If you are shopping for homeowner’s insurance it can become confusing why your rates are a certain price at one home but totally different at your new home. There are some hidden reasons for an increase in insurance premiums related to the risk factors of the property, or changes in the household.
In fact policy rates can rise or fall depending on all sorts of surprising variables. Basically anything that adds risk has the possibility of increasing the rate or making the house not ineligible for coverage. Home insurance companies differ in their criteria, but each have exclusions, surcharges, or can even deny giving you a policy if they don’t like the risk.
What are some little known risk factors that could affect your home insurance?
The location of the home may put it at greater than normal risk to natural disasters. This could include storm surge of the ocean, wildfires, mudslides, flooding or earthquakes. Homeowners in areas of greater risk often have to pay higher mortgage insurance premiums. Some insurance companies make cost deductions to your premiums however, if your home has measures taken to limit the affects of a natural disaster. If you can make the home more resistant to natural disasters with additions like adding storm shutters, sump-pumps and special shatterproof glass or reinforcing your roof you could save money on your insurance premiums.
A swimming pool on the property. There is an extra charge for a pool because it presents an additional liability or risk. Potential risks like drowning or injuries suffered by diving into a pool are the reasons behind it. Some companies may require a fence around the pool in order to even issue a policy.
Fire hydrant or access to water is too far away from the home. Homes nestled in the woods with no source of water for a fire truck to pump from can make your rates higher. Also the distance of the nearest fire department can make a difference in your costs. Most insurance companies look at the proximity of your home to a fire hydrant (or other source of water) and to a fire station, whether your community has a professional or volunteer fire service, and other factors that can affect the time it takes to put out fires.
General lack of security to deter thieves and other forms of danger. Insurance companies have the crime rates of your neighborhood charted and know which ones pose a greater risk to loss of property, damage, or personal injury. A good solution to this is to install a burglar alarm. In fact, most insurance companies will offer a savings from 2 to 15 percent for devices that make a home safer.
That friendly family pet. Dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims paid out in 2011, costing nearly $479 million. So if you own a dog you might be given a slightly higher premium. Some companies alter the increase in premium if the dog has undergone behavioral training.
There are other factors that can increase your insurance premiums, like if there are smokers that live in the home or if you lack proper smoke and Co2 detectors, but knowing some these hidden risks that cost you money can help you better understand your insurance quote and what you might do to lower it.