The chances of any given homeowner suffering property damage due to a natural disaster are relatively low, but pride of homeownership dictates preparation for the worst possibilities, in order to care effectively for your home and property. Many LGI Homes homeowners and homebuyers are making the step into homeownership after years of renting, and are anxious to protect both their beautiful new home and their financial investment, but are unsure how to proceed. The first step? Get homeowner’s insurance. Important for your finances, and mandated by most mortgage lenders, finding homeowner’s insurance isn’t difficult, but there are some things you can do to ensure that you get the coverage you need at a reasonable price.
Go with what you know. Much like your cable company, insurers love to give a package deal. If you currently carry your auto and life insurance with a single company, call them up and ask them what kind of deal they can give you if you enlist them as the insurer for your new home. Carrying two or more policies with a single company could be a ticket to up to 15 percent off of your premium costs, so it’s worth a call to see if your current insurance company can meet all of your coverage needs.
Comparison shop. “Shop around” is a good maxim for many things in life, and homeowner’s insurance is no different. Consider calling a few companies other than your current insurer(s), and ask for quotes on a certain level of coverage. Be sure that when you compare the quotes you receive that each proposal has details on the extent of coverage; you’ll have to make sure that the lower monthly premiums quoted by one company aren’t coming at the expense of a higher deductible or less overall coverage.
Be prepared. While annual premium rates are fairly standardized, there are some things that you can do within your home in order to reduce the amount you pay for your homeowner’s insurance. Smoke detectors, storm shutters and other reinforcements against weather-related damage can reduce your premium costs, because insurers charge less for coverage of properties that are less likely to be damaged due to a natural disaster.
Know what you’re buying. If you have yet to purchase a home, you may be considering both new and pre-owned homes. Did you know that insurance premiums on existing homes can be higher than on a new home, simply because of their older electrical, plumbing and heating systems? It’s true! The modern installation practices and brand-new materials used in new houses, mean that the integral systems of that home are less likely to falter and cause damage to your home through fire or flooding. Insurers recognize the inherent safety of new construction, so they typically charge less to cover new homes than they do for coverage of older ones!
Terms and costs of homeowner’s insurance vary widely from company to company, and even state to state, so you should do your homework on the issues that may apply to your home. Once found, your homeowner’s insurance will be financial security and a good night’s sleep wrapped up into one, so take the time to do it right, and protect your beautiful new house—as well as your pocketbook—for years to come.