Why is my home “hard to place” for insurance?

If you have a home and you’re having trouble getting home insurance for it, you might be ready to start throwing things across the room. You understand the importance of having insurance – your house is a big investment. So, you’re willing to pay for insurance, but you keep getting turned down. What gives? The reason for your home insurance difficulties could be that your house is considered “hard to place” or “hard to insure.”

But why would your house be considered hard to place? It didn’t do anything wrong. Well, we have a few reasons that your house could fall into the hard to place category, and we’ll explain a possible solution.

What’s the big deal about hard to place homes?

Okay, so there’s something you should know about insurance companies: they’re not exactly crazy about risk. Sure, home insurance protects you from risk and will pay out for covered claims. But if a certain house (say, your house) presents a high level of risk – whether that risk is property-related or liability-related – insurance companies may be warier about offering to insure it. They’re worried because the likelihood that you’ll file a claim could be higher than normal.

It’s nothing against you…just against risk.

4 reasons a house could be hard-to-place.

1. You live in an area prone to natural disasters.

If your home happens to be in an area where Mother Nature gets feisty in the form of earthquakes, hurricanes, or wildfires, you might be having trouble getting home insurance. It’s also possible that your home will be more expensive to insure to compensate for the added risk.

To help in your home insurance mission, you can take steps to strengthen your house against a potential disaster. For example, you can get a reinforced roof and shutters.

Get a quick homeowners insurance quote today.


2. Your home features “attractive nuisances” or other hazards.

Your house might have dangerous things that might make an insurance carrier wary of insuring you. Attractive nuisances are things that, well, attract people and cause additional liability or risk. For example, a trampoline or a swimming pool. What if a child sneaks onto your property without you knowing and goes for a bounce on the trampoline – and then accidentally cannonballs over the side? Or what if a child sneaks to your pool and falls in and drowns? Those are some terrifying liability-related possibilities. Your home could also be located by natural hazards, such as bodies of water or a steep embankment or drop.

To lower your liability, make sure that you fence off your property to stop people from trespassing or placing themselves in harm’s way. If you have a pool or trampoline, have strict rules so everyone can have fun and enjoy it safely.

3. Your home is on the older side.

Well, the insurance company doesn’t mean to insult your home or anything because of its age. It’s just that older homes might have electrical systems or plumbing systems that are not exactly current – and they may not be safe. Also, older homes could have architectural or aesthetic features that would be super expensive to replace. All of these things can make a home hard to place.

If you make any updates or improvements to the home, such as getting a new electrical system, you may find it easier to get insurance.

4. The house is a vacation home or a second home.

If you’re insuring a vacation home or a vacant home, you may have trouble getting home insurance because the house might not be occupied year-round. Since no one is there to keep an eye on things, you might not be aware of a problem, such as a fire, break-in, or burst pipe. And of course, any of those things can cause significant damage. Home insurance companies often require that the home is occupied in order for coverage to apply. To reduce your risk, consider having a security system installed at your vacation home.

FAIR plan insurance for high-risk homes.

If your home is seen as being high-risk or hard to place because of one of the above reasons or another reason, you can consider getting insurance through your states’ FAIR plan insurance program. FAIR stands for Fair Access to Insurance Requirements, and these are insurance plans run by the state that make it possible for those who are unable to get insurance in the voluntary or standard market to get property insurance. It’s basically a pool of insurers that share the risks (and, well, the profits.) Anyways, this can be an option for homeowners with hard-to-place homes. But keep in mind that you will probably have to have tried to get insurance elsewhere first and you’ll have had to take steps to reduce your home’s liability or risk before getting FAIR plan insurance.

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