at the beginning of this article, NEVER under insure your home in exchange for savings on home insurance premium. I’ve seen far too many fires and know the ramifications of a loss where the homeowner wasn’t carrying enough coverage.
There are other ways to make sure you are paying the most competitive rate. If after reviewing your current policy you are still dissatisfied with your coverage and/or pricing, it may be time to look at other insurance company options.
At The Murray Group, we want to make sure that we have your assets properly protected. This means we work with you to make sure you have the right amount of coverage at the best price possible. If you would like a proposal for your home insurance (and auto, umbrella, boat, etc), please call me at 518-456-6688.