How to Reduce Your Homeowners Insurance Costs

December 9, 2014

homeowners insurance

image courtesy of stuartmiles/

You know that homeowners insurance policies protecting your property include deductibles. This is the amount insured’s pay after a loss before the policy kicks in to pay for the rest of the damage.

The question is how large a loss should you pay for before your homeowners insurance takes over? Back when our principals Gary Scalzo and Steve Zogby started in the business, the typical homeowners insurance policy deductible was just $100. Premiums were low then and our clients could easily afford it.

But times have changed…

You have probably noticed that your homeowners insurance premiums have been going up over the last few years. Increased weather related claims are one of the main reasons for this. Severe windstorms and hail that were infrequent just a few years ago are happening much more often now.

Plus, most homeowners insurance policies include replacement cost on contents, which is a coverage we highly recommend. Very few of our clients would be satisfied with a depreciated loss settlement on their contents after a major fire.

Save Money on Your Home Insurance While Still Being Prepared for Major Losses

We have been routinely quoting $1,000 Deductibles for our homeowners insured’s here in New Hartford, Whitesboro, Clinton and the rest of Oneida and Madison County. The reason is that it saves lots of money.

Raising the standard $250 Deductible to $1,000-$2,500 can save from 8% to 10% on your annual homeowners insurance premium. That often amounts to hundreds of dollars per year.

You might think that paying the first $1,000 in the event of a loss is excessive. We like to ask our Central New York insurance clients to think of it this way: would you pay $200 to insure an item worth just $750? That’s the approximate difference between the $250 deductible and the $1,000 deductible. Your answer would most likely be no. Why should you pay that much money to insure something worth only $750?

Plus, another advantage to the higher deductible is that if an insured has a number of smaller claims, insurance carriers in New York State are allowed to non-renew policies for claim frequency. So, one claim after another of between $250 and $1,000 can jeopardize your insurance.

When you think about it, your homeowners insurance policy is really built for catastrophes…losses that you could not recover from financially without insurance. So if an icicle falls on your back porch causing $500 worth of damage, you can pretty easily pay for that yourself.

But if major ice buildup falls onto the roof of your large front porch and causes $20,000 worth of damage, we are there for you.

And don’t forget, the savings you enjoy with higher deductibles is there year after year. You could almost think of that as ‘money in the bank’ for future small losses. If you don’t use it during the year, go out with your spouse to any of the fine restaurants in the Utica area and celebrate!

Call anyone of our Personal Lines Account Managers today to find out how much you can save with a higher deductible on your homeowners insurance policy.

Until next time,

Your SZW Team

Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Inc. is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000.