One thing is for sure, we are all looking for ways to cut back expenses any way we can. One way may be as simple as switching auto insurance providers to get the best rate while other ways may include forgoing your night out. Either way, you’ll able to save some money. While homeowner’s and renter’s insurance is the similar to auto insurance, there are some other easy and clever ways to lower your insurance premiums to save more money each month.

Here are eight ways on how you can save money on homeowner’s and renter’s insurance rates:

1. Raise Your Deductible

Deductibles are the amount of money that you have to pay out of your own pocket whenever you have to make a claim with your insurance company. The higher the deductible, the lower your premium will be. Most American households have a $500 deductible. Look into raising your deductible to $1,000 and you could easily save 25 percent. Also, be sure to look at disaster specific deductibles such as flooding, wind or hail damage coverage.

2. Improve Your Home Security

Remember all those questions about smoke detectors, burglar alarms and dead bolts? You may get discounts for each one installed in your home or apartment. Couple that with installing a home security system and you not only get peace of mind, you could save as much as 20 percent off your premium costs. Be sure to check with your insurance agent about the discount before you shell out all that cash for additional security. Either way, it’s a good idea, especially if you live in a high risk area.

3. Combine Your Insurance Policies With the Same Insurer

Most insurance companies will offer homeowners, rentals and auto insurance (as well as others). If you look at combining your policies, you could save 15 percent off your premiums if you have two or more policies. Shop around to make sure you will get the best deal, but often if you stick with the insurance company you’ve been with the longest, you may also be entitled to an additional reward.

4. Recent Lifestyle Changes

Are you recently retired or unemployed? Are you around the house more than usual? Often you will be able to get an additional discount if you are around the house more. It is more likely that damages could be preventable and theft is minimized. Be sure to find out if your insurance provider offers this type of discount.

5. Do a Household Inventory

Did you recently sell some expensive electronic equipment or jewelry? Perhaps you moved some of the items off of your property to a bank safe. Now you no longer need to have these items covered and if you don’t call and make those policy changes, you’ll continue to pay the premiums on those items. This is also true for items that no longer have the value they once did, especially when it comes to electronics. So be sure to find out what type of extra coverage you have and make the necessary changes, at least once a year.

6. Call Your Insurance Company

It doesn’t hurt to have your agent go through your policy with you, at least once each year, to see if you are eligible for new discounts. Usually, insurance agencies won’t come running to you if you are able to save money on your premiums. You have to be proactive. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

7. Keep a Good Credit Score.

Your credit score may have an effect on your insurance costs. Be sure you are checking your credit report often to make sure there are no items that could result in higher premiums. Don’t forget, checking your credit report is indeed free!

8. Pay Premiums Up Front

Insurance agencies will often give you payment plan options when it comes paying your premiums. If it fits in your budget, be sure to pay annually as you can easily save 10 percent.

If you just follow a few of these, you could easily save hundreds of dollars each year. We all like to save money, and most of us have some sort of homeowner’s or renter’s insurance plan, so why not take some steps to save some money? First step is to pick up the phone and call your insurance agent or start your shopping online as there are many insurance companies that offer quotes online.

Are you taking advantage of your insurance companies rewards and discounts?

Stupidly Yours,

Matt