How to Save on Home Insurance When Shopping For Your New Home
Purchasing your first home is an exciting prospect. You’ve no doubt spent countless hours browsing sites like Zillow and Trulia in search of finding the perfect home. You probably take a different way home from work everyday in hopes of finding a beautiful house with a “For Sale” sticking in the lawn. However, in all of your searching, you’ve probably made one mistake — you haven’t began thinking about the cost of insurance.
Getting an insurance quote is often one of the last things a homebuyer does. The process of buying a house is so overwhelming that it often slips out of mind. That is, until your contract falls through because you can’t afford the insurance premium on your dream house.
Fortunately there are things you can be on the lookout for to avoid this from happening. Read on below to find out about five ways you can save while looking for a house.
- Roof Shape – the roof is your home’s first defense against any kind of wind damage. There are about 11 different types of residential roof shapes, but there are only a few you need to know. Houses equipped with a hip roof covering over 90% of the roof perimeter receive big discounts on your premium. Gable roofs are the most popular roof type, but don’t receive any discounts. And roofs that are built-up or flat often have trouble meeting underwriting guidelines to get insurance in the first place.
- Construction Type – The most popular types of exterior construction on a house are frame, masonry, and masonry veneer. Houses considered frame are typically constructed with wood, vinyl, aluminum, etc. Homes of masonry construction are solid brick or cement block homes. Masonry veneer homes are homes constructed with brick over a frame structure. Of the three types, masonry and masonry veneer receive discounts for being sturdier materials.
- Age of Home – The age of the house is very important as many insurance companies have multipliers built into their risk management systems that increase the premium specifically due to that. The general rule of thumb is that the newer the home, the cheaper the insurance.
- Hazardous Risk Perils – There are certain things insurance companies look for when they come out to inspect the property. Things like aluminum wires, trampolines, diving boards, aggressive dog breeds, EIFS siding, galvanized plumbing.. the list goes on. Purchasing a house with any of these hazards severely limits your options when finding a good insurance carrier. Often times you’ll have to pay higher premiums through a non-admitted carrier because no other company will insure the home.
- Wind Mitigation Inspections – Probably the single biggest money saver is paying someone to do a wind mitigation inspection on your home. An inspector will come out and look through your attic to verify that you have certain wind mitigating features in your roof. These mitigation features include: hurricane clips, 8d nails, having a newer roof installed, having hurricane shutters installed, etc. Sometimes paying a little money up front can save you thousands in the long run.
Insurance doesn’t have to be expensive, and if you are on the look out for the right things when buying your home, you can avoid paying an exorbitant amount every year.