Buying your first home is an exciting and nerve-racking experience. With so many details to consider, numbers to crunch, and hoops to jump through, it can be an overwhelming process. Add to that the fact that many first-time homebuyers are also going through major life changes such as getting married, having children or getting a promotion at work, and it’s easy to understand why some of the important details involved in purchasing a home might take a backseat. Even something as important as purchasing homeowners insurance.
With the vast amount of different insurance providers and policy options available, deciding which type of homeowners insurance coverage to purchase can be a complicated process in itself. As a new home buyer, you might not have the time to sit down and learn every little detail about homeowners insurance. Here are five helpful tips for buying homeowners insurance for the first time:
Tip 1: Make Sure You Know What’s Covered
Not all insurance policies are the same, so it is important that you read through the various basic and optional coverages offered by your insurance provider before buying homeowners insurance for the first time. Most plans will cover repairs for physical damage caused by natural disasters that affect your home, as well as detached buildings and structures such as fences, garages and sheds but something to note is that disasters such as earthquakes and floods might not be covered.
Your personal possessions such as clothing, furniture, and appliances are also covered by most basic policies. Some categories of possessions are subject to special limitations. These often include items such as jewelry, watches, furs, firearms and cash. If you think you need more protection than the basic policy provides, ask your insurance provider about extending your coverage after studying the fine print.
Tip 2: Ask About Discounts
Many first-time home buyers are unaware that they can get discounts on their insurance for making small adjustments to their home or lifestyle. Insurance companies base your premium rates on how much risk they foresee in covering you and your home. Anything you can do to reduce your liability risk might also help you reduce your homeowners insurance payments. For example, if you or anyone in your home is a smoker your home is at greater risk of fire damage which is why some insurance providers offer non-smoker discounts. Some insurance companies also offer discounts for things like installing sprinkler systems and burglar alarms as well as bundling your homeowners insurance with your car insurance. So, before you buy your policy, ask to see if there is anything you can do to bring down your premiums.
Tip 3: Calculate Your Coverage Needs
Your insurance provider will be able to calculate a recommended amount of coverage to meet your specific insurance needs. If you would like to go into the insurance buying process with a general idea of how much coverage you need to purchase, you will first want to figure out exactly how much it would cost to fully rebuild your home at current costs if it were destroyed in a disaster. To get a basic starting point for your replacement costs, take the square footage of your home and multiply that by the local building costs per square foot. You can find out the per square foot construction costs in your area by contacting an insurance agent.
Keep in mind that you also should consider certain variables such as trim and materials. A 2,500 square foot home with high-end custom finishing and top of the line appliances will cost much more to rebuild or replace, and more to insure than a standard home of the same size.
Once you have a good idea of your home replacement costs, you’ll want to factor in the replacement costs of your possessions. It’s a good idea to create an inventory list of your possessions and their value and add that to the replacement value of your home. Remember, some high-value possessions are not always automatically covered. Items such as firearms, jewelry and collector’s items might require you to purchase additional optional insurance coverage.
Tip 4: Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
It is completely understandable that new homebuyers tend to forget about homeowners insurance due to all the excitement and busywork involved in purchasing a home for the first time. But if you leave homeowners insurance to the very last minute, you might feel pressured to buy a policy without doing the proper research, and you may end up getting stuck with a plan that isn’t right for your needs.
When people make insurance decisions under pressure, they tend to simply choose the cheapest option and then forget about their insurance once they’ve settled into their new homes. Years down the road, when something happens to their home, they find out that they aren’t covered for the damage. This is the last thing you want. If you’re buying homeowners insurance for the first time, do some research beforehand and make an informed decision on which policy is best for you and your home.
Tip 5: Finding the Right Plan for You
These are just a few homeowners insurance tips It’s still important to ask around and do your homework before making an insurance decision. To get more in-depth information about the insurance purchasing process, and to get a free quote on homeowners insurance, contact the experts at Wawanesa Insurance by calling 1-877-WAWANESA (1-877-929-2637) today.
Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and is not a direct representation of coverages offered by Wawanesa or its policies. The information does not refer to any specific contract of insurance and does not modify any definitions, provisions, exclusions or limitations expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. All references within the above content are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. The terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in a claim are determinative as to whether an accident or other loss is covered. To understand the coverage under your current policy, please log into the account management platform to review your policy or contact an agent directly.