The purchase of a home is the largest investment most people will ever make. You will need to obtain a Homeowner's insurance policy to protect your investment, as well as to comply with the conditions of your mortgage. All major insurance carriers will offer a quote free of charge. You should never have to pay for a Homeowner's insurance quote!
When contacting the insurance company for a quote on Homeowner's insurance, you will need to provide some information. It is recommended that you make sure you have all of the following information handy.
- The key information on the property you wish to insure. This includes the residents of the home, the address and county in which the home was built.
- Information to assess the risk of the home. You will likely be asked to provide the age of the home, size in square feet, distance from a fire plug, type of roof and loss history of the property. The insurance company may also ask the location of the nearest fire station as well as some construction-related questions that may concern the following:
Details on any non-standard upgrades performed to the property. This would include the addition of a granny unit or pool, upgraded countertops or flooring, and any other type of upgrade that cost over $5,000.
Various questions regarding liability exposure. You will need to be prepared to talk about any pets living in the home. If you have a dog, the insurance company will ask for the breed and whether you have had any aggression problems with the pet in the past. You can also expect questions regarding safety around a swimming pool or trampoline.
- Type of roof - the material (such as tile or shingle) as well as the slope (such as flat or gable).
- If the home is on a slab or raised foundation, and if there's a basement.
- Whether plumbing, electrical and siding are original or have been renovated.
- Flooring type (pergo, carpet, tile or hardwood), which can dramatically change the cost of repairs.
You have now prepared yourself with the information that you will need to get a full and accurate quote from the insurance company. In order to obtain the actual quote, you have a few options.
- In-person - This is the traditional manner in which insurance policies are sold. In order to get a quote in person, visit a local agency. Agencies can be located through referrals from friends, local advertisements and your yellow pages. The agent acts as the go-between for you and the insurance company. Visit the agent and let them know that you are looking for a quote for a new Homeowner's policy.
- By Phone - Most insurance companies offer quotes by phone. You can find phone numbers online or through advertisements. Contact the carrier directly, ask for their underwriting department and they will set you up with a quote for a new policy.
- By Internet - As technology continues to advance, more carriers are offering quotes directly through the internet. Point your browser to any major insurance carrier's website and find the link for requesting a quote. Be aware that your request may be forwarded to a local agent for the quote.
Once you receive your quote, review the policy that is being offered. Not all insurance contracts are the same. Ask the company any questions that you may have regarding the policy before signing up. Make the most of your home and protect your investment as fully as possible.