How Does Your Insurance Company Decide Your Rate?
One thing that is very common in the industry is that no two companies will offer the same rate and coverage. This is the primary reason it's always very important to shop, make sure you read the policy inside and out so you know you are getting the best deal possible. It's not very common for consumers to do this, so if something comes up and you aren't covered you really only have yourself to blame. Answer all the insurance companies questions as throughly as possible so you can address any issues in your policy.
If you live in the Downtown Eastside it's likely that you are at greater risk of crime than you would be in Shaughnessy. Because of these factors where you live in a very important consideration for any insurance provider. If your property is in an area that statistically has a lower crime rate, you'll pay less to insure your possessions. Have a look at the Vancouver Police Department crime statistics to figure out which neighbourhood is right for you and your family.
History of Claims and Replacement Costs
If you don't learn from history, you are bound to repeat it. Insurance companies are a business, and as such they don't want to make the same mistakes by insuring people who are a higher risk than others. The cost incurred by the need to replace personal possessions or even the property itself are all factored into the equation. A large, high end house will definitely cost more to insure than a home where the structure is worth less than $100,000, regardless of the location of the property or past history.
Don't Forget To Address Electric & Heating Issues
When an insurance professional provides you a quote he or she will want to know how the property is heated. If there is an old old tank heating your house this will cost you more to insure as it's a higher risk. It can be costly to replace these tankers, but it's also a risk to the natural environment of the land your home sits on so it's advisable to take care of it. If the heating system is powered by natural gas or electricity it's not as much of a risk, and can lead to a reduced cost for insurance. Wood stoves might seem like a trendy option, but they increase your risk of fire and therefore your premiums.
The insurance provider will want to know the details of your electrical system to see if it uses fuses or breakers, with fuses being the higher risk. If you are in an older home, this becomes even more important. They'll want to discover what kind of wiring is being used throughout the property, especially if it uses a fuse box. This information should be easy for you to find, and will be featured on the inspection report you purchased prior to finalizing your real estate transaction.
What Way Does The Water Flow
With most things in life, the older you are the harder it is to keep properly maintained. If your home features an older plumbing system that uses either galvanized or lead piping, this can be more expensive to insure because these types of piping are more susceptible to leaking and/or cracking. If you are lucky enough to buy a home with copper or plastic piping you'll thankfully have lower premiums to pay.
Proximity to a fire hydrant is another key factor that home insurers look at. If your home is in the country you'll likely have to pay more to insure the structure. It's reasonable to assume that if your location is close to a proper fire hydrant, the easier it will be for firefighters to put out any blaze, thereby causing less damage to the structure.
Nothing But Roof Daddy
Hockey references asides, a roof is one of the most important features of any home or condo unit. If your roof is a fortress than is impossible to penetrate, this will lead to an insurance provider that is happy to provide a discount for this crowning glory. If your home inspection report shows that your roof is a leaky mess waiting to happen you can bet your bottom dollar your insurance provider will charge you more. A good rule of thumb is that you should replace your roof every 20 or so years, the closer you are to this expiration date the higher your premium will be.