Before you sign on the dotted line, take the following factors into consideration when purchasing homeowners insurance in order to make sure you’re getting the best rate and proper coverage:
Things to ask:
- How far away is the property from a fire department? Is it a professional or a volunteer-based establishment? Home insurance is bound to be less expensive for homes that are close to professional stations.
- Are the plumbing and/or electrical systems outdated or unsafe? Insurance companies will charge more if your home is prone to damages.
- Is the home located by a coast rather than inland? Consider if there’s exposure to hurricane winds that could jack up insurance rates.
- What about windstorms?
- Would you need flood insurance? Many homes may need flood insurance, yet it’s not covered by general insurance programs. Instead, you would need to get insured directly by the federal government.
Things to do:
- Get the home inspected before buying. A professional can tell you whether or not your new home comes with any serious risk factors.
- Ask the seller for a copy of the home’s claims history. This document will give you access to the number and type of insurance and claims filed by the owner, including reports on water damage, fire, and crime.
- Have an agent find out exactly how much it will cost to insure your home, including earthquake and flood insurance, if necessary.
Things to know:
- A well-built, well-maintained home that can fend off natural disasters will always cost less to insure.
- Home insurance is meant to cover sudden and accidental disasters only.
- The regular maintenance of the home is the owner’s responsibility. Insurance companies do not cover mold, small leaks or the repercussions of using low-quality tools or materials.
Source: Insurance Information Institute