Getting homeowners insurance is not a cheap undertaking. Although the concept behind protecting your home from disasters and other untoward incidents might seem pretty straightforward, the costs that come with filing for claims can be a point of contention between policy owners and insurance providers.

Natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes or even wildfires like the ones that happened recently in Northern and Southern California are usually covered by most homeowners insurance. But even when a home is being insured, providers will still require you to shell out anywhere between 5 to 10 percent to cover the damages.

In order to avoid losses for their business, most insurance companies will charge a higher premium for individuals who they deem as having higher risk factors. This can also mean that deductibles can also cost a lot, and it might be harder for those riskier individuals to file for claims that will benefit them.

Of course, talking to a local home insurance company that understands the needs of homeowners in a particular area is the best way to reduce your chances of paying a high deductible when filing claims. But another great way to ensure lower out-of-pocket expenses and a higher premium during the renewal period is to reduce the risks.

Here are a few things you can do to reduce your risk rating when getting homeowners insurance:

Secure Your Home

In most cases, theft, burglary, and robbery are covered by homeowners insurance policies. What they will not cover though, are cases of theft, burglary, and robbery that occur due to neglect or carelessness. For example, if your house was robbed because you left a door unlocked or your windows were left open, insurance providers will not cover the losses incurred. And in order to help prevent instances like this, most policies will provide you with a premium discount if you have security systems installed in your home. Having burglar alarms, closed-circuit television cameras, and even simple locks and bolts can net you a 5% premium discount on your policy.

Choose the Right Home

A lot of times, people who buy homes are unaware that the current state of a house can actually determine how pricey the insurance for it will be. A house with a roof that has not been repaired or replaced in more recent years might net a higher premium. Most insurance providers try to avoid paying for entire roof replacements, as these can be incredibly expensive when claims are filed.

Houses with signs of water damage will also prove to be extremely costly for your homeowners insurance; this will read to the insurance company that your home may be in a flood-prone area, and they will assign a higher risk rating for your home.

Build the Right Home

If you’re building instead of buying, the right choice of materials can help reduce the premiums that you will pay because of a reduced risk rating. For example, using fire-retardant or fireproof materials for walls and roofing means that your house will be less likely to sustain extreme damage during a fire. To insurance providers, this will mean that the claims that you will file for damages will cost less.

Building a house in a hurricane-prone area means that premiums might run a little higher unless you take the necessary building precautions like installing storm shutters or a roof that is up to code. Choices like these can help reduce the expenses that both you and your insurer will have to shell out in the event of a hurricane.

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