Determining home insurance is more than pulling out a calculator and punching numbers. A variety of factors contribute to insurance cost. From location of the home to the condition of the structure to safety features installed in the home, these variables make a difference in an insurance company estimating premiums.
Inspect the home. Hire a licensed home inspector to determine the condition of the home. Insurers will factor the wear and tear on the home to set a premium. The condition of roof, decks, porches, and electrical wiring help insurers determine the premium. New homeowners may receive up to 15 percent discount on their insurance if their home is in good condition.
Determine the type of construction. Homes made with less expensive materials may damage easier in poor weather conditions. Conversely, homes made of durable materials like brick are more weather resistant. Insurers factor in the types of building materials to help determine insurance costs.
Review safety features. Insurance companies may discount up to five percent of the homeowner's policy if the home has safety features. These features may include alarm systems, window locks, deadbolts, and smoke detectors. Homes close to fire departments also may contribute to a deduction when calculating insurance premiums.
Consider the number of smokers in the home as smoking increases the potential of fire in a home. Homeowners and residents who don't smoke may factor up to a five percent discount in the insurance premium.
Determine if the home is in a high-risk area. Homes that are in flood zones, hurricane zones, or other disaster situations may create higher premiums. Supplemental government catastrophic policies may be expensive and although they may cost more, your policy premiums will be partly determined by your home location.
Factor in theft insurance or personal liability coverage. Review the fine print of the insurance policy as having theft and liability insurance may increase your policy cost. Although these extra items may benefit the homeowner, insurance costs will play a role in calculating house insurance.
Determine the deductible. Insurance policies will factor deductibles regarding insurance premiums. A deductible is the amount the homeowner pays before the insurance benefits kick in. When the homeowner pays a higher deductible it will also lower the policy premiums.
Factor in multiple policies. Insurance rates may also be lowered if the homeowner has multiple types of coverage with the insurance company, including auto, boat or life policies. The homeowner may discount these policies depending on how long the policy holder has been with the company.
Check for senior citizen discounts. Some insurance companies determine age when deciding a policy. If the homeowner is age 55 or retired, there may be a policy discount. Insurance companies may discount up to 10 percent based on the seniors being home more to maintain homes and respond to fire or disasters.
Consider a group policy. When a homeowner takes part of a group plan, they may get a better discount because there is a bigger pool of money to underwrite home replacement or repair. Alumni associations and employers may offer group insurance plans. These group policies factor in to lower insurance costs.
Tim Bodamer is a freelance writer based in Seminole, Florida. He attended Edinboro Univerity of Pennsylvania where he studied journalism. He has 15 years of writing experience and specializes in sports, business and general interest topics.