Last week, I wrote about factors that could be driving up the cost of your homeowner’s insurance. Since then, I’ve heard from a number of people who have experienced similar problems. Many of them have been told, at one point or another, that they are “high-risk” customers by their insurance providers. But what makes a customer high-risk? And more importantly, is there anything you can do to fix the situation?
I’ve put together a list of a few potential high-risk customers. Read on, and see if you fall into one of these categories.
The One with the Low Credit Score
Maybe you took out multiple credit cards when you were in college. Maybe you weren’t as diligent about paying your bills on time. Whatever the reason, if you’re the one with the low credit score, there’s a good chance you’ll pay for it in your insurance premiums.
There are few things riskier to insurance providers than customers with low credit scores. It’s typically one of the first factors insurance companies use when determining what your premiums will be, and having a low credit score can make your premiums skyrocket.
The good news is, there’s nowhere for your credit to go but up! Make sure to pay your bills on time, monitor your credit, and avoid taking out too many types of credit.
The One who Loves Swimming Pools
Whether the pool was one of the main selling factors when you bought your new home, or you had it installed yourself, swimming pools pose a big liability risk to insurance providers. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an average of 5,100 pool or spa related injuries treated involving children younger than 15 years of age between 2008 to 2010. This means insurance providers keep a sharp eye out for pool lovers, and may label them as high-risk.
The One who Loves Animals
Animal lovers may find themselves branded as high-risk, depending on the type of animals they own. Certain breeds of dogs that statistically pose a liability risk, like Rottweilers, Dobermans, and Pit Bulls, could make insurance providers a bit wary. Even if you own a breed that isn’t a liability risk, if your dog has a history of biting you may be looking at higher premiums, or be refused coverage altogether.
The One who Procrastinates
Do you drag your feet when it comes to making repairs on your home? If so, it could cost you considerably. Waiting too long to repair a small problem could result in it getting much worse, which means a more expensive repair for you, and your provider.
The One with Bad Luck
Some people just seem to have bad luck. Even if you’re the most responsible and attentive homeowner, sometimes bad luck just seems to happen. Maybe a storm caused a tree to collapse on your home, or a spatter of cooking oil caused a kitchen fire once. Having insurance claims on your history could make you look high-risk to a provider.
To avoid needing to make further claims, be proactive toward home safety. Remove dead branches from trees before they become an issue, repair structural damage as soon as you notice it, and add safety measures like fire extinguishers. And buying a lucky rabbit’s foot couldn’t hurt!