Every homeowners’ insurance policy includes a deductible. Deductibles serve as a shared risk between the insurance provider and the homeowner. But have you ever wondered why you have two home insurance deductibles and what they’re for?
Home Insurance Basics
Homeowner’s insurance covers two types of deductibles: dollar amounts and percentages. A dollar deductible is a fixed amount you must pay when a covered loss occurs. In addition, a percentage deductible is an amount you must pay based on the percentage of the total amount of your coverage.
Home Insurance Deductibles
In choosing the appropriate coverage for your home, you should consider the best home insurance deductible. In the same way, deductibles are an essential part of your homeowner’s insurance cost. You can pay as much as you can afford for your deductible. Also, to get the most value for your money, it is essential to weigh down which deductible will serve you best carefully.
Dollar Amount VS Percentage Deductibles
The dollar amount deductible ranges from $500 to $2,000. Regardless of the value of the property claim, your deductible remains the same. Moreover, the insurance provider will not compensate you if repair costs fall below the dollar deductible.
The main advantage of dollar amount deductibles is that they are permanently fixed amounts. Furthermore, no matter how costly the claim may be, you will always pay the agreed fixed amount. So, what are the cons? You’ll have to pay a higher premium, especially when opting for the minimum dollar amount.
A percentage deductible refers to the agreed percentage of deductible. In addition, the insurer calculates your deductible based on the percentage of the total home value insured. Furthermore, most companies offer one to two percent of the total deductible. Also, most insurance providers use this deductible to cover wind, hail, and hurricane damages.
Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage
The most standard homeowner’s insurance coverage (HO3) covers the following:
- Coverage for dwellings and structure of your home
This covers damages to the home structure and other structures. For instance, examples are fences, sheds, and detached garages.
- Coverage for personal belongings
This protects your articles in case of theft, damage, or loss.
- Coverage for personal liability
This policy also protects you from any liability costs you and your family caused. It also includes damages and injuries caused by your pets. Furthermore, it covers medical payments for visitors injured in your home.
- Coverage for additional living expenses (ALE)
Some damages can cause homeowners to live away from home. Costs of living away from home, like hotel bills, are also covered by this policy.
As with any insurance coverage, HO3 excludes property damage from natural disasters. Considering climate change, it’s best to get additional coverage in case of a natural disaster.
Natural disasters are excluded from standard homeowners’ insurance coverage. In addition, these include damages from earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. So, to provide more protection against these risks, it would be wise to purchase an add-on policy. Insurers offer add-ons such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and flood insurance coverage.
How Home Insurance Deductibles Affects your Premium
The deductible is inversely proportional to your homeowner’s insurance premium. In fact, as the deductible increases, your premium goes down or vice versa. So, the question is, which is best for you – a low deductible with lower premiums or a high deductible with higher premiums? Furthermore, this is where your financial capability enters. To determine which deductible suits you, an assessment of your financial situation and capability is a must.
Homeowners who opt for a higher dollar amount deductible tend to save a lot from their annual premiums. Homeowners who pay a $2,500 deductible from Denver, Colorado, can get 14%-22% savings from their annual premium rates.
How to Choose the Right Home Insurance Deductibles
Choosing the right deductible boils down to one crucial factor: your financial capability. Also, it is essential to assess your financial status and how much money you can afford to share in the case of an insured loss.
Factors to consider when choosing the right deductible
There are also many factors to consider in choosing a suitable deductible for your homeowner’s insurance coverage.
The first and most crucial factor to consider is your financial capability. Do you have enough emergency funds in case of property damage? If so, you may go for a higher deductible.
Value of Property
Insurance premium depends on the value of your home. And premiums and deductibles are usually based on your property’s repair or replacement costs.
One key factor to consider is the location of your home. In addition, homeowners from areas with an increased incidence of natural disasters should purchase add-on insurance coverage. Repair and replacement costs of these perils are usually expensive. That’s why insurance companies often set a higher minimum deductible for these kinds of peril.
