Getting the right coverage for your home is very important. This is why a broker needs adequate information to provide you with the best coverage at the best price. When you call your insurance broker to get a home insurance quote, you will undoubtedly need to answer a series of questions about your home.
I want to share with you some of the questions so that you can be best prepared when you call for a home insurance quote.
The type of home
Is your home a split entry, bungalow, semi-detached, etc. If you are buying the home, you can ask the sellers or your realtor if you are unsure what the style is called of the home you are buying.
The age of your home
When possible, be as precise as you can with this one. There are sometimes windows of time that can be used, but the closer to the exact year the more accurate the quote will be. Needless to say, older homes usually have more issues than newer homes so this needs to be factored in.
Purchase price of the home
If you’re buying the home now, what is the purchase price of your accepted offer? If you’re shopping for new insurance, what was the original purchase price? This will help the broker determine a value to rebuild the home in case of fire.
Estimated value of belongings within the home
Again, as accurate as you can be here the better. If you’re an expensive china collector, let them know. If there’s anything of extreme value being stored in your home make sure your insurance broker knows about it so that they can ensure its covered.
If you’re not sure, ask yourself if I lost everything tomorrow how much money would I need to spend to replace everything?.
The type and age heating system
Are you using oil heat – air or water? Electric heat? Wood stove? Geo-thermal system? Heat pump? Be sure that you know your heating system and when it was installed.
The type and age of the roof
When was the roof installed? This is usually a very important questions so an exact time would be best. You can always estimate for the sake of the quote, but make sure you find out the specific time that your roof was installed to ensure accurate coverage and price. Some insurance companies don’t cover certain things if the roof is past a certain age.
What type of foundation, if any, do you have?
Do you have a basement? Is it concrete? Block? Has there ever been any water damage in the basement? There are a few questions regarding the foundation that your insurance broker might ask so the more you know the better.
What type of electrical wiring is in the home?
Hopefully you’re not running old knob and tube and you have an upgraded electrical system. You’ll also want to know what Amperage your box is as well.
How old and what type of plumbing is in the home?
Do you have copper piping or new Pex pipes? How long ago was the plumbing installed and was it ever upgraded?
What is the water and sewer source?
Are you hooked into a municipal water and sewer or do you have your own septic tank and well? If you have your own well, has it been professionally tested?
Do you operate a business from your home?
If you work from home or run a home-based business there may be special circumstances surrounding your quote, so be sure to let your insurance broker know if that’s the case.
There will likely be additional questions that need to be answered but this will give you a good foundation of what you should know. Basically, the more you can know about your home or potential home the better.
If you have any questions about home insurance feel free to ask. I’ll do my best to answer.