You’re finally at a place in your life where you can afford a home of your own. Congratulations! We know you’ve got big plans for your new place (replacing that old tub with a swanky walk-in shower, perhaps?), but have you considered your homeowners policy?
Don’t fret-- we’ve got you covered. Take a look at some tips on buying your first homeowners policy:
1. Be mindful of your potential homeowners policy when purchasing a home
You’ve found a beautiful brick home with an enormous yard and a garden you can’t believe you get to inherit. It’s an absolutely picturesque home complete with a fire hydrant on the corner of your lot like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
That fire hydrant might not be of any importance to you now, but it could save you 5 to 15 percent on your home insurance policy premium. Things such as a young electrical, heating and plumbing system (less than 10 years old) could have a great effect on the price of your policy. Checking out the CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) report of a potential home will help you accurately judge some of the issues the house might have.
2. Don’t wait until the last minute to purchase a homeowners policy
Some people view buying homeowners insurance as the last step before the keys are handed to them. However, conducting research on the best insurance in your area can save you from making a poor insurance decision, which could cost you thousands of dollars over time.
Also: don’t assume that your rate will be the same as the current owner’s rate, as policies are decided based on personal information like your age, credit rating and profession, according to The Balance. Make sure you know what your rate is before you close the deal on a potential home.
3. Make sure your credit is in tip-top shape before purchasing a policy
It’s always a great idea to keep your credit up, especially when purchasing a home. But did you know establishing a good credit history can cut your insurance costs? Paying your bills on time, avoiding unnecessary credit cards and checking your credit record regularly are just a few ways to keep your credit in high standing.
4. Don’t forget the home inspection
When you’re buying a house, you may be tempted to skip out on a home inspection, especially if it’s a love-at-first-sight situation. However, getting a home inspection means staying ahead of any potential disasters in your home.
Your insurance agent can help you navigate the steps you need to take to make your home more resistant to natural disasters, such as adding storm shutters or fixing your roof.
5. Review the value of your possessions at least once a year
Although most homeowners policies will cover events such as the theft of jewelry, there’s a relatively low limit of liability -- usually around $1,500, which means your $2,500 ring won’t be completely covered.
Floater policies cover losses of any event, like accidentally throwing your ring in the trash or when your toddler flushes your watch down the toilet. If you choose to buy a floater policy, it’s a good idea to review the value of these possessions at least once a year. If you feel your possessions aren’t worth the extra money you’re spending on a floater policy, you’ll want to cancel it and save that extra cash.
Finding the right homeowners policy for you
At Block Insurance, we know that finding the right homeowners policy can be daunting, especially when you’re buying a home for the first time.
As an Independent Insurance Agency, we represent several top insurance providers and are dedicated to helping you find the right policy to fit your individual needs. Feel free to stop by one of our two locations or give us a call.