How do home insurance companies decide if an area has a high crime rate?
My sister and I have similar backgrounds and own similar homes, but my premium is noticeably higher because my neighborhood is considered more dangerous. How do insurance companies evaluate the crime rate of a neighborhood?
Insurance companies keep track of all the claims they pay out. If, in a certain area, they are paying out more for a specific type of crime-related loss, they will consider that area high-risk. When an area is considered high-risk, there are a few ways insurance companies will adjust policies to account for the losses. Typically, they will increase the rates in that area or require the insured to add certain endorsements to their policy for specific coverages.
For example, in New York, you would need to have “off-premises theft” coverage to protect your belongings should a theft occur outside of your home. If someone broke into your car and stole your personal property while you were away from your house, it would not be covered by your policy unless you had that endorsement.
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