Not Smoking Can Decrease Your Home Insurance Rates

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Avoiding Renter's Regret: Understanding Renter's Insurance Coverage

Moving into my first apartment brought along a whole series of new experiences. I didn't realize that the property insurance my landlord carried wouldn't cover my belongings. I was lucky to find out before anything happened, and I spent a lot of time researching the difference between renter's insurance and the property coverage for landlords. I built this site to share all of the information that I learned, including the insurance coverage best practices I picked up along the way. If you're new to renting and don't have any renter's insurance, I hope the information here helps you to see how it could benefit you and what you need to do to get it.


Not Smoking Can Decrease Your Home Insurance Rates

3 March 2016
 Categories: Insurance, Blog

Did you know that you can save on the cost of the home insurance premiums you pay if you are a non-smoker? Showing that you are less of a safety risk can be to your advantage financially since the price you pay for insurance is based on risk.

What the Statistics Show

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that 357,000 home structure fires occurred each year in the U.S between 2009-2013. Of that number, smoking materials were the leading cause of civilian deaths with an average of seven people dying every day in home fires.

Smoking or Not Smoking Affects the Rate You Pay

Because smoking in the home has the potential to cause fire and smoke damage, home insurers generally charge higher insurance rates if someone in the home smokes. But if you are a nonsmoker and no one else in the home smokes, you may qualify for a discount for not smoking. The less risky you are, the lower the insurance rate you pay.

On the other hand, smoking is a behavior that increases your level of risk to an insurance company. Because of the number of home fires each year caused by smoking, insurers determine that you may be more likely to file a claim. As a result, you pay an increased home insurance cost.

Insurers Base Premiums On Risk

Insurance companies base premiums on how much risk a homeowner poses. They collect and analyze statistical data, which the company's underwriting department uses to assess the probability that you will file a claim. Evaluating key risk assessment indicators helps an insurance company predict the rate of future claims in setting premiums for its customers.

Since smoking increases the risk of a fire in your home, insurers charge higher premiums if there are smokers in the home. Smokers in the home also can give children more ready access to lighters and matches – another factor that increases the risk of accidental fire.

How Smoking-Related Fires Start

Insurers look at data listing common causes of home fires. Mattresses and bedding are materials that can catch fire easily; therefore, if you are a smoker, an insurance company will consider that you may start a fire if you fall asleep in bed with a lit cigarette. Upholstered furniture poses a similar threat. Tipping over an ashtray and throwing cigarettes or ashes that are still smoking or hot into a trash can are conditions that can ignite a fire as well.

Be Truthful On Your Insurance Application

Avoid the temptation to enter misleading information on your insurance application. You may think you can save money by telling the insurer there are no smokers in the household when in reality there are. But if you ever need to file a claim, your dishonesty can cost you. When the fire marshal investigates the fire for its origin and finds that smoking is to blame, the insurance company may decide not to pay and cancel your policy besides. Contact a local company, like Parker Insurance Agency, for more information.