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Kuzma Vladimirov
Kuzma Vladimirov

Insurance When Buying A House

Often overlooked in the long list of things to do before buying and moving into your new home is buying homeowners insurance. Getting homeowners insurance before closing is an important step in the homebuying process and should be a priority.

insurance when buying a house

When buying homeowner insurance, you are also securing protection against getting sued for accidents that occur on your property. This coverage can pay for property damage or bodily injury when someone visits your home. This would include visitors and repair technicians, for example.

As a community member, this HOA policy is partly your responsibility, but it does not cover the structure of your home, your personal property, or the belongings inside of it. HOA insurance does nothing to protect your new house from damage or disaster. Buying homeowners insurance is essential for protecting your home. A homeowners policy covers the physical structure of your home and your personal property within your property lines.

Most homeowners insurance policies cover accidental flooding from a burst pipe or other water leak in your home, but they usually do not cover flooding caused by a natural disaster. Homes that are built on a floodplain or are in commonly-flooded areas benefit from supplemental flood insurance. Your lender may even require buying homeowners insurance with additional flooding coverage if you live in a floodplain.

Homeowners insurance policies offer both you and your mortgage lender protection of the investment of your new house. Take the time to understand how to get homeowners insurance when buying a house by researching what coverage your new home needs. Your lender probably requires at least a basic homeowners insurance policy and may require additional coverage for natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes.

If you are buying homeowners insurance for the first time, you probably wonder about the timeline for getting covered. The good news is that getting a homeowners insurance quote typically takes just a few minutes. If you decide to move forward and you're in a hurry, you may be able to get a homeowners insurance policy in a few hours depending on the type of property you are looking to insure. Otherwise, it typically takes one to three days to get homeowners insurance.

Standard homeowners insurance policies can assist in the repair or reconstruction of your house in the event of significant damage outside of your control. Depending on where you live, you may need different insurance policies or types of coverage. A standard homeowners insurance policy usually covers:

The timeline for buying home insurance is fairly brief. You can typically get a homeowners insurance quote in a matter of minutes. Once you decide to move forward with an insurance provider, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to actually get home insurance. You can work with your insurer to select an effective date, which is the day your coverage kicks in.

As a first-time home buyer, you may be faced with some new decisions. One of those is deciding which homeowners insurance is best for you. This is an important step in the home buying process since you are deciding on the coverage necessary to protect what is commonly the largest investment you make. If you purchased your home with a mortgage, you want to make sure that debt is covered against damages. On the investment side, you similarly want to protect the equity and potential value growth that you have accrued over time in your property. To aid first-time homebuyers in this important decision, Bankrate will discuss key considerations to take into account when shopping for homeowners insurance.

Although price is not the only factor to consider when buying a home insurance policy, finding the coverage you need for a low price is often a priority. There are steps you can take to find a competitive premium on the coverage you need.

A stately, older home can be quite beautiful but ornate features like plaster walls, ceiling molding and wooden floors may be costly to replace and can raise the cost of insurance. And plumbing and electrical systems can become unsafe with age and lack of maintenance. If you are considering buying an older home find out how much it will cost to update these features and factor that into the cost of ownership.

If the house has a swimming pool, hot tub or other special feature, you will likely need more liability insurance. You may also want to consider purchasing an umbrella liability policy to provide added protection in the event someone gets injured on your property and decides to sue you.

In any of these situations, title insurance will step in to help. One important note on co-op housing: If you're buying a co-op, where you won't actually own real estate (just shares in a corporation), no title insurance is needed.

For more information on purchasing title insurance and other legal and practical tasks involved in buying a house, see Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home, by Ilona Bray, Ann O'Connell, and Marcia Stewart (Nolo). If you ever end up in a situation where you might have to make a title insurance claim, consider consulting with a local real estate attorney to go over your options.

Renters Insurance: If you rent an apartment or a house, you still have an exposure to personal liability coverage and are responsible for insuring against damages to your personal belongings. Personal liability coverage protects renters the same as it would if you were a homeowner. The owner of the building is responsible for insuring the building and for obtaining business liability insurance.

Although not considered part of dwelling coverage, many home insurance policies include coverage for personal property, which is the personal belongings owned by you or by family members who live with you, even when traveling outside the home or living temporarily away from the home, including for example, students living on a college campus. Belongings of people, other than the insured, living with you, i.e., boarders or renters, are not typically protected by your home insurance, unless you have arranged for this type of coverage with your insurer. The personal property limit is usually a percentage (e.g., 50%) of the dwelling coverage limit. Some insurers may offer greater than 50%. You should check to make sure the amount of coverage for your personal property is enough to cover the loss and if not, contact your insurance producer to see about increasing the limit.

Inflation Guard Endorsement: If the replacement cost of your home is increasing with inflation, your policy amounts must be periodically increased to maintain your coverage at 80% or higher. Even though the amount of the homeowners insurance you carry now is at least 80% of your home replacement cost, this amount may not be enough in the future. To help you keep coverage at an adequate level, some companies offer an "Inflation Guard Endorsement." This endorsement will allow your insurance company to automatically change your policy limit during the policy period and upon each subsequent renewal policy by a pre-determined percentage (i.e., 2, 4, 6 or 8%). Even if you have this endorsement on your policy, check your coverage limits periodically to make sure you are adequately, but not overly insured. Not all companies offer this endorsement, so check with your producer or company if you are interested in buying it.

Your coverage limits, as well as additional endorsements that have been added to the policy, affect the level of payment that the insurance company may be exposed to under your insurance protection. Since the level of coverage does affect the price, you should work closely with your agent or company to buy the appropriate level of coverage for your house and personal property. Although you do not want to be underinsured, you also do not want to pay for levels of insurance that you may not need.

After weeks of back and forth, Tommy and Connie were able to strike a deal to obtain insurance for their closing on the condition that they replace the roof within 30 days of the closing. Their premium would be $3,486.00 a year, but could go down after they pay for a new roof and another inspection. All expenses they have to incur on top of purchasing their house.

If you request the roof inspection, you might be able to get the seller to pay for it, as well as repair it before closing. If you prefer to have the work done yourself, you can negotiate a lower price based on the cost of the roof replacement. Before making a decision, you should talk to your insurance company about when this should be completed for coverage to begin.

A common misconception is that switching insurance is a complicated process. Buyers typically pay the entire annual premium for their insurance when they close on the house, and people sometimes mistakenly believe they have to wait until their policy is up for renewal to switch.

If you do decide to switch insurance after buying a house, your first step is to find a new provider. You can search for potential insurers and request quotes. Dennis Burke, insurance agent at Liberty Mutual, explains that once you choose a new company, your new agent will notify your mortgage company of the change and update the policy.

When you make your monthly mortgage payment to your lender, a portion is applied to the principal, which is earmarked to pay off your house, and part goes to the interest due on the loan (a portion may also be homeowners association dues). The other chunk of your monthly payment is usually set aside in escrow to pay for taxes and insurance when they are due to be paid.

Unless you plan on paying cash for this home, chances are you will be required to carry homeowners coverage on the property as mandated by your lender. 'As is' homes that need work can be a great investment, but they pose a problem when it comes time to buy insurance. Many insurance companies are reluctant to insure an old home that has not been fully updated. Many providers will deny claims stemming from known structural problems. 041b061a72


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