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Some decisions in life, such as the decision to reduce home insurance costs, should not necessitate much debate. Homeowners insurance is required on most homes, and it can be affordable.

If a neighbor kid’s baseball rips through your window, if your dog bites the mail carrier, or if your expensive jewelry is stolen, the right home insurance policy is worth its weight in gold.

However, just as any other form of shopping, it’s always prudent to look around, compare options and sniff good deals before making a decision. Fortunately, there are ways to save and reduce home insurance costs. Here’s how:

1. Bundle policies to reduce home insurance costs

You can earn extra discounts on every policy if you bundle your home, auto insurance and other insurance policies with one provider. Another benefit of bundling is that you’ll never be confused about who to call in case of claims or concerns.

2. Increase your deductible (Self-insure)

The deductible is the level of risks (in dollars) that you’re willing to take on in the event you need to file a claim. If your premiums increase annually and you want to save money, raising your deductible is a great option. We call this “self-insuring.” It reduces the risks assumed by your provider, therefore reducing your premiums.

3. Don’t over insure

Many homeowners include the value of their land in their replacement cost estimates. That’s a mistake. Insurance policies do not cover land, so you do not need to insure it. Also, make sure to get high-value items, such as art and jewelry, appraised instead of simply guessing or assuming value.

4. Evaluate claims carefully

Insurance is there to safeguard you in case of a loss, but making multiple claims is a surefire way to increase your home insurance costs. Keep in mind that the size of claims doesn’t always make a difference but the quantity certainly does. Always speak with your Brashears Insurance agent prior to filing a claim to ensure you’re making the right move.

5. Increase home security measures

Installing security measures, such as burglar and smoke alarms monitored centrally or tied to a local emergency response teams, can reduce your annual premiums. Installing an automatic water shut off valve is another excellent way to reduce costly water damage claims. To get discounts, you must provide proof of installation and central monitoring.

6. Pay annually

Premiums are subject to administration fees or even finance charges when paid monthly. If you can pay annually, you’ll save on your premiums.

7. Pay off your mortgage

Easier said than done, we know. But most homeowners who pay their mortgage debts will see their premiums reduced. Why? The insurance provider knows that if you own your property outright, you are more likely to take care of it.

8. Conduct regular policy reviews and comparisons

To reduce home insurance costs, homeowners should compare the costs of other insurance policies regularly. Any change in circumstances can have an impact. You may have paid off your mortgage, installed security features or maybe a new fire station opened nearby. All these things can reduce home insurance costs.

9. Plan for construction

If you intend to build a structure adjacent to your home, consider using non-flammable materials. Wood framed structures will cost more since they’re more flammable when compared to cement or steel framed structures.

10. Discounts and deals

Lastly, insurance companies don’t automatically offer discounts. Your insurance provider may offer discounts for seniors or for home improvements. Unless you ask, you may not receive the discounts.

For more information on how to reduce home insurance costs, contact a Brashears Insurance agent today at (805) 564-7645.