By Barbara Pronin
Going without home insurance is risky, so most of us bite the bullet and pay the premium. But
there are ways to save on what you pay.
Forbes business experts suggest ten ways to ensure you have optimal coverage with the right
Increase deductibles – Insurance isn't meant to cover the small stuff. Set deductiblesas high as you can afford. For example, a $150,000 house could have a $1,500 or 1percent deductible.
Make improvements - Install a backup generator, a whole house surge protector, and
smoke/CO2 detectors. Refit roof trusses with strapping.
Opt for hip roofs - Hip roofs offer the most slippery shape in high-wind settings or
storms. You don't want roof areas that can catch the wind and are prone to damage.
Locate intelligently – Stay away from flood-prone areas. In high wind areas, look for
brick or stone houses. In quake-prone areas, look for wooden frame houses. Locate in
communities with professional fire departments. Have your home inspected before you
Don't make small claims – Frequent claims can drive up rates. Don't sweat the small
stuff. Insurance is meant to protect you from catastrophic loss.
Reinforce your home – Install storm shutters, reinforce the roof, retrofit older homes for
earthquake resistance, and modernize heating, plumbing, and electrical to reduce risk
of fire and water damage.
Improve home security – Add smoke detectors, deadbolts and burglar alarms or other
Combine policies with one insurer – Most insurance companies offer discounts for
multiple policy households. Combine home and auto insurance. Then buy an umbrella
liability policy over both to optimize cost.
Eliminate unnecessary coverage – Don't buy coverage you don't need: earthquake
coverage is unnecessary in most zones; don't schedule jewelry if it's inexpensive, etc.
Talk to your agent about discounts – Sometimes there is a discount for good drivers,
or retirees, or people with good credit ratings.