As a Seattle area homeowner, you probably already have a homeowners insurance policy (it’s required by your mortgage lender). You may pay your premium monthly, quarterly or even once a year, but when is the last time you took a look at the total amount you are paying? According to SmartMoney, it’s important to reassess your insurance coverage regularly and take steps to lower your risk profile. When you do so, you may actually find that you can save money on your policy.
Ask for Premium Discounts
If you have multiple policies through the same insurer, you may qualify for a bundle discount of as much as 15 percent on each policy. If you’ve been with the same insurance company for several years, you may qualify for a loyalty discount. If you pay your premium once a year, or are set up for auto-debit once a month, you may qualify for a discount. Don’t assume the company will inform you of the discounts for which you qualify; you may need to ask.
Adjust Your Claim Deductible
The next fasted way to decrease your annual premium is to increase the deductible on your homeowners insurance policy. Even a small increase can pay off in big savings. For example, raising your deductible from $250 to $1000 could save you as much as 25 percent.
Prepare for a Disaster
Simple safety improvements such as smoke alarms, burglar alarms and dead-bolts can save you five percent in insurance premiums. Larger projects, such as shatterproof windows, high-tech security systems, storm shutters and a reinforced roof can reap as much as 25 percent in savings. If you live in an older home, you may be able to further reduce your premiums by modernizing your heating, plumbing and electrical systems.
Earthquake coverage is not included in a typical homeowners insurance policy, but it is not advisable to forgo purchasing it as additional coverage because Seattle is considered a vulnerable city. Older homes will generally cost more to insure, as will brick residences. However, some of the disaster preparation improvements mentioned above should reduce your earthquake insurance premiums as well.