A Few Factors Affecting your Homeowner’s Rates
So many things go into determining rates for a homeowner’s policy, and each insurance company will assess risk in a variety of ways. It’s important to compare homeowner insurance quotes to be sure you get the most affordable rate.
But to start the process off, here are 6 key factors that can directly influence your rates.
- Age and construction of home
- Claims history/frequency
In simple terms, your deductible is the pre-determined amount you must pay before your insurance company will pay out on a claim. So, the size of the deductible you choose can determine the size of your premiums. The higher the deductible, the more money you save. Keep in mind though, that your geographical location may dictate certain limitations or additions to what you choose for a deductible. Always talk with a professional to get the best price.
Who doesn’t love dogs? Insurers, that’s who. Some companies will refuse homeowners who own certain breeds of dogs, such as pit bulls and Rottweilers.
In some instances, homeowners may be required to sign liability waivers in order to even be eligible for a policy. Other insurers will only cover a pet if the owner takes the dog to classes or if the dog is consistently restrained in some way.
You may also want to shop around for a policy if you have a dog that's a so-called "aggressive breed." Some insurers will increase your rates, while others won't. We found that the average home insurance rate for an aggressive breed is only .3%.
The age of your home and how it was constructed are big factors in your home insurance rates. Even your home’s previous claims history can play a part in setting rates.
Other things to consider: would the house be difficult to replace or repair? Is your home brick or wood, what is the age of the electrical system, and does your home have smoke detectors, a security system or a sprinkler system?
“Brick homes cost 6% less to insure on average. Homes made of fire-resistive materials saves 12% on average. Newly-constructed homes get an average 36% discount compared to other homes” (Ladika and Lazarony)
Home improvement projects are great. Clean your gutters, update your windows, and get your heating unit checked from time to time. Carriers often give discounts if your heating, electrical, or wiring have been updated recently (more relevant for older homes).
Also, consider the age and repair of your roof. Newer roofs better protect your home against the elements. An older, leaky roof can result in damage within the home. Carriers expect the homeowner to keep tabs on the roof and make repairs when needed, and anything older than 20 years, insurers start worrying they will be paying for a brand-new roof the next time we get a bit of inclement weather.
You may have moved into a new home, but the claims you filed at your previous residence will follow you. And the more claims you have on your record the more likely your premiums will go up or you carrier might even drop you. “No claims in the last 5 years is great. One claim is OK. If you have 2 or more, you are going to get charged extra” (Young Alfred). Avoid filing a claim if any apply:
- Repairs cost less than your deductible
- Damages are relatively minor
- You’ve filed more than one claim in the past decade
- The claim was caused by poor maintenance on your part
- The cause of the claim isn’t covered by your policy
When considering all the possibilities that go into homeowner’s insurance, it is easy to get bogged down in the minutiae. Let one of our experienced agents help you through the process. Call us today: 951-275-0340.