Are your homeowners insurance rates spiraling out of control? Your HVAC system may be to blame. Insurance premiums vary depending on a variety of home elements, and your heat and air conditioning equipment is no exception. Certain systems have higher value or risk factors and therefore cost more to insure. Read on to find out if your HVAC gear is sending your bills through the roof.
Variations in Policy
The ultimate cost of insuring your heating and air conditioning equipment depends on your insurance company. “Some insurers will not insure you at all, some will require an inspection, and some will classify you as high-risk,” said Alexey Saltykov, CEO of insurance-services company InsurEye, to the Financial Post. The following items could cause the insurer to hike or even cancel your policy:
- Oil Heating: Among gas, electricity and oil as heating fuel sources, oil is by far the least-favored by insurers. Oil furnaces carry a greater risk of starting a fire, and also pose environmental dangers to homes and their surroundings if they spring leaks. Older tanks that are buried underground are especially vulnerable to leakage. Oil can be a tempting option for people who aren’t connected to gas lines because it is usually cheaper than electric resistance heating, but improvements in heat-pump technology combined with higher insurance rates are edging oil out of the HVAC picture.
- A Wood Stove or Fireplace: Nothing beats the comfort of a warm wood fire on a cold winter’s night. Unfortunately, your treasured wood stove increases the risk of a home fire, and can also cause smoke damage in your home. Wood stoves are the cause of about one third of rural residential fires each year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Make sure your insurance company is aware that you have a wood stove, because if you don’t disclose it and you have a fire, they could decline to pay the claim.
- A Decaying Roof: If your roof is getting up there in years, you’ll get hit with a double whammy in costs. You’ll pay more for your HVAC bills because your air conditioning and heat will leak to the outdoors, plus your insurer will want to jack up your premium. “If your home’s roof is nearing (or has passed) the end of its expected useful life, you may pay as much as 10 percent more on your home insurance,” said Square One Insurance Services CEO Daniel Mirkovic to Financial Post. Wood shake and shingle roofs can also cost more because they are more likely to be damaged in severe weather.
Upgrade for Economy and Safety
Don’t despair – you can always upgrade or improve your home to increase your safety and lower your premiums. If you are interested in replacing an old oil furnace, installing a modern wood stove or shoring up the insulation under your roof, have an expert in AC and heating repair pay a visit to your home today.
Call the skilled technicians at your local One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® for help with all your heating and cooling needs.