This article likely isn't the first time you're hearing about record levels of inflation in the United States. Whether it's buying gas, groceries, tickets to a game, a new outfit, or dinner and a movie, Americans' wallets are hurting. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index increased another 1.2% in March 2022, bringing the total increase over the last twelve months to a 40-year high of 8.5%.
As many homeowners have seen, this increase to their "basket of goods" has also hit insurance premiums. Here are a few lesser-known ways to help offset your increasing homeowners insurance premium.
1. Notify Your Agent of Recent Home Updates
Recently put a new roof on your home? Replaced an outdated hot water heater? Converted from oil to gas? Many companies give meaningful credits for recent updates to your roofing, plumbing, heating and electrical systems. Not only might you be eligible for a discount due to a recent update, but you may also be able to access new companies that weren't previously available due to underwriting exclusions. Common underwriting exclusions include: older roofs (20+ years), in-ground oil tanks, trampolines, diving boards and slides.
2. Consider Your Contents
In the event of a total loss your insurance company won't automatically write you a check for the full extent of your contents limit. The company will expect you to provide a reasonable figure (often times with the help of the company or a related service) to replace the items you previously had in your home. The best way to do this is to walk around your home and take inventory before a loss occurs. We recommend taking a video of your home's contents and sending it to your email or saving it to "the cloud". If you have $250,000 of coverage but can only come up with $100,000 of contents, you may want to consider lowering this coverage for a quick and noticeable savings.
3. Enhance Your Home Security
There are various discounts available for implementing home security features, such as a central station fire and/or burglar alarm system. The implementation and monitoring costs aren't cheap, but can result in a nice premium savings. An alarm system is also more likely to prevent your home from a larger loss, such as fire, smoke or theft, preventing your rates from increasing further. Smaller discounts are also available for easier items to obtain, such as local fire alarms, smoke detectors, deadbolt locks and fire extinguishers.
4. Try "Unbundling"
Not impressed by your rate after "bundling" your home and auto insurance? Consider "unbundling". There are many insurance companies out there that only write home insurance on a standalone basis and can be just as competitive, if not more competitive, than those that write both home and auto insurance. Part of the reason for this is that these homeowners companies don't have to worry about calculating the likelihood and frequency of having to pay for auto claims.
About Brooks Robb & Callahan
Brooks Robb & Callahan is a family owned and operated independent insurance agency protecting personal and commercial clients from property and casualty risks since 1871. Sisters Kristen Ducharme and Lindsey Stortz acquired the business from their longtime family friends in July 2013. Their brother, Scott Brekne, joined the business in 2021. Together they continue to run the business the way it always has been – by family with honesty and integrity. They feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to work together every day.
The information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Insurance coverages and policies can vary significantly based on individual circumstances and the terms of the policy. Brooks Robb & Callahan recommends consulting a licensed insurance professional or your insurance carrier to determine the appropriate coverage for your specific personal needs.