What to expect when getting new homeowner's insurance

When you go through the process of purchasing a new homeowner’s insurance policy, there are steps that are taken to help the insurer understand you and your coverage needs to determine that everyone is of the same understanding about the condition of your home and that it meets the qualification requirements set forth in the underwriting guidelines.

The agent’s office will need to know some information about the construction and any updates to your home. Depending on the age of the home, they may as more questions to enable the underwriter to do their job.

For starters, most underwriters will want to see the house you call home. They may dispatch an inspector to photograph and/or measure it. The inspector may be an employee of the insurer or a 3rd party inspection company or someone sent by the agent’s office. The inspector should always be able to provide identification. Most inspections can be completed without the inspector gaining internal access to your home.

If the underwriter has concerns about anything displayed in the photos or contained in the underwriting file, it’s possible that they will suggest corrective action on your part. If you fail to comply with the recommendations, your eligibility may be affected.

One thing that the insurer’s underwriter may do is verify that the insurance coverage carried is appropriate for the type of coverage on the policy. If you have replacement coverage for the home, the underwriter may compare the limit of coverage you selected with a replacement cost benchmark. Since the insurer will never know as much about your home as you do, it obviously goes without saying that you bear the primary responsibility for ensuring that the coverage amount is sufficient. The coverage on the policy may be required to be increased in order to meet a minimum standard.