Abram Interstate Insurance Services, Inc., CMGA

Helping Independent Insurance Agents Since 1996

Homeowners Insurance – What your customers need to know when buying a home

Published on October 4, 2016

For first time homeowners, the process of buying a home can be somewhat overwhelming. For most people, purchasing a home has a lot more to it than they expect, and they’re left with a lot of questions, or a lot of things they didn’t even know they should double check. 

Many people just know that they’ll need insurance at some point before they throw their housewarming party. What they don’t know is that aspects of their home might affect what insurance is available to them, and what types of additional insurance they may need.

A great resource for your customers who are buying a home (or just want to know more about homeowners insurance in general) is a website called the Insurance Information Institute.  Below we’ve taken some of their most pertinent insurance tips for people in the market for a new home.  You can view the original posting here.

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BEFORE YOU BUY A HOME

Thinking through all the costs associated with buying a home will make the process run more smoothly, and it may also save you money. When you’ve found a house you’re interested in, it is important to:

Condition of the Roof
Ask about the condition of the roof. A new roof matters to insurers and keeps you and your family safer. Depending on the type of roof and whether or not you use fire and/or hail resistant materials, you may even qualify for a discount. Talk to your insurer about qualifying discounts.

Swimming Pool or Other Special Feature
If the house has a swimming pool, hot tub or other special feature, you will likely need more liability insurance. You may also want to consider purchasing an excess or umbrella liability policy to provide added protection in the event someone gets injured on your property and decides to sue you.

Check the Loss History Report
Ask the current owner of the house for a copy of the insurance loss history report, such as a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (C.L.U.E.) report from ChoicePoint or an A-PLUS report from ISO, a leading source of information about property/casualty insurance. This is a record of insurance claims on the house that can provide answers to two questions that any savvy home buyer should ask:

  • Have there been any past problems in the home?
  • If damage has occurred, was it properly repaired?

Note that prior claims are not a barrier to getting insurance. In fact, sometimes a recent claim can have positive ramifications. If, for example, a roof was damaged by a wind storm and replaced by a new one, this would make the house more desirable to an insurance company. If there have been no claims within five years, there will be no loss history report on the home.

Call Your Insurance Agent
Don’t wait until the last minute to think about insurance. Ask your insurance agent if the house will qualify for insurance, and get an estimate of the premium. The sooner you act, the smoother the process will be. Don’t be shy about asking for estimates on more than one house. Insurance is an important consideration when purchasing a home, especially in California. If you are uncomfortable with the cost of insuring a particular house, keep looking for one that better fits your financial situation. If you do not already have an insurance agent or company representative, get recommendations from family, friends or co-workers, or consult your state insurance department.

Purchasing Insurance for your New Home

When purchasing a home insurance policy, work with your insurance agent or company representative to get enough insurance to rebuild the house in the event of a total loss. No new home buyers want to think that their house could go up in flames, but disasters do happen. It’s important to have enough insurance to completely rebuild your home and replace all of your personal possessions. You also need to make sure you have enough liability insurance to protect your financial assets. Ask about additional coverage such as:

  • Replacement cost for personal possessions
  • Extended or guaranteed replacement cost for the structure
  • Building code upgrades
  • Sewer and drain back-up coverage
  • Inflation-guard
  • Umbrella coverage for a pool or other high-risk items
  • Special riders for jewelry, collectibles and expensive items

To save money on your homeowners insurance, shop around and take the highest deductible you can afford. Since most people only file a claim every eight to ten years, having a higher deductible saves money over time and preserves your insurance for when it’s really needed. You can also ask about available discounts for:

  • Multi-policy (home, car or other policies with the same company)
  • Smoke detectors
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Burglar and fire alarms that alert an outside service
  • Deadbolt locks and fire-safe window grates
  • Upgrades to plumbing, heating and electrical systems

Notes for Insurance Agents:

Why write your Hard to Place Homeowners Insurance with Abram Interstate?

  • Ease of Use
    • For your benefit, our phones are always answered during business hours by a real person. (Call us as 916-780-7000).
    • We also have our account managers available to chat online to help you with any quick questions you may have. Chat HERE now.
    • And we have online quoting for many of our Wholesale Homeowners Insurance and Wholesale Dwelling Fire Insurance products.

Wholesale Homeowners & Dwelling Fire Insurance Product Highlights:

 

  • Products for main street homes as well as High Value Dwellings
  • Protection classes 1-10 available *some restrictions may apply
  • Coverage limits available from $50,000 to $50 million *subject to policy form
  • Extended replacement cost available for HO3 policy forms
  • Deductibles starting at $1,000 for main street homes
  • Wood roofs acceptable with proper updates and treatment
  • LLC’s and Trusts acceptable as named insured
  • Vacation rentals can include premises liability and contents

QUOTE ONLINE NOW!


 

Abram Interstate is a wholesale insurance broker that has licensing and expertise to place business in both admitted and non-admitted markets in California and surrounding areas.