Insurance Tips for New Homeowners
Buying a home for the first time can be equally as exciting as it is scary! It’s a huge step to take and signifies a new chapter in life. It takes a lot of hard work to be able to buy a home as well and should absolutely be something to be proud of. Having your first home is an accomplishment and don't let anyone tell you differently. However, just having the home is not enough, you now need to make sure you insure it.
Homeowners insurance is required for many different reasons like..
Protecting it from loss in case there is wind damage, fire, vandalism, tornadoes, hurricanes, and thunderstorms
Covering your personal belongings if your stuff is stolen or destroyed by a covered hazard. Home insurance may reimburse you for the value of those items — such as furniture, electronics, appliances, clothing, etc.
Covering you in the event of a lawsuit arising from an injury on your property.
There are many other reasons to have homeowners insurance but essentially it helps with giving you the peace of mind that even on the rare chance something does happen to the beautiful home you just purchased, it will be covered.
Here are some tips for first time home buyers to use when figuring out how to purchase home insurance:
Know your home's value
Even though you might have just purchased the house, you could have paid more or less than the market value. You don't want to insure a home for less than it's worth nor do you want to pay higher premiums for an overvalued house.
Understand what's covered
Mother nature has a consistent tendency to wreak havoc on homes, which is why many natural disasters are not covered. Standard policies typically have exclusions for landslides, earthquakes, sinkholes and ground flooding, and although windstorms are not generally excluded, damages from tornadoes or hurricanes in high-risk areas might not be covered.
Compare and contrast companies
One company might have great coverage but horrible agents, while its rival company can have high premiums but great agents. For some people, this can make a world of difference. You will be dealing with the agent during any claims process, and sometimes this process can take a considerable amount of time. Because of this, it can be preferable to seek out agents that have good online reviews or come with a strong recommendation from a trusted source.
In some instances, installing a burglar alarm that connects to a central hub or the local police department can help lower your premiums by as much as 15-20 percent. Even adding a simple deadbolt can see your rates drop by five percent.
Adding smoke detectors to older houses that previously did not have them could also potentially save you up to 10 percent in annual premiums. Conversely, adding a pool or trampoline can increase your annual homeowners insurance costs by as much as 10 percent or more. In some instances, adding a fence around the pool can help alleviate the hike in rates.
Bundle your policies
Look into whether your insurance companies provide a discount if you bundle other types of insurance such as auto or health into your homeowners policy. You might be surprised to find out that not only do they bundle policies, but they also reward you with a discount of 10 percent or more off your premiums.
Pay off your mortgage
This is probably the tip all homeowners will be acting on regardless of whether they want to lower their premiums simply because nobody enjoys paying their mortgage. But the truth of the matter is, insurance companies will likely reduce your rates if you own your home. The conventional wisdom indicates you are more likely to keep up with maintenance and repairs on your home if you own it, which lessens the chance of you needing to file a claim.
Understand your coverage limits
When you're calculating how much home insurance you need, keep in mind that you don't have to settle on the default coverage limits.
In many cases, you can increase or decrease your coverage limits for certain types of protection, which means you get the protection levels you want.
Review (and improve) your credit score
Not only does a good credit score help you get a better interest rate on your mortgage, it could also help you save on homeowners insurance. In many states, home insurers use your credit rating when calculating your premium to help determine your level of risk as a policyholder.
One of the biggest, and more important tips we can offer, is to not go for the cheapest coverage. It may seem great when you don’t have to pay a lot in your payments but at the end of the day, if something happens, and it’s not covered, you will 100% regret your choice to not be covered completely.
Having homeowners insurance is one of the more crucial components to buying a home because just having the home is not enough. It’s like making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the jelly or having a car but never putting gas in it, it just doesn’t work.
Lastly, we want to wish you luck as you enter this new chapter of your life and also, when looking for homeowners insurance, please give us a call. We specialize in many insurance products including homeowners insurance and work with about 20 different insurance carriers to make sure we get you the best coverage possible. We do everything we can to make sure you are properly covered and protected.
Click here to visit our website and see what we offer.
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