You may have heard that your credit score has an effect on your home insurance rates. Maybe your score isn’t at its best and you’ve noticed a significant hike in your rates. Maybe you’re having a hard time finding homeowners insurance and you fear that your looming, dread-inducing bad credit is the culprit. The realization that this could be hurting your home insurance might make you feel a bit blindsided. You may be silently (or not silently) fuming at the injustice of it all. But fortunately, we have some tips on how to get home insurance with bad credit.
Why does your credit score affect your home insurance rates?
Insurance companies often calculate what’s called an “insurance score” using your credit information. Your insurance score depends on your outstanding debt, how much credit history you have, if you’ve been on time with paying your bills, and the number of accounts and applications you have.
If you have a good score, you may be able to save money on your home insurance. That’s because insurance companies use these scores to indicate how likely you are to file a claim. The better the score, the lower the risk you’ll file a claim. If you have a poor insurance score, the insurance company may see you as a higher risk. As we said, that could lead to higher insurance rates and difficulties in getting insurance at all.
Now, not all insurance companies calculate an insurance score, but plenty of them do. It’s one of those things that insurance companies use to evaluate risk.
How to get home insurance with bad credit.
Unfortunately, there is no magic cure that will solve the homeowners insurance and bad credit debacle. However, there are some things that you can do to help get you on your way to getting home insurance at a reasonable rate. Here are our tips:
1. Check your credit report for errors.
This is one way you can improve your score – taking a look at your credit report, finding errors, and having them corrected. Remember, you can request one free report from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experion) once a year. Put on your detective hat, comb through your report thoroughly, and see if you can spot any mistakes or oddities. If you do find a mistake or error, don’t be shy about asking to have it fixed.
Pro tip: You may want to check your credit report before applying for home insurance in the first place.
2. Improve your credit score.
Taking steps to improve your score can help you get the home insurance you need. It can also help you get lower home insurance rates – home insurance premiums go up the worse your credit score is. Some things you can do to bolster your score are…
- Pay off your debt. Get rid of the debt on your cards by making more than the minimum payments if you can.
- Pay your bills on time. Late payments do not a happy credit score make. Use calendars, phone alerts, or whatever it takes to make sure that you keep up with all of your payments.
- Set up your payments so that they’re automatic. Find out if there’s a way to set up automatic payments so that your bills are always paid on time.
- Don’t use your cards so much. Try not to charge so many purchases to your cards. Even getting close to your maximum limit can be harmful to your score.
- Try to lower your APR. Doing some haggling to get a lower Annual Percentage Rate can help you save on your interest, which can help you make your debt go away more quickly.
- Limit hard checks on your score. When a lender makes an inquiry about your score, that hard check can actually hurt it. Try to minimize the hard checks on your score until it’s healthy enough to manage it.
Pro Tip: NerdWallet cautions against trusting ads that promise to get rid of bad credit or “fix” your score. These could be scams designed to take your money, so be leery of any “quick-fix” solutions.
3. Shop around for home insurance.
Every home insurance company is different, and they’re all comfortable with different levels of risk. They evaluate risk and applications with their own criteria. So, if you don’t find home insurance with the first or second company you try, don’t lose hope. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, right? One insurance company is not the same as the next, and it may pay off to keep on looking at different Georgia home insurance companies.
(And remember, Atlanta Insurance can help you shop around for your insurance and help guide you through the process of getting home insurance. You don’t have to be in this alone. We’d love to help.)
So, as you can see, your insurance score can play a huge part in determining your home insurance rates and eligibility. If you’re having trouble getting home insurance and you suspect bad credit could be to blame, check your credit report for errors, take steps to bolster your score, and shop around for home insurance. Don’t despair – not all is lost.
We can help you shop for your home insurance. We can get multiple quotes for home insurance and find the coverage that suits your needs and your budget. All you have to do to get in touch with our team of insurance experts is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.