Buying a home can be an exciting experience, but the different tasks and expenses involved in a first time purchase can get overwhelming. Considering homeowner's insurance is an imperative part of ownership, proper understanding of your policy is key to ensuring it protects you and your home from fire, theft, or certain natural disasters. Unfortunately, most new buyers are not familiar with the different options available to them when shopping for their homeowner's insurance. Using this guide on what to consider when shopping for homeowner's insurance quotes, you can reduce the stress of buying your first home while protecting your home and family's finances.
Not all Polices Include the Same Coverage
While surprising to hear, not all insurance policies offer the same coverage. Fire, theft, accidents in the home, and storm damage protection is common in most homeowner's insurance policies. However, your policy may not include coverage for everything that can negatively affect your home. If you live in an area that is affected by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or flooding, you may need to purchase additional coverage. You can also add coverage to protect your home from expensive sewer backups for an average additional fee of around $40 or $50.
Adding additional coverage may increase your premium rates, but it is a worthwhile investment in case damage occurs to your home.
Extra Discounts are Available
You most likely already know that bundling your insurance policies with one provider can offer you discounted premiums on your auto, life, and homeowner's policies. However, many providers offer additional discounts if your home has specific security or energy efficient upgrades. Here are a few options that may qualify for discounts on your homeowner's insurance premiums:
- Home security systems
- Dead bolts on locks
- New wiring in the home
- Impact-resistant roofing
- Energy-efficient heating and cooling systems
- Energy-efficient lighting
- Energy-efficient Water Heaters
- Water conserving plumbing fixtures
- Smoke detectors or fire alarms
If you are buying a home in a gated community, which has a reduced risk of burglary, you may qualify for a discount of 5 to 20 percent. Also, buying a newly constructed home is deemed safer and less risky to insure, which will also reduce your premium costs.
Lastly, your insurance provider may ask if you or other members of your household smoke. Smoke-free homes may qualify for an insurance discount since smoking increases the risk of house fires. If you or a family member smoke, consider quitting the habit immediately.
Do not assume that your current automobile insurance providers will give you the best deal on your homeowner's insurance. There are numerous insurance companies currently on the market, such as East Tennessee Mutual Insurance, so make sure to shop around.
Comparing coverage and deductible amounts offered by multiple companies will not only help you get the best deal, but it will also increase your understanding of homeowner's insurance.
Review Policies Yearly
You will need to make a decision on your homeowner's insurance provider before closing on your house, but you should not sign your name and forget the details of your policy.
After closing, be sure to review your insurance policies each year. If you have made any improvements to your home, discuss the possibility of discounts with your provider. Certain updates in your neighborhood should also be documented since many will allow you to receive discounts on your premiums. The installation of fire hydrants near your home or the addition of gates to your neighborhood will qualify you for insurance discounts.
If you've paid off your mortgage, your insurance provider should be aware of this change as well.
Reviewing your policy each year will ensure you are paying for your specific coverage needs at the best price possible.
Purchasing a homeowner's insurance policy is an imperative part of buying a home, but it can be challenging without proper understanding. Using these tips, you can reduce the stress of your buying your first home without sacrificing quality coverage.