Smoking and homeowners insurance

All good homeowners know that their property is likely their largest asset and want to protect it by investing in homeowners insurance. However, most probably aren't aware of what could happen to their home when they light up a cigarette.

Risk factor
Insurance companies will base homeowners insurance policies on a number of factors - namely the risks involved. For example, a home that is older may have wiring that is more likely to corrode or cause a fire that could lead to property damage and a claim. Other factors that could influence homeowners insurance. premiums could be the home's location, its plumbing system or if there is a swimming pool in the back yard. Location is important because homeowners might be more likely to file a claim if they live in an area that is prone to wildfires, tornadoes or other extreme weather. Areas with high crime rates or previous instances of vandalism can also result in higher premiums. If a property has a swimming pool, there are risks associated - not only for safety, but maintenance and repairs.

Smoking What many homeowners might not realize is that smoking is another risk factor that can affect how much you pay to get coverage for your house and belongings. Have you ever heard the phrase "where there is smoke, there is fire"? Well, insurance companies take it to heart, because the chance of having a house fire is much greater among smokers.

While most people know that smoking can be detrimental to health, the cost associated runs much deeper. Each year, fire claims run in the millions of dollars. For insurance companies and homeowners, a house fire can be a tough situation - both financially and emotionally. Better to put out the cigarette, reduce the risk of creating a fire and lower your homeowners insurance premium.

What you can save
Most homeowners aren't aware of how much extra smoking can add to a homeowners insurance premium, but experts estimate it's as much as 20 percent more. If saving money on your monthly bills isn't enough to persuade smokers, than perhaps knowing that cigarettes are the No. 1 cause of home fires can. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, smoking is the most common preventable way fires occur.

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