If you’re like me and your eyes glaze over whenever the subject of insurance comes up, here’s just what you need to know about basic factors that can affect your homeowner insurance rates, and in easy-to-understand language, from our guest blogger Michael Rogers with USInsuranceAgents.com.
Do you need homeowner’s insurance? Absolutely! The insurance policy is designed to offset the expenses of restoring your home and possessions back to its pristine condition before damages were incurred. When calculating your insurance rates, the company insuring it looks beyond the mere property cost, and while different insurers offer varied policies and coverage options, the fundamental factors that affect interest rate quotes are fairly similar. Before going more into specifics, let’s put this up straight here – shop around. Get homeowners insurance quotes from at least several insurance agents in Minneapolis and St Paul area, try both independent and captive agents and start with BATC member insurance providers.
Property Age and Construction Type
New housing will likely have a more stable foundation and structure compared to an older property. Ultimately, this makes newer homes lower-risk from the viewpoint of the insurance company. Key features of a new house that is examined thoroughly by your insurance representative include electrical wiring, plumbing, and HVAC systems. In addition, homes that bear solid, fire-resistant materials like concrete and stone are cheaper to insure than wood-based housing.
Parts of Minnesota are at high risk of natural calamities, but depending on your exact address, insurance companies may raise or lower your rates. Furthermore, the crime rate within your area plays an equally important role when estimating your premiums. Living in an area where gangs are common and arson happens frequently, will only increase your insurance rates.
While an indoor swimming pool is worthy of celebration, in the eyes of your insurance company, it’s a risk factor. Alongside swimming pools, guest houses, trampolines, and even aggressive dog breeds can raise your monthly rates. If you haven’t bought a property yet, it’s ideal to purchase one that is in close proximity to a firehouse. Small factor, but this nifty feature can lower your rates.
For homeowners with an existing policy, the number of your claims will almost certainly equate to higher monthly premiums. Thoroughly examine every claim on your record prior to requesting for reimbursement. Ask yourself if a claim is worth bumping your rates up next year. Try to maintain and restore minor problems before it gets worse.
Insurers are not allowed to turn down your application for home insurance regardless of how low your credit rating is. However, what they can do is raise your rate based on that low score. Try to increase your credit score by paying off debt on time and avoiding overdrafts on your bank account.
Certain states have laws that protect homeowners from getting rejected by insurance companies due to their pet’s breed. To be sure, shop for insurers that do not reject your application based solely on your pet. You’ll find that many pet-friendly insurance companies will even offer more competitive rates.
At minimum, your coverage range and deductible will both affect how much you pay for your monthly premiums. For first-time homeowners and insurance shoppers, a deductible means the amount you pay out of pocket following a claim made and prior the insurance policy kicking into effect. The range of coverage, on the other hand, denotes the maximum dollar amount at your disposal to replace or repair damages.
All these factors contribute to how much you pay per month. Although it will be a pain to include in your monthly budget, it is much better to be safe than sorry when natural calamities or human errors strike. During such times, good home insurance can act as a financial safety net for you and your family.
Michael Rogers is the Operations Director of USInsuranceAgents.com. With over 5 years of experience and knowledge in the insurance industry, Michael contributes his level of expertise as a leader and an agent to educate and secure coverage for thousands of clients.