Skip to main content

These 6 things are driving your homeowners insurance up (and what you should do)

Owning a home is a great investment, especially during economic periods when home values increase, but owning a home comes with expenses. We do several things to save on our annual home costs, from energy-saving practices to refinancing our homes, but did you know there may be ways to decrease the cost of your homeowners insurance? We’re going to discuss some common factors that drive up the cost of your homeowners insurance, as well as some ways you can bring the cost down.

SnapshotPhotos / Shutterstock

Things that drive up the cost of your homeowners insurance

Many variables go into determining the annual cost of your homeowners insurance. Some variables you can’t change, like the size and location of your home. Other variables you may be able to adjust to bring the cost of your premiums down, like the total amount of coverage you have or the amount of your deductible.

There are also some factors you may not have thought of that may increase the cost of your insurance. Since insurance companies base your rate on how much risk is associated with covering your home, these six common things may be driving up your premiums.

Adding valuables to your policy

If you’re diligent about adding newly purchased valuables to your insurance policy, like that new piece of artwork or that expensive necklace you got for your anniversary, you may be aware that adding valuables to your policy increases your insurance rates.

Having an old roof

A home with a new roof will have a lower insurance premium since the risk of replacing the roof is lower. However, if your roof is older, you may get a higher rate to offset the risk of covering your home.

Installing outdoor play equipment

Outdoor play equipment is a fun addition to your home that makes the kiddos enjoy being outdoors. The problem is, insurance companies don’t see outdoor play equipment as all fun and games. Homes with pools or trampolines have higher risks and are more likely to file claims, so rates tend to be higher.

Living in regions with extreme weather

It can be expensive to insure homes in areas where earthquakes, hurricanes, or flooding are common. You can’t control the weather in your region, but if your home is in disrepair or lacks protection against extreme weather, your rates could be even higher than your neighbor’s.

Owning certain breeds of dogs

We certainly love our fur babies, but owning certain breeds of dogs drives up your homeowners insurance and may even make your home uninsurable. Even if yours is the sweetest and most well-trained pup, insurance companies will still see it as a risk to insure the home of a “dangerous” dog breed.

Having a poor credit score

Just like banks and credit card companies, insurance companies use your credit score to determine how risky it is to cover your home. If your credit score isn’t stellar, it could be a factor that increases your homeowners insurance premiums.

Exterior of light colored house.
Konrad Kozaczuk / Shutterstock

What you can do to lower homeowner’s insurance

The good news is, there are some things you can do to drive your home’s insurance rate down. Some of these tips may take some time and money to set in place, but the amount of insurance savings may be worth it.

  • Keep up with home repairs. This mitigates the risk for insurance companies to cover your home.
  • Install an approved home security system. Insurance companies know that owners of secured homes are more likely to notice fires, damages, and break-ins earlier and file smaller claims.
  • Fortify your home with weather-resistant updates, like earthquake proofing, flood-preventing measures, and hurricane-resistant windows. This will reduce the risk of damage and lower your premiums.
  • Increase your credit score to reduce the risk of covering your home.
  • Talk to your insurance company regularly, particularly before installing a pool, getting a dog, remodeling, or making other changes.

Considering all the costs of owning a home, like taxes, maintenance, and mortgage interest, you could use any savings you can get. While homeowners insurance isn’t necessarily the most expensive cost when it comes to homeownership, taking steps to reduce your premiums can go a long way in earning you savings over time. If your insurance is impacted by any of the common things we’ve discussed here, it may be time to consider making some changes to your home to drive that cost down.

Editors' Recommendations

Veronica Sparks
Veronica Sparks is a writer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who loves writing about gardening, home décor, and DIY life. She’s…
How often should you water new sod? What you need to know
Taking care of your new sod is an investment
Lawn sprinkler

If you need a new lawn quickly, sod is definitely the way to go. Unfortunately, it’s not cheap. Professional installation of just 500 square feet of sod, an area slightly smaller than two parking spaces, typically costs upward of $750 for materials and labor. Even then, most landscapers can't guarantee a healthy and flourishing lawn. If it dies, you have to pay even more to replace it. With that kind of investment on the line, give your lawn the care it needs to grow. All it takes is water and a little bit of patience. 
What you will need to water your sod
If you don’t have an in-ground sprinkler system, you will need the following equipment:

Garden hose(s) long enough to reach the entire sodded area
Hose-end lawn sprinkler(s) of your choice
Several rain gauges
Hose "Y" or manifold splitter (optional)
Hose timer/automatic shutoff (optional)

Read more
It’s not your imagination: Apartments are getting smaller
Apartment dwellers beware: Your space is decreasing
Apartment with shelves and potted plants

If you've ever lived in an apartment, you know space is at a premium. And new research from RentCafe shows some staggering new insights into apartment sizes today. It found that the average size of new apartments last year was 887 square feet — a 54-square-foot drop from 10 years ago, which was the "largest year-over-year decrease, down 30 square feet." For people who work and live in the same space as many do now, this can result in a big lifestyle change and a need to downsize the amount of "stuff" you have in your apartment.
Why the smaller size?
One of the reasons we are seeing smaller new apartments (those units that were built between 2013 and 2022) being offered today is that more studios and one-bedroom apartments have entered the market since 2022. In fact, they represent a share of 57% of the market.

It may seem odd, given that apartment sizes were actually getting bigger during the pandemic, as developers tried to squeeze as much space as possible for people at home. But in 2022, we saw one of the highest levels of construction in 50 years, which meant more homes, studios, and other larger residential dwellings. But if you're looking for a larger apartment, say three bedrooms or more, you're in luck. Those grew by 15 square feet.
Impact by region
If you can live anywhere, it seems the South is where you want to be for a larger apartment, with the Southeast coming in at just 10 square feet less. In 2022, the size of an apartment clocked in at 993 square feet, on average. That's an extra 106 square feet compared to the national average. If you love Florida, Tallahassee led the pack with the largest apartments at 1,182 square feet, and Tucson, Arizona saw the biggest increase in new apartment sizes. If you want to be in sunny California, the average apartment is 876 square feet.

Read more
Buying a forever home? This site shows how future flooding could affect your neighborhood
This research shows the real impact of being cut off from rising sea levels
best netflix ocean documentary woman

Buying a new home is one of the biggest decisions you'll make in your life. It can be stressful, and in addition to all the considerations like schools, location, neighborhood, and home type, you also need to plan for emergencies. For those looking to buy on one of the coasts, flooding can be one of those risks you need to think about when finding your forever home. But not just flooding of your home; what will happen if that flooding results in your home being displaced from essential services like grocery stores, hospitals, and schools? It's not something we think about every day, but for some, that possibility is closer than you may think.

A group of researchers from the University of Maryland and University of Canterbury showed that "targeted, effective, and timely climate change adaptation planning relies on estimates of how many people may be forced from their homes by sea-level rise and when this displacement will start to occur." Simply put, they measured the possible isolation driven by sea level rise due to climate change.

Read more