Home Insurance: Know What You're Buying


Bennett Cunningham and his partner own a home in a charming Dallas neighborhood just south of downtown. Shopping for home insurance, he found the cheapest rates with State Farm, the nation's largest insurer. Talk about a deal: Bennett and his partner have three cars. If State Farm covered those in addition to the home, the insurance quote indicated a 40 percent multi-car discount on the whole package.

But State Farm wouldn't give the discount unless the couple was married and the autos were titled in both names.

"I explained that we had been married in Massachusetts," says Cunningham. "But Texas hasn't come around to recognizing gay marriage yet, so I really could not produce a Texas marriage certificate."

Welcome to the world of buying insurance for your home. Not only can your sexual preference influence your rate, so can your credit score and all the claims you've ever made in your life for the last five years. In fact, home insurance is getting like health insurance in that any "pre-existing conditions" may affect your insurance quote and ability to buy. It most certainly affects your insurance rate.