The more you know about home insurance, the better equipped you'll be to navigate it. Here are five things you might not know on the subject:
- Some dog breeds raise your premiums more than others. Dog bites tend to cost insurance companies around $30,000 on average. And certain breeds are, statistically speaking, involved in more attacks than others. Your German Shepherd may be the most tame, gentle dog alive, but insurers have to look at the stats. Those stats place this breed, along with wolf and coyote mixes and Akitas — at a higher risk premium, so you might have to pay more for coverage. Worse, some insurers simply won't cover a home with certain dog breeds in the house.
- Your insurer needs to have a good reason to drop your coverage. We hear about insurers simply dropping coverage out of nowhere, but the truth is that they are required by law to provide a good reason. An insurer with a careless attitude about dropping a customer may find themselves facing heavy fines and lawsuits for their effort.
- You can reopen old claims. In some cases, you may be able to reopen a claim even after you've been reimbursed. Oftentimes, you won't know the full extent of the damages until repairs are already underway — in which case you may be able to get supplemental payment from your insurer.
- Adding home security features is one of the best ways to lower your premiums. If you live in an area that's seen its share of crime — or even if you don't — a simple burglar alarm can be one of the most inexpensive ways to lower your premiums.
- Your insurer may limit your deductible. Different insurers have different limits. But typically, an insurer won't allow you to set your deductible over $1,200. Higher deductibles mean lower premiums, and vice-versa. But, of course, there has to be a limit on this at some point — both for your insurer's sake and for yours. You don't want to file a claim, only to find that your deductible is several times the damages.
You don't need to be an expert, but anytime you're spending money on something, it's a good idea to do a little research. That goes double for home insurance.