1. Consider insurance consequences when buying a home. If you’re looking at buying a home, think about the cost of insuring the home. A newer home’s electrical, heating and plumbing systems and overall structure are likely to be in better condition than those of an older home. This can lead to a discount on your premiums.
2. Insure your home, not the land. Although your home and its contents are at risk from fire, theft, windstorms and other perils, the land your house sits on is not. Don’t include the value of the land in deciding how much homeowners insurance you need to buy.
3. Improve security and safety. Items such as deadbolt locks, burglar alarms and smoke detectors often bring discounts of 5% each, depending on the company. Your insurance company may also offer a significant discount of 15% or 20% if you install a sophisticated home-security system. If you’re thinking about buying such a system, check with your insurer to see which systems they recommend and which will earn you a discount.
4. Check your policy annually. You want your policy to reflect the value of your home and belongings. If you review your policy every year, you will be able to make the necessary adjustments. If, for example, you just sold a valuable painting, you won’t need the same amount of coverage. But if you added a garage, you’ll need to increase your coverage.
5. Buy your home and auto policies from the same company. Many companies will give a discount if you buy both homeowners and auto coverage from them.