Thursday, April 14, 2016

7 Things You Didn't Know Could Affect Your Homeowners Insurance Premiums

As a homeowner, you're going to need to purchase homeowners insurance. When your Lake of the Ozarks insurance agent is determining your homeowners premium, there are many different factors to be considered. Here are 7 things you may not have known could affect the price of  your homeowners insurance premiums:

1. The Age and Condition of Your Home

We'll start with a simple one - you may have already known that the age and condition of your home can affect the price of your insurance. The older your home or the worse the condition of it, the higher your premiums are probably going to be. The likelihood of home issues that could result in an insurance claim occurring increases with the age of the home. Newer homes and those in good condition are less likely to experience those types of problems.

2. The Material Used to Build Your Home

In addition to when your home was built, the type of material that was used also helps insurance companies determine your premiums. The premiums for homes made primarily of brick or masonry are typically lower than those for wood frame homes.

3. The Location of Your Home

Along with size, construction type and overall condition of your home, location plays a big role in the cost of your insurance. Unlike homeowners though, insurance agents aren't looking at school districts, restaurants and how far the commute is to grocery stores, office buildings, etc. What the insurance companies want to know is:
  • How close is the home to a highly rated, permanently staffed fire department? 
  • What is the proximity of the home in relation to the shoreline of a lake or river? 

4. Outdoor Home Amenities

Having a nice in-ground pool and hot tub can seem like a great thing to have. Trampolines and playground equipment also make a nice addition for those families with children. Along with those types of amenities, however, comes increased risk for accidents. This increased risk calls for increased liability insurance. Liability coverage may pay court costs or other expenses if you're found responsible for an accident on your property.

5. A Wood Stove or Wood Burning Fireplace

The second most common causes of residential fires is heating related fires. A standard homeowners policy will cover fire, until you increase the risk of fire by:
  • Putting in a wood stove 
  • Failing to properly maintain an existing wood burning fireplace
  • Putting in a new wood burning fireplace
By increasing your risk of experiencing a fire in your home, your insurance premiums might increase.

6. Your Pets

Some insurance companies won't insure you if you own certain breeds of dogs that are known to be aggressive. Other companies might not exclude certain breeds, but will take pets into consideration on an individual basis. In some cases, owning exotic pets, such as snakes, lizards and birds, can also drive up your insurance rates.

7. Your Home's Claim History

Even if it was before you owned the home, past claims on your home can affect the price of your premiums today. Your home's claim history is all bundled up in a nifty database known as the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE). Essentially this is like a credit report for your home and includes all records of insurance claims on the home. While previous claims on your house could cause your premiums to increase, many claims could actually have a positive impact, such as a roof replacement. In addition to your home, the claims history of your neighborhood, particularly the homes directly next door to yours, can also affect your insurance premiums.

If you have questions regarding your homeowners insurance premiums, give Insure the Lake a call at 573-348-2794. Our goal is to see you get the best coverage for yourself, your family or your business, at the best price of course! Easily request a free quote on our website - we want to save you money, while still providing the same or even better insurance coverage at the Lake of the Ozarks!

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 

About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral