What Your Insurance Broker Wants You to Look for in Your New Home
Buying a new home is exciting – and sometimes stressful. As you look into finding a home that you love, make sure that you avoid (or, at least, stay aware of), these common features that can drive up your insurance.
What is Your Home Constructed Out of?
The materials chosen during the building process can make a big impact on your insurance. Some siding materials, for example, are more flammable than others, leading to higher premiums on your home.
The same goes for roofing materials and other interior choices. Mainly, insurance companies will look at the siding and roofing materials with respect to:
- How easy they are to damage or destroy. This could be from fire, hail, wind, or other factors.
- How well they protect the house from moisture. Older materials are also more likely to become damaged.
The impact on your insurance depends on how old the material is, the quality of the installation, and other factors as well.
Age of Roof
Speaking of roofs, insurance companies like to know how old the roof is. The general rule is that insurers like to know that roof was replaced within the past 20 years or so. Of course, this depends on the type of roof and the material, so be sure to speak to one of our insurance brokers more specifically for this one.
Certain materials are more likely to lead to flooding. Poly-B pipes, for example, can be especially hard to insure if they aren’t installed correctly or have plastic connectors. Similarly, galvanized or lead piping in a house is a warning sign to an insurance company, as it means the house is older and more likely to experience cracking or leaking.
Overall, most forms of copper or plastic plumbing – when installed correctly, of course – are less likely to flood. These types of pipes are easier (and, generally, cheaper) to insure.
Electrical Materials & Setup
The electrical system in your home – no matter what home it is – is complex. This means that the equation insurance companies use to insure a house is also complex.
One thing to look out for is knob-and-tube or aluminum wiring. This type of wiring is more likely to lead to a house fire, especially if it’s older, deteriorating, or already damaged. Some insurance companies will want to thoroughly inspect this wiring to ensure it’s safe. Others may ask you to remove it.
For electrical, insurance companies also like to see breakers instead of fuse boxes. They’ll also be looking for a minimum of 100-amp service – any lower and you risk overloading.
Location, Location, Location
Location does factor into your house insurance. Insurers will look at the average number of claims in your neighbourhood, as well as the type and costs of these claims. They use this data to estimate the likelihood of you having to make a claim and, if so, for how much.
How Close Are You To Water
This isn’t necessarily a huge consideration for a house in the city. However, rural homes are sometimes quite remote. This means, should a fire happen, it can take longer for help to arrive. This means a larger amount of damage to your home and, therefore, a larger claim.
Wood Stoves Can Mean Higher Insurance
Wood stoves are excellent features in a home – except when you’re an insurance company. Common sources of house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning, wood stoves can be a liability for homeowners.
This doesn’t always result in a higher premium. It depends on the insurance company. Some might simply want to make sure that the wood stove is installed correctly. Because it can be dependent on a number of factors, wood stoves are best discussed with one of our insurance brokers.
Other Factors to Consider
Are you using your home as a rental property? Are you starting a business from your house? Are you planning on making any additions to your house? Do you have a security system?
All these questions impact your insurance, and they also make sure that you have the right coverage to fit your home and your lifestyle.
Ask a broker your questions about homeowner’s insurance. Contact our team today.