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Insurance first-time homebuyer

Homeowners Insurance Tips for a First-Time Homebuyer

Being a first-time homebuyer is an exciting time! If you are getting a mortgage for your new MA home, then your lender may require you to get homeowners insurance. And even if it’s not required, home insurance is still something you should have. Insurance can be daunting if you don’t know what you are looking for. Here are some homeowners insurance tips for first-time homebuyers to help you get started!

Shop For Insurance Before Closing On a Home

Even though you may not have a home quite yet, you’ll likely need proof of insurance at the time of closing. This is also called a binder. Lenders typically like to see that you are prepared. Not having insurance could delay closing. You can start looking for coverage 30 days before you expect to close. It gives you plenty of time to shop around and it also allows the insurance agent to take their time in getting you the right coverage.

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Shop Around

As a first-time homebuyer, don’t just pick the first insurance company that pops up in your search engine! Shop around at different insurance providers to see what is available. They may offer different rates or slightly different coverage options. You can also use a local independent agent to help you find coverage. There’s benefits in using a local MA agent, like familiarity with the area. Find out why you should consider using a local Massachusetts agent in your home search! Regardless of which route you choose, talk to at least 3 insurance carriers before selecting coverage.

Replacement Cost vs. Market Value

When insuring your new home, consider replacement cost vs. market value. Make sure you know which one your MA homeowners insurance covers:

  • Replacement Cost – the cost to rebuild your home with similar quality materials. You’ll want enough coverage to cover a total loss.
  • Market Value – This policy covers up to the current total cash value of your home. The cost of rebuilding your home could potentially exceed the market value policy.

You should talk to your agent about the right coverage for you and your new home. Ask them what to expect in the event of a total loss.

What Does Insurance Cover?

It’s important to understand what insurance covers, and does not cover! As a first-time homebuyer, you may be surprised that many things are not covered under typical homeowners insurance. For instance, your home insurance will not cover damage caused by flooding. Other things that are commonly not covered include mold, pest infestations, leaks from roofs that have wear and tear, and other events that are deemed preventable. For some things, you may be able to purchase additional coverage. 

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Be Smart When Filing Claims

Insurance is there to cover big losses. Be smart about what you file a claim for. Consider what your deductible is and your coverage limits. It’s possible that the total loss is less than your deductible! If you do file a claim, come prepared with a home inventory, documents of the damage, and make sure you file the claim within the allotted amount of time.

Keep Your Insurance Up-to-date

Your life is bound to change over the years. Your insurance should change with your life. Each year, do an annual review of your coverage. You may be able to adjust coverage amounts or the types of coverage. For instance, if you install a pool, you may need more coverage. But, if you move to a smaller home, you may not need as much coverage. You can review with your agent to find the right coverage for your life.

Chat with an Encharter agent today about homeowners insurance in MA:
413.475.7283
Complete our online quote form

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