Over time, the price of virtually everything increases – including the costs of repairing homes. The price you pay for homeowners insurance has to accommodate those increases.
If you're looking to trim your insurance bill, cutting coverage may seem like an easy fix. But shortchanging yourself on coverage could have devastating long-term impacts, especially after a catastrophic loss like a fire. A better approach: Save by taking advantage of discounts, higher deductible options and reducing risk.
These six options are good places to start:
- Bundle. Simply by buying your home and auto policy through the same company, you save on both. Talk with your PEMCO agent or a representative at 1-800-GO-PEMCO to learn your bundling options and how they can help you save.
- Increase your deductible. The deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before your homeowners insurance kicks in after a claim. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. If you could handle a deductible of $1,000 for a claim, you'll save premium dollars compared to a $500 deductible.
- File claims sparingly. Insurance is meant to cover the big hits – the kind of losses most of us couldn't comfortably manage on our own. PEMCO and most other insurers incentivize homeowners to handle their own small claims by awarding discounts when policyholders don't file a claim for three years. Higher deductibles also come into play when deciding whether or not to file a claim. If, for example, you have a $1,500 loss and a $1,000 deductible, you may save in the long run simply by picking up the entire tab yourself (and preserving your claims-free discount), rather than filing a claim that would return only $500. Preventative maintenance – tree care, gutter cleaning, chimney cleaning and dryer vent cleaning – dramatically reduces the chance you'll need to file a homeowners insurance claim. That includes seasonal property maintenance to reduce wildfire risks.
- Home shop with insurance rates in mind. Newer homes cost less to insure than older ones. PEMCO for example, offers discounts for homes less than 15 years old – the newer the home, the more you save.
- Remodel wisely. Certain construction features can reduce or increase your risk of a claim. For example, homes with highly flammable cedar shake roofs cost more to insure than homes roofed with more fire-resistive materials. Adding features like a swimming pool (which increases your risk of an injury claim) also drives up rates.
- Make sure you get all the discounts you've earned. Insurance companies, including PEMCO, often revise their discount packages. If it's been a while since you've reviewed what's available, talk with your agent. PEMCO, for example, recently added a Protective Device Discount that lets you save when you use smoke, gas, security or water-leak alarms that are self- or centrally monitored or (for gas and water) have an automatic shutoff.
Your local PEMCO agent or a representative at 1-800-GO-PEMCO can give you a no-obligation coverage review to make sure you're saving as much as you can without sacrificing protection for your home, belongings and family.
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