Paying for homeowners insurance is a necessary expense for every homeowner. It exists to help you make repairs to your property or replace it should an environmental or human-caused disaster befall it. While this protection can certainly be beneficial, the insurance payments that you must make for your coverage can sometimes get burdensome. This is particularly true in Florida, where homeowners insurance rates are often higher due to the hurricanes and other potentially damaging occurrences that go hand-in-hand with living in this climate. You don’t need to settle for your current rates if you’re unsatisfied with them, though. Here, we’ll show you how to lower your Florida homeowners insurance costs.
Increase Your Insurance Deductible
A basic method for lowering your premiums for most forms of insurance is to increase your deductible. Essentially, you make a trade. When you raise your deductible, you must pay more money out of your pocket for home repairs before your insurance company steps in to help you out. But this also means that the periodic dues that you send to your insurance company will be lower. In Florida, there are two different deductibles that you can increase. One is the AOP deductible, which covers your general homeowners insurance, while the other is the hurricane deductible, which is specific to situations involving hurricanes. As you decide on your deductible, be careful to choose an amount that you know that you can pay if you do ever face an emergency. Otherwise, you won’t be able to utilize your insurance when you need it without financially straining yourself.
Seek Out the Various Insurance Options Available
Many insurance companies offer special discounts to policyholders that have been with them continuously for extended periods of time. However, it’s still prudent to regularly look through the various insurance options that are available to you with companies other than your present one. You can compare the insurance rates that different companies offer, which might lead you to finding a policy that allows you to lower your homeowners insurance costs. You can contact the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation or visit its website to find provides. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners also has a website and can help you look for insurance companies. Use consumer guides and look at what policies cover, then get in touch with companies for quotes. You want to strike a balance between low rates, adequate coverage, and provider stability.
Talk To Your Insurance Agent About Discounts
There may be some discounts that you’re eligible for, but simply not aware of at the moment. For this reason, it can often be beneficial to talk to your insurance agent about discounts. You can have them annually review your policy and inquire about possible ways to reduce your premiums then. Commonly, you can lower costs by bundling your homeowners insurance with other policies, such as auto insurance. Keep track of upgrades that you make to your home over the course of the year as well. Many of these may qualify you for some type of discount and therefore give you a nice extra return on investment.
Beef up Your Home Security
One improvement that you can make to your home in order to drive down insurance prices is beefing up its security. Since taking measures to prevent fires, break-ins, and theft makes it less likely that you’ll experience property damage or losses, this can allow you to get discounts on your insurance. To ensure that your efforts are worthwhile, you should speak with your provider to find out what specific security upgrades to make. Obtaining a new sprinkler system and an alarm system for burglars can help you save around 15 to 20 percent on your premiums in many cases.
Keep Up a Strong Credit Record
Your credit record affects many important aspects of your life, and this includes your homeowners insurance. If you keep up a strong credit history, you can decrease insurance costs because many providers use your credit history as a basis for the prices that they offer you. Thus, it’s important that you always make sure to pay off your bills punctually. You can also make matters easier for yourself by keeping your credit balances generally low as well. This will ensure that you don’t find yourself in a situation where you can’t pay them back. Keep tabs on your credit history often so that you can check to see that it’s correct and rectify errors immediately if they do show up.
Call for a Wind Mitigation Inspection
A certified inspector can carry out a wind mitigation inspection on your home to identify the features it has that guard it against strong winds. The inspector can also point out areas where you can make improvements to further protect your home. Wind mitigation inspections are useful when you’re trying to figure out how to lower your Florida homeowners insurance costs because a home that is more resistant to wind damage presents less risk for insurers. They’ll therefore bring down your premiums when they see that your home’s inspection results show that it won’t fall apart even in hurricane-level wind conditions.
Reinforce Your Roof With a Fortified System
The roof is a portion of your home that contributes greatly to its resilience against harsh weather. So, reinforcing it is an effective way to get favorable results on your wind mitigation inspection and generally decrease your insurance costs. In Florida, you can look into the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) FORTIFIED program for a roof replacement and upgrade. A roof that meets IBHS standards will have more durable connecting ring-shank nails, impact-resistant shingles for hail, stronger edges, and a sealed roof deck that keeps water out. While getting a new roof can significantly help you with your insurance premiums, you should note that it can be highly expensive as well. Make certain that you can secure the necessary funds before starting work. Besides using your own money, you may be able to get grants or tax breaks to help you out.
Have Impact-Rated Doors and Windows Installed
Along with a roof, having impact-rated doors and windows installed will also reduce the effects of bad weather and even hurricanes on your home. The reasoning behind acquiring them is the same as it is for the roof, namely that a sturdier home can lead to cheaper insurance prices. Impact-rated doors and windows use special laminated glass that won’t fall apart when flying objects hit it. This is because the laminate layer between the glass sheets holds them together under such circumstances. Hurricane impact doors and windows will also have a degree of give to allow them to stand up to powerful winds without shattering. Their frames moreover block out water and air leaks completely.