You’re looking for home insurance for your Arizona home. Perhaps you just moved to the state or you’re a first time homeowner. Either way, you’re unsure about what things to consider when you purchase insurance for your home.
What types of coverage do you need? How can you avoid paying too much? What should you look for in a homeowners insurance policy? Here are three things that many homeowners rarely consider when they buy home insurance.
Think About Safety First
Many times when people buy their home, they look for a great area, with friendly neighbors, close to schools or shopping. However, the MSN article, “10 Things That can Lower or Raise Your Homeowners Insurance Rates,” suggests looking for a home near a fire department. According to the post, if your home is over five miles from a fire station or fire hydrants, your insurance rates may be higher.
Additionally, items such as swimming pools, trampolines, and play equipment can cause injuries, thereby raising your rates. Whether it’s a fire or an injury, keep safety in mind when you consider your home.
Consider the Land Your Home is Built On
Most people don’t consider that the land their home sits on isn’t at risk from theft, fires, or other hazards. Therefore, they shouldn’t include its value in deciding how much homeowners insurance to buy. Otherwise, you could pay a higher premium than you should.
Your insurance agent can help you decide how much dwelling coverage to buy. Your coverage should equal the full replacement cost of your home. Replacement cost and market value are not the same. The market value includes the price of your land and depends on the real estate market.
Remember Your Responsibilities as a Homeowner
Becoming a homeowner means an increased level of responsibility. That responsibility not only includes paying your home mortgage, home insurance premium, and taxes, but it includes maintaining your home and property as well.
Seasonal maintenance includes things such as:
- Cleaning out your home’s rain gutters
- Checking your roof for signs of wear and tear
- Checking the weather stripping and caulking around your doors and windows
- Cleaning your chimney flue
- Checking for leaky faucets inside and out
Maintaining your home not only can save you money on the cost of your home insurance, it can keep the expenses of maintaining your home low.
Additionally, as a responsible homeowner, maintaining a solid credit history can help keep your home insurance costs in check. More and more insurance companies are using credit information to determine the cost of home insurance. Generally, they must advise you if there is any adverse action – like a higher rate.
Your best course of action is to keep your credit in good shape by paying your bills – like your home mortgage and insurance – on time and by not getting more credit than you need. And don’t forget to check your credit report regularly for problems or errors. You can check it for free once a year.
For more information on home insurance, check out this guide from the Arizona Department of Insurance or visit our website.