“Location, location, location,” is the mantra of real estate agents all over the world for good reason. Where a home is located will determine many things, especially the prices of the home itself and the insurance to cover it. Although it is not a perfect formula, the safest places are those with the cheapest home insurance rates. Here is some information about finding the safest areas to live for cheaper home insurance.
Why is Safer Usually Cheaper?
Insurers price their coverage based on many factors, but risk is one of the biggest. “Risk” is determined in home insurance by evaluating the home and the area it is located. If the home is in a high-crime area or one which is known for frequent natural disasters such as fire, flooding and major storms the inherent risk associated with insuring that home is higher. This translates into higher premiums for the homeowner. Conversely, those areas with low crime and lesser danger from disaster damage are evaluated as having less risk and receive lower premiums.
What Makes a Place Safe?
The cheapest homes to insure are newly-constructed, single-family dwellings in suburban or semi-rural areas with low crime statistics. Multi-family dwellings like condos and apartments have higher risk because there are more people involved. Suburban areas have less urban sprawl and less business traffic, hence less danger from vandalism and theft. Proximity to schools, police stations and fire departments also make for “safer” evaluations. Also, the value of good weather can’t be over-emphasized, since the safest neighborhood can still get hit by tornadoes every year.
Things Can Change
Being declared a “safe” city or community doesn’t necessarily guarantee immediate cheaper home insurance prices. It takes some time for the designation to trickle down to actual discounts, sometimes as much as a few years where the area performs consistently regarding crime and good weather. For example, Texas has some of the “safest” communities in the country but some of the highest home insurance rates owing to its devastating hurricanes and tornadoes. Las Vegas and Phoenix previously held “safest” titles but now are much lower on the scale due to rising crime rates.
Safest Communities in America
According to the most recent evaluation of America’s communities by Sperling’s Best and a major home insurer the safest cities in the country are Madison, Wisconsin; Olympia, Washington; and the tri-cities of Lewiston, Idaho-Clarkston, Washington. All three communities scored high on the home insurer’s scale for their low levels of crime and good weather. They are mid-sized, younger cities with high numbers of service jobs, low pollution quotients, steady home prices and low unemployment figures, but these factors don’t figure much in cheaper home insurance prices.
Getting Cheaper Home Insurance
There isn’t much to do if you happen to live in a higher-crime area or one with tendencies to extreme weather unless you’re willing to uproot just for cheaper home insurance. Home owners can still do things to reduce their home insurance premiums by being pro-active. Installing anti-theft devices and alarm systems can reduce theft risks. Putting in storm shutters, cutting back overhanging tree limbs, shoring up foundations and keeping your roof in top condition can bring down storm damage claims. By making your home safer you can make your own discounts in home insurance.
Just because someone lives in the “safest” city in America doesn’t guarantee they will have cheaper home insurance. It helps, of course, but it isn’t a golden ticket to discounted premiums. Home owners should try to maximize their safety in an individual way to get the cheapest home insurance for their homes, regardless of where they live.