7 Ways Lifestyle Effects Your Home Insurance Payments


Your Lifestyle Effects Your Home Insurance Payments

Most factors that determine your home insurance rates are obvious: location, size, additions, or security system. But did you know that your dog can increase your premiums? What about the way you drive? Believe it or not, how many speeding tickets you have can also change your home insurance rates. Here’s a look at several factors that are less obvious but still have an important affect on your home insurance payments.

1. Troublesome Dogs

Certain breeds of dogs, like Doberman Pinschers or Bulldogs can add costs to home policies. The exact type varies from location to location, but breeds that are known to exhibit more aggressive behavior, and therefore more likely to bite someone, can add costs. Insurers look at public health studies and analyze insurance claim histories to determine which breeds are more dangerous. Before you get a dog, do research on the breed, consider obedience school, and make sure to acquire all necessary tags and vaccinations. If you are a die-hard Pit Bull lover, ask the underwriter if installing a fence might help with your rates. SEE ALSO: Uninsurable Dogs: What Everyone Ought To Know

2. Credit History

On the surface, credit history shouldn’t affect your insurance rates, but be careful. Underwriters will examine your payment history to see if you make payments on time. A good credit rating will help reduce premiums. If you’re occasionally late, consider signing up for automatic payments and double check your credit rating for mistakes.

3. Claims History

Do you run to the insurance company for every single problem, no matter how small? Every time you file a claim it gets reported, which means the insurance company has a history of claims for your house. The more claims there are, the higher your rates will be.

4. Pools and Spas

After a hard day’s work would you love nothing more than to come home and relax in the hot tub? Do you like to BBQ, and throw pool parties for your neighbors in the backyard? Beyond the building and maintenance costs for a pool or hot tub, having one at your home will increase your rates hundreds of dollars a year because of the higher property value and higher liability.

5. Your Family

If you’ve got rambunctious young kids running around and playing on backyard equipment, like a jungle gym that can increase your costs due to extra liability. If you’re married, some places will give you a 5 percent “personal status discount.”

6. Driving Record

How many speeding tickets do you have? Believe it or not, insurers consider your driving record relevant to your home insurance rates. Insurance companies have discovered a correlation between bad driving and homeowners’ losses and will reward you with lower rates if you have a clean driving record. SEE ALSO: How A Moving Violation Affects Your Auto Insurance

7. Smoking

Are you a smoker? Not only will this increase your life insurance costs, it will spill over to your home insurance. Smokers are at a greater risk for starting accidental fires and underwriters consider smoking an indication of high-risk behavior.

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