Buying your first home is one of the most exciting and stressful times in a person’s life. This major milestone is one that is fraught with questions about financing, inspections, and ways to protect your investment. Homeowners insurance is one such way to safeguard the huge investment you have just made. How much you need and how can you secure the insurance are just the beginning of the questions you may have.
As a first timer, you may have a bounty of questions about what coverage you need and to what level? The benefit of having a local agent, like our team here at Phil Richard Insurance is that we will take the time to walk you through all the questions you have. We understand what a huge investment this is and why you may be feeling anxious about getting the right coverage for your home. Here are a few of the most common questions we hear from first-time buyers.
Is Home Insurance Required?
As you begin the financing aspect of buying a home, you may feel like you are hemorrhaging money and want to find ways to cut back on spending. Homeowner’s insurance is not the thing to cut corners on when it comes to purchasing your home. You will want to protect your home with the best insurance you can find in case a worst-case scenario occurs.
According to the State of Massachusetts, there is no law requiring that homeowners purchase insurance on your home, but it is prudent to consider this coverage to protect your investment in your home. You should note, however, if you need a mortgage to help pay for your home (which most first time buyers need), your lender or bank may not loan you money unless you buy and maintain insurance on your home.
What Information Will I Need About My Home?
As a first time homeowner you will have lots of paperwork to fill out during the mortgage process. Getting insurance is no different. Some of the things your insurance carrier will want to know about your home includes:
- a description of your house
- the distance from the nearest fire department and fire hydrant
- the square footage of the home
- if you have security devices
- a picture of your home
- the coverages and limits you want (more on this below)
- any prior property or liability losses
Using this information, the insurance company you choose will use its own standards, known as underwriting guidelines, to decide whether to give you a policy, and the rate it would charge for any coverage it would provide.
How Much Does Home Insurance Cost?
Obviously the answer to this question will depend upon the location of your home, the size and type of the home, and the age of the home for starters. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average annual homeowners insurance premium is $1,211. Specifically the average for Massachusetts runs a bit higher. Check with your insurance agent about ways you can reduce your costs by bundling or installing safeguards for your home.
As a first time homeowner, you will certainly have some broad and detailed questions about your property and the structure that sits on it. Be sure to talk to your agent about specifics that will need to be taken into account for your unique home. Congratulations on your new home!