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Buying Your First Homeowner's Insurance Policy? Rate Factors You Should Know

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If you are in the process of buying your first home, your mortgage lender may have notified you that you are required to carry homeowner's insurance. If you've never bought homeowners insurance before, you may wonder what factors affect the premium that you're quoted. Understanding some of the more unusual factors that will affect your homeowner's insurance can help you to choose the policy that's right for your needs.

Proximity To Emergency Services

One of the things that you'll need to know when you call for your homeowner's insurance quote is how close the local fire department is. You'll also need to know if there are fire hydrants on your street or not. These are important factors for determining your insurance premium. The closer you are to the local fire department, and the closer the access to water, the lower your premiums are likely to be.

Swimming Pool Security

If the home you're buying has a swimming pool on the property, that's another important factor for your insurance policy. In fact, most insurance companies will send someone out to assess the pool when you buy a homeowner's insurance policy. You'll need to be sure that the swimming pool is secured against unauthorized access, including a fence and a security gate. This is essential because an unsecured swimming pool is a safety hazard.

Pet Breed Factors

If you have any pets, you need to make sure that you tell the insurance company the breeds and types of pets that you have. You may not realize it, but the pets you have on the property will also affect your homeowner's insurance. In fact, the breed of your dog could be a factor for liability purposes if you have an aggressive dog breed. Additionally, if you own livestock or other farm animals, you may need to have additional coverage for those animals because a traditional homeowners insurance policy may not cover them.

Home Alarm System

Does the home you're buying have a central alarm system? If so, is it connected to a monitoring service? If there's no alarm in the home currently, are you planning to install one? If you are, make sure that you follow up with your insurance company after you do. Most insurance companies will provide you with a home security discount on your homeowner's policy if you have an alarm system that is active and connected to a monitoring service and dispatch. 

Talk with your homeowner's insurance company about any other important factors you need to consider, as well as any discounts that might be available to you.