October 2nd, 2014
You can't simply purchase homeowner's insurance. The truth is, you actually have to apply and insurers can turn you down. Insurance companies will look at risk assessment indicators to determine if you're a safe bet - meaning they want to be sure you'll keep up with your payments and aren't likely to be sued.
Many new homeowners don't realize they're being graded when they go to buy homeowners insurance, and depending on their scores, they may get covered at a great price, a high price or not at all.
Certain factors will make you look like a big risk to insurers. Before you apply for homeowners insurance, you should be aware of these issues and if one or more of them apply to you, get ready for a higher price tag or a denial.
Your credit score affects almost everything - auto and home loans, credit limit and yes, insurance. If you have a poor credit score, generally under 600, which is what you need to qualify for a mortgage, you will likely face higher insurance costs compared to people with a higher score, according to RealtyToday.
How much insurers take credit scores into consideration will differ by provider and state. Also, if you live in California, Maryland or Massachusetts, state law prohibits companies from making your credit score a factor.
Pools and trampolines
You probably didn't expect this, but if you bought a home with a pool or put a trampoline in your yard, you'll likely be charged more for home insurance compared to people without the luxuries, according to Zillow. Pools and trampolines are viewed as dangerous and increase your chance of being sued.
If you bought a house on the edge of a lake or river, know you increased your risk of damage in the eyes of your insurer. Not only do you live near a danger, you've put yourself at risk for flooding if the water rises. This increases your risk of legal issues and household damage, Zillow advised.
If you purchased an older home or didn't fix it up, you can expect higher premiums. What may be antique or vintage to you is probably old and likely to break to an insurance company. Your initial insurance coverage and price will take into account all of the outdated features of the home and the longer you take to upgrade, the longer you'll pay higher costs.