13 Factors That Affect Home Insurance Rates
Every homeowner looking to purchase home insurance will always try to find the best possible rates. Rates vary depending on a variety of factors, from where your property is located to what breed of dog you have.
In this article, we’ll explain what affects home insurance rates and why to help you find the best deal.
Average home insurance premiums differ from one state to another. Usually, the rates are determined by how expensive properties are within the state and what the cost of living is like.
However, it can depend on a huge range of other factors, too, like the climate and population size. For example, Delaware homeowners pay an average of $598 a year for home insurance, according to ValuePenguin. Whereas the average cost in Oklahoma is $2,559.
More specific than the state you live in, the exact location of your property impacts the home insurance rates you’re offered. This can include:
- Crime rates nearby
- Proximity to town centers and cities
- Distance to fire stations and/or fire hydrants
- Water sources nearby e.g. rivers and lakes
Areas with higher crime rates, closer proximities to towns, further distances to emergency services, and water nearby will often be offered a higher home insurance premium.
If your state is prone to hurricanes, hailstorms, tornados, and other catastrophic natural disasters, then you can expect to pay steeper home insurance premiums. As expected, this is due to how natural disasters can cause significant damage to a property.
The more damage that can be caused by the weather, the more frequently home insurance companies have to pay out to homeowners. This leads to higher premiums across the state, regardless of whether you’ve claimed before.
A deductible is an amount you initially pay when filing a claim. If you’re willing to pay a higher deductible, your insurance provider will likely charge you lower premiums. The opposite is true if your deductible is low.
Choosing a higher premium can be beneficial to lower your annual home insurance cost. But remember that it may not always be more cost-effective overall, particularly if you have to make one or more claims a year.
5. Property Age
Higher insurance rates are likely if the home you’re insuring is older and/or a historic property. This is because the risk of damage, and, therefore, claims, is higher when the electrical wiring, plumbing, and other systems of your home are aging, too.
Likewise, newer properties will usually have a lower home insurance premium, since the structure, pipework, foundation, and other amenities are more modern (and therefore less likely to break soon).
6. Risk Factors Within Your Property
What do swimming pools, trampolines, and wood-fired stoves have in common? They are all risk factors within your property as far as insurers are concerned. If you have any, or all three, in your home, you can expect to pay higher rates for your home insurance.
7. Building Materials
Properties made from wood are susceptible to termites, water damage, and severe damage from fires. Therefore, insurance premiums for properties built with these materials will be higher than those built with stone or brick.
8. Dog Breed
Many insurance providers take the breed of dogs you have at home into consideration when determining your insurance rates. Some breeds have a reputation for being more aggressive than others, which raises the risk of people filing a liability claim.
Being a standard feature of any home insurance policy, this means that your home insurance premium can be higher if you have a certain breed of dog.
9. The Presence (or Absence) of Safety & Security Measures
Insurers also check if your home has security systems, fire alarms, smoke detectors, and other safety measures. Having good measures in place (like wired-in smoke alarms and security systems) can lead to a lower insurance premium.
Not having these safety measures on a property, or having battery-operated devices, can raise home insurance premiums. This is because the house is not considered as safe and the safety devices are not as reliable.
10. Your Preferred Level of Coverage
As expected, your home insurance rates will be higher or lower depending on the level of coverage you want. Higher coverage limits mean higher premiums and lower coverage means lower premiums.
11. Marital Status
When you’re a single homeowner, it’s common for your home insurance premiums to be higher than if you are married or living with a partner. This is because insurance providers typically associate singlehood with a reduced chance of being home to alert authorities about a fire or a burglary.
12. How Often You Make Claims
The more frequently you file a home insurance claim, the higher your rates will likely be. That’s why many homeowners refrain from filing claims for relatively minor damages. Claims often stay on your records for up to five years (depending on the provider).
So, you could be paying off the claim for many years to come. Sometimes, depending on the job, it’s better to fix issues yourself or call the right professionals for the job rather than submit a claim.
13. Your Credit Score
A low credit score will always haunt you wherever you go, even when you’re buying home insurance. A good credit score means great home insurance rates and even discounts. On the other hand, poor credit can prevent you from getting the policy you want or even get insurers to decline to offer you a policy.
A variety of factors can influence home insurance premiums. When buying a new property or relocating from one state to another, it’s important to consider how much home insurance will be within the area.
Understanding your home insurance premiums can help you calculate the costs of living and whether it’s worth buying the property.
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