This article has been updated from a previous version.
For many, home insurance is yet another expense in the homebuying process. While it’s not mandatory to have home insurance, many lenders won’t offer you a mortgage without it.
Before you settle on an insurance provider, it’s in your best interest to shop around and compare home insurance quotes in your area in order to save money. But there are also ways to save money once you have a policy underway: discounts.
Start the New Year off on the right foot by taking advantage of some of these common home insurance discounts. Ask your provider about potential discounts and see if you qualify.
1. Bundling discount
Bundling insurance products is a great way to secure a discount. If you decide to keep your auto insurance and your home insurance with the same company, for instance, you might be rewarded with a discount.
In the end, bundling is a win-win. The insurance provider gets more of your business, and you get a discount. Not to mention your insurance products are centralized with one provider, making the claims process for both policies more streamlined.
2. Home security system discount
Another way to secure a discount on your home insurance is by installing a monitored security alarm. Your home insurance provider is interested in how risky it is to insure your home, as well as the contents inside, so if you’ve installed technology that can deter burglars from stealing, chances are good it will view your home as less risky to insure, which could mean lower rates.
Not all security systems will get you a discount, so make sure to ask your home insurance provider.
3. Fire alarm system discount
Similar to the home security system discount, you could be eligible for a discount if you have a monitored fire alarm system installed in your home. If your insurance provider can see that the fire department would be notified quickly in the event of a fire in your home, they’ll see that as beneficial for them, since potential fire claims would probably be less expensive to pay out if there’s less damage done.
Getting older has its perks. Some insurance companies will offer discounts to mature homeowners. The age that qualifies as “mature” will vary from provider to provider, so check with your broker and/or insurance provider to find out if you’re eligible based on your age.
5. Group/association discount
If you’re part of certain groups or associations, you might be able to leverage that into a discount on your home insurance.
For example, certain providers might give you reduced home insurance rates if you're part of a union or alumni group, or perhaps a professional association. Ask your broker or insurance provider for more details.
6. Claims-free discount
This one is more likely to apply to existing customers. If you’ve been with your home insurance provider for several years and have never made a claim under your policy, you might want to inquire about a claim-free discount. Alternatively, if you’re just signing up with a home insurance provider for the first time, ask if a claims-free discount is available in the future, and how many years you need to be claims-free for in order for it to kick in.
7. Multi-property discount
If you own more than one property and insure them all with the same home insurance provider, you could be eligible for a discount on your premiums.
8. Mortgage-free discount
If you manage to pay off your mortgage, you should let your home insurance provider know because you might be eligible for a discount for no longer carrying a mortgage.
9. Loyalty discount
If you’ve been with the same home insurance provider for many years, you might want to inquire about potential discounts. Sometimes, insurance providers will reward loyal customers with savings on their premiums.
10. New home discount
First-time homebuyers might be able to secure a discount on their home insurance. Some insurance providers will offer lower rates if the home is new (or newer).
As time goes on, however, and the home gets older, you may see those savings decrease.
11. Non-smoker discount
Insurance is all about risk. And those who smoke — and by extension, might smoke inside their homes — present a higher risk to insurance providers than non-smokers.
So if you aren’t a smoker, let your home insurance provider now. It could get you a discount.
12. Lump sum payment discount
If you can afford to pay your annual home insurance premium in a lump sum as opposed to over the course of 12 months, your insurance provider might offer you a discount.
Why? Insurance providers don’t like it when people miss their monthly payments — it can often be grounds for cancellation — and an annual lump sum is a guarantee.