These 5 Home Features Could Raise Your Insurance

by Maurie Backman | Published on Aug. 31, 2021

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Parent jumping on trampoline with two small children.

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Homeowners, beware. Certain features could result in higher insurance premiums.

As a property owner, one of the many costs you'll deal with on an ongoing basis is homeowners insurance. Fortunately, there are certain home features that can result in savings on insurance. Installing an alarm system, for example, could result in lower premiums, since that's a good way to prevent robberies.

On the flipside, there are certain features that could make a property's insurance premiums more expensive. Here are a few that homeowners should be aware of.

1. A swimming pool

Swimming pools can be extremely hazardous. Not only is there the risk of injury in a swimming pool among invited guests, but they're the type of feature that can attract passers-by to a property, thereby increasing the risk of something going awry. Some insurance companies will rack up homeowners insurance premiums once a swimming pool is installed, so property owners thinking of putting in pools should be mindful of that expense.

2. A hot tub

Hot tubs are smaller and less deep than swimming pools -- but they can constitute a similar hazard nonetheless. As such, homeowners who install them are often charged more to insure their properties.

3. A fireplace

Wood-burning fireplaces have the potential to burn down a home when they're not properly utilized, maintained, or watched over. As such, insurers may raise premium costs for homeowners who install them. That said, homeowners who opt for gas fireplaces may not face the same hikes.

4. A finished basement

Finishing a basement is a great way to add living space to an existing home. But doing so can also result in higher homeowners insurance costs. The more usable space a home has, the more it will cost to repair or rebuild if damage occurs. Basements are also notoriously susceptible to flooding during storms, even with the right tools, like sump pumps, in place. As such, insurers tend to charge more to cover them.

5. An outdoor trampoline

Many children (and adults, for that matter) enjoy tumbling around on an outdoor trampoline. But like swimming pools and hot tubs, trampolines open the door to injuries. Also, whereas many localities have rules requiring that a fence be put up around a pool or hot tub, those same laws don't always apply to trampolines. What that means is that a trampoline could be considered an attractive nuisance -- something that's likely to cause a passer-by (notably, a child) to enter a given property and risk getting hurt. Because of this, insurers might charge higher premiums to a policyholder with a trampoline.

Homeowners insurance can be a costly expense, so knowing what features make it even more pricey is important. Of course, each insurance company sets its own rules -- while one insurer may raise premium rates by a certain amount for a finished basement, another may not raise them as much or at all. Homeowners should contact their insurers before making improvements or adding the above features so they know what to expect. They also shouldn't hesitate to shop around if their existing insurers impose too high a rate hike.

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