Watch your credit score if you want to save on your home insurance.

When it comes to home owner’s insurance we often just assume that the rates will remain unchanged until we file a claim. The truth is there are other things that can have an effect on what you pay for insurance.

Having good credit doesn’t always rate high on the list when you think of things that can cause your insurance to go up, but things aren’t always what they seem.

Having poor credit can cost you plenty because underwriters often use a credit-based insurance score to set your premium, which looks at things like debt and late payments.

Most people just aren’t aware that how they handle their credit cards can have such a significant effect on auto or home insurance. With just a fair credit score, one can expect to pay on average 36% higher than someone with an excellent credit score. A poor credit score can have an even more dramatic result that can have you paying up to 114% more than the excellent credit scorer.

Basically, credit scores range from 300 to 850 and of course the higher your score, the better. According to some studies, more than half of Americans have a FICO score that is 700 or greater — typically enough to get some of the best rates on a loan or credit card.

Insurance rate also vary depending on your state. In some states, like South Dakota the rates are even higher for those with poor credit and may be as much as 288.1% higher than those with excellent credit.

But as with most things there are some things you can do to keep your insurance rates reasonable. The most obvious thing you can do is to bring your credit score up. Another thing you can do is shop around. Not all insurance companies use the same methodology in utilizing credit scores.

It pays to do your research.