Surprising Factors Affect Home Insurance Rates
Your home will obviously play a role in the price of your homeowners insurance. Stone front or vinyl siding? Your insurance agent will want to know all the details about what the company is insuring. More than that, expect your insurance agent to ask questions about personal factors that will play a role in your final insurance rate.
Your home insurance rates may increase if you own pets. Some insurance companies may also require proof of pet breed, especially if you own a dog breed deemed “aggressive” or an exotic animal. Some agents and companies may even ask for pictures of your pets in order to finalize your rate.
If you have children, you may also have a swing set or a backyard trampoline. What fun! Your insurance agent won’t think so. These fun activities can be dangerous, so your insurance agent will see red and you’ll send them more green.
Your credit score will impact your homeowners insurance, so don’t be surprised if poor credit means a higher insurance premium. Insurance agents assume that if you haven’t been able to manage your money in the past, you’re a higher risk in the present. Do take the time to establish a good credit history now — you’ll need it when you purchase your home and get insured.
Expect an insurance agent to ask some questions about your lifestyle when you nail down your rate. If you’re a smoker, you may have a higher rate because of an increased risk of fire and damage to the home.
Age and homeownership history
If you’re young and have just purchased your first home, your insurance rate may be higher than people who are long-time homeowners or older and well established in the community. Similarly some insurance agencies will offer a reduced rate to retired individuals.
Where you live and local weather conditions will impact your homeowners insurance rates. A nearby fault line, proximity to a hurricane-prone coast line, or a flat prairie region where tornadoes often strike will all affect your insurance rates. If you can’t control where you live, do listen to the Insurance Information Institute and take necessary precautions that will help keep your rate as low as possible (new windows, storm doors, etc.). Not sure what changes you can make to your home to reduce your rate? Ask your agent!