Why Insurance should be at the forefront of your home buying process
In the process of buying a home, many times home insurance is the last thing a homeowner secures. At Bearingstar, we’re here to help you understand why insurance should be at the forefront of your home buying process. To get started, we’ve put together a guide for first-time homebuyers to help you identify the most important parts of the process and how securing a home insurance policy early on can help ease the home buying process’s stress.
Shop for Coverage Early
It’s important to consider all the expenses that come with buying a house. You won’t just be paying for the home itself, but you’ll also need to purchase a home insurance policy, cover the closing cost and down payment, realtor fees, property taxes, and more. Even though you don’t own the home before closing, mortgage companies typically require proof of insurance. Not having insurance in place can potentially delay your closing.
Shopping for home insurance early can give the insurance agent more time to “underwrite” your home. This process is how they determine the appropriate level of coverage. It’s particularly important if your home has many unusual or costly details, like custom woodwork or if it is an old home. You’ll also become more familiar with the coverage you need so that you can make a better comparison among insurance carriers.
While House Hunting
As you search for your new home, remember that the house’s size, location, construction, and overall condition—can affect the cost, choice, and availability of home insurance coverage and carriers. Following are some factors to consider when shopping for a home:
- The proximity to the fire department and nearby fire hydrants.
- How close you are to a coastline.
- The age of the home and condition of the roof.
- Quality of the home construction.
- Flood risk — be sure to ask which zone the home is located in.
- History of earthquakes or other natural disasters.
- Swimming pool and other features that pose a safety risk.
Learn more about how much home insurance you might need read our blog – How much homeowners insurance do I need and how does it cover me?
Before you place a bid on the home
Before you move forward with a bid on your potential home, it is highly recommended to have the house inspected by a credentialed home inspector.
Even if a home seems perfect, a trained professional might be able to identify potential problems or hazards that you don’t see. The last thing you would want is to get stuck with a problem that the seller did not disclose. This could leave you having to make costly repairs that may not be covered by insurance.
Getting a Home Insurance Policy
Don’t wait until the last minute to think about homeowners insurance and don’t be shy about asking for estimates on more than one house. Ask if the house will qualify, and get an estimate of the premium. The sooner you speak with your insurance professional, the smoother the process will be. The sooner you act, the smoother the home buying process will be.
At Bearingstar, our agents are ready to help you understand your new home’s insurance needs and find the right coverage for your unique needs. It’s important to have enough insurance to rebuild your home and replace all of your possessions completely. You also need to make sure you have enough liability insurance to protect your financial assets. The most important thing to remember is not to rush and make sure you have the appropriate coverage.
If you’re not sure where to start and or why you need home insurance, here is a breakdown of six common types of coverage:
- Dwelling — this covers damage to the home itself and attached structures such as porches or a garage.
- Personal property — this is coverage to repair or replace personal items lost or damaged due to theft, fire, or other natural disasters.
- Other structures on your property — this includes any stand-alone structures such as a shed or unattached garage.
- Living expenses — If you need to leave your home while being repaired, this will help cover the cost of temporary housing.
- Liability – coverage for costs related to an injury someone has on your property or property damage done unintentionally due to neglect.
- Medical payments — costs related to treating an injury someone has on your property regardless of who’s at fault.
We hope this guide helps you through your first time buying a home and gives you a better understanding of why home insurance should be at the forefront of your home-buying process. Our agents take a collaborative approach to provide customized insurance solutions and guidance to safeguard what matters most to you.
Contact us today to get a quote started, if you need a policy review or if you simply have an insurance question. We are happy to help!