Maybe you’re looking for a house and the price of insurance hasn’t been a thought but, maybe it should be. Some homes could have hidden costs in insurance premiums and knowing what they are might help you to decide if this is the right home for you or not. Being able to identify a few of these risks could make a difference and save you a considerable amount of money through the years. So whether you’re a first time home buyers or one of those who wants to move from the city to suburbia or possibly a rural area, here are a few tips to consider to make certain you won't be paying higher premiums for homeowner insurance.
First, is the exterior of your new home made of a brick veneer? In other words, are the outside exposed walls made of brick? To get the best fire protection rates on a homeowner policy, the outside walls should be of brick or brick veneer. Fire rates go up from this point for exteriors such as frame (wood) or frame with a vinyl siding.
Then, where’s the nearest fire hydrant? For the best rate, there should be one visible within 1,000 feet of the structure. How far is the nearest fire station and what is the Public Protection Code for the city or town that you’ll be living in? A PPC Code is a countrywide classification system used by the Insurance Services Office (ISO) to reflect a community's local fire protection for property insurance rating purposes. In Texas these can be found online at Texas Department of Insurance https://www.tdi.texas.gov/fire/fmppc.html .
Also if you’re hoping to purchase a home in a rural area there are more things to consider like, is the structure (home) on a paved road? Remember, Rural Fire Departments like to stay on paved roads with fire trucks. They can’t afford to have a truck stuck in the mud for hours or days. Is there a bridge the Fire Department will need to cross to get to a structural fire at your house? If so, will the bridge support a tanker truck full of water?
If you’re new home is in a forested area it may be at a higher risk because of wildfires and wind damage from surrounding trees. It’s important to remember that some insurance companies won’t insure risks which are not visible to other homes, are frame structures with cedar shake roofs, and are located more than 5 miles from a rated (PPC) Fire Department. For these type risks you may be forced to place the coverage with the Fair Access to Insurance Requirements Plan or better known as the FAIR Plan.
If your new home is located in a high risk area for hurricanes and windstorms, you may be need to purchase three seperate policies for the coverage you’ll need. Those policies are a Fire or Homeowner policy excluding wind damage or flood damage. Then, the wind coverage will most likely be in the form of a windstorm policy from the Texas Windstorm Association (TWIA) or you might possibly find a company in a private market. The same applies to flood insurance. Flood is most likely not under a homeowner or fire insurance policy, although some private companies have begun packaging some flood coverage to their homeowner policies. Flood coverage is usually provided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which writes coverage on a national scale either directly or through their “Write Your Own” (WYO) insurance program they market through insurance companies like Travelers and The Hartford. The premiums are usually the same but companies have more experience marketing and selling insurance than does the Federal Government.
We hope this helps a little to understand what to expect and what to look for when purchasing a new home. If you need more assistance with any questions concerning your homeowner insurance please call us at 936-756-0988 ow email us here firstname.lastname@example.org