6 Things You Need to Know Before Requesting a Homeowners Quote
Posted by Brandon Girod on September 9, 2015
When you’re purchasing homeowners insurance, you might have noticed the process of filling out the application is a bit convoluted. There are random questions that don’t seem to have anything to do with your insurance policy, like whether or not you’ve had a DUI in the past five years. Believe it or not, these questions are important for the insurance agency to ask because decades of research has led to insurance companies perfecting their rating system. This article will cover what these questions are and why agents ask them.
- Claims history – your claims history plays a bigger part in the quoting process than just affecting your premium. Some companies have underwriting guidelines that prevent them from writing risks that have had certain types of claims.
- Occupancy – the occupancy of the home plays a role in determining premium. Owner occupied homes have lower premiums than tenant occupied or secondary homes. The use of the home will also determine what type of form the policy will have to be written as. Tenant occupied is usually a dwelling fire policy (DP 1 or 3) and a homeowners policy is owner occupied or secondary.
- Pets – Believe it or not, dog bites made up over a third of all homeowner claims in 2012. The type of pet you have can also play a role in your home’s eligibility with certain companies. Aggressive breeds of dog, exotic animals, and farm animals all have underwriting guidelines they must meet to be written.
- Trampolines/Diving boards/Slides – a general rule of thumb is that anything that could cause potential bodily injury is likely going to cause an issue with your homeowners policy. Some companies will write you if you exclude liability on the policy.
- Prior policy information – at the time it might seem invasive, but providing an agent with prior policy information can be extremely helpful in the long run. First, the agent can match your policy coverage apples-to-apples. If you bind the quote you’ll have to give them a copy of your current declarations page anyway as it proves you’ve had prior insurance.
- Inspections – There are a lot of inspections a house will go through over the course of its life. Homes typically over the age of 30 years old will need a 4 point inspection, which looks at the roof, HVAC, electric panel, and plumbing of the home. There are certain things that can appear in these inspections that would make the home ineligible for coverage for some companies. Knowing this ahead of time could help prevent you in the long run.
Agents will usually ask you a lot of other information about the home itself in order to generate a quote. The questions above help agents determine which markets to place your home in and whether they have a company for you. While it may seem like a lot to ask up front, it will help smooth out the process in the long run.