How to get home insurance discounts

There are many different types of home insurance discounts. Some are for things you have no control over, like the age of your home, but others are for things you can control or change. You can get these discounts by taking the right steps to qualify.

For example, many homeowners insurance companies offer a discount when you install a home security system, upgrade your roof to weather-resistant materials or bundle your home and car insurance with the same company.

Homeowners discounts generally fall into four categories:

  • Building materials, age and upgrades
  • Home security
  • Policy discounts
  • Homeowner profile

Discounts for home upgrades and security

While you can’t change the basics of how your home was built, there are a lot of upgrades you can make to earn a discount. These upgrades tell your home insurance company you are doing everything you can to avoid a claim.

Here are several examples of changes you can make:

  • Upgrade your electrical, plumbing or heating system
  • Install stormproof materials
  • Install water-leak and fire-prevention systems or alarms, sprinklers, smoke detectors, etc.
  • Install a security system or deadbolts

“Security alarms and fire suppression systems can save you some money, make sure you ask your agent about those,” says Wells.

Some upgrades are expensive, but Wells says they’re worthwhile, “especially with respect to your roof.  

Check with your agent about possible discounts if you are considering a roof replacement,” she says.

Policy and homeowner profiles discounts

You can also ask your insurance company how to qualify for insurance discounts by:

  • Bundling your coverage with your auto insurance or other types of insurance
  • Staying with the same company to earn a loyalty discount
  • Not filing claims for three to five years, especially small claims that add up
  • Paying in advance, paying in full, or setting up an electronic funds transfer

“Bundling your car insurance with the same insurer can save you a substantial amount of money,” says Wells.

There are also a few personal factors that can get you a discount, such as:

  • Being married
  • Being a non-smoker
  • Being retired
  • Being in the military or other specific professions

How do home insurance discounts work?

Homeowners insurance discounts are simple, but here are a few things you should know about how they work:

  • Discount totals are usually capped. Insurers usually limit the total percentage by which your premium can be discounted. The discount cap varies by insurance company but is usually around 30% or 40%.
  • Not everyone gets the “up to” amount. The highest savings amount may only be for those who meet certain qualifications. For instance, homeowners with excellent credit and who have not filed any claims for five years.
  • Discounts vary by state and insurance company. Not all discounts are offered in all states or by all insurance companies.

Other ways to save on home insurance

Getting lots of discounts doesn’t always mean paying the lowest price. You may find that a homeowners insurance company offering only a few discounts gives you an overall lower price for your policy.

Other ways to save on home insurance include:

  • Compare home insurance rates with multiple companies
  • Don't buy extra coverage you don't need
  • Raise your deductible’s average homeowners insurance rates tool provides rates by ZIP code for 10 coverage levels. It also shows the highest and lowest rates fielded from up to six major insurers. The difference between those two shows how much you can save by comparing home insurance rates.

Another easy way to decrease your homeowners insurance premiums is to raise your deductible. By simply increasing your homeowners insurance deductible from $500 to $1,000, you could save hundreds.