What makes a house a home?

They say love makes a house a home. But judging by new census data, air conditioning and extra space are also a pretty important priorities for just about every new-home buyer.

93% of new houses built in 2015 had air conditioning, according the U.S. Census Bureau. That data extends a decades-long growth trend in the prevalence of air conditioning. 40 years ago, for instance, less than half of new homes had air conditioning.

Heat pumps are becoming a go-to heating choice. 41% of new homes built in 2015 used heat pumps – the highest percentage yet. It’s important to note that some heat pumps can be used for cooling as well as heating.

New homes are getting bigger, too. The median size of a completed single-family house was 2,467 square feet, which is bigger than ever. And almost half of new homes (47%) had four or more bedrooms, which is also the highest-ever percentage.

In short: Today’s new homes are bigger, roomier and more dependent than ever on equipment that works efficiently and properly.

That’s an important fact for personal lines insurance agents, because it also means that protecting these systems and equipment is more critical than ever. But how?

While traditional homeowners policies cover a great deal, there’s still a considerable coverage gap when it comes to home systems and equipment. A breakdown of an air conditioning system or heat pump, for instance, could cost customers thousands.

Many homeowners insurers are now offering valuable insurance protection for equipment and other home systems, such as the electronic devices that are very likely spread throughout all of those extra bedrooms.

And in many cases, it’s inexpensive and simple to add this coverage to a homeowner’s policy.


© 2016 The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This article is intended for information purposes only. HSB makes no warranties or representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this article.

Jeremy Coffman

Jeremy Coffman, an insurance professional with over 14 years of multi-disciplined experience, is the vice president of personal lines marketing for Hartford Steam Boiler in Hartford, CT. Jeremy is responsible for all personal lines marketing strategies and initiatives.

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