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The median home price in the United States for 2017 hovered around $300,000, which means your home is the biggest investment you’ll likely make in your life. The purpose of homeowner’s insurance is to protect that investment should it be damaged or destroyed. However, protecting such a big investment doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are a number of factors that affect the cost of your homeowners insurance and know what they are can help you keep your premiums lower. Find out what factors affect the cost of homeowners insurance and several tips you can use to save more.

What Affects the Cost of Homeowners Insurance?

While there are dozens, if not hundreds, of factors when calculating premiums, here are a few common factors that affect the cost of homeowners insurance:

1. Location

Your home’s location is the biggest factor that affects your premium. If you’re located in a region at higher risk for natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, harsh winters, or earthquakes, you’re going to pay more. States like Louisiana, Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Florida and Kansas have the highest rates, due to their high risk of devastating storms. Likewise, states with low risk of storms, like Hawaii, where the climate is temperate, pay less annually.

The Insurance Information Institute says that damage from wind and hail make up the highest percentage of claims, followed closely by water damage and freezing. So, the worse your weather is, the more you’ll pay.

2. Exposure to Other Risks

Insurers also look at your home’s proximity to other homes or commercial developments. For example, homes located in highly populated areas might be at higher risk for damage due to riots or crime. Proximity to busy roads or dangerous intersections will also raise your rates.

3. Proximity to Fire Departments

If your home is located near a fully staffed fire department versus a volunteer fire department, you’re likely going to pay less for home insurance.

4. Age of the Home

Older homes typically have old wiring and plumbing, increasing the risk that there will be a fire or flood in the future. Premiums are often higher for older homes as there are greater chances of damages.

5. Age of the Roof

An old roof is more likely to leak or be damaged from flying debris. Replacing your roof with modern materials will not only prevent damage from nature, but could improve your insurance payments as well.

6. Home’s Building Material

Wood homes are considered a higher risk than brick, as they’re more likely to catch fire. However, if you live near a fault line, you might save more with a wood-frame house, as they’re more likely to bend and flex with the shaking of an earthquake.

7. Wood Burning Stoves or Fireplaces

An open flame inside the home increases the risk of fire, which is the most costly of all homeowner’s claims. The average claim for fire damage is over $39,000 according to the Insurance Information Institute.

8. Dogs

It’s estimated that 50% of all dog bites occur on the owner’s property. Dog bites account for one-third of all homeowner’s insurance liability claims and some breeds can cause you to be denied coverage entirely if the breed is considered aggressive.

9. Previous Claims

If you’ve made several home insurance claims in the past, you’re more likely to make claims again, so your rates will be higher.

10. Credit Score

Credit score affects your premium, so it is important to keep an eye on your credit. You can check it once annually without damaging your score and some credit card providers offer a FICO report with each statement.

Since no two homes are exactly the same, you shouldn’t settle for a one size fits most policy. At CSC we compare prices with top name companies in the industry and tailor a policy to fit your needs so you get the best price on the right coverage to protect you properly. Don’t find out you don’t have the coverage you need after a claim happens. Call us today at 724-929-2300 for a free quote or policy review!