Six Things That Can Raise Your Homeowners Insurance Rates

16 Sep
Factors that increase homeowners insurance rates.

There are six factors that you might not be aware of that can jack up your rates.

Your homeowners insurance premium is calculated on a number of different factors. Everything from your address to your credit rating will be considered to determine your premium. However, there are a few other factors that you might not be aware of that can jack up your rates. While you may have some sway over a few of them, some of the others will be completely out of your control.

Here are just a few surprising factors that will raise your homeowners premium:

  1. Dogs – While you may love your dog, there is a good chance your insurer won’t. Home insurers consider certain breeds a high risk and if your furry friend is the wrong type of dog your rates will be headed up. In some cases you may find your policy being cancelled. Pit bulls are a big red flag as are Dobermans and Rottweilers. Also expect your rates to go up dramatically if your dog ever bites someone and your insurer has to pay out a claim. For more information, please visit our FAQ page: “How to reduce the risk associated with dog bites on your property?
  2. Swimming pools– Diving into your pool to cool off during the hot summer months is a great way to relax. It’s also a great way to run up your premium. Pools increase your liability risk. Insurers are concerned about everything from someone drowning to slipping and cracking their head on the pool deck. Insurers charge for risk and a pool will absolutely increase your premium. Check with your insurer about the rate increase before breaking ground on that new swimming pool.
  3. Trampolines – According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission trampolines are the cause of over 100,000 emergency-room visits a year. The kids love them, insurers don’t. In fact, some insurers will not cover a property that has a trampoline or they may include a trampoline exclusion clause if you admit to owning one. The exclusion lets them off the hook if someone is injured on your trampoline.
  4. Burglary: If the crime rate in your neighborhood goes up or your house is burglarized expect your rates to head up. Insurance companies keep a close eye on crime rates and will adjust rates if your particular zip code sees a spike in home break-ins.
  5. Natural Disasters – This one you have no control over, unless you move. If you live in a disaster prone area, expect to pay more for your homeowners insurance. The same can be said if an unexpected disaster hits your area. Even if your house is not personally affected, your rates will head up if your neighborhood is flooded or knocked down by a tornado.
  6. Treehouses – Roughly 8,000 kids are treated every day in U.S emergency rooms for injuries related to falls. While not all of them are tumbling out of treehouses, some of them are. Again, some insurers will include an exclusion clause if you have a treehouse on the property.

It is always wise to call your agent before installing a pool, trampoline or treehouse to get an assessment of what your new toy will do to your insurance rate. It is important to keep in mind that if your policy does include an exclusion, you will be on the hook for the cost of any injuries that occur on your property due to the excluded toy.

While these factors will raise your rates, there are things you can do to help keep your premium low. Installing a security system, storm shutters, or a sprinkler system will all help lower your premium. Again, check with your agent to determine the exact discount you will be receiving for installing these safety features.

Tags: ,