Searching for your dream home can be both a fun and overwhelming experience with so many factors to consider. Location, size, amenities, property taxes, school districts, and neighborhood are just a small sample of the many considerations that go into purchasing a home. One of the more important things that should be considered is the cost of insurance. For most people, homeowners insurance is purchased every year for as long as the home is owned. Keeping that cost down could save a lot of money over the course of time.
Several characteristics of the home itself can drive premium. Here are a few to keep in mind while house shopping:
Age of the Home
Older homes often appeal to buyers seeking a home with lots of character. Some of the features found in these older homes can be expensive to replace in the event of a loss. Therefore, raising insurance premium. Many insurance companies also want to see plumbing, electrical, and heating systems updated before considering insuring the home. Be sure to factor the cost of updating and maintaining these systems before purchasing your home.
Homes built or updated to comply with current building codes can be either a requirement or qualify you for an additional discount for your homeowners insurance. Building codes formulated by engineers are designed so that homes are built to better withstand the forces of mother nature. When looking for an inspector to inspect the home before purchase, be sure he or she is familiar with the current building codes and can properly advise you on compliance.
Condition, shape, age, and type of roof influences premium and at times can heavily influence premium. Having a newer roof, using fire and or hail resistive materials, and the shape of the roof potentially qualifies you for a discount. Be sure to find out as much information about the current roof of the home you are considering.
Additional factors that influence insurance cost:
Being located near a full-staffed, well-equipped fire department typically costs less to insure since the risk of a total loss due to fire is less. This goes the same for being closer to a fire hydrant. Underwriters look at fire departments’ training, equipment, water supply, and other criteria when rating a community’s fire department.
Damage from rising water is not covered by typical homeowners policies. Flood insurance must be purchased separately to cover this risk. It is usually only required by mortgage companies when the home is in a higher risk flood zone. Price varies depending on zoning determined by federal mapping. Keep in mind that outside of a home closing there is a 30-day waiting period between the purchase date and effective date of flood insurance. Be sure to get a flood quote before purchase.
Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs, Trampolines, etc.
Some home insurance companies will not cover liability on a swimming pool or diving board. Sometimes they will not cover the home either if these exist. Other features such as a hot tub, skate ramp, trampoline, type of dog, among others, can influence if a company is willing to cover your home or the liability associated with such features. Be sure to check with your agent to be sure these risks can be covered.
Call us today for your free homeowners insurance quote or to review your policy at 985-542-6900