Homeowners Insurance Savings
Ah, the joys of owning a home. We own ours, but I know many who do not. Whether consumers rent or own, many are faced with annual insurance bills on their home, contents, or both. I annually dread our homeowners insurance premium, as more often than not, we’re faced with an increase. But this year, I actually picked up some unexpected homeowners insurance savings. Here’s how it worked out.
A Huge Increase
Last month, I received our updated homeowners insurance policy document and was horrified by what I saw. I expected an increase, as I’ve begrudgingly accepted some small hikes for the past few years. But this year was different. Our premium increased over 11% compared to last year. We haven’t made one claim since moving into our current home five years ago. Frustration set in.
I knew I needed to call my agent. While this annual ritual is generally futile, I do it out of habit. I find some sort of peace of mind by hearing why the rate went up, even if I’m too defeated to do something about it. This year, the call started out the same.
When I called to inquire about the substantial increase, the agent initially mentioned what I expected. She activated what I call the inflation force field, a seemingly impenetrable wave of excuses for charging consumers more. It would cost more to rebuild my home based off the cost of everything, and my updated policy reflected that. Okay, got me there. I asked what else we could do to bring the rate down. Next:
Agent: “Have you replaced your roof recently?”
Me: “Why, yes I have!”
She asked me to send an invoice and a confirmation of payment for the new roof, something I already had on-hand. A few days later, I received my updated, lower rate.
Okay, Maybe Not Really 20% Savings
Based on my initial premium quoted this year, my decreased rate reflected an approximate 20% savings. I knew not to puff my chest out too much here, as that wasn’t a true savings based off the prior year. Compared to last year, I effectively lowered the homeowners insurance premium just over 9% with the new roof installation. That’s a modest decrease, and hey, my rate didn’t go up. I’ll take this small win.
More Possible Moves
Of course, homeowners can make more tweaks/improvements to lower their existing insurance premiums. Plus, shopping around and changing insurers can result in substantial savings. We’ve done the former, but not yet the latter. Changing insurers can be inconvenient. Up to this point, I’ve valued my time more highly than the marginal premium increases. Insurers are onto that, inevitably.
I recently described how I’ve saved, obtained better service, or both by simply talking with others. This is just another example. But dealing with insurance companies will always be something I loathe. Nonetheless, I reminded myself to rise above it and work positively (as much as possible) to find an agreeable solution. I may not achieve the most successful results each time, but the effort is still a worthy one. Perfect is the enemy of good enough. How have you obtained homeowners insurance savings lately?
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One of the keys to homeowners insurance is the insurance company is telling you how much it will cost to rebuild your house. But you have no idea if their number is correct. In fact, if you go to websites that estimate the cost to rebuild your house, they will usually give you 3 – 5 different numbers based on how fancy you want the house to be (granite counters, etc.) Most of the insurance companies base your estimate on rebuilding with the most expensive/ fancy house. In many cases, they overestimate your home value and even if your house burned to the ground you would never get the amount of insurance you are paying for.
The key is to figure out what it really costs to rebuild your house (not the number the insurance company gives you, which is usually way too high) and only insure your house for that amount.
As a follow up, see this website about insurance companies inflating the cost to rebuild a home.
Thanks for chiming in!
Join AARP and get a quote from their Home Insurance provide, Hartford Insurance….. I was shocked as it was 20% less than my current insurance with Safeco, which was best I shopped for last year!!
Note: Anyone can join AARP…… You don’t have to be over 50 or retired to join AARP!!
I’ve been an AARP member for years but haven’t bothered with the home insurance angle you suggested. Definitely worth considering!
Try an auto quote too!! That was even a bigger savings!!!!!!! Sorry, I didn’t add that earlier.
Installed $250 of water detectors & received almost that back first year in discounts with USAA. Also check for discounts on smart apps like Nest/Ring. Smart Auto discounts also for car. You don’t mention your carrier but ask for a printed/emailed list of all available discounts that you can yourself review & don’t rely solely on the rep.
Thanks for your perspective!
I received multiple unsolicited quotes from Insurance agents . They all come with a breakdown showing a rebuild cost relevant for 2019 when I bought the house of $275,000.Since then building costs have increased dramatically and for a complete redesign and build I am being quoted $450,000. The lowest quote isn’t necessarily the most appropriate.
Good point – thanks for reading.
I have had multiple lenders (Wells Fargo, flagstar) and I have always paid homeowner myself instead of escrow. I don’t remember how I did it but i don’t remember it being painful.
On the homeowners insurance topic, any tips on getting your lender to agree to letting you pay your own insurance (with a credit card) rather than go through the escrow account?
I wanted to switch insurance carriers so I just went out and did it and paid with a credit card and then sent the proof to my lender. I received a check in the mail for the amount of the premium from them a week later. They didn’t complain about it or anything.