Home Insurance Tips for First-time Buyers
When you start thinking about buying your first home, set aside some time to figure out how much insurance you will be able to afford. Many prospective home buyers don’t include insurance costs, when they consider a house’s price and their monthly bills. But your insurance premium will affect your finances for a while. You will have to insure your home for as long as you own it. Before you apply for home insurance quotes, find out what insurers look at when they determine your premium.
- Your credit rating. In most states, insurers use your credit score as one of the factors in determining what’s called your insurance score. Before you apply for home insurance, get copies of your credit reports. Make sure they are accurate. If the reports contain mistakes, immediately report them and ensure they are corrected. If you have a high credit score, you may be eligible for a discount on your home insurance. However, if you have a poor credit record, you may pay a higher premium. Before you obtain home insurance quotes, make an effort to boost your credit score.
- Property’s location. Standard homeowners policies usually cover your property and possessions from such losses as damage and theft. They also typically protect your house and your belongings against damage from such natural causes as tornadoes, windstorms, hail and lightning. However, if you live in an area that is likely to be hit by a hurricane or severe windstorm, your home insurance policy may not cover the damage. Review your policy and talk to your insurance agent to find out more about your hurricane coverage. In some coastal communities prone to hurricanes and windstorms, private homeowners insurance coverage may not be readily available. Instead, you may need to purchase insurance through a state-run insurance program.
Standard homeowners policies cover water damage from broken pipes and other household incidents, but they don’t cover flood damage. If your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you’re eligible for federally-sponsored flood insurance coverage. However, if your community is not in the NFIP program or if you want more comprehensive coverage, you may be able to get flood insurance from some private insurers. Remember that your new home’s location is a major factor in determining your premium, before you get home insurance quotes.
- Structure’s condition. Check the plumbing, heating and electrical systems. The home’s condition will affect your insurance costs. If it has unsafe and/or outdated systems, your insurance rates will be higher. Your premiums will also be higher if the house has not been properly maintained. An inspector can help you assess the house’s condition. Homes built by reputable craftsmen and professionals to meet modern engineering-based building codes are less likely to be damaged by fire, wind, lightning and other natural disasters. It’ll be easier for you to find affordable home insurance quotes, if the house is in good condition.
Remember when you buy a homeowners or a renters policy, you’re insuring the structure of your home and your personal belongings in your home. Once you have determined the best coverage for your family’s needs, you’re ready to obtain home insurance quotes. Call agents in your local area, contact several insurance companies directly or use InsuranceQuotes.com to instantly get competitive insurance quotes from the nation’s leading insurance providers. Take the time to protect you and your family today.