Without house insurance, you are extremely vulnerable to the cost of repair and replacement in the event of an incident; thus most of us have a home insurance policy. However, there are many elements located in and around your home that make your policy more expensive.
- Precious items: Wine collection, jewellery, art items, musical instruments, precious watches, expensive furs – anything that can potentially increase the size of your loss will result in higher rates. Consider a separate policy or rider for your luxury items.
- Stove / Fireplace: Fire is great when it is contained, but fireplaces and wood stoves could cause fire and smoke damage. Rather than pay extra in your premium or have to undergo an inspection, switch to the safer gas or electric options.
- Oil-based heating: Insurers prefer electric or forced-air gas furnaces, since oil-based heating systems are more likely to cause environmental and fire damages e.g. via oil tank leakage.
- Business at home: If your house is also your head office, you are considered a greater risk as your personal and business property both require coverage. If your home is also used for particular types of business, such as bed and breakfasts, daycare, etc. it also means an additional risk in eyes of insurers.
- Aluminum wiring: Before 1970, houses were wired with aluminium wires. It is not used anymore and insurance companies consider it an increased risk because of its potential to overheat and cause a fire. To get a home insurance policy for an aluminum-wired house, you pay a higher rate and/or require an inspection by a certified electrician.
- Knob and tube wiring: That is an old type of wiring that uses knobs to keep the wires isolated. Insurers don’t like this type of wiring because it is not well-suited to today’s high energy consumption levels. If you can get protection for a knob and tube wired home, you will pay a hefty premium and/or require an inspection by a certified electrician. In any case, you might consider rewiring your home first.
- Old elements: Old, worn out and outdated elements, such as shingles past their prime, will result in no insurance or high-cost premiums. Do your home maintenance to ensure your house remains easily insurable.
- Roof: There are many roofing options and they affect your policy. The least reliable roof systems, in the eyes of the insurer, are wood shake or shingle.
- Lead or galvanized pipes: Some types of pipes are less reliable, such as galvanized or lead pipes. These older pipe systems are more likely to build up corrosion, resulting in a negative impact on water pressure and water quality. This risk makes it more expensive to insure.
- Building frame: Concrete and brick homes are more fire-resistant than wood frame, and therefore more desirable to insurers.
See how changing just a few elements in your house can dramatically reduce your home insurance costs? In addition, these changes improve your health and safety. Compare these ten items to what you have in your home. Make changes to save money and reduce risk.
These insights offered by InsurEye, a Canadian company that provides independent, innovative online services such as consumer insurance reviews, home insurance rates comparison and peer-to-peer insurance premiums benchmark.