What affects your home insurance rates in a rural county? Floresville and La Vernia and all the areas in Wilson County are affected by these factors. Here are the 7 factors to review:
What the normal procedure when your insurance renewal comes in the mail or say your email account? Most people file it without reading. That is the norm. It’s the same year after year or every six months, right? Not necessarily. Insurance companies make changes to their contracts periodically. Yes the word is contracts. Your insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company in which they set the majority of the terms based upon their filing with the state. The state approves the contract and the insurance company uses it until they want to make a change. That change goes before the state insurance board to be approved before the insurance company can use the new contract.
But what affects you in your insurance contract that you can control?
1. Credit Score
Yes, believe it or not, your credit score affects your rates. Not your normal credit score but a credit score called an insurance credit score. Insurance companies use this score to understand how well you’ll keep up with your insurance bills — and how much of a risk you’ll pose to the insurer.
Many insurance companies believe that a person with a lower credit score will make more or more costly claims. They companies have argued this before the state boards with their statistics and most companies do use the insurance credit score.
One of the factors for location is how close is the fire department? What type of fire department? At this time rural areas may only have a volunteer fire department. Bless those volunteer fire fighters but their response time is slower than a paid fire department as they are not on scene when the call comes. Response time affects your rates. So while some things such a gated community is nice, that fire truck doesn’t get in as fast. Another factor is how far away is the closest fire hydrant? Does the fire department have ready access to a good flow of water to douse the fire?
Your area’s crime rates, insurance claims and proximity to risks like lakes and rivers can also affect your interest rates. There is a difference in rates in Texas locations because of exposure to items like high winds, hurricanes, past flooding.
3. Home style
Not all homes are built the same. Construction style has a significant influence on the issues that happen over the years. Items such as more valleys on the roof may lead to roof leaks. Dormers, skylights, etc may have more leaks. A two story home has less roof than a one story house of the same size. Large exposed windows may have more damage during a hail storm.
As a result of basic construction differences, certain claims are associated with specific home types. Because of this, it will affect your insurance rates.
4. Construction Materials
Homes that are built with high-end materials have a correspondingly high insurance rate, whereas lower-budget homes will cost less to insure. What your home is built out of contributes to the insurance policy because it will need to be replaced in case a claim is made.
Many factors about your home itself affects the rates. Roof type, siding materials, fireplace can all affect the rates. Stone exteriors may not burn as fast as wooden exteriors, metal roofs and metal siding and concrete block don’t burn.
While metal roofs don’t necessarily burn they can affect the burn rate inside the attic if not properly vented causing a more widespread burn pattern. Lesson learned from a fire years ago in Legacy Ranch. The fire didn’t break through the roof so spread in the attic causing major damage to the entire house.
5. Property Age
The factors in property age includes items such as age of the house and the roof age. Older houses may have deferred maintenance or even wear and tear. An older roof may be more susceptible to damage.
If not taken care of properly, homes deteriorate with age. To an insurance company, an older home represents a greater risk for damage and problems.
The diligent homeowner, however, can overcome this generalization by alerting their insurance agent to recent repairs, renovations and damage-mitigating systems they have in place.
When considering insurance, a home’s size isn’t ignored. Larger homes are more expensive to insure because part of the cost to insure is the calculated value to replace in the event of total destruction. Part of those costs to rebuild is haul away. A larger home is most costly to replace in terms of scope and overall cost to rebuild.
Your insurance cost is based upon replacing like kind with like quality so that is also part of the calculation needed to determine the replacement cost of damages.
PS. Damages to the house itself is separate from the personal items in the house. Those items such as furniture, dishes, televisions, clothes, and other personal items are calculated as another section of the homeowners insurance, typically as a percentage of the house value.
Having the latest and greatest home amenities can actually cause your insurance rates to spike. Some may give you a discount.
Home features, such as fireplaces, garages, decks and sheds, will cause your interest rates to increase. Potential risk factors such as pools, hot tubs, fireplaces, trampolines and swing sets and even certain animal breeds will also affect interest rates.
Some of the newest items such as security features can give you a discount.
The other factor is items such as solar panels need to discussed with your agent as there may be an additional cost to insure. Endorsements for special items like jewelry, computers, money have to be added to adequately insure those things.
Floresville Real Estate Agent – Faye Y Taylor is here for help and to answer any questions you might have
Faye Y Taylor, Floresville TX Realtor®
Serving all of Wilson County and the South Texas area