Frequently Asked Questions About Homeowners Insurance
What information is needed in order to get a quote?
In order to provide a quote, we will need the address of the home as well as the full name and date of birth of the person(s) to be named on the insurance policy. Additional underwriting information will be necessary to proceed to the application phase.
How much do I need to insure my home for?
Your home should be insured for the amount it will cost to rebuild the home of like kind and quality in the event of a total loss. We will calculate that amount by using state-of-the-art Dwelling Replacement Cost Estimator software. This calculation does not include the value of the land as that is not covered under the homeowners policy. Your mortgage company will accept this coverage amount.
Does my credit score impact my insurance premium?
Yes, most insurance companies use an insurance-based credit score as part of the homeowners insurance underwriting and rating process. This is a “soft” score and will not appear as an inquiry on your credit report nor will it affect your credit score. Insurance carriers must comply with Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) laws and if an adverse decision is reached based on credit scoring you have the right to request a free copy of the report that was used.
What are insurance company Underwriting Guidelines?
Underwriting Guidelines are criteria that insurance companies have for homes they will insure. They typically require that major updates such as the roof, heating system, electrical and plumbing be preformed within the past twenty years. Most companies will not write homes with knob & tube wiring, fuse electrical systems, outdoor oil tanks or if certain breeds of dog are present.
What if my home doesn’t meet company Underwriting Guidelines?
If a home does not qualify for voluntary coverage we can place your policy with The Mass Property Underwriters Insurance Association (MPIUA) also known as the MA FAIR Plan. FAIR Plan policies are a little more expensive, approximately 20%-30% more than a voluntary policy, however once underwriting guidelines are met, we can place you with a voluntary carrier.
Will the insurance company inspect my home?
Insurance companies may conduct a routine external inspection of your home after the closing. Occasionally they will also request an interior inspection. Inspections are conducted to ensure that homes meet their underwriting criteria, that they are valued properly and to identify any potential issues which could cause a claim.
Does insurance cost more if I have a dog?
Having a dog does not usually affect homeowners insurance premiums. However, insurance companies have breed restrictions and underwriting guidelines pertaining to dogs.
Does it cost more if I have a pool?
No, it does not usually cost more to have a pool. However, the pool will need to have an approved fence with a self-latching gate or a locking ladder. Some companies also have additional requirements for diving boards and slides.
Does homeowners insurance cover flooding?
No, Flood losses are not covered under the homeowners policy, a separate Flood Insurance Policy is required and we can help you with that. Your lender will usually require that you purchase Flood Insurance if your property is in a flood zone.
How long will it take to get a quote and insurance binder?
We can normally provide you with an estimated quote on a same day basis. After that we will go over the underwriting questions and prepare an insurance application for you to sign. We can do the entire application process electronically and usually get a binder to your lender on the same day we receive the completed application. We will work with your realtor and mortgage company to ensure the process goes smoothly.
How can I save money on my homeowners insurance?
Below are some things you can do to make sure you get a lower rate on homeowners insurance:
- Making sure the home is insured to the proper value.
- Choosing a higher deductible will lower your premium.
- Bundling home and auto insurance with the same carrier.
- Installing an alarm system.
- Using a Trusted Choice™ Independent Insurance Agent who can get competitive quotes from multiple insurance companies for both home and auto insurance.