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Information Needed for a Homeowner’s Insurance Quote

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I called up Geico, with whom I have an automobile insurance policy, to see about getting homeowner’s insurance because I’ll need a policy in place before we close on Friday. I was basically completely unprepared for the battery of questions the CSR asked me but we struggled through it and came up with a quote on a $295,000 policy with a $500 deductible of $843/year. I’ll be sure to compare that rate with other insurers but $70/month seemed reasonable to me at first glance but I have no experience with homeowner’s insurance. However, I probably answered some of the questions inaccurately so if you’re going to get a quote, here are the questions you should have answers to:

These were sent to me in an email by the CSR, who worked for Travelers (underwrites policies for Geico):
Here is a list of questions of good to know information because they will probably ask this of you.

  • Address of home
  • County
  • Year of construction
  • Type of construction
  • Square footage of home
  • Type of roof material
  • Condition of roof (Excellent, Good, Fair)
  • Type of heat (Oil, gas, electric, other)
  • Any form of alternate heat (woodstove, kerosene heater, or electric space heater)
  • Distance to fire hydrant (in feet)
  • Distance to fire department (in miles)
  • Is there a garage?
  • Is there a porch, deck, breezeway attached? What dimensions?
  • Security/protective devices:
  • Deadbolt locks?
  • Are there smoke detectors?
  • Do you own a fire extinguisher?
  • If home is older than 1990
    • Year roof was replaced or original
    • Year heating was updated or original
  • Electrical service- circuit breaker or fuse box?
  • Purchase price/Current coverage amount
  • If purchase price- contact person for lender, phone # and if possible, fax #

I hope that comprehensive list is helpful for someone so you don’t sound like a dope when you call in. 🙂

One company I’ve been told we should check out is Liberty Mutual because they give discounts to my alma mater. I’ll probably give them and perhaps one other company a call just to get an idea of the quality of the $843 quote.

{ 9 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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9 Responses to “Information Needed for a Homeowner’s Insurance Quote”

  1. Jason says:

    Just a couple of ideas/suggestions for homeowner’s insurance:

    Be sure to get coverage for at least 80% of replacement value. (And replacement value can have little to do with market value or purchase price as it is almost always higher for all homes other than new construction.) Anything less than 80% and you are considered not fully insured and any partial loss will not be fully covered, but rather adjusted for depreciation. Also be sure to get replacement coverage on contents, not just cash value. (And make and update, as needed, a home inventory.)

    Ask about the difference in premium for a $1000 (or even $2000) deductible, if you would be able to cover that amount from savings if you had a claim. This can really save quite a bit. You could always put the difference in the premium into a savings account until you have built up an amount equal to your deductible

  2. jim says:

    Thanks a lot Jason, those are some great ideas. I was talking to my father today and he told me that he’s had a $5,000 deductible on his homeowner’s insurance since he started and it hasn’t failed him yet. He said that anything of significant value in your home should be insured on its own anyway (he was speaking specifically about jewelry – high value, small, easy to steal) so the homeowner’s insurance is to cover those bad and “rare” situations (fire, flood).

    I’ll be sure to ask about all the things you mentioned and I do appreciate the suggestions.

  3. risk says:

    when it comes to insurance shopping, quote as many as possible. you might be amazed how much you can save on the same policy from different insurers.
    get a high deductible, the premium hike from a claim just does not worth doing any small claims. the same for car insurance. I learned it the hard way though 🙁

  4. jim says:

    I finally settled with Geico, jacked up the deductible to $2,500, and the final price is around $50 a month. I requested quotes from Liberty Mutual and All State but they didn’t get back in time. Apparently there’s something where you are insured past the actual amount you insure for. So if I insure for $212k, the coverage is actually 150% with Geico (Travelers) up to $318k. My friend uses Encompass and he said it’s 200% for him. After everything is settled and every question above is answered (Geico sends an inspector to double check things) I’ll get more quotes. I’m under the gun a bit to close by Friday so a few bucks here or there right now aren’t going to matter… but it will later.

  5. Mike says:

    “so the homeowner’s insurance is to cover those bad and “rare” situations (fire, flood).”

    Be careful Jim, because most, if not all, homeowners policies exclude damage from flood. You will need a separate policy for flood insurance.

  6. jim says:

    Mike, you are very very correct, flood is not included in most, if not all, standard home insurance policies.

  7. Chuck says:

    I think your all nuts…..If you are trusting an $8-12 hr CSR or a direct company such as Geico or Liberty Mutual with possibly the biggest purchase of your life…..then you my friend, I hope, never has to submit a claim. Why I say….because brother you are on your own. That 20 – 25% that you saved well kiss it goodbye and then some……I learned my lesson the hard way….get an agent now!!!

  8. janet says:

    Thank God, you do not live in South Florida, where its required in most low line areas to have not just homeowners, but windstorm and flood unless of course your home is paid for. Then its up to you to carry insurance.

    Unfortunately between the insurance and taxes a home can be your greatest nightmare down here.

    Good Luck!

  9. sue says:

    we got a notice that our homeowners insurance broker is no longer going to carry the company we currently have. And they “bundle” homeowners and auto. We haven’t done this for so long, broker said her needed our DOB, DL numbers…… sure OK…… but what do you need our SS#s for. He said something about checking a credit rating in order to reduce rates. Is this necessary now days? thanks.

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