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First-time Home Insurance Advice

Buying a new home is a busy ordeal with frequent visits between banks, lawyers, realtors, and of course, the insurance office. To help make your life a little easier on the path to your new home, here's some helpful tips on how to be prepared for the trip to your insurance broker:

  • Be prepared to answer questions about the home. In order to determine the value to insure your home for, your broker will ask numerous questions about the house to generate an accurate replacement value. For example, you should know the following details:
    • The square footage of the home and (if applicable) type of garage (single car, 1.5, or double)
    • Wall/ceiling heights
    • Floor­plan type (one storey, two storey, split level, etc.)
    • Types of flooring (laminate, vinyl, hardwood, carpet) and wall coverings (paint, wallpaper, tile, etc.)
    • Number and types of bathrooms (full bath, half bath, etc.)
    • Years of any known upgrades and renovations to heating/furnace, plumbing, electrical, and roof (on homes typically older than ~20 years).
    • Presence of sewer back­up prevention devices such as a sump pump or backwater valve
    • Any other special built­in features such as bay/bow windows, air exchangers, jet tubs, and other custom or designer­quality finishings such as cabinets, granite counters, or decorative features.
    • Details about the home's occupants including name and date of birth (for age discounts!)
  • If you're unsure of the above details, it may help to bring in a home inspection (if one was done) or consult your realtor or the previous owner.
  • Have information regarding your mortgage. In most home sales, the sale cannot be finalized until a copy of your insurance policy is forwarded to your bank or mortgage company from your broker. In order to streamline this process, ask your lawyer for the proper name and address to send the policy to. In most cases they will provide you with an insurance confirmation letter. Bring this with you!
  • New customer? Bring in your old policy!? If you are new to Knight Archer Insurance but already have a residential policy of some sort, bring it with you. In order to apply for new insurance, we must have your previous policy number to send to the new insurance company.

 

With luck, your meeting with your broker will go smoothly. However, we recommend you always give some extra time for unexpected events – come in sooner than later (i.e. not the day before you take possession!) to ensure a smooth and streamlined process!

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