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The first question people ask when purchasing home insurance is, “What is my rate?” This article discusses and explains three variables that affect homeowner insurance rates.
1. Age of Your Home
Many people do not realize that the age of your home affects your homeowner insurance rates. As your home gets older, things are more likely to break down. For example, your air conditioner, water heater, toilet, and dishwasher are more likely to overflow as your home ages, which can cause water damage. Older homes and older sewer lines also have more frequent sewer backup problems. New homes get better rates than older homes, because there is less risk to insurance companies of a claim being filed on a new home.
2. Age of Your Roof
Just like the age of your home, the age of your roof also affects the cost of your home insurance. Older roofs are more likely to be damaged by windstorm and hail. This potential risk increases if you live in a state that is prone to wind and hail storms, such as Texas. Some insurance companies like Allstate give significant discounts on homeowner insurance if you have a new roof. This is because the majority of claims in certain parts of the country, such as central Texas, are roof related.
Related article: Protecting Your Roof From Hail Damage
If you have recently replaced your roof, you should inform your insurance agent or company right away, as most insurance companies give additional discounts for a new roof. If you invest in a metal, slate, or tile roof, your rates should be better than if you have an asphalt shingle or composition roof, because metal, slate, and tile roofs are less likely to be damaged during a storm.
3. Local Fire Stations
Another factor that affects insurance rates is the distance between your home and your local fire station, and how well equipped the fire station is that is closest to your home. Many small, rural towns only have one fire station that is typically run by volunteer firemen. Although these fire stations do a good job of protecting their communities, smaller volunteer fire stations are not as well equipped or funded as larger fire stations in metropolitan areas.
Insurance companies may charge higher rates for homes in rural areas, because if the home is not near a highly equipped fire station, it is likely to incur more damage from a fire. This could even apply to rural areas just outside a metropolitan area. Some insurance companies refuse to insure homes at all if they are further than ten miles away from a fire station, because these homes are deemed too high of a risk. The distance of your home from a fire hydrant may also affect your premium.
Related article: Dwelling Coverage on Homeowner Insurance
Fortunately, if a claim is filed on your home due to a natural disaster or catastrophe, your rates should not be affected. You can’t control everything when it comes to your insurance rates, however it is helpful to know what factors affect your rates such as the age of your home and roof, and how far you live from a fire station.
It’s important to review your homeowner insurance policy at least once a year to make sure you are adequately protected and getting all the discounts you are entitled to receive. Remember, updating your policy as you make changes to your home can even lower your rates!