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I’m buying a new house, now I need insurance…

Buying a new home is a wonderful/stressful experience. You put in a bid and you negotiate the purchase price. Now you have to get a homeowners insurance quote. Your bank calls this hazard insurance. If you buy a home in a flood zone then you will also, need flood insurance. A HO3 (home policy) in the State of CT covers all perils except those that are excluded. Flood is a peril that is excluded on your homeowner policy. Flood insurance is written by FEMA and is through the Federal Government. The premiums on flood insurance only go up and there is no competition, meaning there is nowhere else to go. However, there are many companies that write homeowners insurance. There are different values you get when you buy a home: market value(how much you buy the home for) and replacement value (how much the house would cost to rebuild new).

Insurance companies insure the home to replacement value and are not concerned with how much you pay for the home. Replacement value can be higher than market value depending on the town. A house in Trumbull will cost more in market value then in Bridgeport but the cost to rebuild a 2000 square foot house is going to be the same cost whether in Trumbull or Bridgeport. Confusion may come into play when inspections are done. A bank will do an inspection before you buy the home. An insurance company does an inspection after you purchase the policy. What insurance companies look for is completely different than bank inspections. Homeowner companies will want the roof to be under 25 years old. So even if you buy a 50 year roof the insurance company will still want a new roof after 25 years. So do not invest in the 50 year shingles for it will not matter to the insurance company after 25 years. Insurance companies also look to make sure no tree branches are hanging over the roof. All stairs that have 2 steps or more must have railings.

Companies want to know what type of dogs are in the house. I have no companies willing to insure Pitbulls or Rottweilers. There are more dogs added to the lists everyday and some companies will not even insure German Shepherds. If you have a pool, it must be fenced or the yard must be fenced. No diving boards or slides are usually allowed. Trampolines must have the netting if it is to be covered under the policy.

Buying a home can be a great experience, just keep in mind ways to keep your premiums low. Call Barth Insurance Agency for help in this important time. 203-878-3181