What information does your insurance advisor need to provide you with an accurate homeowners insurance proposal?
In the market for a homeowners insurance policy? Whether you’re a seasoned homeowner or a first-time buyer, your insurance advisor will need the following information to properly review your individual situation and design a customized proposal geared to meet your coverage needs and budget.
- Demographic information: The full name and date of birth of each homeowner are required to apply for homeowners insurance in New Hampshire. If you are moving to a new home, your advisor will also need your prior address. This information is used by each carrier to calculate an insurance score, which is based on a combination of credit and insurance history. Each insurance company uses a different formula to calculate their insurance score, which is why it is important to work with an independent agent who has access to multiple carriers and can find the right fit for you.
- Address of the home to be insured: A no-brainer, but one that has a big impact on your premium. The carrier uses the physical address of the property to determine a fire protection class rating, which is based on the home’s proximity to a fire department and fire hydrant/water supply. For example, the City of Laconia, NH is a protection class 2, whereas rural Sanbornton, NH is typically a protection class 10. Both of these protection classess have an impact on the premium. The community crime rate, proximity to the coast, and community incidence rate of various natural disasters are also derived from the property address.
- Home specifications: When was the home built? How many square feet is it? How many bathrooms does it have? Is there a garage? A porch? A deck? Do any pets live in the home? Is there a swimming pool or trampoline in the yard? Is there a wood burning stove or fireplace in the home? How is the home heated? Is there an alarm system? All of these questions and more go into determining underwriting eligibility and your home’s calculated replacement cost, both of which have a big impact on your final premium.
- Recent updates to the home: When was the last time the roof was replaced? How about the plumbing? Electric? Heating system? Have you remodeled a bathroom or kitchen? Have you added an addition to the home or finished off the basement? Updates can lead to discounts and can also simultaneously necessitate revisiting your replacement cost calculation to ensure you have adequate coverage in the event of damage to the home.
- Scheduled personal property: Do you have valuable jewelry, fine arts, firearms, or other collectibles that you’d like to insure? Standard homeowners insurance policies have separate sub-limits for these unique and hard-to-replace items. Oftentimes an insurance company will require documentation such as a receipt or an appraisal in order to substantiate the value of the scheduled item. If you’re unsure whether you need to schedule a valued item specifically on your policy, be sure to ask your advisor for advice.
- Prior insurance information: Which insurance company currently holds your homeowners insurance? Some carriers actually give a discount if you’re coming from one of the big-name carriers like StateFarm Insurance, Allstate Insurance, or Nationwide. How long have you been with that carrier? When does your current policy expire? Most carriers provide steep discounts to homeowners who have been with their insurance company for many years in an attempt to pry them loose from their longstanding loyalty to their current provider. Conversely, if a prospective insured has a history of bouncing from one insurance company to another and/or has gaps in insurance coverage, insurance companies may not offer their best rates.
- Prior claims history: Have you had to use your homeowners insurance in the last five years? Different companies have different surcharges for different types of claims, another in a long list of reasons why it is important to work with an independent insurance advisor who knows the marketplace and has several options available to meet your unique needs.
- Payment & paperless preferences: Are you able to pay your insurance premium in full for the year to take advantage of a paid-in-full discount? Are you open to automatic payments that can help save on premiums and installment fees? Are you open to providing an email address to take advantage of paperless billing and documents which often results in additional discounts and increased ease of doing business? Your independent advisor knows how to help you utilize today’s technology to cut down on your paper bills and help your wallet at the same time.
Are you ready to review your homeowners insurance needs? The Insurance Outlet’s trusted advisors would be happy to perform a comprehensive analysis of your insurance needs and design a personalized solution for you! Please call or text us at 603-527-8050, or stop by our local office at 174 Court Street in Laconia, NH. For your convenience, also offer online quotes 24-7 at our website. The Insurance Outlet is a locally owned independent insurance agency.