Pennsylvania Home Insurance
The Keystone State boasts a history as the site where important documents have been created. The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Gettysburg Address were all written in the Philadelphia area. Perhaps it's a stretch to compare those treatises with the policy you receive from a Pennsylvania home insurer, but they all share the theme of protection.
Pennsylvania home insurance is priced much more modestly than the going rates in some of its neighboring states like New York, New Jersey and Maryland. The low cost of living in Pennsylvania includes cheaper-than-average prices for real estate. Not surprisingly, the state's rate of homeownership greatly exceeds the national average.
- Seven out of every ten Pennsylvania households are owner occupied.
- Across the country, one out of every two homes is occupied by the owner.
Acts of Nature
Another way that Pennsylvania beats national averages is precipitation, both rain and snow. The state is wetter than the average for the entire country, and that does mean the risk of flooding is greater. Risk dictates how insurance prices are calculated, so the way to save money on premiums is to find ways to reduce risks. Make your home more flood resistant, document these efforts and supply copies of this proof when applying for policies and you'll get lower prices.
Reduce Flood Risks
Measures for reducing your risk of damages to your home resulting from flooding can include things like:
- Elevating your home
- Adding drains to basement floors
- Bolstering the foundation
- Upgrading gutters and downspouts
- Increasing the capacity of infrastructure dedicated to collecting rainwater
- Keeping valuable items on the highest floors of the home
Alas, the Keystone State's also above national averages for crime rates, which seems ironic given that Pennsylvania has such a large religious Amish community. Some of the criminal activity appears to be spillover from neighboring New York, while the rest may be due to conditions of poverty in some parts of Pennsylvania. The safer your neighborhood is, the greater the bargain you will enjoy on home insurance prices. Regardless of how safe your surroundings are, increasing the amount of security features in and around your home will also motivate insurers to lower their rates.
When applying for home insurance in Pennsylvania, try to provide proof of security features in the form of photos and written building plans. Any time you add more safety to your home, update insurers accordingly. If you don't have them already, consider getting the following:
- Burglar alarms and intrusion detectors
- Locks and bars on windows facing accessible areas
- Walls or fences surrounding your property and yard
- A guard dog in the home, plus signage to that effect
- External lighting surrounding the property
- Timers that turn lights off and on indoors when the home is unoccupied
- In the case of homeowners' associations, condominiums and other group living arrangements, a doorman, security guard or concierge on duty around the clock.
A Good Policy Is a Keystone
Security seems like a natural fit for a state that gets its nickname from its geographical location within the original U.S. colonies. Keystone refers to Pennsylvania being at the physical center and key to the economy and politics of the first 13 states in the nation. That same concept of centrality characterizes the need for good home insurance, which protects property owners, occupants and guests. A strong policy is a lot like a keystone.