Factors You Wouldn’t Think Affect Your Homeowners Insurance That Really Do (And May Surprise You)

Most people assume homeowners insurance premiums are calculated solely on the basis of the home’s value. What most don’t know is that coverage options, past claims, and the location of the house also factor in to the premium cost. 

Homeowners who see a rise in their insurance bill may assume that their home’s value had been recalculated, increasing their premium. Essentially, all insurers are calculating your premiums with the same individual factors, it’s just a matter of how each insurer rates those factors. Here are some of the biggest factors that will cause your premiums to go through the roof and what possible solutions are.

Attractive Nuisances

What insurers consider attractive nuisances often aren’t viewed as nuisances by anyone other than an insurance company. Pools and trampolines are two of the largest attractive nuisances that will make your premiums attractive nuisances. The reason is largely due to children who suffer great injuries, as children are obviously enticed by them and thus more susceptible to harm. These are also things anyone could easily be injured on if not careful as they both promote activities that can easily lead to serious injuries or worse, drowning, if safety precautions aren’t taken.

Trampolines are responsible for hundreds of thousands of hospital visits annually. For trampolines, you may be required to pad the springs and put it away from trees or structures In addition to putting a fence on it. There are a handful of insurers who won’t insure someone with a pool or trampoline. Insurers know what liability issues you present, and thus will ask for the fence, higher premiums, and also limit their liability.  

Exotic Pets and Dogs  

There are some who enjoy having very unusual pets such as apes, tigers, and big cats. Other ‘exotic’ pets include spiders, like Tarantulas, and certain iguanas and lizards. Sometimes homeowners with a ‘risky’ dog breed will even find exclusions in their policy, stating they’ll refuse to pay for any claims due to your dog. Your policy will probably have insufficient liability limits since the insurer will usually decide on the limit they’ll extend to you, and considering the fact that such pets could cause great harm to any guests, you’re going to want to fill any coverage gaps. Look into umbrella insurance for the extra liability. You can try to find special pet policy specifically for exotic animals that offers the liability you need. 

Heating Fires

The two most common causes of residential fires are cooking and heating.  A standard homeowners insurance policy will cover fire; that is, until you increase the risk by putting in a woodstove, failing to properly maintain an existing fireplace or if you put in new fireplaces. They expect you to handle upkeep maintenance, and if you don’t you could be looking at a denied claim should something happen. Maintaining your fireplace, such as having it and your chimney cleaned and inspected regularly, is considered routine home maintenance, which isn’t covered by homeowners insurance. If you fail to maintain it, the insurer will deny your claim and probably cancel your policy. Additionally, failing to fix any problems constitutes as neglect, which insurers won’t pay for either.

2 Comments on "Factors You Wouldn’t Think Affect Your Homeowners Insurance That Really Do (And May Surprise You)"

  1. Trampolines?! That’s insane. I would never have even thought of that one. Personally, trampolines scare me, so my children have never had one. To me, they reek of potential disasters. I do understand how pools could affect your insurance though, those are filled with potential disasters as well.

  2. I would never have a pool. Too much liability and risk. I do enjoy visiting a friend who has a pool. I get to enjoy the benefits on hot summer days, without the liability risks 🙂

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