by Michelle Ferris on Jan 20, 2015
Many things can delay buying or selling a home. No matter which end of the deal you’re on, there are important factors to take into consideration, and steps that you should be sure to take well in advance.
Location is Key
Home insurance premiums can be large or small, and a huge factor in this the home’s location. Companies use a rating scale from 1 to 10 to judge how well-protected the area is from potential fire damage.
The lower the number, the closer you are to a fire station or hydrant. As that number crawls higher, you will see it reflected in the home insurance cost. In extremely rural areas, it is important to ensure you are with an Independent Insurance Agent – they will have a wider variety of insurance companies available with which to write these types of higher fire danger home insurance policies.
Age of Home and Fixtures
How old is the home? If it’s over 20 years old, many insurance companies require updates. This includes things like:
Due to danger of fire, most companies are strict about the types of heating sources they will allow. Most also have requirements, such as factory installation, and annual cleaning. They may also result in a higher home insurance quote.
Is it time to replace the old heating method with a new one? Will the benefit to the new owner and increase in sticker price outweigh the cost of installation? Be sure you ask yourself – and a professional – these questions. To avoid problems with home insurance later, make sure all the proper inspections have been done before closing on the property.
Prior Damage to Home
Don’t let the purchase or sale of your home be delayed by technicalities. Make sure your home insurance agent runs a CLUE (insurance history) report on the home to double check claims history. You’ll want to ensure that all the repairs are made as soon as possible so there are no delays in binding home insurance on the home.
Have you had more than one claim in the last 5 years? Buying a home could be delayed by insurance.
The best advice? Keep your nose clean, and your insurance claims history out of hot water.
Are you buying a home, but own a dog? Depending on what kind of dog it is, you may find sticking points with your home insurance. This is especially true if your dog is considered vicious (Pit Bills, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinscher), or has a history of biting. Make sure you ask your insurance agent about home insurance rules if you have a dog.
Here are some examples of unacceptable dog breeds:
Swimming Pools & Trampolines
Pools and trampolines are viewed as an “attractive nuisance” by home insurance companies, meaning that they attract liability exposure to the home (such as your neighborhood’s children). If a child comes on to your property to play on a trampoline when you’re not home and they get hurt, you are still responsible.
Some home insurance companies are more relaxed on pools or trampolines, though they usually come with stipulations, such as pools having locking fences, no diving board or a minimum depth if there is one, and no children swimming unsupervised.
Virtually all home insurance companies now use an insured’s insurance score when setting up a home insurance quote or car insurance quote.
It is important to understand that an insurance score is in place to help predict future losses by an individual and a credit score is used to predict future delinquencies on credit accounts by an individual.
Examples of attributes used in an insurance score are:
Some insurance scores also use information gathered from other insurance companies such as premium payment history and length of time with their previous insurance company. Though a clients credit score could be high enough to close the loan, their insurance score could significantly increase their premium and possibly put them above their payment threshold, holding up the closing.
Home Insurance Agent
Your time is valuable and you must have all the documents ready well BEFORE the closing date. So, you need a home insurance agent that is responsive and fast.
Working with an Independent Agent is usually the best choice – they have many home insurance companies to choose from, and can pick one that they know can get home insurance quotes and binders done quickly.
Contact us today to learn more or for a free home insurance quote.
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