1. Is the condition of your roof new? Wind and hail resistant?
“If the roof hasn’t been updated in the past 20 years, you could have difficulty getting into anything but a high-risk, expensive home insurance group”, Hoedeman says. “Unfortunately, a homeowner is limited to Michigan Basic via the State of Michigan if the roof is in poor condition.” He says, “It’s not even a price issue.”
“If the roof is new and it’s constructed of impact-resistant material, you could qualify for a home insurance discount. The amount of the homeowners discount varies by company but could be as high as 20%”, says Dick Newton, a spokesman for Safeco Insurance, one of the largest providers of homeowners insurance in the country. “The same principle applies to construction under the roof. Masonry, for example, is more likely to withstand nature’s forces and so it is considered less risky, and eligible for perhaps another 10% discount”, Newton says.
2. How far away is the fire department?
“If the home is more than five miles from a fire station, your rates will likely start rising”, say Jack Hoedeman, managing partner of Company Insurance Agency in Grand Rapids MI. “They might jump by 20% to 240%, depending on the home’s distance from a station or hydrants.”
3. Use an independent insurance agent
“We’ve all heard the commercials about saving money on home insurance and how many minutes it will take”, says Hoedeman. “Most people don’t have the time to call 10 places to get quotes, but you sure don’t want to rush through the process when you are protecting your most valuable assets,” he says. “Instead you should call an independent agent, take 30 minutes to provide your information, and they can take the time to shop 10 companies for you simultaneously while also ensuring that you get the proper coverage. You really get the best of both worlds; personal service, a choice of companies and great prices.” Hoedeman states.