How to Get Home Insurance as a First-Time Home Buyer
As one of the growing legions of first-time home buyers, you become understandably engrossed in the details of choosing a home, making an offer, and then waiting for escrow to close. But don’t forget to protect your sizable investment by getting home insurance.
Have the Home Inspected
Before you make an offer on a home, have it inspected. Don’t rely on your own untrained eyes or the word of real-estate agents that everything is okay. A home inspector often catches problems that are hidden from view such as issues with the foundation, plumbing or electricity. You can then use such discoveries as negotiating tools or walk away from the deal completely if repairs cost too much. Do not skip inspections just because the home is new. Any problems you uncover with new homes are usually fixed by developers for free to preserve their reputation for customer service. Insurance may not cover certain issues just because your lack of a home inspection failed to reveal them.
Research the Insurance Market
Homeowners insurance can prove to be a complex mix of limitations, exclusions, deductibles, and regulations. For example, if a tree falls and damages your walls, you’re covered for repairs by the typical policy. But the same damage from a termite infestation is not covered. It’s best to research the marketplace before your house-hunt begins, so you’re up to speed by the time you make an offer. And even covered damage may be subject to a deductible that you’re required to pay out-of-pocket. Your best ally for navigating insurance waters is a knowledgeable local insurance agent.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
Because buying a home involves a lot of time, effort, and paperwork, it’s easy to overlook insurance as you try to get your transaction completed. But don’t wait until the last minute to research and buy a policy because it may not be as easy to get as some real estate agents and mortgage lenders would have you believe. Give yourself as much time as possible because problems can be caused by any number of factors, which you don’t want to find out if you try to get insurance the day after your offer is accepted. For example, some companies will not insure you if you have certain breeds of dogs like a German Shepherd or Rottweiler, if you run a business from your home, or your house has a wood-burning stove.
Bundle Insurance to Save
A simple way to save money when you buy homeowners insurance is to get all your insurance from one company. Companies give you a discount if you get your homeowners and car policies from them, and even more savings if you add coverage for a boat or an umbrella policy. Other discounts are possible if your home contains protective devices such as a home security system or interior sprinkler system, or if the property is certified as a green home by the Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) organization.
To learn more about home insurance or bundling, give us a call at Kyle Insurance Group - Affordable American Insurance or download our mobile app! We look forward to hearing from you!