Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
How to Save
Money on Home Insurance
When You Retire
We have some helpful tips if you're getting
close to retirement and you are looking to invest in some cheaper home
insurance. We offer you the dos and don'ts on shopping for
home insurance for pensioners.
Do Your Research
Itís important when purchasing any
insurance that you take your time shopping around and that you fully understand
what kind you need and the different options that are out there.
Whether youíre a first-time buyer making
sure you buy a home the right way or you are checking to see what other options
are available, research is the first step in the process to making sure you find
Contact Your Insurance Department
Start with contacting your insurance
department. Every state has one, though the services they offer vary from state
to state. Their job is to regulate companies to protect the consumer, so they
are an invaluable resource when looking for insurance.
They offer help in understanding the best
homeowners in your state. Often the State Insurance Department provides buying
guides on their websites as well.
They can give you advice on what sort of
pitfalls to avoid when shopping for insurance, and if you have specific
companies in mind already, you can ask them if they have any complaints filed
under those companies as well as offer a rate comparison guide.
For rate comparisons, keep in mind that
these are not the same as a quote. You wonít know the exact price a company will
offer you unless you receive a quote from them since several factors determine
Get Quotes from Multiple Companies
Be sure to get more than just one or two
quotes. We recommend looking into at least three separate companies at a
minimum. There are plenty of options out there, and you want to get exactly what
Compare ratings on the companies from third-party sites
When comparing insurance companies to one
another be sure that you are using user ratings from independent sites that are
not affiliated with these companies. You can also look at consumer magazines for
ratings or ask a trusted friend or colleague for their personal experiences.
Take Note of Their Customer Service
Not only is it important that your
insurance company offers you affordable rates, but it is equally important that
you are provided with good customer service.
Undoubtedly, you will run into issues
throughout the years, and having a company that listens to you and is quick to
respond to your needs ó especially when dealing with homeowners insurance after
your house is hit by a flood or fire. Take note of how these companies treat you
when shopping around.
What about homeowners insurance discounts?
Discounts are where you will save the most
money. As a retiree, there are many advantages that can come with owning a home
and being insured. For starters, itís a great way to optimize your money in
retirement. So you will want to start saving right away. You can start by
looking into the best kind of discounts out there.
If your home is your permanent residence
and your partner is over the age of 65, you may qualify for credit on your
insurance. This is usually because most retirees spend more time at home and as
such can catch small fires or gas leaks faster, thus preventing damage.
Often insurance companies will reward you
if you have owned a home for over 10 years without incident. They may also
reward you for being a long-term member of them.
Theoretically, gated communities have added
security, which makes their locations more secure. Some insurance will give you
discounts for owning a home in secured locations.
Homeowners Association Credit
Similar to the Gated-Community Credit,
being in a homeowners association adds extra security as well as extra
maintenance to a home. Both of these factors contribute to a safer home, so some
companies may offer a discount.
Be sure to check for obscure discounts as
well. There are discounts for recent homebuyers, for nonsmokers, and for using
automatic payments. Always check so you are sure you are getting the lowest cost
Is homeowners insurance cheaper without a mortgage?
No, however, most mortgages require you to
have homeownerís insurance, and they are also specific in what kind of insurance
you need to have. Once you have paid off your homeowners insurance, you have
more leeway, so you can tailor your insurance to better fit your needs.
Raise Your Deductible
How do you lower homeowners insurance
premiums? Well, the easiest way would be to increase your deductible. A
deductible is the amount of money you are responsible for when filing a damage
claim with your insurance.
Should a disaster occur, this may cost you
more, but if you have finished paying off your mortgage, that plus paying less
on the insurance monthly fee could make such a risk worth it.
Bundle Your Policies
Most companies offer you discounts if you
bundle your home, auto, life, and other insurance together. Consider your
health care insurance, too. In your research when looking for good
homeowners insurance, be sure to check out the other kinds of insurance they
offer and compare those as well.
Adding Features to Your House
Your premium is not based on how much your
home is worth, but instead on multiple factors like how much it would cost to
repair and the likelihood of it suffering damage. This is why you can often
bring down your monthly fees by adding features to your house that reduce the
risk of damage or costs.
Features that could reduce your costs
include things like modernizing your heating system, installing storm shutters,
adding extra security to your home, or adding shatterproof glass to your home.
Donít Add the Value of Your Land to Your Insurance
In addition to modernizing your home, when
looking for and
understanding homeowners insurance, be sure to only include the
value of the home and items in it, not the cost of the land it sits on.
Similar to the point above, a homeowners
insurance policy bases your premium on possible repair costs and risk, not on
the overall value of your home. So it is an additional cost you donít need to
add to include the cost of the land your home sits on.
Stay with the Same Insurer
Most insurance companies will lower your
premium the longer you are a customer with them. So unless you see better
insurance, itís usually a good idea to stay with the same insurance company
long-term. This is also why itís equally important you do your research and
choose the right insurance from the beginning.
Be Sure to Reassess Each Year
As time goes on, you will likely make
changes to your home, whether itís installing new windows or buying expensive
collectibles. Check that your insurance covers these changes. This includes
making sure you arenít paying too much for an item that has depreciated in cost
This is why you should reassess your
insurance annually. Chances are, there are some costs you can shave off your
Revisit the tips in this article annually.
Even if a discount canít be applied right away, that doesnít mean this will
still be the same a year from now.
Breanne Lingo is a home insurance
specialist with the insurance comparison site,
About the Authors
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person Ė the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesnít
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha