When considering a new home, most of us tend to focus on what we really want. We’re looking for a neighborhood close to work or school, enough bedrooms and bathrooms, and a big yard with space for the kids to play. While considering the factors of your dream home, it’s also important to understand how those features can affect the overall cost of your home insurance. Although you may be getting everything you want out of your future home, you could end up with property that might be costly or even difficult to insure. By working with an experienced Calgary insurance broker before and after purchase, you can manage and even reduce some of the costs of your home insurance.
Factors to Consider
We’ve all heard it before. When buying real estate, it’s all about location, right? If you buy a home in an area prone to extreme weather or natural disasters (such as near one of Calgary’s rivers that are known to overflow in the spring), you will need to add flood insurance to your regular home insurance policy. Some providers also factor in a home’s distance from the nearest fire station or hydrant when determining perils. Others base their rates on claims submitted by other homeowners in the area. As a prospective buyer, this information can be next to impossible to learn on your own, but rather than dealing with an agent from just one insurance company, a broker can write up estimates based on all the variables from a variety of companies.
Size and age can also affect your premium. Typically, the larger your home, the more it will cost to insure due to the simple fact when an incident occurs the cost of repairs is higher than for a smaller home.
Finished basements are the norm, now, but weren’t always. Since basements tend to be the first place to flood, but are now where the majority of homes have their media rooms, home insurance rates are adjusting for the added potential loss.
And if your home is constructed from lesser quality materials than others in the area, you should also expect your insurance rate to be higher. The age of your home’s roof, plumbing and electrical will also be considered. A roof more than 25 years old may means you will only be eligible for insurance in a more expensive, higher risk group. Older plumbing increases the risk of water damage and mold, and electrical that hasn’t been updated to use circuit breakers will run a greater risk of fire. Additional risk factors like swimming pools, trampolines, laundry facilities on the upper floors (which can cause a lot of damage if there is a problem), multiple bathrooms and even dogs on the property can also increase the cost of your home insurance.
At Lane’s Insurance, an experienced account manager will provide the personalized support you need in designing your insurance policy. Because your broker has access to products from multiple providers, you have a better chance of getting the coverage you need at the best possible rate.
Upgrading Your Home
Even after purchase, careful consideration of home improvement projects can help you save on your Calgary home insurance. It is always a good idea to discuss plans with your broker before making upgrades. When replacing a roof, wind-resistant materials with a higher rating can lower your premium. For homes in areas prone to severe weather, having wind-resistant shutters can also help you save on your premium. If you live in a dry area and are thinking about replacing siding, you can often reduce your premium by using fire-resistant materials like fiber-cement shingles, metal, and masonry.
Because they are at lower risk of failure, insurance companies offer lower premiums on homes with newer plumbing, electrical, and security features. If you make upgrades to any of these systems in an older home, be sure to inform your Calgary home insurance broker.
To help reduce your premium, consider installing some of these modern features:
- Home security system
- Sprinkler system
- Smoke and carbon dioxide alarms
- Fire extinguishers
- Dead bolt locks
There are so many factors to consider when insuring a home that you need the best possible advice to plan for your future. By working with an experienced broker like those at Lane’s Insurance, you can prevent your dream home from becoming an insurance nightmare.