Higher construction costs and more costly storms are pushing premiums...

Higher construction costs and more costly storms are pushing premiums up.  Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Higher construction costs in 2022 are contributing to increases in homeowners insurance premiums on Long Island. Here are some tips to save on the cost of your policy from industry experts and local insurance brokers:

  • Bundle your insurance policies. Using the same insurer to cover your house and car can lower the combined cost by 5% to 15%, according to the Insurance Information Institute. But check to make sure bundling gives you a lower price than insuring with separate companies.
  • Shop for new rates.
  • Increase your deductible. You can save on monthly payments by accepting a higher deductible, but be sure you have the savings to cover the amount you will owe before insurance coverage kicks in.
  • Check on your policy's replacement cost. Ask your insurance agent to examine how much your policy says it would cost to rebuild your home to see if it is in line with other companies' estimates.
  • Evaluate your coverage. As the coverage for rebuilding your house increases, the amount of insurance on your personal property can increase too, so take stock of the value of your furniture and other possessions to determine whether that policy limit could be lowered.
  • Apply for loyalty discounts if you're a longtime customer.
  • Maintain good credit. Your credit score can affect your insurance rates, so sharing concerns about your credit with an insurance agent can help them find a company that doesn't weigh it as heavily in setting rates.
  • Tell your insurance agent about home improvements. For example, clients who replace their roofs can qualify for a 10% discount from some carriers, but you won't save if you don't make your insurer aware of the change, said David Levine, president of Newbrook Insurance Agency in Port Jefferson Station.
  • Install an alarm system. Check with your insurer about their recommendations and available discounts to determine whether the investment would provide savings.

Caveat: A house is many families' most valuable asset, so it's important to ensure your coverage is adequate to rebuild your house in the event of a fire, wind storm or other calamity.

Sources: Insurance Information Institute; Pat Howard, property and casualty insurance expert at Policygenius; Michael Cracco, CEO of Completely Covered Insurance Agency in Massapequa; David Levine, president of Newbrook Insurance Agency in Port Jefferson Station; Ellen Melchionni, president of the New York Insurance Association in Albany; and James Sutton, president of the James F. Sutton Agency in East Islip.

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