If you are funding the purchase of your new home with a mortgage, your lender will require that you obtain a homeowners insurance policy during the underwriting process. Having your residence properly insured gives both you and the lender peace of mind.
Just like with other types of insurance, it pays to shop around. You will typically get discounts from the insurance company that also insures your vehicles, so obtain a quote from them as well as from two or three other companies. Dawn can offer recommendations, but friends and family can also be great referral sources.
To save money on your homeowners insurance, consider the following:
- Go for a higher deductible. By choosing a $1,000 deductible, you can potentially save 25% on your policy! Over time, you will save more than enough to cover the $1,000.
- Don’t include the value of the land in your policy. Your land will generally not be affected if there is a fire, theft, or other damage. What it will cost to rebuild your home should be determined without including the cost of the land.
- Combine insurance. As mentioned above, having as many policies with the same company can provide discounted rates, usually 5% to 15%. But, this is not always the case, so be sure to obtain quotes from other companies to determine which offers the best price.
- Make your home more disaster resistant. Many insurance companies offer discounted premiums for upgrades to electrical, heating, and plumbing in addition to implementing safeguards in your home protecting it against natural disasters. Ask the agent what steps you can take and what savings you can expect.
- Improve security. Things like smoke and CO2 alarms, home security systems, and deadbolt locks can offer savings on your insurance. Again, ask the service representative for a list, and assess the return on investment.
- Ask about insuring possessions. If you have any personal possessions of high value, ask the service representative about these when obtaining quotes. Although you want to pay the lowest price for the best insurance policy, you also want to be sure all of your property has ample coverage.
- Maintain good credit. Your credit history can play a significant role in saving you money, even on homeowner’s insurance policies.
- Review yearly. Don’t set it and forget it. Review your policy every year and make adjustments. If you’ve added onto your home or have personal items of value that need to be added or removed from your policy, make sure to contact your insurance company to record these updates.
Click here for a blog we wrote specifically on how to determine an estimated replacement cost of your new home.
Flood and earthquake insurance are not covered by standard homeowner’s insurance policies. These must be purchased separately, and in some cases, may also be required by your lender. For information on flood insurance, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Earthquake insurance policies are provided by the California Earthquake Authority.
For more information on homeowner’s insurance and assessing your personal risk, click here.
At this point in time, everything is coming together nicely! You’ve started packing, hired a mover, set up utilities, and acquired homeowner’s insurance for your new residence. We’re close to the finish line!
Let’s move onto phase 5 and discuss your down payment, final walk through and the closing process.