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.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

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.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

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…
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
Should you ditch your gas stove? Unpacking the controversy – and what you can do about it
Here's what to know about the gas stove safety debate
A close-up of a gas stove

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that gas stoves recently ignited a firestorm debate among policymakers that naturally leaked onto the internet.

If you’re unclear about how exactly the now-heated debate started, here’s a recap:

Read more
These are the household products Reddit agrees you should always buy brand name
Here are the household products worth your investment
Woman painting wooden cabinet in her home

Household products can add up, especially when you consider all the different types you need to keep on hand as a homeowner. It's a highly lucrative field, and many manufacturers make knock-off versions that promise the same high quality as the original at a fraction of the price. But which products should you spend a little extra money on? What items have a reputation that stands the test of time? The Reddit subgroup r/frugal asked that very question, and plenty of people weighed in on the best household products that you should never skimp on.

The question was posed: "What everyday items should you not get the cheaper versions of? Sometimes companies have a higher price for their products even when there is no increase in quality. Sometimes there is a noticeable increase in quality. What are some everyday purchases that you shouldn’t cheap out on?" The poster of the question added his opinion, writing, "One that I learned recently: bin bags," to which we enthusiastically agree.

Read more