Once you purchase that first house, you quickly realize why a home is your largest investment. Aside from the cost of the house itself, there’s upkeep, maintenance and repairs, plus the expense of cosmetic upgrades like new carpet, paint or the addition of a deck or patio. An important piece of those home-related expenses is homeowners insurance.
Despite being a requirement if you purchase your house with a mortgage loan, it’s also smart home ownership. The average cost of homeowners insurance in South Carolina is $1,100 a year, although that varies depending on the value and location of your house and other factors.
Should your home be damaged in a natural disaster, fire or other calamity, you’ll be glad you paid for the homeowners insurance. But as with any expense, you’re eager to save a few bucks and may be thinking, “How can I save money on homeowners insurance in South Carolina?”
Shop around. Get quotes from several insurance companies. Compare the policies to determine which company offers the most value for the best price. Ask friends and family for recommendations, especially if you know they’ve had to cash in on their policy. Don’t just rely on the Internet for generating quotes. Call the insurance companies and speak to a representative. This way you’ll be able to gauge their level of customer service. In the event your home is damaged and you need their assistance, you’ll want to feel comfortable they are competent and quick to respond. We recommend seeking out an independent Insurance agent for your insurance needs. For more information check out How Can an Independent Insurance Agent Save You Money?
Combine insurance policies. If possible, use the same insurance company for your home insurance and car insurance. You may be able to get an umbrella policy and qualify for cheaper homeowners insurance.
Ask about discounts. Companies may not always volunteer information about discounts so don’t hesitate to ask about available savings opportunities. They may offer discounts to those over the age of 55 or you may qualify for a discount if you’ve installed energy-efficient products in your home.
Add a home security system. Even having smoke detectors and dead-bolt locks may save you 5 percent. A more sophisticated fire and burglar alarm system could save you 15 percent or more on your homeowners insurance. Before you spring for a system – some of which can be quite costly – check first with your insurance company. You’ll want to be sure you’re using a system that qualifies for the company discount.
Raise your deductible. The deductible is the amount of money you pay before your insurance company begins to pay a claim. So, the higher your deductible the cheaper your annual homeowners insurance premium. Opt for a deductible of at least $500 and go for $1,000 if you can – that just might save you as much as 25 percent.
Think about the insurance cost when buying a new home. Most people are focused on the neighborhood, size and layout of the house and nearby amenities when house hunting. But don’t forget to put the cost of homeowners insurance on your list. If your house is close to a fire hydrant or a professional fire department (rather than volunteer one), it may lower your insurance rates in South Carolina. If you’re buying a new house or one with new electrical and heating systems, you may find cheaper insurance.
Learn more about Manning Insurance Services’ Homeowners Insurance Policies.