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I'd like to save some money on my co-op insurance policy, which went up 20 percent this year. What aspects of coverage can I cut back on without being too risky? Or am I better off just increasing my deductible?
You have several options for reducing your monthly insurance premiums, including raising your deductible, our experts say.
There is a number of reasons home insurance premiums might go up, including the condition of your building, renovations that have raised its value, and increases in the cost of materials to rebuild should your home suffer damage. The number of claims filed in your area—most often for water damage—also drive up expenses. To mitigate premium increases, begin by having a conversation with your insurance broker.
"Your broker should be happy to review coverage. Increasing the deductible often makes the most sense," says Jeffrey Schneider, president of Gotham Brokerage (a Brick sponsor). He also suggested some ways you may be able to save: "There may also be new credits for alarms and even internet-connected devices that alert you to motion or temperature changes at home."
If you've installed such devices recently, you could potentially scale back your coverage for theft. And if you have additional coverage for expensive items like jewelry or furs, you may be able to make some reductions there, especially if you keep these valuables in a safe, Schneider adds.
Ask your broker, too, if your coverage limits are appropriate for your particular situation.
"Assess your core limits, such as dwelling coverage and personal property coverage, and see if the limits are adequate or overstated," says Michael Blumenfeld, principal with the insurance company Mile Square. "It depends on whether you have a bare bones or deluxe policy." It also depends on your finances and your tolerance for risk, he adds.
This is why it's so important to speak to a reputable insurance agent and get a coverage review—it can be very difficult to assess where you might cut costs on your own.
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