What increases your home insurance premium?

BY Meagan Ouellette | Dece 4, 2017

Heating type:
If your home has a wood-burning stove, or has an oil heating system, you aren’t in luck. Oil based heating can lead to environmental hazards, which is why many insurers charge more for home insurance when one has an oil tank. Using electric heat or a gas furnace is seen as safer and could lower your home’s premium. Ask your licensed insurance broker what the difference in premium is between a wood-burning stove or oil furnace and an electric or gas furnace, the difference may surprise you.

Proximity to a fire station or hydrant:
The closer your home is to a fire hall or fire hydrant the quicker it will be saved in the event of a fire, this fact could help lower your premium. The thinking is, if your home is closer to a fire hall or fire hydrant your home could sustain less damage than it would if it was in a more remote part of town away from a fire hall or fire hydrant.

The amount of things you need to effectively run a business is immense, which is why running a business in your home increases your home insurance. Just think about all the extra things you need to run a home business: computers, scanners, printers, desks, chairs, phones, filing cabinets, stress balls…the list can seem never-ending. That’s a lot of extra items at risk in a burglary or fire and a big potential reimbursement for your insurer. Not to mention the increased personal liability from having customers or clients visit.

The larger deductible you have on your insurance policy the less you pay for a premium. That being said, you have to be comfortable paying the premium you have set on your policy if you happen to have a claim.

To avoid a higher insurance premium and a pricy upgrade in the future, avoid homes with knob-and-tube wiring and look for homes with modern wiring, a home inspector or contractor can help in this area. This style of wiring is often found in older homes and can overheat and increase your chances for an electrical fire.

The age of the home’s roof and the construction could affect your roof’s integrity and therefore your insurance premium. The older the roof, the larger the chance there is for leakage which will lead to claims and a potentially damaged interior. If the roof on the house you’re looking at seems like it is well past its prime, you will need to factor those costs into your first year as a home owner.

The age of the plumbing and its type are important because if they are old, galvanized steel, they are susceptible to rust, corrode, and leak over time. As they age they have also been known to release lead into the drinking water of the home, which is very dangerous. Copper or plastic pipes are preferred as they are less prone to damaging the home’s water over time. If you have the home has an older style of pipes you may want to consider changing them for a more modern style as the older style could increase your insurance and may put your family at risk.

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