Advocate Insurance Group, Martinsburg

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Finding and buying a new home is equal parts stress and excitement. And through all of the research, forethought, pros, cons and compromises, one thing is absolutely certain. You’re going to want a dedicated team to support, educate and advocate for you every step of the way.

Insurance may not be at the top of your list when you’ve got paint swatches, furniture arrangements and curb appeal on the brain, but don’t let it be last either! We all get caught up in painting our personal version of the American Dream, and can forget about the little details that can impact us financially, in the long term.

Once you have a contract on your new home, the next step is to start shopping for home insurance. Here at Advocate Insurance, we want to make this process as smooth and stress-free as possible by helping you avoid unpleasant surprises!

Choose your own insurance company.

When it comes to large decisions like buying a piece of property, we all default to the people around the table. But homeowners insurance isn’t something you should let your mortgage broker handle for you.

An escrow account is typically set up by your mortgage lender or bank and it includes the cost for your property taxes and insurance and is made as part of a mortgage payment. Because of this, many people commonly defer their homeowners insurance to be handled by their mortgage lender or bank. But that doesn’t mean that your mortgage company has to decide your insurance provider. The choice of who you use for your home insurance is yours alone and most insurance companies can roll your insurance into your escrow account also so there is no need to pay your home insurance directly to the insurance company.

Be mindful of where the nearest fire station is.

You’ve dreamt about a home in the country since you were little. Someplace just far enough outside of the city to feel like you’re in your own world. But what can that mean for your insurance rates?

Distance between your home and the neighborhood fire station has a very real impact on your homeowner’s insurance rates. If your home ever had a fire, and every second counts – the further you are from a fire department, the higher the risk for major loss is.

Will your new house be part of a homeowner’s association? Check your associations master policy.

Just like everything else in life, there are pros and cons if you’re going to live in a community bound together by a homeowner’s association. But what does an HOA mean for your insurance?

Because there are so many shared spaces in communities that have HOAs, such as playgrounds and walkways, a Master Policy is likely in place that covers the association’s joint property. And some master policies don’t provide high enough coverage or protection, which means you may be liable as a party within the HOA. Make sure your homeowner’s insurance can be adjusted to adequately protect your property.