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The Andersons just moved to Idaho, they called their insurance company to confirm their new homeowners policy and were shocked when they learned their policy for a 4,000 sq. foot home was under $500/year. Mr. Hudson lives in a similar sized home in Texas and pays nearly $2,000 per year.

Home Insurance CostsWhile the homes are similar in size and value, the Andersons and the Hudsons live on polar opposite ends when it comes to home insurance rates. When it comes to pricing homeowner's insurance, location dominates your premium. When preparing for a move or relocation it is worth doing a little bit of research so you can understand what you’re in for. Is your state notorious for bad weather? Do you live in a crowded city or sparsely populated town? What's the crime rate? Live near the border? The age of the house and its construction also contribute, says Rebecca Hirsch, spokesperson for USAA.

Homeowner's insurance rates have been going up across the country. The average premium has increased by over 8% in the last five years. Florida and Texas are currently the two most expensive spots for homeowners insurance in the country at upwards $1,500 per year. What makes these states top the charts? Weather. Erratic and violent weather is the biggest thing that makes these states more vulnerable than others. Tornados, tropical storms and hurricanes are all possibilities in these areas. If weather is not a concern, high crime rates is the other biggest factor in increase homeowner’s rates. Other states that round out the top ten include Louisiana, D.C., Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Rhode Island, New York and Connecticut.

On the other end of the spectrum Idaho wins first place for cheapest homeowners insurance at just over $400 per year on average. Wisconsin is in second place followed by Oregon, Utah, Washington, Ohio, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, and Iowa. All of these states are inland states or northern areas where weather is less risky and crime is relatively low.

Many folks don’t have a choice in where they live. They move to another state for a job opportunity or to be closer to family, bigger factors that can’t simply be changed because of insurance rates. However, there are multiple things that homeowner’s can do to decrease their insurance rates regardless of their location:

1. Security Systems: Any addition you can make to your home in regards to security will help decrease your insurance premiums. A security system, fire sprinklers or burglar alarms can all play a role in increasing your safety and decreasing your costs.

2. Fire Station Location: When shopping for a home, look for the nearest fire station. The closer you live to the sirens, the bigger the discount on homeowners premiums.

3. Building Materials: If you are building a house, go with brick or stone. Houses built with brick or stone are notoriously cheaper to insure than those made with wood or vinyl siding because they are less likely to burn quickly.

4. Home Improvements: Sometimes home improvement projects can help lower your premium like going green with solar panels, installing safety features in your home or up-keeping your outdoor areas to avoid negligent injuries.

By Matt Reynolds - Google+
Posted 5:15 PM

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