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Will the Materials of Your Home Affect Your Policy?

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

Deciding on the materials for your dream home is usually geared toward design and functionality. But if you are buying a home insurance, the materials actually impact the costs of your policy.

Below are the most common types of house construction:

  • Timber frame construction. Benefits include aesthetics, quick construction, and durability.
  • Wood panels. May be susceptible to warping and rot from water or damage from insects and termites but are relatively less costly to build
  • Manufactured or prefabricated. Mobiles homes are an example of house construction that is made up of entirely prefabricated parts. Examples of parts include plastics, fiberboard, and fiberglass.
  • Insulated concrete form (ICF) is growing in popularity and despite being more expensive, it can offer savings on heating and cooling bills over time. New US homes usually cost $60 to $100 per square foot. ICF walls add $1 to $4 to the figure.
  • Steel Stud. This type of construction is resistant to fire and insects but is more popular with commercial buildings. Key benefits include stronger foundation and fewer maintenance costs.


Insurance companies tend to reduce their policy premiums for steel-framed properties because of their obvious durability. Timber-framed buildings may be quite harder to insure because of the increased fire risk. Wood buildings are reported to be almost six or seven times greater than concrete buildings in terms of risk insurance rates. These higher rates may be attributed to heightened fire risk, higher moisture risk, and difficulty in acquiring insurance for wood frame structures.

Since the decision will eventually reflect your preference and priorities despite the pros and cons of each material, getting expert advice on how to get more from your property so you can save money and avoid costly mistakes may be the best course of action available to you.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.