Insurance carriers take hundreds of factors into consideration when calculating premiums. Here are the six things that make the biggest difference to your home insurance rate:
- The location of your home: Texas is prone to hurricanes, and past events have shown insurers that homes close to the coast or to large bodies of water are more likely to incur losses. Consequently, these homes are more expensive to insure against weather-related perils. Some inland areas – particularly around Dallas/Fort Worth – regularly get devastating hailstorms, which have intensified in recent years, and have subsequently caused big premium increases in those areas. There are also less obvious factors at play, meaning that some zip codes are consistently more expensive for insurance than others, which is related to past losses in an area and the complicated algorithms that insurance companies use to determine risk.
- The age of your home: The days of sturdy, stone-and-brick homesteads built to last hundreds of years are long gone. These days, the chance of something going wrong with your home starts to rise rapidly after about 10 years of age. Roofs become less weather-resistant and need replacing, plumbing and other internal systems are more likely to malfunction, and nearby trees grow larger and become more likely to topple onto your house. The equation is simple: older home = higher chance of a claim = more expensive insurance!
- The age of your roof: Today’s shingle roofs are designed to last about 15-20 years. Insurance companies know this, and will therefore charge a higher premium for older roofs, offer an Actual Cash Value policy only, or even refuse to insure your home at all. Tile or metal roofs have longer lives, but the flip side for insurance companies is that they cost more to replace if destroyed by a hurricane.
- Type of plumbing: Homes built before 1985 that have not been completely updated may still retain all or some of their original galvanized pipes. Statistically, these kinds of pipes are far more likely to corrode and develop leaks than modern PVC piping. If your home still has galvanized plumbing, you will have a smaller choice of insurance carriers, and premiums will be more expensive.
- Your “insurance score”: Whenever you get a quote, insurance carriers run an “insurance score” on one or both applicants. This is a bit like a credit check and takes lots of factors into account, but it does not affect your credit score in the same way that a loan application does. If your insurance score is low, you could be paying more for the exact same policy than someone who has a high insurance score.
- Prior claims: While there is some leniency towards weather claims (after all, a hurricane is not your fault!), insurance companies are wary of homeowners who have multiple claims on their record for things like water damage, theft, and – especially – liability. Any zero-paid-out claims (where the amount of the claim costs less than your deductible) can also hike your premium at renewal. So it’s best to make absolutely sure BEFORE you file a claim that it’s going to be worthwhile to do so – your agent will be able to advise you.
The golden rule is – as always – to give your agent a call! Memorial Insurance Agency’s licensed agents will be happy to provide you with a quote, help you to decide whether to file a claim, and answer any questions that you may have about insurance.
If you own a home in the Houston, TX area, it is important that you have it fully and properly covered by insurance. For most homeowners, this will mean having home insurance in place at all times. However, there are other types of insurance that you may need as well. Depending on your situation, you may also need to get flood insurance. There are several situations in which you will need to have flood insurance.
Required by Lender
One of the most common reasons why someone may need to get flood insurance is if their mortgage lender requires it. If your home is located in a FEMA flood zone, it is very likely that your lender will want you to have flood insurance. This is especially true if your mortgage is part of the FHA program. In these situations, you will likely need to escrow your payments on a monthly basis.
Even if it is not required by your bank, you could still benefit greatly by having flood insurance if you are in or near a flood zone. Flood insurance will provide you with very valuable protection in the event your home is damaged by a flood. Further, your standard home insurance policy may not cover it if you are at risk of being affected by floods.
There are a variety of situations in which someone in the Houston, TX area should have flood insurance. When you are trying to better understand your flood insurance needs and requirements, you should contact the team at Memorial Insurance Agency. The insurance professionals at Memorial Insurance Agency fully understand the complexities and importance of flood insurance. Because of this, they can help you get into a flood insurance policy that provides you with the right level of coverage.
If you’ve ever picked up the phone and called our agency, then you’ll most likely be familiar with Mayra Reyes. One of our most experienced staff, Mayra will always go to great lengths to make sure her customers are happy. You need only glance at our Google reviews to see how much Mayra’s customers love her!
Yesterday, Mayra celebrated her 5th anniversary with our agency – so we all had a great reason to go out and celebrate with some yummy food and a cocktail at Brio’s in the City Centre!
Happy Anniversary, and thank you so much for your dedicated service, Mayra – your warmth, friendliness, professionalism, and insurance expertise are very much appreciated by your colleagues and customers alike! Here’s to the next five years growing with Memorial Insurance Agency!