There are many steps to take when becoming a homeowner, and the process continues even past the moment that you find your dream home. After you’ve saved for a downpayment, met all of your house-hunting team members, received your mortgage pre-approval, and purchased your new home, it will be time to protect your new investment with a home insurance policy. Before you move into your new place, you’ll definitely want to have the property appraised for value, and assessed by a home inspector for necessary improvements.

Once you learn the appraised value of your property, that information can be taken into account by both your mortgage lender, and a home insurance provider. When you get an insurance policy to protect your new home, the insurance company will take many factors into account to decide the cost of your protection. These final price will be based on the amount of factors that pose a potential risk of damage to your property. The ultimate price of your policy may be lower than you expect, because the policy will likely only cover your house – not the full property that the house sits on. And there are a few factors that affect your homeowners insurance which may surprise you.

Renovations

If you do any remodeling work on your home after purchasing it, the property value will need to be updated to include your new fixtures and structural changes. If you add a room, the value of your property will increase significantly. The cost of your home insurance will have a correlating increase because you’ll want to make sure that the full value of your house is covered in case of a disaster, or damage.

Certain renovations could have a more significant increase on your insurance than others. For example, adding a pool will likely cause your home insurance to become more expensive, because the potential for risk and liability is stronger with a pool on the property.

Pets

Another factor that can affect your home insurance is the type of pets that you own. Home insurance not only covers damages to your home in the case of a disaster, but it also often covers any accidents that occur on your property. That’s why insurance companies assess the liability potential of the property which includes the types of pets that you own.

Larger pets can cause your insurance premium to increase because of the potential amount of damage that large animals are capable of doing. Some insurance companies will charge extra to insure certain breeds of dogs, and some companies will charge extra based on the history that the dog has – regardless of the breed.

Proximity to Water or Fire Departments

One other factor that has a surprising effect on insurance is proximity to safety services and bodies of water. For example, if your home is close to a fire station, your home insurance premium may be lower because the risk if a fire getting out of control would be considered lower. Alternatively, proximity to bodies of water may make your home insurance premium rise. Anybody of water causes the risk of flooding to be higher, and being close to large bodies of water in tropical locations can cause the risk of hurricanes to be higher.