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June 10, 2013

Five Factors Affecting Your Home Insurance Rates

HouseIf you own your own home or are in the market to buy, there are some factors that may be affecting your insurance rates without you even knowing it. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average homeowner’s insurance rate is close to $1000. You could potentially lower this amount by changing or updating your home. The following information should give you some ideas on how you might save money on your homeowner’s insurance each year.

1. New/Old Roof
The same caveat about old plumbing also applies to old roofs — if your roof is older than 25 years, you could fall into a high-risk, expensive insurance category, which will make your rates skyrocket. If, however, your roof is new and made of material classified as impact-resistant, you could get a discount if you live in an area that is prone to high winds and hail.

2. New/Old Plumbing
Old, leaky pipes can lead to mold, and mold is very expensive to eradicate. Because of the high cost to remove mold, your insurance rates may go up, according to the trade group Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. If your plumbing is older than 25 years, or if you have had a lot of plumbing problems, consider installing a new system. If you are considering buying a home with potential plumbing problems, ask for extensive information, or even a plumbing refit before you commit to the purchase. 

3. Location of the Fire Department
Believe it or not, the distance of your home from, and the quality of, the fire department can make a difference on your insurance premiums. The Insurance Information Institute states that homes located close to good fire departments with a permanent staff generally have lower insurance rates. If you have a hydrant nearby, so much the better. Fire protection and a good water supply are an important part of underwriting decisions for insurance companies. While you obviously cannot change the distance of the fire department from the house you currently own, it is an important consideration to keep in mind when you are looking to buy. 

4. Home Security Systems
If you have a security system that dials a security firm directly when something goes wrong — whether it is because of fire,  a break-in, or carbon monoxide buildup —  your insurance rates could be lowered by as much as 10 percent. Living in a gated community can lower your premiums even further.

All of these factors will be taken into consideration by insurance agents when you purchase home insurance. Call us at 888-726-3380 and we can discuss all the items that may raise or lower your insurance payments and do our best to get you the best deal possible.

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Tags: el paso, el paso home insurance, home insurance, insurance, tx

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