fb-pixel Skip to main content

Yes, you can save money on your homeowners insurance

Seven ways to reduce your premium.

It may be surprising to learn that more than 26 percent of Americans have never compared multiple insurance quotes.Adobe Stock/Thitiphat - stock.adobe.com

Jim and Susan Graham live in a 2,757-square-foot, Cape Cod-style house in West Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard. Worth about $2 million, the three-bedroom home sits on more than 2 acres.

Yet, despite the fact that the Grahams had a major insurance claim due to burst pipes in 2015 — and had to rebuild their basement and first floor — they’re saving enough on their homeowners insurance nearly to cover the cost of insuring their three cars.

The Grahams are saving money in two ways: by bundling their home and auto policies and by raising their deductible.

Anyone who watches television has no doubt heard Flo from Progressive or Jake from State Farm tout the benefits of bundling — using the same insurance company for both home and auto insurance. According to Travelers, customers can save 12 percent on average by bundling.


The Grahams are paying a total of $9,864 for their homeowners and auto insurance coverage — and that’s after a 20 percent credit for bundling and an additional 10 percent credit for having a central station alarm system, which automatically signals a monitoring center in the event of a break-in, fire, or other problem. They also reduced their premium by increasing their deductible to $10,000.

Homeowners insurance premiums continue to rise — the average premium rose 1.8 percent in 2019, the latest year for which statistics are available, to $1,272, according to the Insurance Information Institute, an industry trade group. But it may be surprising to learn that more than 26 percent of Americans have never compared insurance quotes, according to a survey ValuePenguin conducted in 2021. That’s probably costing them money, since the survey also indicated that 76 percent of consumers who shopped around saved money by doing so.

“Some discounts are pretty common, like the bundling discount,” said Angi Orbann, vice president of property for personal insurance at Travelers. “But there are a lot of other discounts that probably aren’t as familiar to customers.”


Here are some of the more common ways to lower your premium:

Improve home security and safety. Installing protective devices, such as fire alarms, burglar alarms, locks, or smoke detectors reduces the risk to an insurance company and may qualify you for a significant premium credit. “Water is a growing trend as far as losses, and we offer discounts for installing water sensors,” Orbann said. “Larger discounts are available for valves that automatically shut off the water.” That’s particularly important for vacation homes, which might be vacant for months at a time.

Update your home. Have you replaced your roof or, if you’re in a storm-prone area, installed impact windows or storm shutters? If so, you may be entitled to a discount for fortifying your home. Updating the electrical system reduces the risk of fire, which also might qualify for a discount, according to Loretta Worters, a vice president at the Insurance Information Institute.

Go green. Some companies, such as Travelers, offer a green-home discount that saves policyholders up to 5 percent on their premium if their property is LEED-certified.

Improve your credit. Boost your credit score, and you may lower your premium. “The industry has proven that there is a direct correlation between credit score and the likelihood of a loss, because someone with poor credit is more likely to defer routine maintenance on their home,” said Spencer M. Houldin, president of Ericson Insurance Advisors in Boston. “To that end, most carriers will grant a significant credit to those with higher credit scores.”


Avoid claims. If you are claims-free for multiple years, you may be eligible for a “claims-free discount.”

Bear in mind that not all companies offer the same discounts — all the more reason to shop around for the best deal. And remember to check in with your insurance agent at least once a year to keep the company apprised of lifestyle changes or alterations to your home. You may even want to consult your agent if you’re considering a move, since location is probably the most important factor in determining your insurance premium.

“Do your own homework,” Worters said, “but your insurance agent is a good place to find out the best ways to save money.”

Robyn A. Friedman has been writing about real estate and the home market for more than two decades. Follow her @robynafriedman. Send comments to Address@globe.com. Subscribe to our free real estate newsletter at pages.email.bostonglobe.com/AddressSignUp. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeHomes.