Wednesday, February 19, 2014

6 InsuranceTips for Homebuyers

Congratulations! The offer on the house was accepted and you are getting everything in order to move into the home of your dreams. From the loan paperwork to the inspections and everything in between, the process can be daunting. Keep the insurance buying process moving along by adhering to these tips.

Keep these 5 tips for new homebuyers in mind when it comes to insurance...

1. Give yourself plenty of TIME. The insurance buying process is just that... a process. Allow plenty of time to obtain necessary inspections and have your application processed. Avoid a last minute scramble to get insurance before closing. Contact an agent soon after your bid is accepted to prevent a delay.

2. Don't shop based on PRICE alone. Talk and consult with a reputable agent. Any agent can remove important coverages and offer a cheap policy. An agent who is looking out for the needs of their client will use experience to prepare a quote that contains coverages necessary to keep you out of harm's way. Several coverages are inexpensive and worth the small increase in premium.

3. Understand the REPLACEMENT COST ESTIMATOR. You paid $200,000 for your home, so why is your agent asking you to insure your house for $275,000? If you are insuring your home for replacement cost (which you should), the company is only interested in what it will cost to have a home rebuilt with brand new materials. Market price and replacement cost are completely different.

4. Mention your VALUABLES. While your homeowners policy likely provides coverage or several of your valuable possessions, it is imperative that you mention these items to your agent. Companies provide many options to add on coverage or increase limitations for jewelry, collectibles, etc. Know what's covered under your policy and know the limitations of coverage.

5. Seriously consider FLOOD INSURANCE. If you aren't in a flood hazard zone, it doesn't mean you're safe from floods. I frequently hear "When we got all that rain last year, the water didn't come close to my house." The fact is that mother nature doesn't care about flood zones. When a major storm comes our way, it will be too late to buy this valuable insurance and those without flood insurance won't be compensated for any type of damage from rising water.

As always, it's important to talk with your agent. Find someone reputable who will take the time to answer your questions and put you in a policy that suits your individual needs.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me on my cell at (813) 406-2290.

-Brianne Small, Personal Lines Agent

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