8 Factors That Can Impact Your Homeowners Insurance Rates
If you’re a new homeowner looking for insurance for your new home, you might be wondering “What does homeowners insurance cover?” Homeowners insurance is used to rebuild or replace your home and belongings in the event of a loss. When you’re shopping for homeowners insurance quotes, there are many things that can affect your rates. Not all coverage is the same and it is important to review all your options before settling on one policy.
While shopping around, you might find that your rate will be higher because of certain factors. Below are a few things that could negatively impact your homeowners insurance cost.
Your Dog’s Breed
While you love your dog, your insurance provider might not. Homeowners liability coverage is meant to protect you are sued by someone who is attacked or bitten by your dog. Because of this, some insurance companies won’t insure the owners of certain dog breeds, like pit bulls and Rottweilers, or dogs who have a history of aggressive behavior.
If a company is willing to cover you, they may have you sign a liability waiver. This means that if your dog does bite someone, the insurance company will not be responsible for any resulting expenses. Other companies may increase your rate for having an aggressive dog breed but may require you to take the dog to obedience classes.
Just like certain dog breeds can affect your homeowners insurance cost, so can certain types of animals. Animals that could injure, attack or kill someone, such as snakes and spiders, can negatively affect your homeowners liability coverage. In the result of an injury from these pets, your liability coverage may not extend to these expenses or your premiums could cost more.
Swimming Pools and Trampolines
Popular pastimes such as swimming pools and trampolines are fun for the family but can cause premiums to increase. These amenities require additional liability coverage to protect against injuries that can happen on your property causing your homeowners insurance costs to increase. The cost of covering the liability that comes with pools and trampolines is lower than comes from other risk factors previously listed.
Certain safety regulations also have to be met in order to maintain coverage. In-ground pools must be surrounded by a fence. It is recommended to install a 4-foot fence with self-closing and latching gates. For trampolines, you must install a safety net, but some providers still might decline coverage.
If a wood-burning stove is your main source of heat, insurance providers could decline coverage totally. If it is a secondary source of heat, it is best to provide proof that a licensed installer installed the stove to the standards in your area and functioning smoke detectors are installed in the home. This could help avoid or reduce increases in your homeowners insurance cost.
Proximity to a Fire Station
Homes that are located closer to a permanently staffed fire station will receive lower premiums than those located in rural areas. The same goes for homes located near fire hydrants. Homes that are located further from a fire station are likely to see more extensive damage from a fire.
Home businesses may require equipment and products that might not be covered by your normal insurance policy. If customers will be visiting your home, your liability coverage will also need to be increased. In some cases, your homeowners liability coverage might not cover home businesses. Consider adding an endorsement to your current policy or buying a business insurance policy to make sure you are completely covered should anything happen.
Location of Your Home
Another factor that can play a part in the cost of your homeowners insurance is the location of your home. Geographic location can play a part in your premiums as homes located closer to the coast or in areas that face severe weather are likely to see more damage than properties located elsewhere. Homes in areas of high crime will also see higher premiums.
While moving may not be feasible, there are things you can do to lower your premiums. Install storm shutters or fortify your roof. Replacing old locks and installing a security system if you are in a high crime area could reduce your costs.
The more claims you have made in the past, the higher risk you present to an insurance provider. This can result in higher homeowners insurance costs as well as a higher chance that an insurance company will drop or not renew your policy.
How to Lower Insurance Rates
While you may not be able to avoid some of the risk factors that will increase your homeowners insurance cost, there are some things you can do to save money on your policy elsewhere.
- Increase your deductible. If you’re willing to pay more out-of-pocket, insurance companies will lower your monthly rate.
- Improve credit history.
- Combine home and auto insurance policies to receive a discount.
- Purchase an umbrella policy. This will protect you against claims that cover your current coverage limits.
Homeowners insurance policies vary by company, so make sure to shop around and ask “What does homeowners insurance cover?” with each provider. At Insurance Quotes, our agents will help answer any questions you have and make getting multiple quotes at once quick and painless. Give us a call today to save money on the coverage you need!