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10 Factors that make an impact on your homeowners insurance

One factor to consider when looking buying a home is the cost of insurance.  It is a topic that is often overlooked by buyers during the process of their home search.  But, the cost for insurance, average of $900, is with you for the life of ownership and you take time to consider the implications.  If you already own your home and it is vacant or unoccupied you should take a second look at your policy.

Just a few years ago I received a quote for insurance that was leaps and bounds higher then my current policy in place.  It turned out that the Boston zip codes had been confused and all was quickly remedied in my favor.  That was a taste of how sensitive real estate insurance rates can be for homeowners.

An independent insurance agent can often help you though the process of getting a quote for a prospective home you might be purchasing.  In Massachusetts and the rest of New England when it comes to your home there is a long list of “what-ifs” and everything from natural disasters, mistakes, and human involvement play a key role.    

MSN Real Estate’s recent article, “10 things that can lower or raise your homeowners insurance rates” is a great list of items to consider when looking to buy a home.  Review the list below and review the article for more details of each item.

1. Is the area susceptible to hurricanes, mudslides, wildfires or other natural disasters?
2. How's the roof? New? Wind- and hail-resistant?
3. Is the plumbing new?
4. Does the electrical system meet current code?
5. How far away is the fire department?
6. How is the neighborhood?
7. How new is the home?
8. Has the home been well-maintained?
9. How secure is the home from burglary?
10. Is a swimming pool on the property?

If your home is vacant or unoccupied there are other considerations you must make.  Often insurance agencies will void a policy after your home has been vacant after 30days.  The REALTORS here at Dwell360 have seen many homes in both the city and suburbs of Boston.  It would not be a shock to see missing copper pipes, vandalized property, leaking roofs, missing appliances, and personal items taken.  In many cases issues that are sudden surprises to the seller.

When your home is vacant you need to make arrangements with your insurance provided.  “The Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association (MPIUA) also known as the Massachusetts FAIR Plan (Fair Access to Insurance Requirements) provides basic property insurance on eligible property for applicants who have been unable to gain insurance through the voluntary market.” The cost might be higher with a policy willing to let your own be vacant but the risk of a home not being properly insured is much greater.  

Dwell360 is a boutique residential real estate firm in Newton and Boston Massachusetts.  Lead by REALTOR founders Edward Johnston and John Lynch the firm provides progressive solutions to buyers and sellers.  We have current and continues experience in the cities and towns of Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chestnut Hill, Needham, Newton, Natick, Somerville, Wellesley, and other sought after towns.  Please call 617-299-0012 or write