When you’re buying a home, there are plenty more exciting things to think about than arranging home insurance. Unfortunately, it’s not something you can afford to ignore. Having the wrong insurance coverage is almost as bad as having none at all and can lead to financial disaster if a crisis strikes.
Luckily, getting the right policy doesn’t need to be complicated. Here’s how to approach buying insurance for a new home, to make sure you get suitable coverage at a good price.
Evaluate Your Potential Home
If you’ve found a home you love, take a moment to step back and assess what the insurance situation could be. While a hefty insurance bill might not be deal breaker, it’s something to bear in mind while making your final decision. Many things can reduce the cost you’ll pay, including:
- Good security, including a modern alarm system and strong doors and windows.
- A well-built, well-maintained roof that can cope with whatever the weather throws your way.
- Updated heating and electrical systems to reduce the risks of catastrophic failures, flood, fires, and so on.
- Fire and smoke detectors to catch any danger early
If your potential home lacks these features, it’s worth checking to see how much it’d cost to install them before going any further. The insurance savings will mount up dramatically over the years to come.
Next, check the crime statistics of your proposed location. Also check the local history of floods, storms, and other disasters. Both have a profound effect on your insurance costs.
Ask for advice from the real estate agent on how much the sellers are really paying for their coverage, as it could be significantly different to a no-obligation, provisional quote you’ll get online. An otherwise perfect home is much less desirable if you can’t afford to insure it because of its location.
Decide What Coverage You Need
It’s important to neither under-insure nor over-insure your home. For a starting point on the amount of coverage to buy, work out how much you’ll need to repair severe structural damage that makes your home uninhabitable. Importantly, this is based on rebuild cost and not sale value. Again, the real estate agent should be able to help here.
Next, add in the value of the possessions you want to insure, not forgetting that larger, more valuable items may need to be specified individually rather than included in the total.
Add in a little extra to give you some leeway, and you have your basic coverage amount to apply for.
Robert Macoviak is the President of Oyer, Macoviak and Associates. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates is the oldest independent insurance agency in Boynton Beach and has been in business since 1953. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates are vested members of the community who are committed to doing business face-to-face and being your insurance advocate in times of need.