Insurance companies are always mysterious in their ways on how they finagling your home insurance rates, liability and every other confusing aspect of your policy. Whats even better is when they suddenly raise your rates when you buy your kids that dream gift of a new trampoline, pool or puppy- or even worse they drop you!
Be sure to know what will raise red flags to your insurer. ALWAYS ASK WHAT-IFs when purchasing homeowners insurance.
Lets get to the good stuff shall we?
1. Swimming pool
There’s nothing better than splashing in a pool on a hot summer’s day, especially if it’s right outside your door. But insurance companies don’t care if you need to beat the heat. They see your new pool as an “attractive nuisance”—and nothing more.
Insurers believe the pool will only cause disaster and nothing more. “‘people fall in’, ‘divers break necks’, no-lifegaurd? too bad you’re at fault'”
Granted, we understand a standard policy only covers $100k in liability. that should cover maybe half of your attorney fees.. We recommend that you grab an add on of liability insurance to keep you on the safe side.
2.‘Dangerous’ dog breeds
Common no-no pets are Akitas, pit bulls, Rottweilers, and German shepherds. Few insurance companies will outright tell you to ditch your beloved pup, but they might beg you to reconsider before adoption … and drop you if you pick the wrong breed.
While this restriction might seem silly to a dog lover—some pit bulls are as sweet as pie. The number of dog liability claims has decreased, but the cost of each has increased 16% year after year, thanks to increased medical costs and larger settlements and judgments.
Better known as “attractive nuisances,” your insurer will certainly tell you to avoid this “travesty” for risk of injury or death….
Be careful when mentioning this to the insurance company its been stated that some companies won’t cover it or they will drop you.
I know, i know, its tempting do so but, don’t hide the fact you have one from your insurance company. Some folks might assume there won’t be incidents because their kids are responsible, or because the trampoline is covered with a net or buried in the ground. But accidents happen—including neighbors’ children sneaking onto your property.
You’re sure to have a claim denied if you don’t report a trampoline to your insurance company.
4. Upgrading your home’s exterior
Claim Solutions knows Brick/Stucco/EIFS might look better, but don’t upgrade your exterior without letting your homeowners insurance agent know first. If a fire or natural disaster occurs and you’re forced to replace your home, you should remember that nicer materials like brick and stone are much more expensive than vinyl or aluminum siding. That can affect the amount of liability you need.
DO NOT DOWNGRADE yes we know, its cheaper and most certainly easier to clean and maintain. However, you’re sure to be dropped simply based on the weather/disaster resistant nature of this quick fix. (we suggest you ask first, remodel later if this is the case)
That looks totally safe…
Here’s another attractive nuisance your kids might be begging for: treehouses. (No, we’re not talking about freestanding jungle gyms or slides. We mean the ones literally built around a tree.)
We know kids aren’t thinking of that 10 foot drop that ends with a broken arm, be sure to know the insurance company will though!
6. Vacation homes
No, it doesn’t seem fair that your insurance company can ding you for a home you’re not even living in most of the time, but you should prepare for it to happen.
Why should I pay more for a place I don’t even go to more than 2 months a year?
After all, your primary home is where you live most of the time—making burglaries less likely and meaning you can quickly fix any major problems that arise. If water starts leaking in the basement of your primary residence, you’ll know. If a damaging drip forms in your upstate cabin, it might be a few weeks (or even months) before you notice. That means higher risk, and thus, a higher premium.
7. Frequent Airbnb-ing
Don’t jump onto the home-sharing trend without remembering the golden home rental rule: fewer than 90 days.
It’s likely they won’t cover any claims on a property used for frequent home-sharing.
If you insist on going that route, work with your agent to figure out exactly what coverage you need. Or be prepared to shoulder the enormous burden of paying to repair damage from a fire or flooded basement all by yourself.
8. Lots of claims?
Some people are naturally butterfingered. Claim Solutions doesn’t blame you (so what you have a black cloud), your insurance company might. Consider the severity of each incident before filing a claim, otherwise you run the risk that your policy might be terminated.
Don’t look accident prone, think of it like they do…. 4 claims this year? This one is accident prone NONRENEWABLE CLIENT***
At the very least, expect a premium increase after a couple of claims. And while it’s rare to be completely dropped, it might happen if your insurer determines you were at fault for most of the accidents.
We aren’t trying to scare you away from any of these choices, just be sure to speak with your agent when decision making (hopefully he/she is friend not foe!)