Shopping for new home insurance is a big purchase — rates in the U.S., after all, average $800 per year. It makes sense that homeowners would want to compare information on home insurance rates from various insurers to be sure to get the most affordable premiums. But before you start asking for home insurance quotes, there is some information you need to obtain first.
Home insurers always require the same locational information about your home. This includes the physical address of the property, as well as whether the home is located in a potentially hazardous area, such as an area prone to hurricanes. Furthermore, you should be prepared to provide insurers with the distance between your home and the nearest fire department and fire hydrant. These factors make a big difference in how quickly firefighters would be capable of extinguishing a flame.
Your home’s construction components weigh heavily on the amount you will pay in premiums. Insurers will want to know what your home and roof are made of, as well as what type of foundation you have. You may also have to provide information about whether your home has a garage, a porch or a breezeway. Be sure to take note of whether your electricity uses a circuit breaker or fuse box, and let your insurer know how your home is heated. Gas and electric heating, for instance, get preferred rates over wood stoves and kerosene heaters.
Other details can impact your rates too. For example, the presence of deadbolts, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and alarm systems can all lower the chances that you will have to make a large claim. You will also need to provide square footage information, the year your home was constructed, and the home’s purchase price or appraised value.