Are you thinking about buying a home for yourself and your family? Have you been doing research to figure out what steps you need to take now in order to achieve your dreams? One of the biggest things that often gets overlooked by people who are new to buying homes is the cost of insurance. Before a bank will grant you a mortgage, they're going to want to make sure that you have insurance on the property. In order to find the right insurance for you, here are some questions you should be asking:
What is covered by this policy?
Not all homeowners insurance is created equal. For instance, some policies may include flood damage by default, while others require you to add this on separately. Water damage that isn't caused by floodwater may be covered by an entirely separate addition to your policy. Nobody ever expects anything bad to happen to their homes, so it may seem like a waste of money to have all these add-ons. But just because a thing is unlikely doesn't mean that it'll never happen. The more you're prepared for potential loss, the easier it will be to recover if something bad does happen to you.
What sort of discounts do you offer?
While they usually don't advertise that they have any discounts available, you can often get homeowners insurance for a lower price than what they initially quote. For instance, by having security doors installed, you could potentially lower your insurance bill by a significant amount. The same goes for having a carbon monoxide detector and/or more smoke detectors installed in your home. You could also get discounts due to being a former member of the military, because of a discount program through your employer, or by bundling your coverage with your auto insurance company. The only way to find out is by asking.
How long is this rate good for?
Before you choose a homeowners insurance policy, it makes sense to get quotes from multiple companies before making your final choice. But while you might expect the quote to stay the same the next time you call in, the reality is that the price could go up or down depending on the market. However, as long as you leave your name and number with the company, you can typically lock in a rate for 3-5 days. This gives you just enough time to shop around and to make a decision before the rate changes and you have to start the whole process over again.