There are many cost issues to consider when you own residential real estate or when you are considering the purchase of a home. One of those issues is homeowners insurance. Can you even get insurance on certain types of properties? Is the insurance cost so high for that type of property that it would be a constant strain on your pocketbook? For example, a home with frontage on one of our beautiful local rivers may require flood insurance if it lies within a designated flood zone. The monthly cost of such insurance might make you grimace! Other types of homes that may require high insurance premiums are older manufactured homes, log homes, unconventional structures like dome homes or shop houses, or remote properties outside the boundaries of a fire protection district, and if your home is vacant your insurance carrier may drop you like a hot potato!
If you are new to the concept of home owners insurance, you should know that it’s not just protection for the structure of your home. It generally covers your contents and usually includes liability coverage if you are sued for damages or injuries to a visitor. Most real estate companies require a certain minimum of liability insurance before they will list your home for sale just in case a buyer slips and falls on the property or your dog bites someone. Most experienced buyer brokers use an insurance addendum that requires new buyers to make contact with an insurance company early in the escrow period so that they can’t wriggle out of a contract at the last minute because insurance is not available or is too costly.
While most homeowners consider the premium cost to be the deciding factor when choosing a homeowners policy, there may be other factors to consider first, such as an “open perils “ clause versus a “named perils” type policy. Another factor to consider may be the ability of the insurer to respond quickly in emergencies and their general customer service rating. Just how do you navigate the plethora of available sources? There are companies such as Reviews.com who can make that process much easier for you. Such reviews compare the best companies so you can make an accurate comparison, apples to apples so to speak. Reviews.com ranks the competitors using 4 different criteria; 1)Tools to help buyers find the right coverage. 2)Available endorsements or options. 3) Unique discounts, like bundling home and auto. 4) Customer satisfaction using data from real consumer reports. Why not take advantage of such great resources?