Most people are aware that factors such as the replacement cost of your home, its age, and condition can affect home insurance premiums. There are, however, some interesting factors that can impact your home insurance cost that many people might not even be aware of. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
The type of dog you own
Among others, your insurance policy’s liability portion is there to protect you if you are taken to court by someone who is bitten or otherwise attacked by your dog. Most of us won’t give much thought to it, but it stands to reason that the consequences of your full-grown Alsatian attacking the postman will most likely be more severe than if your wife’s poodle tried to attack him.
This is why many insurance companies will either refuse to insure homeowners who own dogs such as Rottweilers or pit bull terriers, or completely exclude them from coverage. In some cases you may be force to find secondary markets for your home if there are other limiting factors that apply to your situation and may significantly raise the premium or limit the amount of insurance coverage provided.
You might not like to pay more just because you have a Rottweiler, but if it should tear the postman to pieces you are most likely going to be sued for much more than the value of your home. Without insurance, you could be financially ruined for life.
Insurance credit score
While your insurance credit score is in some ways similar to your credit score, it’s not the same. Insurance companies have their own proprietary method of determining your insurance credit score. Individuals with a low insurance credit score are likely to be regarded as having a higher propensity to file a claim and this can negatively affect your homeowners insurance premium.
The Insurance Information Institute recommends the following 3 steps to prevent this from happening:
- Avoid defaulting on any of your debts
- Keep the outstanding amounts on your credit cards relatively low, and pay them in full every month
- Avoid ever having a court judgment, tax lien, or bankruptcy against your name
Even if you have financial problems, having the best possible home insurance cover is imperative, because if disaster strikes and you’re without it you will most likely sink even deeper into debt.
Age and condition of the roof
The newer the roof of your home, the less you are likely to pay for home insurance. If you buy a home with an old roof and later replace or repair it, you should discuss the possibility of reducing your premium with your local Long Island insurance agent.
The reason is that the older the roof, the less it will be able to protect the home against the elements. A leaky old roof will sooner or later lead to significant damage within the home. This is why home insurance firms require homeowners to regularly monitor the condition of the roof and carry out repairs if and when needed.
Old roof or new roof, with the right kind of home insurance you can sleep soundly at night - knowing that your most valuable asset is covered.
The distance from your home to the nearest fire department
Did you know that insurance companies on average provide a 4 percent discount for homes that are in close proximity to a fire station? And if that fire station is permanently staffed, you might pay even less. This is according to data supplied by the Insurance Information Institute. Most Long Islanders are able to get this discount but for some areas on eastern Long Island or those properties in upstate New York.
The reason is simple: the chances that your home will be destroyed in a fire are significantly lower if it’s near a fire station. Should you live far from the nearest fire station, you might pay more for home insurance - but you will need it even more than your friends who live closer to one.
Your marital status
Whether you like it or not, insurance companies tend to favor married homeowners. The reason? According to the Insurance Information Institute, married couples on average do not file as many claims as single people. They are therefore regarded as ‘more mature’ and they represent a smaller risk to insurance companies.
We could not find any statistics on how your mother in law living with you would affect the likelihood of an insurance claim, but it will likely cost you in other ways!