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Shopping for homeowners insurance can be intimidating—after all, you’re taking on a significant new expense and weighing your home’s future! But it doesn’t need to be expensive. With help from
, shopping for homeowner’s insurance can be a quick and virtually painless process. 
Not sure where to start? Follow these basic steps whenever you need to buy homeowners insurance: 
  • Take stock of your home and belongings: Calculate your home’s square footage, do an inventory of your personal belongings, check which type of heating your house has, and find out what type of roof you have. It’s important to know what you’re insuring before you begin. 
  • Learn the essentials of home insurance terminology: Make sure you understand the difference between main dwelling coverage (“Coverage A”), personal property coverage (“Coverage C”), and personal liability insurance (“Coverage E”). 
  • Figure out the amount of coverage you need: Do you want to save money with actual cash value (ACV) insurance or opt for the increased protection of replacement cost coverage? Do you want to stick to the minimum liability coverage (usually $100,000) or go up to $300,000 or $500,000? 
  • Compare rates from several companies: You can sit at your kitchen table with a spreadsheet and a calculator to compare rates, customer service, and reviews for top companies—or download the
    app and get quote comparisons in just 45 seconds. 
  • Buy a policy: Once you’ve determined the coverage you need and found quotes in your location, it’s time to sign on the dotted line. If you’re in the process of buying a house, make sure your policy is in place before your closing date. 

10 ways to save money on homeowners insurance

The average annual cost of homeowners insurance in the US is $1,312 per year—but it’s surprisingly easy to overpay for this crucial coverage! To avoid that mistake, follow these tips and tricks to save money on your home insurance premium. 

1. Raise your deductible

Raising your deductible—the amount you’ll pay out of pocket for a claim before insurance kicks in—is one of the easiest ways to bring down your premium. The most common deductible for home insurance policies is $1,000. Raising your deductible to $2,000 or even higher will make your out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a claim greater, but you’ll pay less each year to keep the policy active. 

2. Ask about discounts 

Most companies offer discounts on home insurance, from reduced rates for retired people or loyal customers to premium cuts for customers who upgrade their homes or opt for paperless billing. Every company offers a different set of discounts, so be sure to ask what’s available when you sign up, or any time you’re looking for more ways to save money. 

3. Beef up your security 

One of the most important home insurance discounts? Security upgrades. Installing a home security system, especially one that alerts emergency personnel in the event of a break-in, could earn you an average discount of 4%

4. Avoid unnecessary claims 

A frustrating feature of homeowners insurance is that filing claims will increase your rate—even if those claims are relatively minor. In fact, it’s generally a good idea not to file small claims if you’re able to handle the expense of repairs alone. 
Filing a weather-related claim could raise your premium by an average of 16%, while theft and fire claims can hike up your rate by 27% and 29%, respectively. If you’ve experienced a relatively minor loss, paying for repairs on your own will help you avoid bigger payments down the road. 

5. Disaster-proof your home 

The risk of natural disasters and severe weather can greatly increase your home insurance premium—that’s why rates are so high in storm-prone states like Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas. Installing disaster-resistant upgrades in your home, like storm shutters or an upgraded roof, could save you 1 to 11% on your premium, on average. 

6. Don’t confuse the price you paid for your home with rebuilding costs 

When you’re setting up your policy, don’t make the mistake of assuming you’ll pay the same amount to rebuild your house as you did to purchase it in the first place. Your home’s market price includes the land it’s built on, whereas the cost to rebuild depends mainly on local construction costs. If the market price is higher than the cost to rebuild, you could be overpaying for home insurance. 
To find a quick estimate of the cost to rebuild your home, multiply the square footage by the average construction cost per square foot in your area. It won’t be an exact figure, but it can help you evaluate whether you’re paying too much for insurance. 

7. Build your credit 

Unless you live in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, or Michigan, your insurance company likely uses your credit score to determine your premium. Building your credit and reducing your overall debt could help to lower your rate. 

8. Get rid of attractive nuisances

“Attractive nuisances” are features of your home that might draw children onto the property and injure them. Swimming pools are the most famous attractive nuisance, but trampolines, playground equipment, and construction projects all qualify—and they can raise your home insurance premium. If you’re not attached to your pool, filling it in could ease up the financial burden of your insurance. 

9. Bundle your home and car insurance 

You’ve heard it before, and it’s true—
buying your home and auto insurance from the same company
can earn you a discounted rate on each. In fact, depending on your carrier, you could save an average of 18% on both policies by bundling. 

10. Compare rates with Jerry 

The quickest way to save money on homeowners insurance is by downloading the
app. In just 45 seconds, you’ll be able to compare rates that fit your needs and budget. When you’re ready to buy, Jerry’s expert team will walk you through the sign-up process in record time! 

Should you add extra coverage?

Saving money on home insurance is attractive—but is it worth sacrificing extra coverage? Here are a few types of additional coverage that may be worth it: 
  • Flood insurance: If you live in an area with frequent flooding, purchasing a flood insurance policy from FEMA’s
    National Flood Insurance Program
    may be worth the additional expense. Average cost: $700 per year. 
  • Earthquake insurance: If you live in California (or another quake-prone region), buying separate earthquake insurance is the only way to protect against earthquake damage. Average cost: $800 or more per year.
  • Sinkhole insurance: This coverage is steep, but all home insurance companies are required to provide it in states like Florida and Tennessee. Average cost: $2,000 per year. 
Depending on the level of risk in your area, you may want to accept the added expense of these home insurance add-ons to avoid unmanageable out-of-pocket costs in case of a disaster. You should also consider bumping up your liability coverage to $300,000 or $500,000 to adequately cover what could be taken from you in the event of a lawsuit or other incident. 


How much insurance do I need? 

Your homeowners insurance should cover the cost to rebuild your home. You should also purchase enough liability insurance to cover all your assets. 

Is homeowners insurance paid in advance? 

When you first purchase your homeowners insurance policy, you’ll typically pay in full for a year. After that, your insurance payments will be monthly, often bundled into another payment such as an escrow payment. 

What does a homeowners insurance quote represent? 

When you’re looking at a home insurance quote, the quoted figure represents the cost of the four main coverage packages (main dwelling, personal property, additional living expenses (ALE), and liability) for a year. 

Is homeowners insurance required by law? 

No! There’s no federal or state law that requires homeowners to purchase insurance. However, there is a requirement from most mortgage lenders—so if you’ve got a mortgage, you’ll need insurance to satisfy your lender’s policies. 

Is homeowners insurance tax deductible? 

Home insurance isn’t tax deductible if your home is a private domicile, but you may be able to get deductions if you’re a landlord or if a room in your house is designated as an office for a small business. 

Still have some questions?

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