As with most types of insurance, there are many factors that are considered when calculating your rate for your homeowner's insurance, including your credit score, the value of your home, the likelihood of a fire, and the average amount of fire damages sustained by other homes in your area. While you're probably aware of these factors, there are a few things that you might not be aware of. For example, did you know that your rates may soar if your fire department doesn't receive certain types of training? There are several other things that may affect your bill as well. Here are three surprising things that raise your insurance rates.
Fire Department Competency
Each fire department district is rated according to how they measure up with other fire departments, and each is given a rating of 1 through 10. A fire department with a rating of 1 is believed to be safest and those with a rating of 10 are believed to be least safe. Ratings are based on three key factors, including the availability of water, communication, and dispatch, and the competency of the department. Competency is evaluated based on training, geographic location of fire companies, and quality and type of equipment used.
If your department has a poor rating, your home will be considered high risk and you will pay more for your homeowner's insurance.
Home's Fire Resistance Rating
The type of materials used to construct your home also play a role in determining your rates. Brick homes are considered more fire resistant and receive better rates than wooden homes, which burn more readily after a fire starts. The latter almost always sustains more damage than the former, which is why you will pay more if your home is constructed from flammable materials.
Improperly Installed Fire Stops
If you have a firewall or other fire deterrent, you can get a discount on your rate. However, inadequate fire stops, the fire protection system placed in holes and gaps cut into your fire wall to accommodate pipes and wiring, can make your firewall useless since fire can jump to other parts of your home through these openings. For this reason, you should always make sure that all holes and gaps are sufficiently closed off with fire stop caulking.
You see, there are many things that can make your homeowner's insurance more expensive. While some factors are out of your control, others are not. To get a discount on your insurance, have your home fireproofed and rated by a professional contractor or fireproofing company.
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