In this long overdue edition of Insurance Straight Talk, we’ll review some insurance-related issues that someone buying a property in Connecticut should keep in mind.
Gone are the days where most homeowners insurance premiums are under $1,000 a year. When I began in the industry in 2002, it was common to see $400-600 premiums for a Connecticut homeowners insurance policy. Not anymore. Among other reasons, inflation, increased costs of doing business, larger dwelling limits, projections of increased hurricane activity, and fears of other catastrophic weather events have caused our home insurance premiums to rise.
Finding value is what we’re all looking for. Whether we’re talking about cars or insurance. If everyone really wanted the cheapest, we’d all drive a Sonic or a Yaris. We want a fair price, sure, but we’re also looking for dependability, safety, comfort, miles per gallon, etc. Value.
It’s the same with Connecticut homeowners insurance. Most of us want the right coverage for a fair premium from a reputable carrier that will be there if/when we need them. So what can you do to find the most value? I’m an advocate of contacting a local independent insurance agent, someone who’s got access to multiple carriers. You might also consider combining your auto and home insurance as most carriers offer substantial multi-policy discounts.
And when looking at potential properties, there are some common homeowner insurance issues that you might want to keep in mind:
- Flat roofs
- Roofs older than 20 years old
- Older houses with older mechanicals (heating, roofing, electrical, and plumbing)
- Multi-family properties built prior to 1978
- Asbestos or EIFS siding
- Fuse boxes
- Knob & tube or aluminum wiring
- Underground oil tanks
- Homes in poor condition (e.g., peeling paint, curling shingles)
- Trees overhanging the house
- Unfenced swimming pool and pools with slides or diving boards
- Coastal properties
- Homes in flood zones
- Homes on pilings
- Log homes or homes built with unconventional building methods or materials
- Mixed-use properties
- Homes with prior losses
With that said, if you have your heart set on a home with one or more of the above issues, we might be able to help. Just know that our options will likely be limited.
On the flip side, some factors to consider that most insurers typically prefer:
- Newer houses
- Older houses that have been completely renovated
- Properties in protection classes 1 through 8
- Properties with central alarms
- Coastal properties with hurricane mitigation
What else can you do?
You can try to maintain a favorable insurance score; consider taking a higher deductible; call your agent before getting a certain breed of dog; and most importantly, call to find out what the insurance might look like before putting in an offer.
Contact Olde Liberty Insurance today to discuss a potential purchase in more detail or for a no-obligation, customized quote for your specific needs. With access to some of the most reputable carriers in the business, we’ll present to you the best option(s) we have for your situation.