If you are about to buy a new home in Palm Coast, Florida, or anywhere in Flagler County, you will need to protect your new investment with a top-quality homeowners’ insurance policy.
Typically, your mortgage company will require you to buy a home insurance policy – though there is no state law requiring it. Plus, the risks of not insuring your home would simply be too high.
But how do you know how to find, or how to build, the best possible homeowners’ policy? Here are seven key factors to keep in mind as you get ready to insure your new home.
1. Use a Local Insurance Company
Local insurers will be more familiar with the ins and outs of the neighborhoods as well as the risks relevant to homeowners’ insurance in your area. Not only do laws governing or related to home insurance vary from state to state, but every local area has a unique set of risks and a different price range.
There are likely many insurers offering homeowners’ insurance in your local area, however, so you need to look at other important factors as well.
2. Affordable Rates, Good Coverage
The standard-basic kind of homeowners’ insurance is very similar across all insurers. A standard policy will include main dwelling coverage, detached structure coverage (sheds, fences, detached garages, and more), personal property coverage for your home’s contents, and a limited liability component.
The details of these elements of a basic policy and the cost of them will vary considerably from insurer to insurer, however. That’s where you need to do your homework or talk to a helpful insurance agent so you can understand what kind of value you are getting for a particular level of coverage.
3. Ask About Discounts and Bundling
All insurance companies will offer some discounts on their various insurance products, including homeowners’ insurance. Don’t be afraid to ask about a discount, because an agent can likely find one or more that apply to you.
For example, if you live in a low-crime neighborhood, have a great credit score, have few if any claims filed in the past, have a home security system, have a brand new roof, or have a low risk of home fires, you could pay less on your premiums.
Also, if you can bundle your homeowner’s insurance with your car insurance or other insurance types, you will certainly save some money.
4. Ask About How Your Insurer Pays Out on Claims
Another factor is how your insurance company pays out on any claims. Aside from becoming familiar with the claims-filing process, you need to understand whether the claim will be paid on an actual cash value or replacement value basis.
People will have different preferences on this, so it’s great if your insurer is flexible and lets you decide which claims basis you would like to use for your soon-to-be-insured home.
5. Choose Your Ideal Deductible And Premium Balance
Most homeowners insurance companies offer $500 and $1,000 deductibles. Some offer additional options as well. Realize that a lower deductible means a higher monthly premium and vice versa.
It’s a matter of achieving your ideal balance. One plan doesn’t fit all. Make sure you can customize your policy so it is both affordable and helpful.
6. Make Sure You Understand Dog Bite Liability
Most home insurance companies will cover dog bites if someone visiting your home is bitten or attacked by your dog. However, some breeds are considered dangerous and will be excluded. Or, you would have to pay extra on your premium to cover them.
If you own a dog, this could be an important issue for you. It will impact the liability component of your plan and (possibly) your rate. Be sure to ask your insurance agent about it.
7. Buy A Policy With Good Hurricane Coverage
In Central-East Florida, hurricanes are not unlikely to eventually strike a home. Named storms surge along the coast and throughout the state every single year. It only makes sense that you get a home insurance policy that covers hurricane damage.
Also, look for discounts for hurricane clips to secure the roof to the building, impact-resistant windows, heavy-duty storm shutters, and other anti-hurricane upgrades. These kinds of upgrades can both save money and save lives!
To learn more about how to choose your very best homeowners’ insurance in Palm Coast, Florida, and surrounding areas, contact Flagler County Insurance Agency today for a free, no-obligation consultation! We have been in the business for many years and we know we can customize a policy that will fit your exact needs.