Do Homeowners Insurance Costs Vary?
The location of your home, its construction and condition all play a part in how much you pay for home insurance (and so do YOU). Homeowners insurance costs vary widely among providers. Insurance companies assess risk in different ways so it is important to compare homeowner insurance quotes to be sure you get the most affordable rate. One of the best things you can do is to get multiple quotes from competing companies. Pricing changes all the time as insurers adjust their portfolios. Be vigilante in your quest for homeowners insurance. Sometimes the best rate may not be your best choice- who will YOU call if you need to file a claim. Make sure you trust, and can depend on the insurance agent on the other side of the phone call. That agent may NOT have the lowest premium- but customer service, accessibility, and integrity DO add value.
What Are the Factors that Affect Homeowners Insurance Premiums?
The way insurers weigh factors when setting rates is ever-changing. But, here are common factors used to determine rates:
- Replacement cost of the home (higher cost will equal higher rates)
- Age of the home (newer homes may be less costly to insure)
- Home square footage (larger homes are more expensive to rebuild, thusly higher premiums)
- Construction type (i.e.fire-safe materials will cost less to insure)
- Number of primary inhabitants
- Public Protection Classification (proximity of fire station, police, fire hydrants, etc)
- Roof type
- Area claim history
- Owner’s credit score (statistics show that persons with a higher credit score will file fewer insurance claims)
- Pets (some dog breeds are considered to be dangerous, therefore your rates may increase)
- Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (C.L.U.E.) report of the property is a seven year snapshot of information about you including a list of claims you have made
- Fire alarm system
- Security or alarm system (alarms and monitoring help decrease rates)
- Deadbolt locks
- Neighborhood crime rate
- Swimming pools, hot tubs, ponds, machinery, playground, equipment, trampolines, etc increase liability potential and therefore, insurance premiums
- Home-based business
- marital status (statistics show that married couples file fewer claims than single people)
How Can I Lower My Homeowners Insurance Costs?
- Shop around- while this may take some time remember YOU are making the largest investment of your life time. The insurer you select should offer a fair price AND deliver the quality of service you expect.
- Bundle- some companies that sell homeowners, auto and liability coverage will take a percentage off your premium if you purchase two or more policies from them.
- Make your home more resistant to perils- ask your insurance agent or company what you can do to make your home more resistant to windstorms and other natural disasters. You may save on your premiums by adding storm shutters, reinforcing your roof or buying stronger roofing materials. Consider modernizing your heating, plumbing and electrical systems to reduce the risk of fire and water damage.
- Optimize your home security- install dead-bolt locks and smoke detectors. These are inexpensive, important AND you may also get a discount on your homeowners insurance premium.
- Maintain good credit- insurers are increasingly using credit information to price homeowners insurance policies.
Should I Buy a Home Close to a Fire Hydrant?
This may sound like a silly question. Should I buy a home close to a fire hydrant? Well- you may pay less for insurance if you buy a home close to a fire hydrant or near community resources such as fire and police. Homeowners insurance may also be less costly if the home you are purchasing has electrical, heating and plumbing systems that have been updated.
So? Ask yourself these questions 1) Should I get married to get a lower homeowners insurance premium? 2) I have a Rottweiler, should I get a bunny instead? 3) I want a pool! Should I buy a home without a pool and use my neighbor’s pool instead? Here are the answers- No, not unless you want to. Sure, but only if you prefer bunnies. Maybe (pools require a lot of maintenance- let your neighbor do it- just kidding). Shop around! Shop around! Shop around! AND don’t forget the value that customer service, accessibility and integrity add when choosing your homeowners insurance company/agent.
My name is Kara Davis . I have been in the mortgage industry for almost 18 years. I have an expert understanding of the Louisiana housing industry and have helped hundreds of people purchase their homes. If you or anyone you know is ready to buy, build or re-finance a home, give me a call at 337-842-0115 for a pre-approval. Let’s work together to get you in to your dream home today! And, remember to shop around for your homeowners insurance just like you do your home mortgage. In both cases, consider the added value of service, accessibility and integrity. Customer service is key!