Last week we examined the top four home insurance factors that have nothing to do with your home including credit, marital status, occupation and education. Let’s flip the script and look at those items that impact your rate that are related to your home.
Location: Where your home is located has a lot to do with your home insurance rate. This is usually based on zip code and considers several factors including crime statistics, weather patterns, distance to the nearest fire house, and much more. Prior published studies have shown rate differences between homes in Dallas County where a home of similar size and construction had an annual rate difference of up to $400 simply based on its location.
Style / Architecture: Some carriers want to know whether your home is built in a French Colonial, ranch, contemporary, Spanish Mission, or some other style or architecture. Home insurance rates can vary depending on what style your home is built in for these carriers.
Roof: Is your home’s roof a composition 3 tab or architectural shingle roof? Or is it a metal, rubber, tar and gravel roof; or maybe it’s covered with concrete, clay, or slate tiles. The type of roof covering, shape, and steepness of the peaks can lower or increase the cost of home insurance. The same can be said for the age of the roof; newer roofs cost less and older roofs cost more.
Siding: Homes with brick veneer, concrete fiber (hardy board), and concrete stucco are more fire resistant and therefore, have a lower home insurance rate than wood siding homes. In addition, not all carriers will write a home with aluminum or vinyl siding over wood siding, and even fewer will write a home with synthetic stucco or EIFS siding.
Stories: A single story home is easier and less costly to rebuild than a multi-story home. This results in a lower or higher cost for home insurance depending on how many stories it has.
Finish Out: How your home is finished out will have an obvious impact on its replacement cost. This includes several factors including type of flooring, wall covering (sheetrock, paneling, or wallpaper), number and grade of bathrooms, kitchen grade, fire place (wood burning, gas, or none), presence of a wet bar, home theater, etc. Each of these impacts your home’s replacement cost and your insurance rate.
Pool / Trampoline: Homes that don’t have a pool or trampoline have a lower home insurance rate than those homes with them. If your home has a pool, additional factors influencing the rate include in ground or above ground, the presence of a diving board or slide, and whether you have a 4-foot-tall, or higher, fence around it.
Claims: Most home insurance companies will increase the rate if the homeowner or buyer has previous home or renters insurance claims filed within the past 5 years (a few only look back 3 years). There are a few carriers that may also rate for the home seller’s claims even to a new buyer. Any type of claim will impact the rate.
What do you think? Share your questions, comments, or “ah ha’s” with me on my Facebook, Google +, and LinkedIn pages. I’d love to hear from you!