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Home Shopping? Here's What to Look for to Keep Your Insurance Prices Down

Shopping for a home can be a very exciting time, and while folks are looking for different things in their new residence, something you may want to consider are factors that can significantly increase or decrease your home insurance rates - which then factor into the amount of your monthly mortgage payment (assuming your home purchase is financed through a mortgage lender).

Here are a few things to keep in mind while looking at homes that can help keep your insurance rates down: 

  • Cast iron pipes. Homes built in the 1950s and 60s are known to have degrading cast iron piping under the slab. The problem is that these systems are officially at the end of their life right now, and if you do take on a home with these aging pipes, you will likely have at least a several thousand dollar re-pipe project coming your way in the near future. Additionally, it may be harder to find a competitive private carrier that will insure that home and take on the inherent risk.
  • Solar Panels. Not all carriers will insure a roof with solar, so if you're considering a home with solar, talk to your insurance agent first to verify the home can get good coverage at a competitive price.
  • Hurricane Protection. It's important. If 100% of all clear openings on your home have some level of hurricane protection (hurricane impact windows and/or hurricane shutters), and if your roof has an added Secondary Water Resistance (SWR) layer, you will likely receive more competitive pricing on your insurance policy.
  • Roof Age. If the home you are considering has a roof under 10 years old, you will have the most options when it comes to home insurance. Your options lessen with 11-15 year old roofs. Over 15 years may be nearly impossible to find coverage (so try to negotiate a new roof in your purchase!).
  • Security Matters. Deadbolts, a fully-monitored security system, living in a community with a guard gate… all these factors will help your insurance premium, so keep an eye out for those items in your new home!
  • Electrical. If you have an older home that contains aluminum or cloth wiring, consider trying to negotiate an upgrade to copper in your purchase (or a credit to get copper put in after closing). This will definitely open up your insurance options in the marketplace.

Of course, finding the right home is all about personal preference, but if you keep these items in mind when weighing the pros and cons of homes you're considering, you may be able to have a positive impact on your insurance costs moving forward!

Happy house hunting and if you have any questions about a home purchase and how it may fare when shopping for insurance, simply pick up the phone and give us a call anytime!