6 Things That Can Increase Your Homeowners Insurance
How much do you pay for homeowners insurance? If your premiums are worked into your monthly house payment, you might not even remember. But here’s why it’s important to know what type of homeowners coverage you have and what it takes from your budget.
What Can Drive the Cost of Homeowners Insurance Up?
According to the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) figures, the average selling price of an American home in the second quarter of 2021 was more than $430,000. That represents a significant hit on a monthly budget, so many homeowners would benefit from figuring out ways of holding down other costs associated with the house payment.
For example, you have little to no control over your property taxes, so you might want to shop carefully for your homeowners insurance. As part of that task, consider that some of your home’s factors, features, and upgrades may be driving your premiums up.
Keep in mind that it’s not always a bad thing when you make a move that boosts what you pay for your coverage. Sometimes it’s smart to make certain decisions even when they increase those costs because they can be offset by a corresponding rise in the value of your home. At other times, some of the decisions you make might totally be worth the rise in insurance cost for the positive impact they have on your family’s well-being.
So don’t look at all of the following features and factors as necessarily bad things that should be avoided. But you might find some here that you can easily do without—and find something else to do with the savings.
1. Wood-Burning Stove
Nothing is cozier and more charmingly quaint than an autumn fire in your wood-burning stove. The bad news is that these appliances are considered a much greater fire risk than modern stoves or fireplaces. Your insurance agent might cut you some slack, though, if you show the existence of a working fire extinguisher, or you place smoke detectors near the wood burner and regularly hire a licensed technician for maintenance.
2. Swimming Pool
Maybe you and your family can’t face the prospect of a summer without an “attractive nuisance.” Or at least that’s how your insurance company refers to the common backyard pool. That’s because of their potential for attracting lawsuits due to the inherent risks posed to swimmers, both invited and otherwise. That’s why, in order to be properly protected against such a suit, your insurer will recommend you purchase a liability rider at an additional charge.
3. The Age and Condition of Your Home
An older home is likelier to need more repairs and might start to break down. This is just an economic reality that you can’t easily avoid if you own an old home or a fixer-upper. Take solace in the fact that you probably spent a lot less money on your property than if you’d built a new or bought a much newer home. It’s also essential that you have enough insurance to rebuild your home of any age if disaster does strike.
Here’s an easy fix. Don’t buy a trampoline or get rid of the one you have. As with swimming pools, insurance agents take a dim view of these popular yard toys for the risk of litigation. All too often, people get hurt. In some cases, your insurer will refuse to cover trampoline incidents or require additional liability protection. However, your insurer might agree to provide coverage if your trampoline includes safety netting to reduce the injury risk.
Here’s where you should note that not all factors that raise homeowners insurance premiums are bad. Your remodeling project can boost the resale value of your home, sometimes dramatically. So while that project might be an excellent investment or, at the very least, bring greater comfort and joy to your family. The downside could be the news you get from your insurance agent. With any luck, that boost in resale value more than offsets the insurance cost bump.
6. Home Offices
The pandemic seemed to turn everyone’s spare bedroom or kitchen table into a home office. What gets the attention of insurance companies isn’t the space as much as what might be in that space. You might have computers, printers, scanners, and other high-tech and pricey equipment that would cost a bundle to replace in the event of a fire, flood, theft, or other calamities. But just like a remodeling project, a home office might well be worth the additional hit on your homeowners insurance. You simply need to know in advance what you might be up against before you submit that spare bedroom to your work-at-home commitment.
Save on Homeowners Insurance
You can take steps to reduce your homeowners insurance premiums, but the main takeaway here is that you have more control over the rates you pay and the benefits you receive than you might think you have. That’s why you need to be sure you periodically review your policy to make sure that it reflects your home’s current features and overall condition.
Remember that InsureOne is here to help you find the right homeowners insurance policy for your needs and budget. Start your free quote online, by calling us at 800-836-2240, or at one of our offices near you.