Five Home Insurance Red Flags and How to Avoid Them

Every homeowner has their own personal nightmares about how to proceed should their home suffer from damage. The most pressing concern is how much the damage will cost them. How a claim affects your home insurance rate is something that no homeowner takes lightly. Some people even fear being booted from their insurance carrier and although not so likely to occur, it does happen, which is another cause for concern for people in these financial times.

Most people are not even aware of just what exactly is in their homeowner’s policy. When the time comes to file a claim, many have no clue as to how the process works, what is covered in their policy and who to alert once a claim is necessary to file. The best defense in protecting your assets are to know the ins and outs of you policy to prevent unnecessary financial stress in the future.

Everyone knows about their credit score and how it can be affected. This credit rating also extends to the costs associated with your homeowner’s insurance. Studies have shown that people with better managed financial portfolios are less likely to make insurance claims; credit scores are therefore used by a large section of the insurance community to set home insurance rates. If you have a long history that includes high debt, a series of non-payments or late payments, you may be hit with a higher home insurance policy in comparison with those with better credit ratings and less debt owed.

Keeping a good credit rating gives you more leverage when it comes to dealing with home insurers and you are far more likely to receive a lower rate.

If you have a job that is deemed high risk or low-paying, there are some insurance companies that consider it more likely that property neglect or improper home maintenance will occur.

Studies have shown that those with more lucrative job careers are not only less likely to file, but are more inclined to keep their homes in proper condition.

It doesn’t matter what your job title is, it is crucial to always be aware of the condition of your home before it gets to the point of no return. It is important to note that home insurance is for unexpected calamities and not for preventable damage. If you give your house a regular maintenance test, from the faucets to the roof biannually, you can alleviate losses and increased insurance rates.

As you probably already know, past claims history directly correlates to your home insurance rate. In some instances, you may have no choice but to file a claim. For claims that are of a smaller nature, it may be in your best interest to see if the cost of repairs aside from insurance are less than going through your home insurance premium. Contacting your insurance company representative can answer these questions for you.

What some homeowners should know is that having a certain breed of dog on their property can dramatically increase the home insurance premium that they pay. It may make you re-consider which breed to get the next time you head to the pet store. Some breeds, such as bulldogs, have even been blacklisted by insurance companies. According to some studies, dog bites and the insurance necessary to cover them total in excess of of $300 million annually. Owners of blacklisted breeds may find it hard to get a home insurance policy. Also, if your dog has already attacked someone in the past, getting homeowner’s insurance may prove difficult. Shop around for the best plan for your pet situation.

Some of the additions to your home may seem like a great buy at the time, but can possibly increase your home insurance rates. Swimming pools, spas, and trampolines fall under articles that are considered a potential risk and a threat to your current insurance rate. In fact, some insurance companies will drop those that have been found to have a trampoline on their premises. If a child is injured in an accident involving the trampoline, for example, the costs associated with tending to the child would not be worth the risk of the insurance agency. In instances such as these, umbrella insurance may be needed. To know if it is necessary, contact your insurance agent to get the answers.  In the end, the money you save could depend on just a few adjustments.

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