Nine Factors That Can Influence the Cost of South Carolina or Florida Homeowners Premiums
You are having a friendly chat with your neighbor and learn that you are paying more, much more, for your homeowners insurance. Why? Many variables go into calculating the homeowners premium for the South Carolina or Florida homeowner. While your homes may look very similar and were built within a few years of each other, your premiums may vary greatly. Here are a few of the factors that go into calculating your Florida or South Carolina homeowners insurance premium.
- Age of your home – Generally, the older the home, the higher the premium. The newer the home, the more likely it is to be in sound structural shape and built to meet the latest building code requirements, including wind-resistance measures. In addition, newer electrical circuits, wiring and plumbing help prevent fires and water leaks. Tighter building codes lead to fewer losses for both you and your Florida or South Carolina insurance carrier.
- Type of roof – Insurers typically discount roofs that are more wind resistant. Hip roofs are generally more wind resistant than gable roofs. The older the roof the more likely your home is to sustain water damage or to experience other damage in a heavy storm. To avoid filing a homeowner’s claim, always keep your roof in good repair.
- Home construction – Homes constructed with wind-resistant materials such as brick or stone generally cost less to insure than frame homes. Your homeowners rates will be lower on home constructed with masonry and other non-frame materials.
- Opening protection – If you are a South Carolina or Florida homeowner, you live in a hurricane prone area. Installing hurricane shutters or other protective window coverings may reduce your homeowners premium.
- Markets available when your home closes escrow – Insurance carriers enter and exit the Florida and South Carolina marketplace. Farm Bureau’s and Allstate’s recent exits from the South Carolina homeowners insurance market means fewer companies for you to consider. When you choose an independent insurance agent, you will have the broadest choice of carriers available.
- Rate increases at policy start – Homeowners insurance rates are subject to rate increases at any time. If your agent quotes your premium on May 1, for example, and your coverage does not take effect until June 15, you may see a slight rate increase due to the company’s overall rates climbing during that period.
- Protection class – Your home’s proximity to the nearest fire station heavily affects your premium. The Insurance Services Office (ISO), an advisory body, rates each community by the number of fire stations and hydrants in that locale. ISO also considers how far homes are from their local fire station. How strong the communications systems are in your community also factor into your rates. For more information on your ISO rating factor, contact your local reporting fire department or your South Carolina or Florida homeowners agent and ask for the “protection class” in your area.
- Deductible – The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. However, always determine how much you can afford to pay out of pocket if your home suffers a loss before choosing the right homeowner’s deductible.
- How you use your home also affects your rate. A Florida or South Carolina vacation or rental home may be more expensive to insure than your primary residence.
Don’t take your premiums for granted. Question increases to determine if you can offset the increases by adjusting your deductible or making some other change.
- Talk to your South Carolina or Florida homeowners agent annually and review your policy and coverages.
- Consider hiring a licensed wind mitigation inspector to determine if your home is eligible for wind mitigation discounts under various state regulations.
- If your home is older, consider having a new roof installed and/or add window protection.
If your rates keep climbing, talk to an experienced agent for a competitive rate quote. Visit our Agent Locator to find an agent your community.
Please remember that the comments contained in this blog are general in nature and that coverage under any specific policy of insurance will depend upon the terms and conditions of such policy.