Homeowners are required to have a homeowner's insurance policy on their house by law in most states. In addition, the mortgage lender who provided your home loan will also require an insurance policy on the house. If you shop carefully and make some modifications, you may be able to get better homeowner's insurance quotes on a policy for your house.
How Homeowner's Insurance Rates are Determined
Even though you may have the same type of home as your neighbor and have policies with the same insurance company, your rates could be much different. There are many factors that go into determining how much your homeowner's insurance quotes will be, including the shape of a house's roof to how many people are living in the house. However, there are three main factors that help determine most homeowner's insurance rates.
Where is the House Located?
In real estate, the location of a property is one of the most important factors in how well it sells and, also, in the cost of the insurance premiums. The location of a house determines its potential risk. For instance, if you live near the forest or in an area surrounded by tall grass and brush, then you have a higher risk of your home being damaged by fire.
In this same way, if your home is located in a bad neighborhood, then you may have a higher risk for it to be burglarized. These risks will factor into your homeowner's insurance quotes. The higher the risk, the more the premium will cost.
What are Your Home's Characteristics?
The rates for the homeowner's insurance quotes that you receive are also influenced by the characteristics of your house. Your homeowner's insurance policy should cover the costs of replacing your home if it is destroyed in a fire, hurricane or another natural disaster. So, the size and the type of home you have are some of the characteristics that will affect your homeowner's insurance quotes. Other characteristics include the house's:
- Structure; and
The House's Age
The age of your house can affect homeowner's insurance quotes because older houses are typically more expensive to replace as they are often built with better materials than newer houses and those materials are more expensive. In addition, older homes are usually not retrofitted to withstand natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes.
The House's Structure
The materials used to build your home could affect the homeowner's insurance quotes you receive depending on where the house is located. Homes made from brick withstand high winds better than wooden-framed houses, so if you live in an area where hurricanes or tornadoes occur, you may pay more for insurance if you have a wooden-framed house.
The House's Garage
When it comes to risk, the size of your garage could make it a more likely target for thieves, so the higher risk would translate into higher homeowner's insurance quotes. A bigger garage, for instance a 3-car garage, is more likely to be a target than a smaller garage as it is more likely to hold more of the homeowner's belongings. In addition to cars, thieves may think a large garage contains more tools, sports equipment and other valuables they can steal and pawn for money.
What is Your Insurance History?
The number of claims that you've had on past policies can make a difference to your homeowner's insurance quotes. If you've had homeowner's or renter's insurance before and didn't make any claims, then you may be able to save money on your home's new insurance policy. Since homeowner's insurance is mainly designed to cover your house in case of uncontrollable events like fire, theft and severe storms, if you have several claims for preventable incidents, then the insurance company may consider you a higher risk.
Lowering Your Insurance Rates
You can get better homeowner's insurance quotes by making some modifications to your home to improve its security. You can also make home improvements so that your home looks better, and you can use sturdier building materials to help it withstand storms and other disasters better.
Home Improvements to Lower Rates
By taking the time to make some home repairs or renovations, you can help lower the homeowner's insurance quotes you receive on a new policy. One home renovation you should consider is replacing the roof. The roof is one of the biggest factors affecting the rates of your policy and by replacing it, you may be able to cut the rates by 10 to 20 percent.
The majority of losses to your home occur due to damage to the roof caused by snow, ice, wind and hail. By replacing your roof and using roofing materials better suited to withstanding storm damage and high winds, you can lower the cost of your premiums. In addition, some insurance companies may not cover your home if they determine that the roof is too old, so replacing it will help you get coverage for your home.
Upgrading your electrical wiring throughout the house may help lower your insurance premiums as well. Old wiring puts your home at higher risk of catching fire and, not only does this put your home at risk of being destroyed, it puts your and your family's lives at risk too. Replacing the wiring will make your home safer and you will usually get an insurance discount for doing so.
Modifications for Improving Security
You may get lower homeowner's insurance quotes by making changes to your home to improve its security. Add deadbolts to any outside doors that don't have them and add locks to any windows that don't have them. In addition, remove any trees or bushes that block the windows or view of the front door, which will make it harder for thieves to enter your home undetected. You can also get a security system that automatically connects to your local police department.
By knowing the determining factors of homeowner's insurance premiums and how you can improve your home to get better homeowner's insurance quotes, you can shop for policies that fit your needs without breaking your budget.