From the value of your home and what is inside it to your home’s age and the age of your house, there are several factors that will influence your homeowner’s insurance rates. When you purchased your beautiful new home, chances are you expected these variables and had some idea how much your monthly premiums would cost.
Unfortunately, if you’re like many new homeowners, you probably weren’t aware there are several additional factors that will influence how much it costs to insurance your home—and many are very surprising. Here are a few common and surprising factors that will impact your homeowner’s insurance premiums and a few tips to help you save big each month.
Your Credit Score
In addition to impacting your home and credit card interest rates and car insurance rates, in many states, your credit score will also determine how much you pay for your homeowner’s insurance premiums. The higher your score, the less you will pay every month to insure your home.
If your credit score is less than stellar, it is important to take the necessary steps to bump it up before you attempt to purchase a home and homeowner’s insurance. Luckily, there are several simple steps you can take to make this happen. Here are a few:
- Pay down your credit cards. If you have several credit cards that are near their limit, these cards can negatively impact your scores. Pay down the card with the highest interest rates first, or ask about a balance transfer to a card with a lower rate. Additionally, avoid applying for a new line of credit, as these hard inquiries will also negatively impact your score.
- Avoid large purchases. Avoid purchasing any expensive items on your credit cards or securing a loan for any big-ticket items, such as a car.
- Contact the credit bureaus. Check your credit score and look for any inconsistences, such as outdated information, judgments and liens, and other mistakes. Dispute these inaccuracies, which will raise your credit score, before securing homeowner’s insurance.
If you credit score is high, don’t worry about its negative impact; instead, shop around for the best rates!
Your Home’s Proximity to a Fire Hydrant
You might be surprised to learn that your home’s proximity to a fire hydrant and fire station can have a major impact on the cost of your homeowner’s insurance. Insurance providers will grade your risk based upon several factors and then assign it a fire protection class.
Depending on the state in which you live, several variables will impact your home’s fire protection class, including:
- Your home’s proximity to a fire hydrant and fire station.
- The number of fire trunks found at the station.
- The amount of water housed in the fire trucks.
- The number of firemen employed at the station.
The further away from a fire hydrant or fire station you are, the higher your rates are likely to be. Unfortunately, these variables are out of your control. The best solution is to keep these factors in mind when purchasing your home, and look for the most affordable homeowner’s insurance rates in your area.
Homeowner’s insurance providers assess the potential risk involved before determining the cost of your policy and whether or not they are willing to provide you with coverage. Several providers will think twice about providing you with insurance, or your rates will be higher, if you are the proud owner of a certain dog breed.
Once again, the restrictions are dependent on your state and the provider. However, there are several breeds of dogs that are prone to biting and causing structural damage that may not be covered by your insurance policy. They include:
- Great Danes
- Presa canarios
- Pitbull terriers
- German shepherds
If you own one of these dogs, you must take this factor into consideration, before you begin shopping around for homeowner’s insurance. Don’t hesitate to ask the agent about the perils associated with one of the above-mentioned breed and what steps you will need to take to secure coverage.
Your Past Insurance Claims
If you ever owned a home or purchased renter’s insurance, your past insurance claims can come back to haunt you. Filing several claims for any number of reasons, from dog bites and roof damage to frozen pipes, will often warrant further investigation by any potential insurance providers.
In these cases, it is best to have the documentation necessary to back up your claims. For example, if you suffered from frozen pipes in your former home, bring along your former insurance provider’s paperwork and any paperwork provided to you by the plumber that repaired the pipes.
The more proof you have that these claims were legitimate, the better.
Shopping for the best homeowner’s insurance rates can be confusing. If you have any further questions about homeowner’s insurance, or any other type of insurance you may need to protect your property and family, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Metropolitan Insurance.