What First Time Home Owners Should Know About Home & Property Insurance Before you Buy
It is important to know that if you are planning on buying your first home, condo or business property and have no prior Homeowners Insurance history, your Tenant Insurance history may help you qualify for the best rates possible.
More importantly, Home Buyer’s Insurance premiums are often higher if a home has problems that go undetected at the time of purchase. In some instances, property insurance can even be denied.
Be sure you have asked the right questions about your new home or business property to avoid unforeseen issues with insurance coverage. Haas Insurance offers the following advice:
Always have a Home Inspection done. A home inspection is a professional consulting service that will offer you a professional opinion based on the visual, structural and functional evaluation of the home or property you are looking to buy. It will play a major role in determining your Property Insurance coverage premium.
There are typically 4 key areas of your home that you need to ensure are in excellent working order and meet all current safety standards and requirements. You’re home inspector will want to check current
Wiring, Plumbing, Heating systems and also ensure that the roof is not outdated or leaking.
When inspecting your property’s wiring, be sure that there is a minimum 100 Amp service installed. You will also want to avoid Knob & Tube wiring. Aluminum wiring is also antiquated and runs a greater risk of causing property fires. An Electrical Standard Association Certificate (ESA) is necessary prior to insurance coverage being offered, if the home you purchase has either of these wiring issues. Without an ESA certificate you may not be offered Home Insurance coverage and won’t qualify for the best rates.
If your property is equipped with cast iron or steel plumbing be aware that some insurance companies may require replacement of these materials before insurance coverage can be granted. It is important to have copper or plastic plumbing throughout your property to ensure you qualify for the best rates.
When inspecting your Home, Business or Condo’s Heating, be sure to have an up to date furnace. If your furnace is 20 years or older, proof of regular service maintenance may be required. If you’re considering a property that is heated by an Oil Furnace with an Oil Tank, you will need to research the restrictions that may limit your ability to qualify for insurance coverage or result in higher than normal premiums. If you are planning on purchasing a home with a wood burning stove, you will be required to provide a recent (WETT) Heating Certificate before your insurance coverage can be granted.
Your property’s roof safety is of utmost importance. Make sure that the roof shingles have been replaced in the last 20 years. If the roof is over 20 years old, you will require a letter from a roofing contractor stating how many more years the roof will last before it needs to be replaced.
MARIJUANA GROW OPS
Be aware that one area of concern is the increase in Marijuana Grow Ops. You will want your Home Inspection to verify that the property you are buying has no prior use as a Marijuana Grow Op. If you are planning to purchase a property with this prior use, you will be required to provide an Engineering Certificate to show that the property meets all Engineering standards.
It’s a lot of information to remember so feel free to contact one of our many experienced agents. We’re happy to answers your questions and help you determine the right policy for your Insurance needs. Contact us today!