Ah, Spring in New England: The flowers are starting to bloom, the days are getting longer, and home-buying season is in full swing! Spring can be a great time to shop for a new house. But before you close on your new home — or even before you start looking— remember that it’s never too early in the process to begin thinking about home insurance.
Here are Cushman Insurance’s tips on home insurance for first-time homebuyers.
Begin Shopping for Coverage Early
While insurance might not be at the forefront of your mind when meeting with real estate agents and going to open houses, it’s a good idea to talk to your local insurance agent about where you are in the process. This gives the agent more time to “underwrite” your home, which is how they determine the appropriate level of coverage and help you make comparisons among insurance carriers. Also, remember that mortgage companies typically require proof of insurance, so not having that could potentially delay the closing on your house.
Keep Key Factors in Mind While House Hunting
Everything from a house’s location, size, features, and overall condition can affect the cost and availability of your home insurance coverage. So when you’re house hunting, it’s good to keep some of these factors in mind: the house’s proximity to the local fire department and fire hydrants, how close the home is to a coastline, how old the home is, the condition of the home’s roof, whether the home is in a flood zone, if there’s a history of natural disasters, and whether the house has a swimming pool or other features that might pose a safety risk.
Get the House Inspected
If you’ve found the home you want, congratulations! But before you move forward with a bid, we recommend that you have the house thoroughly inspected by a credentialed home inspector. Your potential new home might look perfect, but a trained professional can help you identify potential problems or hazards that you might not see at first glance. This decreases the chance of getting stuck with unwelcome surprises that the real estate agent might not have warned you about, and can help you avoid having to make costly repairs that may not be covered by home insurance.
Talk to Your Agent About Types of Coverage
Your agent can help give you a better understanding of common types of home insurance coverage and terms, which can really help if this is your first home and you’re new to the process. Some of these common terms and types of insurance can include: Dwelling, which covers damage to the home itself; personal property, which covers lost or damaged items due to theft, fire, or natural disasters; living expenses, which helps cover the cost of temporary housing if you need to leave for house repairs; and liability, which helps cover costs related to an injury someone has on your property.
At Cushman Insurance, our agents are here to help first-time homebuyers understand your new home’s insurance needs and find the right coverage for you. Contact us today to learn more.