Buying a home is a huge process, and there are a ton of factors that need to be considered before and during the sale. One factor is that your new home must have the proper coverage against all kinds of threats. Without a homeowners insurance policy, your investment could go right down the drain.
Luckily, an independent insurance agent in Missouri can help you find the right type of homeowners insurance for your new home. They'll get you covered before you sign any official documents for the home purchase. But for starters, here's a list of the most important factors to consider before buying a home in Missouri.
#1: Understand the Key Factors Affecting Insurance Rates
The cost of your homeowners insurance depends on many different factors, including the value of the property, your exact location, the home's square footage, and the property's age. But what you keep in your home, such as collectibles and valuable property, can also influence the cost of your home insurance. Further, the materials your home was constructed from can impact coverage costs.
Some other factors that influence the cost of home insurance include your home's repair or renovation history and any safety or security devices that may be installed (e.g., smoke detectors, sprinklers, or burglar alarms). Elements considered "attractive nuisances" by insurance companies, like outdoor pools and trampolines, can cause your coverage rates to be higher. An independent insurance agent in Missouri can help you find an affordable policy that works for you, though.
#2: Address Each Cost Factor to Lower Rates
You can save yourself some money on home insurance if you consider the factors that impact its cost ahead of time. For example, you could opt for a less expensive house, which can cost less to insure and repair if necessary. Buying newer homes can also lower your insurance rates, because new construction carries less risk of claims having to be filed for collapsed roofs, etc. Newer homes also come with newer plumbing and electrical systems which make the property safer and more attractive to insurance companies than older ones.
#3: Consider the Location of the Home
If you want to decrease your home insurance rates, you can go for a house in a safer area of Missouri. Cities that statistically carry higher crime rates come with higher homeowners insurance costs because of the likelihood of property and other crimes. Your proximity to a fire department can also improve your odds of having lower insurance rates.
An area's risk of storm surges and earthquakes can also impact insurance costs. If you can, choose a home in an area not as prone to hurricanes, etc. Basically, the safer the location of your home on all sides, the lower your homeowners insurance rates can be.
#4: Evaluate the Condition of the Home
A home's condition at the time of purchase has a major impact on insurance rates. For example, the home's roof must be in good shape, as roofs are extremely expensive to replace and can pose a threat to the rest of the home if they're deteriorating or weak. You'll need to make sure that the walls are in good condition as well, without mold or cracks that can lead to an increased risk of repairs and insurance claims.
Your home's electrical and plumbing systems should be as current as possible, too. Since building codes have changed drastically over time, you'll need to ensure that your home complies with current regulations. Old and rusty pipes, etc. also have a much higher probability of breaking and causing interior water damage and flooding.
#5: Don’t Go Cheap on Your Coverage
When it comes to home insurance, you don't want the cheapest policy, you really want the best value for your money. Since your home is an enormous investment, it must be properly covered in case disaster strikes or an accident happens. If you don't get the right coverage in the first place and a major disaster occurs, you could end up paying much more for repairs than you would have spent on the insurance in the first place.
Do yourself a favor and get the coverage you need first, then find the right cost. An independent insurance agent in Missouri can help you do that by shopping multiple insurers, unlike a captive or direct agent who only has one option. Independent insurance agents work hard to find you the best blend of coverage and cost from the homeowners insurance options in your area.
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#6: What Kind of Amenities Are You Planning to Have?
The type of amenities you plan to have at your home can absolutely impact your insurance rates. Some are riskier than others, such as pools and trampolines vs., say, outdoor seating around a grill. While some amenities can work against you in terms of coverage pricing, others can work in your favor, such as installing fences and gates.
#7: Inspections Are a Must
Before buying a home, always get it properly inspected first. You'll need to know details about the home before you can get it adequately insured, so you'll need records of the good and bad parts of the property. An inspector can provide you with all the details you need to know about the condition of the roof, the walls, the plumbing, etc., and let you know if the home is good to go or needs repairs, which can ultimately save you a ton of money in the long run.
#8: Insure Locally in Missouri
Working with a local independent insurance agent in Missouri can help you get matched to the best homeowners insurance coverage for you. Because they're local, Missouri independent insurance agents know which homeowners insurance companies are reputable and offer the type of policy you need.
Missouri independent insurance agents also know your town, including details of the good, the bad, the safe, the not-so-safe, and all of the concerns that a local homeowner needs to be prepared for. You can call up your local independent insurance agent with the same area code you use if you're ever in need of help, which offers you assistance on a more personal level.
#9: Your Future at the New Home
When shopping for home insurance, you'll also want to consider your future at the new home. Will you be bringing kids or pets to the property now or later on? Do you plan to expand your property or add external structures like a garage or barn? Will you be renting out another property?
All of these details must be considered ahead of time from a logical perspective, but also because most of these ideas will increase your home insurance rates. Don't let the fear of higher insurance premiums derail your plans, though. Just keep your budget in mind and plan to spend a bit more on home insurance in the future if you'll be expanding your property or your family life.
#10: Beware of Liability Issues
Any third party can get accidentally injured on your property, whether it's a friend you have over or the mailman out on his regular route. Sometimes they may choose to sue you to get reimbursed for their medical treatment. Though home insurance provides liability coverage for just this reason, it may not be enough.
You might want to consider umbrella insurance to increase your liability coverage to a limit of $1 million or even more, especially if your property presents increased risk factors. Your Missouri independent insurance agent can help you review your risks and determine if adding umbrella coverage is the right move for you.
How to Find the Right Home Insurance
A new home is most likely the most expensive investment you will make and it deserves to be treated that way, with the right protection. For that, you’ll need an independent insurance agent to help you find the ideal coverage for your home and future.
Your independent insurance agent in Missouri can help you find a policy, but standard homeowners insurance includes:
- Dwelling coverage: Covers you against losses related to damage or destruction of your home's structure caused by covered threats like vandalism, falling objects, lightning, etc.
- Contents coverage: Covers you against losses related to the theft of your personal property, or damage or destruction to it from threats like fire, certain types of water damage, etc.
- Liability coverage: Covers you against losses related to third-party lawsuits filed against you for alleged personal property damage or bodily injury to them.
- Additional living expenses: Covers hotels or other temporary housing and extra expenses if you must live outside the home while it's being repaired.
Knowing what to look for in a good homeowners insurance policy can help make the journey easier. Before you shop around, though, take some time to review this checklist of necessary considerations when buying a home in Missouri. Happy hunting.
Why Choose a Missouri Independent Insurance Agent?
Missouri independent insurance agents simplify the process by shopping and comparing insurance quotes for you. Not only that, but they’ll also cut through the jargon and clarify the fine print so you'll know exactly what you’re getting.
Missouri independent insurance agents also have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best home insurance and flood insurance coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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