Investment properties can be a good source of income even in a less-than-ideal economy. A great way to maximize your profit is to keep the cost of owning the property down. One area to scrutinize is your property insurance policy. Since insurance premiums are usually higher on a rental home, it makes sense to try for the lowest rate possible and still get the coverage you need. Here are some strategies for saving money on investment property insurance.
One of the best ways to save money on insurance is to shop around for the best coverage at the lowest price. Try to get at least three quotes from different insurance companies, and if possible, try to speak with an agent personally, rather than just looking at figures on the internet. Some companies specialize in working with rental properties, so you may want to compare their rates with those of standard insurance companies.
Another way to lower insurance costs is to look for a higher deductible. Going from a $500 to $1,000 deductible can make quite a difference in monthly premiums. So, you’ll want to get the highest deductible that you can safely afford.
Also, be sure to inquire about any discounts the company offers. For example, insurers will usually lower premiums on houses with safety features such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, deadbolt locks, sprinklers and alarm systems. Certain types of roofing materials may qualify for discounts if they can withstand hail or wind damage. There may also be discounts for certain types of tenants. For example, people that are home more often, such as retirees or stay-at-home moms, may be a deterrent to burglars. They are also more likely to stop or report a fire than tenants who are often away from home. Also, be sure to check for multiple policy discounts if you own more than one property. If you haven’t filed a claim in a while, check to see if the company will lower your premiums for this reason.
Additionally, check to make sure that you are only insuring your property’s value and not the value of the actual land it is built on. For example, land is unlikely to be stolen or damaged, but your property might be. Also, make sure that you understand what you are being charged for. A policy that covers the actual cash value will pay only the cost of rebuilding at the current market value, while a policy that covers replacement costs will pay for the full cost of rebuilding the property.
Credit scores may also determine your cost, since some insurance companies will give lower rates for higher credit scores. Therefore, be sure to maintain good credit, and keep track of your credit score. Another thing to remember is that as a property owner, you do not need to insure your tenants’ personal belongings. Check to see if this option can be excluded from your policy and recommend that tenants purchase their own renter’s insurance.
The bottom line is that by looking at all of your insurance options, you may be able to save money in the long run and maximize your profits. Good luck!
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