Welcome to Homeownership! Tips for Buying Your First Homeowners Insurance Policy

March 31, 2019

In 2017 alone, more than 5.51 million homes sold to families and individuals in the United States. Many of those people were first-time homebuyers, just like you.

The journey to homeownership is exciting and nothing beats having a place you can call home for many years to come. After all, renting isn’t something everyone wants to do forever.

But there’s more to buying a new house than just closing on the property. You also need to find a good homeowners insurance policy to keep the house safe.

And if you’ve never shopped for coverage before, you probably don’t know where to start.

We’ve got you covered. Here are a few easy tips to help you get the coverage you need at a price that won’t break the bank.

Do Your Research

Homeowners insurance is an investment. And the right policy can make a huge difference in how safe your home is.

That’s why it’s always important to do research into the companies you’re thinking of working with.

Look at their online reviews, speak with local agents, and get a feel for how they do business. If you feel that they’ll work with your best interest in mind, get a quote for coverage.

Remember, big-name insurance companies aren’t the only options out there. For most homeowners, a local insurance company with agents based in the community will be a better fit.

Perform a Home Inventory

Before you buy coverage, you need to decide how much insurance you need. On the surface, it seems like insuring your house for the appraised value is all you need to do.

It’s not. Doing so can leave you with major gaps in coverage that could cost you thousands if you have to file a claim.

Remember, your homeowner’s insurance policy covers both the house and everything inside the house.

Prior to shopping, walk through your house and take inventory of the things you have inside. Write estimated values for your furniture, clothing, electronics, artwork, and even the food you have in the pantry. If your house gets destroyed, you’ll need the insurance money to replace those items.

Add this amount to the appraised value of the property to get an idea for how much coverage you’ll really need.

Get Quotes From Multiple Providers

Once you know how much coverage you need, you’re ready to start shopping for quotes. And you’ll want to get quotes from multiple providers.

When getting quotes, make note of the premium payments and deductibles for each provider. Also, ask for the coverage details with each company.

They should be willing to give you explicit information on what the policy provides, what’s covered, and the available coverage limits. Use this information to compare the policies from multiple providers and find the right one for your needs.

Ask About Discounts

Believe it or not, most insurance companies offer discounts on coverage. But they may not always advertise them. You need to ask and ask again when the time comes to renew your coverage.

For example, bundling both your car and homeowners policy through the same provider can lower your premiums for both each month. And you’ll have the added bonus of working with the same people no matter what kind of claim you file.

Remember, every little bit you can save counts and frees up money to pay for higher coverage limits or home improvements that can further lower your insurance costs.

Know What the Policy Covers

Homeowners policies don’t cover everything. That’s why there are supplemental policies available. But you won’t know what types of coverage you need if you’re not sure of what your home insurance covers.

The average policy protects against fire, wind damage, theft and vandalism for the physical structure itself. They also provide liability protection for you and your family and protects your belongings when you’re away from home.

Remember, every policy is unique and some providers offer more coverage than others. Make sure you understand what each policy provides and consider buying supplemental coverage to fill in the gaps.

Pick Coverage Based on Quality, Not Price

It’s tempting to base your decision on price alone. But doing so often means you’ll end up with inferior coverage.

Instead, take a holistic approach. Compare the coverage amounts and areas while reviewing the cost of each policy. Then, think about which company you feel will be most responsive to your needs and concerns.

This comes down to your insurance agent. Think of it as a long-term professional relationship. You want to find an agent you’re happy to work with for years.

They should listen to your concerns and explain the details of your policy in detail. It should always feel like they’re willing and ready to help you rather than make a fast buck.

Make a Plan to Review Your Coverage Annually

The policy you choose when you first buy your house may work for a year or two. But the longer you live in your home and the more you improve it, the more your coverage needs change.

That’s why it’s always best to review your coverage every year.

Make a plan to conduct a new home inventory each year and meet with your agent to discuss your current coverage needs. They’ll be able to make recommendations as your situation changes.

Further, they may be able to save you money on coverage. New discounts roll out each year and you may qualify for additional discounts as you invest in home improvements.

Get the Right Homeowners Insurance Policy

Becoming a homeowner is exciting, but it comes with a lot of responsibility. You’re in charge of maintenance, repairs, and keeping your home safe from as many threats as possible.

A good homeowners insurance policy can take the stress out of being first-time homeowners. Let our dedicated agents help you find the best homeowners insurance policy for your needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get your free quote for coverage.