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.

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.

Related Videos

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.

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

Moving out? Get your security deposit back quickly with these simple tips
These tips for renters will help you save money
Couple packing moving boxes together

Moving out of an apartment is already a hectic event. But when you’re trying to get your security deposit back from your landlord, that stress only grows. After all, that’s a large chunk of change you’re owed—and one that would be much better off in your savings account or going toward decking out your new place. Whether your landlord has been slow to return your deposit or you’re just anxious to get your money back, here are a few tips for renters to get your security deposit back in full without a fuss.

Review your lease
When you decide to move out, one of the first things you should do is re-read your lease. This document lays out all the terms and conditions for ending your lease, giving your landlord notice about your move, and getting your deposit back. Oftentimes, your lease will also let you know how many days your landlord has to return the security deposit (usually 30-60 days after move-out) and any other move-out requirements. You may be required to return your keys, clean the property, and revert any alterations you made to their original condition before your deposit is returned.
Give your landlord proper notice
Giving proper notice before moving out is crucial to getting your full security deposit back. If you don’t give enough notice, you may be required to pay an extra month’s rent—even if you’re not living there. Not only will you have to give your landlord more money, but you may also have to wait longer to get your deposit back.

Read more
4 things you should never bother to fix when selling your house
Guy on ladder painting exterior of house.

When it comes time to sell your home, there are seemingly endless things to think about: repairs, realtors, open houses, finding a new home, and more. These tasks can be overwhelming, so while you’re in the middle of the organized chaos that is buying and selling a home, you don’t want to add unnecessary stressors to the mix. It would be nice to remove items from your to-do list, and learning what not to fix when selling a house can help. There are some things you can get away without fixing when selling your home — and the best part is, you won’t feel like you’re trying to pull a fast one on the homebuyers.
What makes a house unsellable?
It is important to think like a homebuyer when considering selling your house. If you notice something unsightly or damaged in a home you’re thinking about buying, other potential buyers probably will, too (unless you’re unusually picky). Only a handful of things make a house unsellable, and none of them fall into the “fix it real quick before we list it” category.

The factors that make a home unsellable are all unchangeable: location, poor architecture, foundation, and a poor layout that you cannot change easily. But the most common reason a home fails to sell is the asking price. An unreasonable asking price by the seller is the quickest way for a listing to be ignored altogether by potential buyers.

Read more
Avoid surprise repairs: 77% of new homeowners face these unexpected costs
surprise home repair costs shutterstock 1800995521

Homeownership and interest in buying homes are steadily on the rise. With so many new homeowners flooding the market, conducted a survey to see how new buyers were feeling after their big purchase. The survey found that the overwhelming majority of people who had recently bought a new home didn't feel prepared for the experience. A big reason cited was the fact that unexpected home repair costs popped up in the first year. Here are some details about what today's new homeowners are facing with homeownership — and what they can do to improve.

What's important to new homebuyers today?
The economy and the housing market aren't the only areas where things are changing rapidly. Prospective buyers today have a changing set of values that are evident in the way they approach homeownership. In response to economic changes, a bigger portion of buyers is moving away from being the traditional "couple" when buying their first house. Many are going at it by themselves and purchasing a home on their own. Others are buying houses with a friend, family member, or unmarried partner.

Read more