Get the best homeowner’s insurance rates in Maryland and pay less! Although prices seem to typically rise each year, there are several options that will help you lower premiums, and put more money in your pocket. As one of your most important assets, you need to protect the value, and make certain major repairs and damage are covered.
Prices have been increasing in recent years, and some of the rate hikes have been substantial. Although coverage on the dwelling and contents grow to keep pace with inflation, premiums typically should not go up this fast. A combination of weather-related claims and higher incidences of theft have been partially to blame. It is expected that 2017 and 2018 prices will remain fairly level.
There are many ways to save you money on your homeowner’s insurance rates in Maryland. And no, selling your house and moving to an apartment is not one of them! We help explain these rate reductions and show you how you can reduce your premium, and still retain and leave unchanged the core components of your policy. Although we are better recognized for writing about the best auto insurance companies in Maryland, we believe you’ll find our list of home discounts quite helpful.
The multi-policy discount will benefit you in two ways. Firstly, you will immediately see a 10%-25% reduction in your rates (the discount fluctuates between carriers) when you insure your vehicle and home with the same company. And of course, your auto insurance premium will also go down.
Secondarily, having several lines of business with a company somewhat insulates you against cancellation or termination of policies. Of course it won’t prevent your policy to be canceled after three house fires! But it will provide additional leverage in case the number of claims you submit places you in a high-risk category for cancellation.
But if you currently insure your automobiles and house with separate companies, combining them could make a tremendous difference in what you pay. In addition to the multi-policy discount, it’s very possible that by simply comparing car insurance rates with multiple insurers, the savings could be hundreds of dollars of savings every six months when you receive the renewal statement. Quite simply, combining contracts is often a big money-saver.
Another big premium-saver occurs if all of the adults in the household are retired. Usually, at least one of the household members must also be 55 or older. If someone works part-time, that still may be acceptable. The rate reduction is typically in the 5%-15% range, but it is applied every year, so it’s easy money that gets put back in your pocket.
Sometimes, there will be higher reductions for persons 65 or older. The assumption is that you are in the household much more. At this time, there is not a major reduction given to applicants over the age of 75.
But as actuarial data is studied, it’s possible a change could be made in the next five years. The biggest concern is potential health-related issues that could cause or contribute to an accident or extra liability exposure.
Of course, an obvious money-saver is owning an alarm system. Every major Maryland homeowner’s insurance carrier offers this discount. The “central” system will save the most money. Typically, this type will notify a local police and/or fire department if there is an attempted break-in or the smoke detectors go off. Usually this will reduce your premium about 15%. Occasionally, the reduction may be as much as 25%.
A “local” alarm system is still armed by the owners of the home from a keypad usually located near a major entrance. However, additional keypads can also be purchased. If the alarm is tripped, an incredibly loud buzzer will go off. I know it’s loud because each of our children (when they were younger) reminded us of that (by accident)! Since the police are not automatically contacted, the discount may only be in the 5% range. But it’s still worth it.
Central System Is Best
A “central” alarm may not cost anything to install, but there will be a monthly monitoring fee. This can range from as little as $25 to as much as $150. Usually, these fees are negotiable, so shop around if you are considering buying this type of system. A local experienced company will likely offer you the best service. Never purchase a system from any type of telemarketing call you receive.
And what about the fake alarm stickers and cameras you can purchase to place around the perimeter of your home? I don’t know of any carriers that will consider them, but it may not be a bad idea if you can’t afford an alarm. You can probably order a set of four or eight stickers very inexpensively. And the fake alarm camera does look real and is typically high enough that nobody will want to touch it. However, after about five years of snow, rain, wind and hail, your fake “system” may need to be replaced.
Look Above Your Head
Are you thinking of getting a new roof? If you need one, and actually replace your existing roof, many home and auto insurance companies in Maryland will cut your premium. The main reason is that the risk of damage to the roof will have reduced, and often there are warranties from the roofing companies that may pay some damages, if the shingles were faulty. Each roofer is different and, of course, don’t buy a new roof just for the discount!
A new home (as well as a new roof) generates a big discount, often as much as 25%. Newer houses typically translate into fewer claims and a smaller chance of problems. Therefore, your rate is substantially reduced. Also, newer, and more modern shingle designs provide more protection and last longer, which helps reduce your premium. Impact-resistant roofing materials are also a great way to cut down on potential claims.
There are also multiple options regarding how comprehensive you want your roof coverage to be. By electing a separate deductible and/or higher out-of-pocket expenses (if you submit a roof claim), you’ll save money each year, since roof claims are among the most common. However, all carriers do not offer this benefit option and the amount of premium reduction varies.
Additional Unusual Discounts
Although not as common, several companies offer a credit if most (or all) of your wiring has been recently inspected and upgraded. Since the risk of fire reduces, everybody wins. Expect about a 2%-5% reduction every year. Proof of service and installation will probably be required. And of course, a professional electrician would have to handle the installation.
A “claim-free” reward is offered by almost every carrier and it can easily save hundreds of dollars each year. Although larger claims must be filed, often it’s better to raise your deductible since it’s not advisable to constantly submit smaller claims.
Many years ago, a $100 or $250 deductible was common, and recommended by most companies and brokers. But now, a $500 or $1,000 deductible is much more cost-effective since it’s unlikely you will be submitting claims under the $250 threshold. As earlier mentioned, the quantity of submitted claims, as opposed to the amount of claim dollars spent, is often what underwriters take into consideration when determining to renew or cancel an in-force policy.
And finally, scheduled jewelry riders are expensive. Depending on how many pieces you insure, and their combined value, you could easily add hundreds of dollars of extra premium to your policy every year. Check and verify that you still own all of the jewelery and want it scheduled. Also consider cheaper riders that provide extra coverage without all-risk coverage.
Although storing your jewelry in a safety deposit box isn’t fancy, and of course, not very assessable, the cost is fairly low (sometimes free, depending on how much business you have with the bank). Safety is not an issue and you don’t necessarily have to schedule the items on your policy since they are protected.
Cheap homeowner’s insurance rates in Maryland are available and we’re committed to helping you find the lowest prices. Through a combination of smart shopping and utilization of available discounts, we are confident you’ll save money. Of course, when you bundle your home and auto policies with the same company, expect a generous discount.
June 2015 – The MD Homeowner’s Insurance Administration Guide released current annual rates which we have listed below. Our sample residence is based on a 75 year-old frame home located in Hagesrstown (Washington County) with a value of $190,000. Liability limits are $100,000, the deductible is $500 and $10,000 of water/sewer backup is included. NOTE: Not all companies are shown because of space constraints.
$455 – Cumberland Mutual
$531 – Safeco
$582 – Lititz Mutual
$588 – Travelers
$689 – Penn National
$703 – Farmers Mutual
$726 – State Auto
$732 – Cincinnati
$867 – Erie
$883 – Amica