Last week, we drew a crucial distinction between the insurance offered by the HOA, and the insurance that individual homeowners ought to obtain for themselves. While most homeowner’s associations have insurance policies in place to protect communal areas—and while this ultimately provides protection to homeowners, as far as overall property value is concerned—there is still a very significant need for residents to purchase their own insurance plans, protecting their homes and personal property. So you might next ask, how can I save on homeowners insurance?
Some residents may approach you, as a member of the HOA board, and inquire about ways to save money on their homeowner’s insurance. There are a few basic tips you can offer them:
1. First, recommend that homeowners look into insurance companies that will allow them to bundle their homeowner’s insurance with their auto insurance. Buying these policies together can often yield some significant savings.
2. Also explain to homeowners that raising their deductible will result in lower premiums. The deductible is the amount that must be paid by the homeowner before the insurer steps in to address a claim. When the deductible is higher, the premium should be lower. However, you should also instruct homeowners to make sure they have enough money saved to meet that deductible, in the event of something going awry.
3. Another way to save money on homeowner’s insurance is to invest in a home security system. This very often leads to reduced payments, as a home with a home security system is, naturally, viewed by insurance companies as less of a risk!
4. If homeowners really want to reduce their insurance costs, coupling that burglar alarm with an indoor sprinkler system can sometimes reduce insurance costs by as much as 20%. This is a more significant undertaking, of course, but worth mentioning for homeowners who are simply zealous for protecting their homes, as efficiently as possible.
5. Finally, advise homeowners to review their policy a couple of times per year. They should look it over not only when it is up for renewal, but even when they make major alterations or additions to the home. Sometimes, simply re-evaluating can offer opportunities for saving money.
Remember that, as an HOA board member, you should always advise homeowners to purchase insurance— by giving them these tips, perhaps you can also save them some money.