You’re ready to buy a home: You’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage, researched school districts and you’ve found the house that’s perfect for you and your family. Is it time to make an offer? Not quite yet: Take a few minutes to investigate the insurance implications. Insurance is an ongoing homeowner expense, so it’s important to make insurance considerations are part of your home-buying decisions.
Do some investigation
There are several factors that typically affect the price and perhaps the availability of insurance in Ohio for a home:
Proximity to the coastline or floodplain and risk of flooding
History of earthquakes or hurricanes/tropical storms
Quality and location of the nearest fire department
Age of the home
Whether the home is well-built and up to code
Condition of the roof (We offer BIG discounts for new roofs)
Swimming pool or other special features
Before you make an offer
Get a CLUE — It’s important to learn about prior claims on the house. Prior claims are not necessarily a barrier to securing insurance. In fact, sometimes it may be good news — for example, the roof was damaged by a tornado and replaced with a new one. Ask the current owner for a copy of the insurance loss history report, such as a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (C.L.U.E.) report, or an A-PLUS™ property report from ISO, a source of information about property/casualty insurance.
For information on how to get a free claims history or C.L.U.E. report from LexisNexis, see www.lexisnexis.com/risk/factact or call (866) 312-8076.
For information on how to order a free A-PLUS report from Verisk ISO, see http://www.verisk.com/underwriting/how-to-order-your-free-a-plus-loss-history-report.html or call (800) 627-3487.
A record of insurance claims on the house can provide answers to two important questions:
Have there been any past problems in the home?
If damage occurred, was it properly repaired?
If the home has been claim-free for five years there will not be a loss history report on the property.
Get the house inspected — The inspector should:
Check the general condition of the home.
Look for water damage, termites and other types of infestation.
Check the electrical system, water heater and septic tank, if there is one.
Show you where potential problems might develop.
Make certain that any past problems have been properly repaired.
Suggest upgrades or replacements that may be needed.
Call me, the sooner the better
Don’t wait until the last minute to think about homeowners insurance. Call me to learn about different coverage options today