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What factors affect homeowners insurance rates?

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The rates you pay for home insurance are based on many different factors, most of which can be categorized into two groups: your personal statistics and statistics related specifically to the home. There are a few factors that are not in these two categories, but these two groups will cover most of the things you may have some control over. Keep in mind, also, that home insurance rates vary according to the insurance company and the state in which the house is located, and while you can change insurers, there's nothing you can do about state laws regarding insurance rates.

Personal Demographics
There are a lot of different personal factors that affect the cost of homeowners insurance. Your credit score is an important one, but other factors include things such as your marital status. If one or more family members are smokers, that will have a major impact on your homeowners insurance quotes as well, because smoking significantly increases the risk of a house fire, one of the most common perils insurance companies must face. Your age and health are also important personal factors which must be considered in order to accurately set your premiums.

Home Specific Factors
The age of the home, materials it is made from, and where it is located are all important factors. If the home is located, for instance, in a zip code with a higher than average crime rate, your premiums will include the increased risk of burglary or vandalism. Wooden homes are more susceptible to some perils, such as fire, and your rates will reflect the increased risk. Similarly, older homes may be more expensive to repair or replace than a new home, and if your policy is a replacement value policy rather than cash value, it will provide you with a higher level of protection at a somewhat higher rate.

Riders, Limits, and Deductibles
How your policy is customized to meet your specific needs will also have an impact on your premiums. If you have special riders on your policy to provide extra coverage, your rates will go up accordingly. And if your personal property value exceeds the default coverage, you could increase those limits by agreeing to slightly higher premiums. Finally, you can lower the premiums by choosing to pay higher deductibles, but be careful not to set those deductibles higher than you are willing to pay out of pocket with little or no forewarning.

answered Jul 16, 2012 by anonymous
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