October 10th, 2014
When signing up for homeowners insurance, you might be aware of the many risk factors providers look at. Even if your family is safe, healthy and risk-averse, you could still pay higher monthly premiums if there are certain issues associated with your home.
Here are some household risk factors to be aware of:
Both the number and breed of pets you have in your home will be seen as potential risk factors for insurance companies. Whereas smaller pets like cats, fish and the like have little inherent risk involved, dogs on the other hand can come with an increase in insurance claims relating to dog bites. If you have more exotic pets, then your home insurance rates will also take this into account.
While kids may love to jump on a trampoline, they also get hurt quite commonly doing so. Many insurance providers consider trampolines to be accidents waiting to happen. Leg, spine and neck injuries are typically incurred, especially when there are a number of people jumping at once and without adult supervision or safety preparations.
Where your home is located is one of the largest factors that determine your insurance rate. If you live in a coastal area such as Florida, Texas or Louisiana, then your home is at a higher risk to be damaged by hurricanes and flooding. Additionally, if you live in the Midwest, your home might be more susceptible to tornadoes or even wildfires. Your specific neighborhood can be an even larger risk factor. The crime rate, proximity to emergency services and the relative insurance rates of others in the area also have an impact.
For a variety of reasons, your past claims could affect your current insurance rates. Some may even be out of your hands. Perhaps your home was vandalized or the basement flooded. Even for things you can't control, insurance companies will still hold it against you because of the amount of claims you make. It could be likely that your trend of claims will continue in your new home, thus making you a risk factor.
If your home is dilapidated and lacking proper maintenance and upkeep, then there are many problems that can result. Unclean or cluttered homes are more susceptible to house fires, while damaged roofs, walls and floors typically are accompanied by water leaks, infestations and mold.