You may already know that poor maintenance will bump your rates. And you know that frequent claims will bump your rates. But there are a number of other factors that you might not be aware of. Here are five things most homeowners don't know may affect their home insurance rates:
- Trampolines. Trampolines are listed by insurance companies as an "attractive nuisance." With a trampoline, you're inviting a lot of additional liability. And you may wind up having claims filed against you, whether or not you give someone permission to use the trampoline.
- Swimming pools. If you don't have a pool, you probably daydream about having a pool. Nothing says luxury like a swimming pool. But nothing says liability like a swimming pool, either. Even an above-ground pool that you take apart between summers can bump your rates.
- Wood burning stoves. A wood burning stove may make your home nice and cozy in the wintertime, but it's also a major fire-hazard. Wood burning stoves are free-standing, prone to leaks, and tend to spill ash everywhere. Not to mention, they are often improperly installed.
- Home businesses. Working from home might not necessarily raise your insurance rates if your entire home business is comprised of a laptop, a desk and chair. But if you're storing inventory or special equipment in your home, you might need to get those items protected under an actual business insurance policy.
- How close you are to the nearest body of water. Even if you're not located right on a lakefront, being within a mile of a lake or river could mean that you are at a higher risk for flooding. This is one of the reasons why lakefront property is considered such a luxury. It’s not just the price of the home. It’s also what it costs to insure it.
The general guideline to follow is simple: If you're not sure whether something will affect your insurance, ask your agent. Even items that might not be explicit in your policy may come up when it's next time to calculate your premiums.