Your neighborhood rating says a lot about your home and its future. It can tell you how safe the area is based on the local crime rate and what kind of weather damage your home may face due to its location. Find out what to research when you’re considering neighborhoods and locations for a new home.
Consider the neighborhood’s proximity to emergency services, such as a fire or police department. Insurance companies may rate this distance by protection class: Class 1 being the safest and Class 10 being the least desirable.1 Essentially, your home is in a favorable protection class if:2
- Your neighborhood is within five miles of a staffed fire station.
- Your home is within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant.
Insurance companies typically reward homes in these areas with lower premiums.2 Also, many insurers, like Amica, offer discounts if you have a security alarm or smoke detectors.3
A neighborhood with a high crime rate is typically a red flag for homebuyers and your homeowners insurance company:4
- Your homeowners insurance may cost more.
- You might have trouble switching insurance companies.
An area that reports a high incidence of theft may result in higher premiums.4
If your home is damaged or destroyed, its location will influence replacement costs, or the estimated cost to repair and rebuild with materials of a similar kind and quality.5 The replacement cost may be higher if your home has:5
- A special type of exterior construction or style
- Custom-built add-ons or special features, such as arched windows or a fireplace
Labor and materials may cost more in a major city.6 If you make safety improvements while rebuilding or repairing your home, some insurance companies will offer discounts on your homeowners insurance. For example, Amica may offer discounts for redoing your roof or upgrading the electrical system.3
Weather and environment
The traits and amenities that make a neighborhood appealing might also make it susceptible to certain types of damage. For example, neighborhoods in areas prone to natural disasters, such as:7
- Tropical storms
Neighborhoods with a higher rate of these risks may be more expensive to insure or require special, separate coverage like flood or earthquake insurance.8