I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!
Considering Homeowners Insurance Implications when Buying a Florida Home
May 24, 2018
Homebuyers in Florida have a laundry list of things to consider when looking for their dream home. Access to shopping, restaurants, and attractions; good school districts, beach proximity and even the travel time to the nearest hospital can all be factors. The house’s appearance, amenities, size, and layout are also things to consider.
However, homebuyers may not think about the long term financial cost of home ownership, especially when it comes to insuring the home. Homeowners insurance premiums can be affected by many different factors, including:
Value of the home. Your premium on a home in the $600,000 range will be less than the premium on a home valued at $2,000,000. (Deductibles that are based on a percentage of the home’s value can also add up quickly.)
Age of the home. Typically, the older a home is, the more likely it is to be vulnerable to damage, increasing risks of a claim being filed. (Floridians who add features like hurricane shutters and impact resistant glass may qualify for lower premiums.)
Style and age of roof. Certain roof styles can qualify homeowners for a premium credit, but older roofs can cause premiums to rise. (Find out if your hip roof could qualify you for a credit on your homeowners insurance premium.)
Security systems. An active, monitored home security system can also reduce your premium. If the home you are hoping to buy already has one installed, all the better.
Pool enclosures. An in-ground pool can bump up the value of a home, but also increase premiums. Restricting access with a sturdy pool fence or pool enclosure can help defray the premium.
The plumbing and electrical should be inspected in any home you are considering buying as part of the purchase process. Older electrical installations that don’t follow current best practices but are still up to code (or grandfathered in) may not dampen your enthusiasm over buying the home but could make your insurance company give the property the side-eye and hike your premium.
A four-point inspection covers the roof, the electrical and plumbing systems, and HVAC. You’ll be more likely to receive a better premium if the house’s roof, electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems are less than ten years old.
Sometimes finding a qualified homeowners insurance agent before you buy a home can be the best strategy. They can help inform you about what credits your new home could qualify for and warn you about potential premium increases or even possible insurance coverage denials based on unforeseen issues with the home.