With the prices for everything skyrocketing these days, every penny counts. This includes your homeowner’s insurance costs. If you’re thinking of buying a home and need homeowner’s insurance, here are a few tips on getting quality insurance for a fair price.
Tip #1: Use The Same Insurer as Your Car
Many companies will offer a significant discount off your premium if you buy more than one policy from them. If the insurer offers homeowner’s and auto/liability coverage, you can end up having a lower premium than if they only offer one or the other. Starting with your current auto insurance company will help you establish a baseline cost to compare with other providers.
The key is to make sure that the combined price is lower than if you bought them separately.
Tip #2: Shop Around
Now that you’ve established a baseline with your current insurance company, compare that with other providers. As you shop around, it’s also important to research the level of service should you need to file a claim. Ask family and friends about their homeowner’s insurance. Have they ever had to use it? If so, how was the experience? Check the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the state insurance department for ratings and complaints. You don’t want to spend years worth of money in premiums only to have a major headache once you need to use it.
Other places to shop for insurance include consumer guides, online reviews such as Google reviews and yelp.com, insurance agents and online insurance quote services. Remember, make sure you compare apples to apples. Don’t just look at the lowest price. Much like your mortgage quote, the rate is not the only part of the equation. Your agent (just like your Loan Officer) should provide you with the whole picture including what you’re getting for that cost and what you’re not; including the benefits and risks of each.
Tip #3: Raise Your Deductible
If money is tight and every dollar helps, you may want to consider starting with a higher deductible. You can always lower it later. This is helpful to many people that are in the home buying process and are already spending money on a down payment, closing costs, etc. The deductible is how much you have to pay before the insurance company starts to pay a claim on your home. The higher the deductible, the lower the premiums.
It’s important to find your insurance policy as early in the loan process as possible. If you live in a disaster-prone area, your policy may have a separate deductible for specific types of damages or may have higher premiums than you anticipated. This could even affect whether or not you qualify for your loan depending on how tight your debt-to-income ratio is already. Take it from us…get your insurance lined up early in the loan process so you and your Loan Officer have time to deal with any changes it may have on your loan.
Tip #4: Improve Home Security
By installing a sophisticated fire sprinkler system and a fire/burglar alarm that rings the monitoring stations, some companies will cut your premium as much as fifteen or twenty percent.
For a smoke detector, burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks, you can usually get at least a five percent discount. Check with your insurer to make sure that the system you’re installing will lower your premiums, though; the systems aren’t cheap and not all of them qualify for a discount.
A big key to successfully closing thousands of mortgage transactions on-time is working with an excellent team of professionals. Buying a home is a team sport which involves several different companies and individuals working together to close on time. If you’re looking for a solid home insurance professional in your area, contact your Summit Mortgage loan officer today. Our staff work with some of the finest professionals in the industry and would be happy to provide you with a referral. It’s all part of how we work hard to Earn Your Trust Every Day.
Contributing Author: Evan Jansen
Evan Jansen is a mortgage industry veteran with over 14 years of experience. Evan has more than 800 individuals finance their dream of owning a home. Summit Mortgage is located in Lakewood, Colorado. We are a local Denver branch of a national lender, Summit Mortgage Corporation. If you have any questions leave us a message and someone will be with you shortly.