The home insurance market has changed dramatically over the past years especially in the aftermath of 9-11
Gone are the days when a buyer could simply call their insurance brokers and arrange for insurance on their new home within 24 hours of the call.
Today the insurance companies are not only looking at the home to be insured but they are also taking a close look at the homeowner as well.
When considering the home to be insured, the insurance companies are looking at age and condition including structural components, electrical, plumbing, roof, windows, heating etc. and they will also want to know if the home is owner occupied or rented or vacant.
Insurance companies will also look at the individual applying for insurance. Individuals that have had a number of previous claims, policies that have been canceled, declined or lapsed, a poor credit rating, or conviction of Insurance Fraud may find that their insurance is declined or a surcharge added to their premium to take into consideration the high risk.
Buyer should immediately consult with their insurance provider when considering the purchase of a home to ensure that insurance can be obtained for the type & style of home and geographic location. It is important to note that some companies will not insure homes over 50 years old, or those homes with underground storage tanks, old roofs or outdated wiring.
Buyers should consider getting “Pre-Approved” for insurance coverage similar to mortgage financing. Your Royal LePage Team Realty Representative will ensure that your Agreement of Purchase and Sale will contain a condition on obtaining Satisfactory Home Insurance Coverage and they will make provisions for time frame in which you can then determine if satisfactory insurance coverage is attainable.
Sellers could circumvent any unforeseen problems with insurance coverage by having a home inspection carried out on the property prior to offering the home for sale into the open market. The seller can then cure any problems that may be an issue for insurance companies. This practice is of great benefit to a seller as their home will sell faster and at a better price.
Many Insurance Companies will offer preferred rates if the home owner combines their car, and home insurance. Be sure to ask for a volume discount. Higher deductibles are another way to lower premiums. Also inquire about discounts for proximity to fire hydrants, centrally monitored burglar and fire alarm systems, age discounts and claims free years.
Contact the Consumer Information at the Insurance Bureau of Canada, 1-800-387-2880 web site: www.ibc.ca or contact the Insurance Brokers of Ontario at www.ibao.org .