Money tips to save on Homeowners Insurance. House made of bills

Last month we discussed some of the reasons Florida homeowners insurance is so expensive. Today, let’s see what we can do to make sure we’re not paying more than we have to. Here are nine ways you might be able to save money on your Florida homeowners insurance.

Remember, your independent L & M Insurance Group agent is your best ally for finding the coverage you need at the most cost-effective price. If you have questions about your options, please call us at 813-672-4100.

Money saving tips for Florida Homeowners Insurance

  1. Compare homeowners insurance rates yearly. Once you get your homeowners insurance renewal offer, shop around to see if you can find a better rate. Just make sure you’re comparing policies with the same coverage. And don’t wait until the last minute. Give your insurance agent as much time as you can to compare prices for you.
  2. Raise your deductible. Your deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay before your homeowners insurance kicks in. Choosing a higher deductible can bring your insurance premiums down. Just make sure you set aside enough money to pay that higher deductible should you have a claim.
  3. Review your dwelling coverage limits. While it’s important to have enough coverage to rebuild your home should it be completely destroyed, remember, you’re covering the rebuild cost, which doesn’t need to include the value of the land. You also don’t need to insure your home for its resale value, which is probably inflated in the current real estate market. All you need to insure for is what it would cost to rebuild your home if it was destroyed.
  4. Maintain or improve your credit score. This is very important in Florida. Most insurance companies use a credit-based insurance score as part of their risk assessment. Insurance companies have proven that the higher the credit score, the fewer the claims. Therefore, the better your credit score, the lower your premiums. Pay bills on time, review your credit report for errors or discrepancies, and keep credit utilization low. Click here for tips to improve your credit score.
  5. Don’t make small claims. A history of multiple claims, even if they’re small, indicate higher risk and will raise your insurance premiums—many companies won’t even offer a policy if you have a history of multiple claims. Pay for a small claim yourself without using your homeowners insurance—what you save in future premium increases could easily pay for that claim.
  6. Harden your home against wind. Because of Florida’s hurricane risk, wind mitigation improvements may result in lower insurance premiums. Wind mitigation features include construction aspects such as your roof shape, the way the roof deck is attached, how the roof is connected to the side walls, and secondary water resistance features. These modifications can be expensive, but they can make your home safer and save you money on your insurance year after year.

    To qualify for wind mitigation discounts, you’ll need to have a wind mitigation inspection done by a certified inspector and file the report with your insurance company. Important note: Before you pay for a wind mitigation report, talk to your insurance agent to see if it will help you.
  7. Install safety and security features such as security systems, water detection systems, and monitored fire or burglar alarms. Sometimes insurance companies offer discounts when you install these systems. There are good reasons to install features like this—they can save lives as well as safeguard your property from theft and damage, but they can be costly. It might not make sense to install a monitored fire and burglar alarm system, since the discounts aren’t that large, but if you have one, make sure your agent knows so they can take advantage of any discounts available.
  8. Modify your personal property coverage. There are two ways to do this. First, you can lower your personal property coverage limits. Most homeowners insurance policies provide 50 percent of the dwelling coverage amount for personal property. This might be more than you need. Many clients find 25 to 30 percent adequate.

    Second, change the loss settlement endorsement for personal property coverage from replacement cost to actual cash value (ACV).In general, we advise clients to choose replacement cost coverage, but we also understand that because of skyrocketing homeowners insurance premiums, clients may have to make some hard choices. What’s the difference between the two coverage types? Here’s an example: Say you have to buy all new appliances after a kitchen fire. If you have replacement cost coverage, your insurance company will pay out what it will cost to replace the appliances with new ones. If you have actual cash value, you’ll receive only the amount of money which equals what your appliances were worth at the time of the loss.

What about bundling?

In our experience here in Florida, bundling home and auto insurance is almost always a marketing gimmick. While some insurance companies do offer discounts for bundling your home and auto policies, it’s almost always cheaper to go with different companies for each type of policy. Your insurance agent will be able to tell you if bundling is the right option for you.

Let L & M Insurance Group help you save money on your insurance

As a local, independent insurance agency, L & M Insurance Group writes policies for multiple homeowners insurance companies, and our agents can make it easier for you to compare quotes from different carriers. Whether you need to make sure you have the best rate at renewal or you need to buy homeowners insurance for the first time, we’ve got you covered. Please call 813-672-4100 or click here to speak to an agent about your insurance needs.