If you own a home, you probably have homeowners insurance. If there’s a mortgage on your house, your lending institution requires you to have homeowners insurance in order to protect their investment. If you own your home outright, homeowners insurance is paramount. For most people, their home is their biggest investment, so it’s wise to have it protected by insurance, in case of fire, storms, and other types of damage.
There are also other aspects of homeowners insurance that need to be addressed. One is theft. Of course, no one can steal your house, but they can steal the contents of your home. Homeowners insurance will cover your belongings, too. Another type of homeowners insurance is liability coverage. This protects you in case someone is injured in your home or on your property.
The premiums paid for homeowners insurance can vary widely – not just from company to company, but also among different homeowners insured by the same company. Of course, the value of your home and belongings has an impact on the price of your coverage, but there are also factors that affect your premiums of which you might be unaware. These are discussed below.
High-risk dog breeds
Some homeowners insurance companies will deny coverage for homeowners with dogs that are considered vicious or dangerous. Other insurance companies will provide liability insurance coverage for such homeowners, but their insurance premiums will be higher. The specific breeds vary somewhat from area to area and from company to company, but the breeds most often seen on lists are the pit bull, the Staffordshire terrier, the Akita, the German shepherd, the Doberman pinscher, and the Rottweiler.
How does an insurance company decide which breeds to target? They research dog bites and dog attacks to learn which breeds were responsible. The breeds most often involved in such incidents are considered high-risk dogs.
Previous claims on the home
If you’ve turned in several previous claims, your premiums will increase. Some companies will increase your premiums even if the reason for the claims were not your fault. For example, if your home has been burglarized several times, your insurance cost will likely increase.
If you purchase a home in which the former owners filed several claims, your insurance premiums on the home will most likely be higher than if no former claims had been made on the house, even though you were in no way responsible.
Distance from a fire station
Fire is one of the main causes of home damage. As a result, homeowners insurance companies are concerned with how far your home is from the nearest fire station. If you live more than five miles from a fire station, or your home is more than 1,000 feet away from a fire hydrant, you’ll probably be penalized with a higher premium.
If you live a considerable distance from a fire station, some companies might not insure your home at all. The specifics vary somewhat from company to company.
Preventive measures and alarm systems
Most homeowners insurance companies offer premium discounts for items that help keep your home safe. These might include smoke detectors, dead bolts, and burglar alarms. Keeping and maintaining proper fire extinguishers in your home might also decrease your premiums. If you live in a Neighborhood Watch area, you might qualify for another premium discount.
One of the best premium discounts you can get is with a security system that’s monitored 24-7 by a third-party monitoring agency. Systems differ, but the best notify the monitoring company in case of burglary, fire, smoke, carbon monoxide, and flood water. Security systems might include indoor and outdoor motion detectors, surveillance cameras, glass-break detectors, high and low temperature sensors, sirens, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, flood water sensors, and surface contacts on doors, windows, and garage doors.
Homeowners insurance is a definite necessity. The premiums you pay will safeguard the substantial investment you have in your home and possessions. While it’s both difficult and unwise not to maintain your homeowners insurance coverage, there are steps you can take to lower your premiums. By learning exactly what affects the price of your premiums, you’re well on your way to making your home and property safer and less risky for both you and your insurance company.