No one wants to pay more for Home Insurance than they have to, especially in a state like Florida where homeowners insurance has a few unique things to consider.

1. Roof

Your roof is one of the single largest contributors to your Florida insurance premiums. Regarding your roof, there are two main things to consider: the roof’s shape and age.

You’ll get the best rate having a hip roof, which is where the edge of the roof is parallel to the ground all the way around (like a pyramid). If you have a side to your house which more resembles an A shape, then you have a gable roof, which will increase the premium. If you’re not sure what kind of roof you have, we also have a handy guide so you can figure out what the shape of your roof is.

Also, you have to consider your roof’s age. Here in Florida, the magic year is 2002. If your roof was built or re-built in the year 2002 or newer, then you should be able to get a better rate. The reason for this is because the state of Florida updated their building codes effective in 2002, which account for higher wind-speeds and stronger roofs.

2. Location

Living in Florida, this is another one you need to consider. How close your house is to a large body of water is one thing that will affect your home insurance as well as your flood insurance, but also the crime rate in your zip code will affect your premiums.

3. Windows & Storm Shutters

You’ll get a better rate for having impact-resistant windows, which are pretty standard now in the state of Florida, but a lot of older homes may not have them.

If you have storm shutters or storm panels that you can screw onto your house that will cover your windows in case of a hurricane, you should receive discounts for that.

4. Alarm System, Fire & Smoke Detectors

If you have an alarm system that is monitored to detect a burglar or even a fire, then your home will be better able to be saved if something happens to it.

The more systems you have that can detect that something is wrong, the better your insurance premium will be.

5. Deadbolts

Deadbolts help keep unwanted people out; pure and simple. If you have doors with deadbolts, burglars are less likely to be able to steal your stuff and therefore your property is safer.

6. Updated Heating & Cooling System

Air conditioners, fans, and related equipment account for up to 20% of house fires in the United States. If you have an older A/C unit, or even one of those in-the-wall units, faulty wiring or mechanical and electrical failures are more likely to occur, thus increasing your chances for a fire.

Newer air conditioners are not only much safer, but they’re often much more energy-efficient, which should save money on your electric bills.

7. Updated Electric System

Closely related to your heating and cooling system is your house’s electrical system. Older homes may not have grounded electrical outlets which could cause damage to your property inside your house (which is also covered—to some extent—by your homeowners policy). They could also have older wiring that either has out-of-date safety codes or things could have happened to your house’s wiring over time.