7 Key Questions to Ask When House Hunting That Can Impact Your Home Insurance

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or an experienced one, searching for a new home can be overwhelming. Aside from the usual concerns about the neighbourhood, backyard, and nearby amenities, it’s crucial to consider how different aspects of the house can affect your home insurance cost and eligibility. In this article, we’ll guide you through seven important questions to ask while hunting for your dream home.

  1. When was the house built? Newer homes, constructed with current standards and bylaws, are generally cheaper to repair or rebuild than older ones that need updating after damage. Additionally, most new builds come with warranties. Therefore, insurance providers often offer discounts on newer homes.
  2. What is the heating system? Oil furnaces and wood or pellet stoves pose higher risks and can impact your home insurance cost and coverage eligibility. Electric or gas furnaces are safer and may help lower your premium. Consult your insurance broker about how the heating system affects your insurance coverage.
  3. How close is the house to a fire station or hydrant? A home near a fire hall or hydrant means quicker emergency response, potentially reducing damage and repair costs. This proximity can result in lower home insurance costs.
  4. When was the roof last replaced, and what materials were used? An older or worn-out roof might need replacement soon and could lead to higher insurance premiums. Certain materials, like concrete or slate tiles, may qualify you for discounts based on your home’s location. Discuss this with your insurance broker.
  5. What type of electrical system is installed? Older homes may have knob-and-tube or 60-amp electrical systems, which are riskier than newer ones. These systems can overheat, increasing the chances of an electrical fire. Look for homes with at least 100-amp systems and modern wiring to save on home insurance and avoid costly upgrades.
  6. What is the condition of the plumbing? Galvanized steel pipes can rust, corrode, and cause clogs, poor water pressure, water damage, or even release lead into drinking water. Copper and newer plastic pipes are more durable and less prone to these issues. Investigate the plumbing material and consult your broker about its potential impact on your insurance.
  7. Are there backwater valves and sump pumps installed? These devices help prevent flooding and are often built into newer homes. Check for their presence and condition before making a purchase. Having functional backwater valves or sump pumps could qualify you for home insurance discounts.

When house hunting, remember to ask these seven crucial questions to understand how various aspects of the house can influence your home insurance cost and eligibility. A new home is a significant investment, so thorough research can save you time and money in the long run. To learn more about home insurance savings, explore these 10 helpful tips, our list of top 10 home insurance discounts, or reach out to your broker.

If you’re planning on improving your current home, discover which home improvements can help reduce your insurance costs.