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We all want our belongings to be protected with good, solid insurance, but that does not mean we want to pay over the odds for it. Here are five simple steps you can take that might help to lower your homeowner’s insurance cost and save you money, despite this year’s rising costs.

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1. Improve your home’s reinforcements

The majority of homeowner insurance claims in the United States are caused by natural occurrences such as earthquakes, floods or storm damage. You may want to take as many steps as possible to help reinforce your home against such damage. This can include making investments such as storm shutters or barriers. You may want to upgrade some of the materials used to help make your home safer. For example, wooden fencing and fence posts will not stand up as well in high winds or storm conditions as metal fence panels. A long-term investment in good metal fencing panels, such as aluminum fencing or gates, could help to boost your home’s safety and reduce your insurance costs in the long term.

2. Remove brush trees and bushes from around your home

If you live in an area that could be considered susceptible to wildfires, be sure to tackle any natural combustibles around your property that could affect your insurance payments. This involves tackling any dead or dying trees or bushes around your home that could easily catch fire in the event of a wildfire. You may also want to take an inventory of trees at your property; any that are above 32 feet tall could be considered a risk in the event of a storm or high winds, causing potential damage to your home or neighboring properties.

3. Improve your security

Look for ways to help boost your home’s security, such as adding CCTV cameras, installing burglar alarms, buying a safe, or adding good-quality fencing, gates or a driveway gate at your home. Using metal fencing panels, such as aluminum, is a great option. This durable and rust-resistant material can help to boost your home’s security by making it more difficult for intruders to get onto your property. It could also help reduce your risk of vandalism and damage from unwanted animal guests. In addition to the added security it brings, aluminum fencing can add an attractive and sophisticated image to your home while also increasing your privacy. Check with your insurance agent first to see whether this could help to reduce your premium.

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4. Remove any old and unused structures

Your home insurance policy could cover outbuildings on your land, too. Make sure you are not paying for any unused or dilapidated outbuildings that you don’t use anymore. Consider whether you need that dilapidated old shed; getting rid of it could help you save on your premium.

5. Evaluate your flood defenses

Flooding is the number-one cause of home insurance claims in the US. Although living in a flood risk area can make finding appropriate insurance difficult, it is always worthwhile to see if you can take steps to bolster your home’s own flood defenses in a bid to save money.