Shopping for Home Insurance? Have This Information Ready

It’s easy to get a quote for home insurance, but the question is whether that quote is going to include enough coverage for your home and belongings. If you use an inaccurate home insurance quote, and there comes a time where you need to make a claim, you might not be fully covered for your losses. You can avoid a hassle in the future by taking the time upfront to make sure you have the right coverage and limits for your home insurance.

To ensure you are getting the right insurance and limits, have the following information ready when seeking a home insurance quote.

Information About Your Home Needed for Home Insurance Quote

You will need to know the square footage of your home, including each living floor and a basement if you have one. If you don’t know this information, there are various places where you can find it without having to manually measure your home:

  • Documents from when you purchased your home, including the survey map
  • Property tax documents that might contain specifics about your property
  • Call your city’s tax clerk and request property information
  • Look up your address on a real estate website like Zillow or Trulia that will display your home’s square footage from property records

Other information you will need include:

  • The distance from your home to the nearest fire hydrant
  • Type of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home
  • Type and age of heating system, e.g. electric, gas, wood burning stove, hot water heater or sump pump

Details about the construction of your home also play a part in determining an accurate quote for your home insurance. You will need to know:

  • The year your home was built and any improvements that have been made to its structure or major systems, such as electrical, HVAC and plumbing improvements
  • What type of building is your home, e.g. one-story ranch or Cape Cod
  • Type of roof and the year it was installed, e.g. composite shingles, aluminum or tiled roofs
  • Any additional buildings or features that might be on your property, e.g. sheds or detached garages

Making Sure All Your Home Insurance Needs Are Covered

No two homeowners’ needs for coverage are exactly the same. You want to make sure that you are covered for everything that needs coverage. You will want to supply the insurance agent with additional information, such as:

  • Whether you have dogs and what their breeds are to determine the risk of dog bites to visitors or strangers
  • Information about your current home insurance and any claims you have made in the past five years
  • Additional liability coverage needs, e.g. having a pool or trampoline
  • Information about any collections, jewelry, fine art or musical instruments that you want to cover in case of loss or damage in your home

Being prepared ahead of time with your home insurance information will help ensure you are getting the coverage you need.

What’s your probability of finding a better home insurance rate? Take our Homeowners Insurance Quiz to find out.

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