Last Updated: September 6, 2017
Printable version of publication:
Tips for Saving on Homeowner's Insurance
Homeowner's insurance is designed to protect your property in the event of losses to your house and belongings. It also offers protection if someone is injured on your property. Here are some tips to remember when trying to find savings on homeowner's insurance:
Shop around—Compare prices and policies from several insurance companies. The premiums charged for homeowner's insurance vary widely from company to company, so it pays to take the time and effort to shop around to get the best value for your insurance dollar.
Combine auto insurance with property insurance—Many insurance companies provide a discount for carrying two or more policies with them. Consider combining your homeowner's policy and your auto insurance with the same company.
Consider actual cash value coverage vs. replacement cost coverage—One important factor to consider when shopping for your homeowner's insurance policy is "actual cash value" vs. "replacement cost" coverage. Actual cash value coverage, as the name implies, will reimburse you for the cost of the property at the time of the claim taking into account depreciation, minus your deductible.
It is important to account for depreciation when considering this coverage option. This may result in a lower claim payment than you expect. Replacement cost coverage will reimburse the full value of the damaged property—after you purchase the new item and submit your receipts. While the upfront cost is greater, you are more likely to receive accurate compensation for your possessions.
Raise your deductible—The deductible is the amount you must pay out-of-pocket before the insurance policy kicks in on a claim. Raising your deductible from $250 to $500 will likely lower your premium.
Maintain a good credit history—Some insurance companies are increasing the use of credit information to price homeowner's insurance policies. Protect your credit standing by paying bills on time and keeping your credit balances low. Check your credit report on a regular basis and promptly correct any errors.
Install safety/security devices—Smoke detectors, burglar alarms and deadbolt locks can prevent or minimize damage or loss. More sophisticated alarm systems will also help. Many companies provide discounts for these security measures. Always report home security improvements to your insurance agent and ask about possible discounts.
For more information on buying homeowner's insurance, review the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance's (OCI)
Consumer's Guide to Homeowner's Insurance available on OCI's Web site. If you have a specific complaint about your insurance, refer it first to the insurance company or agent involved. If you do not receive satisfactory answers, contact OCI.
To file a complaint online or to print a complaint form:
OCI's Web Site
(608) 266-0103 (In Madison) or 1-800-236-8517 (Statewide)
Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
P.O. Box 7873
Madison, WI 53707-7873
Please indicate your name and phone number.
Deaf, hearing, or speech impaired callers may reach OCI through the WI TRS.