Insurance companies use a process called underwriting to decide whether to sell you a policy and how much to charge you. The amount you pay for insurance is called a premium. Each company’s underwriting rules are different. This means one company might be willing to sell you a policy, even if another company isn’t. It also means that different companies charge different rates.
Most companies consider these things when deciding on your premium:
- Your home’s age and condition. Companies can’t turn you down just because of your home’s age or value, but they can charge you more.
- Your home’s replacement cost. Houses with higher replacement costs have higher premiums.
- Construction materials. Premiums are higher for houses built completely of wood. They’re lower for houses built of brick or stone.
- Where you live. Premiums are higher in areas that have more storms or crime.
- Availability of local fire protection. Premiums are lower for houses that are close to fire stations.
- Your claims history. Your premiums might be higher if you’ve had claims in the past.
- Your credit score. Some companies use your credit score to decide what to charge you. Your premiums will be lower if you have good credit.