Header Image
Get a Free Quote
For a Free Quote, please contact our Customer Service Department at (866) 568-8922.

EDISON BLOG

Archive: February 2020

What to Look for When Buying A Home and Potential Insurance Impacts

Purchasing a home can certainly be an overwhelming, emotional, and stressful process. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or not, it is understandable to not know all the ins and outs of buying a home. However, there are a few things you may want to be aware of to help you throughout the home-buying process. This includes major red flags which may not only include costly and aggravating fixes but may also have a major impact on your home insurance premium. Here are a few examples:

 

The Neighborhood

Finding your perfect house in the wrong neighborhood can be quite a disappointment. Be sure you take some time to drive around to check out the neighborhood to make sure it is safe. If you have children, it is important you find a home in their desired school zone. Be sure to take note of the surrounding areas should there be water nearby, if the home is located on a busy street, etc.

Insurance Impact: If your new home is located within a gated community you could receive credits towards your premium. Should the home also be nearby water, it is important you purchase flood insurance to be covered in the event the waters rise.

 

Renovations

A few simple and easy DIY projects to make the home “yours” can be quite simple and inexpensive. However, should the house need a full remodel of a kitchen or bathroom it can average around $10,000- $20,000. If you are planning on making an offer on a fixer-upper, be sure to calculate the price of these renovations into your budget.

Insurance Impact: Should you decide to make major changes or additions to your home, you could be underinsured. It is important you provide your insurance agent with the information on the renovations to your home as soon as possible, so your insurance policy can be updated to ensure you have adequate coverage.

 

 

Make Sure the Home Has “Strong Bones”

Most home buyers aren’t looking at the foundation or the roof of the home at first glance, but these areas should not be overlooked. If the tile roof has not been completely replaced in the last 25 years, or the shingle roof in the last 15 years, a replacement is in the future. The cost of replacing a new roof can set you back anywhere between $5,000 to $15,000.  As for the foundation, major cracks could indicate larger issues and could cost tens of thousands to fix. It is also important to take a look at other systems included in the home such as electrical, sewer/septic or well, and HVAC as all these systems can be costly to repair or replace.

Insurance Impact: The home may be ineligible for coverage should the home have major foundational issues. If your new home features a newer roofer, a Wind Mitigation Form should be completed by a licensed inspector to show your home possesses certain characteristics to limit damage from wind. Once this form is submitted to your insurance carrier, you could be eligible for wind mitigation credits towards your premium.

 

Look for Damages

Although homeowners should always have a thorough home inspection done by a licensed inspector prior to closing, you should be looking for damages around the home from the first look. Water damage can pose a larger problem within the home, be sure to check ceilings and walls for water stains. Take a glance at the pipes in the laundry room and bathrooms for leaks.

Insurance Impact: Water damages can cost thousands, and should it be determined the damage is caused by everyday wear and tear or lack of maintenance it may not be covered under your homeowners insurance. Consider inquiring if the previous owner has had a history of filing insurance claims on the property. As a condition on the sale, you can request a C.L.U.E. report which will list the losses reported to insurance companies for the property.

 

As a homebuyer, it is very important for you to be well informed about the potential features and pitfalls associated with a home before closing. Another important thing to note, before closing, your mortgage lender will require you to purchase homeowners insurance. Just as you did your due diligence and research on finding your home, you should do the same when finding a home insurance carrier. Speak to your agent about obtaining homeowners insurance with Edison Insurance Company. We provide quality and customizable coverages at competitive rates. Edison Insurance Company also has an "A Exceptional" Financial Stability Rating ® (FSR) from DEMOTECH, INC. and are backed by only “A Rated” reinsurance companies. We offer homeowners and condo owners insurance as well as flood coverage as a certified endorsement, eliminating the need for a standalone flood insurance policy. To learn more about us, or to obtain a quote, contact your agent, or call us at 866-568-8922.

 

 

Can Home Upgrades Help You Save On Your Insurance Premium?

 

 

Many home improvement projects can increase your home’s value, but could it also result in savings on your homeowners insurance premium? Making certain updates to your home which could drastically reduce the risk of damage to your home and personal well-being can reduce your homeowners insurance premium in the event the unexpected occurs.  We would like to provide you with a few ways you could save some money on your insurance premium and a few other ways home updates could save you some money.

 

Hurricane Protection Devices

Should your home not contain hurricane protection devices on its doors, windows and garage doors, you could be missing out on significant savings. Many hurricane protection devices are available, including metal panels, hurricane impact windows and doors, accordion shutters, and hurricane/wind-proof fabrics. Do your research to determine which hurricane protection devices would work best in your home and best fit the needs of you and your family.  The state of Florida allows homeowners carriers to extend hurricane device credits only when all the openings of your home are protected, including your front door and garage. If one opening is not protected, you will miss out on receiving any credits. Should you be interested in adding hurricane protection devices to your home, we recommend researching vendors and gathering estimates well in advance of Hurricane Season to capture savings on the labor and materials and faster turnaround times.

 

A New Roof

If you have replaced your roof in the past few years or are planning to do so in the near future, you could be eligible for a discount on your home insurance. As a general rule of thumb, if your tile roof has not been completely replaced in the last 25 years, or your shingle roof has not been replaced in the last 15 years, a replacement is in the future due to everyday wear and tear. So, how will a new roof save you money? As with the hurricane protection devices, homeowners insurance carriers can only extend roofing credits to their policyholders when a Wind Mitigation Form is completed by a licensed inspector, detailing when the new roof was installed, its new features, and photos. Once the inspection has been completed and the documents submitted to your carrier, you may be eligible for savings on your insurance premium.

 

Security Systems

Regardless of the neighborhood you live in, your home is at risk of being burglarized. Having certain security and theft prevention devices installed throughout your home can not just protect your property and loved ones, but could result in an insurance discount. Having a security system which has an alarm can deter a burglar and alert the authorities immediately. Depending on your homeowners carrier, having such devices could provide you with some credits towards your premium.

 

Other Ways to Show Your Home Some Love and Save You Some Money

Although you may not necessarily receive any discounts on your homeowners insurance, showing areas of your home a little TLC can go a long way in keeping your home safe, increase its value, and may even save you some money. Here are a few ideas to consider:

 
Update your Curb Appeal: Your home’s curb appeal is the first impression others have of your home. Little improvements you make now, can go a long way. Remove dirt build-up from your sidewalk, driveway, and walkways with a good power wash. It’s the perfect time to exercise your green thumb and make some changes to your landscape while the weather is a bit cooler.
 

Have a Paint Party: See your home in a new light with a fresh coat of paint. Painting can be a simple and inexpensive way to change the whole look of a room. If you do not want to paint an entire space, consider adding a pop of color with an accent wall or painting a piece of furniture. Adding a fresh coat of paint could increase your home’s value and appeal should you be in the market to sell.

 
Easy Updates: There are so many innovations available for your home, which may save you some money and keep your home and family safe. Consider installing programmable lights and/or thermostats to give you the ability to set your devices remotely, or to work on your schedule. Doing so could save you some money on your next electric bill.

 

Remember to Contact Your Agent

It is important to note, making changes to your home could also impact your premium in the form of an increase. Should you be making any additions or major upgrades to your home, you want to make sure your new additions are adequately covered. Contact your local agent as soon as any updates are made so your policy can be updated.  Each homeowners carrier is different and may offer unique discounts. We recommend you contact your agent about what discounts may be available to you. Should you have any additional questions in regards to additions to your home and how it may affect your policy premium, contact your agent, or give us a call at 866-568-8922 for assistance.