Insurance companies offer home insurance discounts to dangle the carrot for you to take appropriate steps to lessen the risk of fire damage, theft, and other home related disasters.  The average cost of  a claim related to fire according to State Farm is $52, 789.   The insurance business model is to collect premiums and to minimize claims. By encouraging you to be proactive, insurance companies pay out fewer claims.  The benefits of the discount incentives are double dog great.    Increased safety for you and your family, plus a lower annual home insurance cost. You may already have some of the discount incentives in place and are not getting credit for them.  Call your insurance agent to find out.  Getting the scoop on discounts could result in even more benefits to you.  What if you hear about a discount incentive that puts a burr in your saddle to purchase a  fire extinguisher?  Now if those unattended romantic candles accidentally spark a fire you can snuff it out as if you were legendary firefighter Red Adair. Insurance companies  vary on specific discounts that they offer.  If you don’t ask your insurance agent about the latest home insurance discounts at least once a year, you may be missing out on new  opportunities for you to amp up your safety and lower your annual home insurance costs. Below are examples of different types of home insurance discounts.

 Home Insurance Discounts

1. Safety Devices

The more safety devices you have in place, the better.   Taking the extra steps to prevent fire, water damage and crime can make a big difference in avoiding disasters.  Many of them are relatively cheap and can actually save your life.

  • Home monitoring systems
  • Smoke alarms
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Sprinkler system
  • Heat detectors
  • Water sensors
  • Deadbolts

2. Building Safety

The age of your home may have an effect on the overall building safety and will have an impact on how much you pay.  Old or faulty wiring leads to increased risk of fires. Low quality roofing adds to risk of severe water or hail damage.  Get specifics from your insurance agent as you plan your  home renovation.

  • New wiring
  • Class 4 / Hail Resistant roofing material
  • Storm shutters
  • New pipes
  • Handrails
  • Retrofit for earthquake
  • Retrofit for improved weather resistance
  • Fire Escape
  • Fence (if there is a pool)
  • Green features – not so much related to safety, but a discount nevertheless.

3. Property Location

The location of your property will have an impact on your insurance rate.  The crime risk living in downtown Detroit is much different than living in a gated community in the suburbs. There is also an increased fire risk for living near a wooded area.

  • Gated community
  • Distance from wooded area
  • Distance from a fire station
  • Community watch program
  • HOA

Note:  Make sure you don’t pay less for not being insured for earthquakes, floods & other disasters if they are a possibility for your property location.  

4. Household

If there are no smokers in the household, you may get a discount because  smokers tend to be a major cause of fires.   If you are over 55, you may get a mature credit because there is an assumption that your wild days are over and you are much more responsible than you were at age 54 🙂

  • No smokers in household
  • Mature Insured credit

5. Policy Related

There are policy related discounts that have to do with adding other policies, being a low risk customer and maintaining the proper insurance amount on your home.

  • Multi-Policy – Adding auto and other types of insurance with the same insurance company.
  • No Claims – You have not made any claims for a certain period of time.  This is a “good sign” meaning you may have a lower risk of filing a claim.
  • Fully Insured Value – This discount provides incentive to insure your home for  home for the full cost that it would take to rebuild it at today’s prices if it were completely demolished. Many homes are not insured for this amount and are only insured for market value or worse yet, the amount that it was worth years ago.

Safety is Numero Uno!

The safety of your household is number one.  Use the incentives and the opportunity to pay less as a tool to increase the safety for you and your family. Try to have as many of the above safety strategies in place  even if they don’t result in a discount. Imagine that you are a fierce guard dog protecting your family and proactively fend off any possible trouble  🙂 Photo – These working dogs guard alpacas at Blue Moon Ranch.