Property Condition and Maintenance
When deciding which deductible to get, it is critical to assess your home condition. Is your home consistently checked and maintained? Or has it checked when damages arise? A well-maintained home is less likely to encounter significant damages and repairs, making it easier to opt for a higher deductible.
How much you can save
Which deductible can you save the most? If you’re a proactive homeowner and can maintain your home, damages are less likely. A higher deductible can save you more money if you think you’re less likely to file claims.
Mix and Match Deductibles
Some insurance providers offer a customized split deductible to meet customers’ needs. A split deductible is a combination of dollar amount and percentage deductible. Certain risks like hurricanes and hail are under percentage deductible in split deductible. All other risks fall under the dollar amount.
Cost-saving Insurance Tips
Shop around for Competitive Insurance Rates
Homeowners’ insurance rates vary depending on the insurance company. It is beneficial to purchase homeowner’s insurance coverage from an independent insurance company that partners with various insurance providers. This will help you compare different home insurance coverage and rates.
Skip Minor Claims
It is better to pay for minor expenses to reduce the number of your claims. Remember, every time you file a claim, your insurance premium quote will also go up. So it is best to file claims wisely.
Maintain Safety at Home
Most accidents can be preventable. There are some ways to avoid accidents and property damage:
- Childproof your home. Installing covers on electric outlets and securing large furniture can significantly reduce the risk of child accidents.
- Use non-skid rugs to avoid slip-and-fall accidents.
- Train dogs to socialize with other people. This will reduce the chances of dogs attacking other people.
Remember that you will only spend money out of your pocket if you file a claim. You may think that getting a high deductible is a financial burden. But if you maintain your house and don’t file insurance claims often, you’ll see how much money you can save over time.
Take Advantage of Policy Discounts
Most insurance companies offer a variety of discounts. Take advantage of all the discounts you may be eligible for. It is essential to discuss this with your insurance agent to make sure you avail of the discounts you’re qualified for. Some insurance companies that offer discounts are American Strategic Insurance, Travelers, MetLife, and State Auto.
Tips on getting policy discounts:
- Bundling multiple policies like auto and home insurance.
- Newly constructed homes can be eligible for discounts as it is less prone to damage. Insurance companies can give as high as 40% discounts for newly constructed homes.
- Full payment of annual insurance premium.
- Pro-active home maintenance. Home improvements can qualify you for some insurance discounts. Additional home protection like standby generators, impact-resistant roofs, and storm shutters lowers the risk of home damage. Insurance companies often give discounts for houses with fewer associated risks.
- Build a good credit score. Most insurance companies use a credit-based insurance score to estimate your insurance premium. No matter what insurance coverage you aim for, a good credit score will permanently save you some cash.
- Welcome and loyalty discounts. Some insurance providers give small discounts for newly signed-up policyholders. Long-time clients can avail themselves of loyalty discounts. Policyholders with continuous renewal for 3 years can be eligible for loyalty discounts.
- Advance payment of insurance premiums can also give you some discounts.
- Automatic bank payment can also give you up to a 3% discount.
- Professionals like the military, firefighting, engineering, educators, and emergency responders are qualified for discounts.
- Security systems like central monitoring, burglar alarms, and deadbolt locks are installed.
- Installing fire prevention and detection systems dramatically reduces the chances and damages of fire. Examples are smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, alarms, and sprinklers.
Avoid high-risk stuff
Swimming pools, playgrounds, and trampolines come with safety risks and hazards. These things contribute to the increase in your home insurance premiums.
Home is one of the most valuable assets you need to protect. Insurance providers help homeowners to ensure their home is adequately protected. Deductibles ensure that insurance companies do not solely bear the responsibility of protecting your homes but homeowners as well. It is essential to find the balance between what you can afford to pay and the quality of protection you can get.
We can help
We hope you learned a lot about home insurance deductibles.
Want the best insurance coverage for the best value? AIS here in Denver, CO, has your back! We have excellent insurance agents who can assist you in finding the appropriate homeowner insurance coverage according to your needs. So, contact us now!