Homeowners insurance seems to be one of those forgotten things that we don’t think about until we needed, have a claim, or it goes up and we realize this on our monthly mortgage statement. But just as with mortgages and even houses we should be able to shop around for the best homeowners insurance and there are many different things that can factor into the price and premium. Simple things that you can control such as the home you choose and the quality of the home inspection are just some of the obvious things to consider when choosing the best homeowners insurance but there are some overlook things as well.
Here are five things that can affect your homeowner insurance rate.
#1. Homes in flood zones.
As with any homeowners insurance, the risk of destruction will affect your insurance rate. A beachfront home or in an area where flooding is typical might cost you more in insurance premiums. If you are in any type of flood zone and have a mortgage, the lender will probably require separate flood insurance. It’s important to ask your agent about flood zones and additional insurance.
#2. The breed of dog you have.
This is an extremely overlooked condition because in some cases, the type of dog you choose to have such as a pit bull could have a reputation of being more dangerous than others and can come with larger liability concerns. Even if you think you have the nicest dog in the world, if the dog is on the list as being one of the more high-risk breeds, it’s better to cover yourself should anything occur.
#3. The age and home condition.
Older homes will typically need a higher insurance premium the newer homes because of defaults and the risk of repairs. Again, it comes down to the risk associated with the house and the costs of repair or replacements.
#4. A swimming pool, pond, or hot tub.
These, as well as trampolines or other high risk entertainment structures, can come with a higher insurance rate. These can raise liability concerns on behalf of the insurer and even if you don’t allow minors to be on your recreational structures, if someone sneaks into your backyard and is hurt or damaged because of it, you could still be liable.
#5. Proximity to emergency services.
Homes that are literally right in front of a fire hydrant are typically less of a risk than those that could be several blocks away. Every homeowner insurance policy requires a Public Protection Class rating. The rating is between 1 – 10 and takes into account factors likes proximity to the fire department, fire hydrants, water towers, railroad tracks, and anything that could be considered either dangerous or a protectant. Of course, having a security system will usually lower your homeowner’s insurance rates as well so any way to protect the home will typically lower the premium.
One of the biggest things to remember is not to lie or be deceptive. If anything happens you want to be completely covered so it’s important to be honest about any recreational structures, pets, or the location and age of the house. Who knows, you may have a lower premium because of it and if not, you know you’ll be protected in case of an emergency.
For homeowners insurance policies on homes on Camano Island and the specifics for waterfront properties, give me a call at any time.