As a homeowner, your house is probably your number one asset. Not only is it the place you call home, it’s also an investment and it subsequently needs adequate insurance. With this in mind, here are some things that affect homeowners insurance rates when it comes to keeping a roof over your head.
5 Things That Affect Homeowners Insurance Rates
Image via Flickr by Woodley
The question on every insurance company’s mind is whether or not your home is vulnerable to natural disasters. For the East coast, it’s hurricanes; for the North, it’s blizzards; for the Midwest, it’s tornadoes; and for the West coast, it’s earthquakes.
No matter where you live, your property could eventually encounter nature’s wrath. So, whether your home is low-lying or on a fault-line, the more vulnerable, the higher the homeowners insurance rate.
And, insurance companies are extremely particular when it comes to Mother Nature’s wrath as well. Bodies of water within your home’s proximity and large, overhanging trees all count against you in the rate race.
2. Old Homes vs. New Homes
Owning an older home will result in increased homeowners insurance rates too. The reason for this is that older homes tend to have outdated utilities and structural problems. These issues translate to inevitable costly repairs in the insurance company’s eyes.
In the case of a new home, the likelihood of unforeseen maintenance is minimal. As a result, some insurance companies are offering homeowners insurance rates at discounts upward of 30% for new homes.
3. Taking a Dip in the Backyard
Residential swimming pools may seem like a great investment and relaxing way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but you might drown in high homeowner insurance rates. For insurance companies, backyard pools result in liability issues.
In fact, many insurance companies require that you get either a pool cover or locking gate that surrounds the pool before they’ll even consider insuring the property. This eliminates the potential hazard the pool poses in terms of liability, while also lowering the insurance rate substantially.
4. Burglary Systems for a Little Insurance
If your home doesn’t have a security system, chances are that your homeowners insurance rates are probably alarming. Especially in burglary-prone neighborhoods, homeowners that don’t take the extra precaution of protecting their house will ultimately pay more for insurance.
Homes protected by monitored security systems in particular are more likely to see lower rates as well as a decrease in successful break-ins. Additionally, insurance companies recommend that if your home is equipped, flaunt it with a security system sign in the front yard.
5. Man’s Best Friend is Your Insurance Policy’s Worst Nightmare
Pets are considered to be an integral part of most people’s families, but canines in particular are a huge liability according to insurance companies. Cases of dog bites are steadily on the rise, and 9 out of 10 incidents take place on the owner’s property.
So, if you do have a feisty pooch, make sure they’re always behind a gate when off-leash or install an electric fence. By doing so, insurance companies will reward you with lower rates.
Whether it’s Mother Nature or man’s best friend, there are plenty of surprising factors that affect your homeowners insurance rates.