Everyone wants to know the secret to lower any type of insurance premiums, and in the state of Florida, home insurance premiums are of particular concern. Given the tendency for hurricanes in Florida, home insurance rates might be considered higher than in other regions without this risk. But all hope is not lost – here are five top ways to acquire cheaper home insurance rates for homes in Florida.
- Go Gated. Homes in Florida’s gated communities often enjoy lower rates on home insurance than those homes not in gated communities. The reason is obvious: Gated communities are simply more secure. It’s not just the physical gate itself that deters thieves, or perpetrators wishing to inflict property damage. It’s the fact that gated communities have security systems – both high-end digital camera, video, and alarm systems, as well as on-site, private security guards.
- Buy New. Insurance companies pay attention to the date a home was originally built because newer homes are more likely to resist damage from weather and general wear and tear. While an older home might appear to have a certain romantic quality, consider whether it’s worth it in terms of physical damage risk.
- Buy in Close Proximity to Fire Hydrants/Fire Stations. Imagine a fire starts in your kitchen, but no one’s there to stop it in its tracks. It’s even worse if the fire station is far away, and/or the fire hydrant is too far to really get a good aim at the spreading fire. Therefore, when purchasing a home, make note of its distance from hydrants and fire stations. This distance will affect your risk of loss due to fire, and your home insurance premiums will reflect this risk.
- Go Multi-Policy. If you already have car insurance or health insurance with a particular provider, you might benefit from a “multi-policy” discount when purchasing home insurance from this same insurance provider.
- Go Golden. Moving to Florida after the age of 55 is very popular, and Florida is famous for its retiree culture. Therefore, home insurance companies are keen to be competitive for the “golden years” demographic, offering discounts of up to 20%.
- Maintain Good Credit. Insurance companies favor those who will not only keep up with insurance premium payments but also with any household expenses, such as a mortgage or home maintenance. Simply put: Customers with a healthy financial credit history are deemed more trustworthy.
- Alarm Yourself. This is a no-brainer. Like cars, homes with alarm systems are less susceptible to successful break-ins.
- Shut Yourself In – Well. Mandated by Florida state law, certain types of storm shutters are approved for discounts on home insurance. By keeping the inclement weather and perpetrators shut out when you’re either not there or asleep, you’re less likely to need insurance to cover home losses.
Home insurance premiums are not a fixed cost, but like all insurances, are influenced by a variety of factors. Using the above guidelines, you can assess how your home insurance rates can be lowered.