By Meghan Belnap
When you buy a new home, you might be surprised to find how quickly all of the various fees associated with the home purchase add up. One of the biggest fees you'll face is paying for a new homeowner's insurance policy so that you can be approved for a mortgage. The good news, though, is that there are ways to find competitive rates to help you free up some cash to put toward other home costs.
Pay Down Debt
If you have the financial resources, it's a good idea to pay down some credit card and student loan debt before shopping for homeowner's insurance. That's because excess debt will lower your credit score and a lower credit score will often result in higher insurance rates. Therefore, if you can get your credit card debt down to a more manageable level, you could save a significant amount on your homeowner's insurance bill.
Since different insurance companies rely on different metrics to determine your premium, it's important to shop around to try and get the best rate. It's also crucial to consider companies of all sizes, even if it means calling instead of putting in your information online. When it comes to homeowner’s insurance, make sure that the company you choose can provide good service so that if and when you do need to make a claim, you don't suffer simply because you chose the company with the lowest rate.
Another great way to save on homeowner's insurance is to combine your homeowner's policy with your auto insurance policy. To help bring in more business, most insurance companies offer a fairly significant discount if you choose to combine multiple policies. In addition to saving you money, taking this approach can help make payments more simple since you'll only be using one company.
If you have carried a renter's insurance policy prior to buying a home, you could be eligible for a discount, especially if you stick with the same insurance company. That's because insurance companies can look at your past claim history and see if you are a low-risk individual. If you don't have any claims, you may be eligible for some savings. Since many insurance agencies use multiple companies to provide various policies, it's important that your main insurance agency is aware of your past policies.
Even if you don't initially get the price you want for homeowner's insurance, there is still hope. As you establish yourself as a low-risk individual in your new home and show your loyalty to a particular insurance company, you may see your rates fall from year to year. That's why it's important to work as hard as you can to stay claim-free during your first few years of homeownership so that you can enjoy the savings that are yet to come.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She finds happiness in researching new topics that help expand her horizons. For more information on homeowner's insurance, please visit The Philadelphia Contributionship.