Insurance considerations for first time home buyers

It is a good idea to keep homeowners insurance cost factors in mind when choosing which house to buy. Some points to keep in mind:

  • Insurance rates are lower for structurally sound, updated homes because they are less likely to have claims. Be sure the house you are considering has up-to-code plumbing and electrical systems. Check the age and condition of the roof. Overgrown or unhealthy trees, run-down outbuildings or a swimming pool can make the property difficult or more expensive to insure.
  • Claim history is one of many factors affecting insurance rates. Ask for a CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) report on the home you are interested in. The CLUE report outlines past claims on the property and could be an indicator of future problems.
  • Explore homeowners insurance options once you zero in on a house. Hundreds of companies sell homeowners insurance in Illinois. Eligibility and pricing vary by insurer so get multiple quotes. Coverages can vary too, so do not make a buying decision on price alone. Compare your specific insurance needs to policy coverages, exclusions, limitations and restrictions. Review loss settlement provisions. Be certain the insurer is financially sound, has a good complaint record and is licensed to operate in Illinois.
  • You may be eligible for a reduced rate if you insure home and vehicles with the same company. Many insurers offer discounts for installing a smoke detection or burglar alarm system, taking a high deductible and maintaining a good credit-based insurance score.