Since insurance is based on the sharing of risk, your home’s history could very well play a significant part in determining your insurance premium as it could increase the home’s risk profile. This is not confined to risks such as burglaries, but also applies to any claims that may have been made by the previous owners.
For instance, if the house in question has a history of burst water pipes, it stands to reason that there could be an underlying problem with the plumbing that may not yet have been fixed. In addition, structural damage from previous floods could also play a role in the structural integrity of the house. It is therefore important that prospective homeowners get the house they are interested in properly assessed before purchasing it.
There is a strong correlation between a persons’ claim history and the likelihood of that person claiming again in the future. Properties that have a strong claims history also tend to perpetuate that claims history, thus costing insurance companies more over time. As a result, insurance companies tend to evaluate insurance premiums based on the claims history of both the new homeowner and the property to be insured. Keep in mind though that these considerations only form a small part of the overall risk profile associated with an insurance premium.
Insurers may, based on these statistics, view the home’s claims history as part of the insurance applicant’s risk profile even thought the claims were made by another person prior to the new owner occupying the house in question. Since some countries and some states within the USA have mandatory time periods within to respond to people applying for insurance, insurance companies may take negative actions when presented with such an application. Subsequently, because the insurer does not have adequate time to investigate the application properly, underwriting can be denied.
Based on all these factors, you may choose to do a full investigation on your new dream home’s history; not only considering whether the previous owner made multiple claims, but also what the previous owner claimed for. Although a damage claim by the previous owner may not influence the premium, the associated risks may be an underwriting factor that prevents an insurer from accepting the risk. Based on the outcome, you may choose to continue searching for a more appropriate home. You may also want to use insurance comparison websites to analyze the differences between premiums and check which insurance companies are increasing their premiums based on your home’s history.
About the author