So you’re in the process of buying a new home, and you’re wondering what the deal is with home insurance. You need it, obviously, but how should you go about finding it? What type of coverage do you need? How do you know if you have enough insurance? Those are all great questions to talk with a local independent agent about. The following 10 factors are crucial to take into account when you’re trying to choose homeowners insurance, so don’t overlook them.
Location, Location, Location
Where your home is located definitely matters to insurance companies. They will look at neighborhood safety ratings, city, chance of natural disaster and more.
Your homeowners coverage, like your mortgage, sometimes depends on credit rating. Try to boost it before buying insurance, and you’ll get a better rate.
Risk of Flooding
Flooding is a doozy. If it’s common in your area, you will need to purchase flood insurance. Expect to pay a little higher premium for insurance, especially if you’re right along a riverbank or on the edge of a lake or other body of water.
Believe it or not, some breeds of dogs will raise your insurance rates. Depending on your carrier, these can include Pit Bulls and Dobermans, for instance, both of which have a history of unpredictable behavior. Check with your agent to see if your pet is on the list and be sure to get coverage.
Proximity to the Coast
Coastal natural disasters are not uncommon, including hurricanes or tropical storms. If you’re in a beach town, your homeowners coverage will likely be more costly due to higher risk of damage.
Old roof? Higher premiums. If your new house has a subpar roof, you should try to wrap repair into your home purchase offer, wherever possible.
Your home’s special features, whether installed or brought with you, may raise insurance rates as well. Pools, for instance, may raise your insurance rates, as they can contribute to injury and death every year, especially in children.
Age of the Home
Home insurance coverage definitely looks at the age of the home, as older homes have a greater tendency to deteriorate, not meet code and cause safety issues.
History of Hurricanes or Other Natural Disasters
Natural disasters other than flooding or hurricane are also taken into account when insurance companies are calculating your home insurance premiums. Is the home in a sinkhole prone area? You’ll pay for it.
Proximity to Fire Stations
This is the opposite of the case with coastlines … the further you are from fire stations, the higher your insurance can get, simply because without guarantee a fire truck can get there in time to save the home, insurance companies are more leery.
So when buying home insurance for the first time, don’t forget these important factors. You can also learn more about keeping up with the responsibility of owning a new home buy downloading our tip sheet below. Click the image below to get started.