1. Homeowners policies are designed to cover dwelling used primarily as private homes.
The owner must occupy the dwelling. These policies do not cover a dwelling that is vacant or occupied by someone other than the owner.
2. When deciding how much coverage you need, most insurance companies run a cost estimator.
The estimator is based on several factors about the house that will give you a good idea of what to insure it for. Also, if a lender is involved, you will have to meet a minimum coverage to cover the amount on the loan.
3. The deductible is the amount you have to pay out of pocket on each claim and applies only to coverage on your house and personal property.
It’s important to make sure you are comfortable paying the deductible if you make a claim. The lower your deductible is, the more the policy will cost you. Usually $1,000 is the minimum deductible you can get. Please understand you don’t pay the insurance company the deductible. The deductible is taken out of the claim check for the insurance company and you are responsible for paying the deductible amount to the person/company fixing the claim on the house.
4. Know what the difference is between replacement cost and actual cash value.
Most homeowners policies cover on a replacement cost basis. Replacement cost is the amount it would take to rebuild your home or repair damages without deducting for depreciation.
5. Location is a big factor in determining insurance rates for a couple of reasons.
First, be aware of flood zones for the property you are looking for. If the property you are looking to buy is in a flood zone, you will most likely be required to purchase flood insurance. That is a separate policy and will be in addition to your homeowners insurance policy. Second, is your homes location in proximity to the fire department. This location will determine the fire department rating for your property. The better the fire department rating, the better your insurance rate will be. Generally, fire departments inside city limits are better than volunteer fire departments located in more rural areas.
6. Look for homes that are newer.
Newer homes will have more updated plumbing and electrical. Older homes may have outdated materials that are not only old, but could potentially be problematic. Roofs are a major variable when determining rates on a property. The newer the roof, the better the rate. Be sure to know how old a roof is before buying a house. Also, if you buy a house that has prior roof damage, it will likely not be covered under your insurance policy. Have someone inspect your roof to determine damage before buying.
7. Make sure a house you are looking at with a pool has a fence around it.
Most insurance companies require a fence around a pool whether it is above ground or inground. It is possible to find a company that does not require a fence, but you will be significantly shrinking the selection of companies you could possibly go through.
8. Finally, here are a couple of quick points to help you!
In terms of insurance rates, brick homes are usually a little better than mostly siding/frame homes. Also, try to bundle your home and auto insurance policies when possible.
Call Cabot Insurance Group or fill out the form below, so that we can shop and compare several insurance companies to get you the best coverage at the most affordable rate!