Homeowners insurance for new construction
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When in the process of building a new home, you may carry a builder’s risk insurance policy on the construction. This is also a great time to start the search for a homeowners insurance policy so it is ready when you move in. Fortunately, when your house is new, a homeowners policy may come with certain discounts for modern safety features like security systems that could help lower your premium. Newer homes generally have lower insurance rates than older homes due to the quality of construction materials used and the decreased likelihood of an underlying issue. Bankrate’s insurance experts can help you understand your options by explaining the coverage required for new construction, providing an overview of the average cost of a policy and the types of discounts available.
Insuring new construction homes
When looking for a home to buy, the cost of home insurance is one of many variables you may want to consider. In general, the newer the house, the cheaper the insurance. Generally, the thinking behind older and newer home rate differences is that the less time a structure has been around, the longer it should take before anything goes wrong with it. The age of your home can also influence which insurance endorsements might be worth adding to your policy.
Determining which new build home insurance endorsements are best for you will depend on your locale, home type, personal belongings and what standard coverage your home insurance already includes. For example, many people have personal property like jewelry, art and electronics with values that exceed what their standard policy will cover. A scheduled personal property endorsement can help fill in the gap and cover your valuable possessions at higher limits. It’s also important to consider whether flood, earthquake or other weather and disaster damage endorsements are a good fit for your location.
Home insurance coverage types for new construction
There are many factors and considerations that go into building a new home on your land. For starters, you may need to buy builder’s risk insurance before the construction gets underway. This coverage can protect against damages to the materials and features of the construction project while it is being built. If fire or weather damages the materials or the structure before the building is finished, for example, builder’s risk insurance could help cover the losses.
Builder’s risk insurance
A standard home insurance policy can go a long way, but it may not always be the right protection tool. Homes under construction or serious renovation may benefit from builder’s risk insurance because it is specialized property insurance designed precisely for these situations. With this home insurance construction endorsement, the building is covered while being worked on, including the building materials being used.
The risks a completed home and a home under construction face are not always the same. These differences are one reason that builders’ risk insurance can be helpful. This specialized insurance covers a wide range of perils:
Still, after construction is complete — if not before — you’ll likely benefit from a standard home insurance policy. Builder’s risk insurance is excellent for unfinished home builds, but its job is complete when the house is. Afterward, keeping your property financially protected will involve a traditional homeowner’s insurance policy, which can financially protect both the structure and the contents of your home.
How much does home insurance cost for new construction?
Home insurance, like all insurance, is priced based on financial risk. The less likely a home is to need repairs or other alterations and fixes after covered damage, the cheaper it is to insure. Additionally, the less expensive estimated repairs are, the cheaper the policy is. These two variables — the estimated frequency of claims and home repair or replacement cost — play a prominent role in determining insurance premiums. As a result, new building home insurance is often seen as less financially risky by insurance companies. For example, consider the cost of replacing new mass-produced materials instead of antiquated materials that are no longer as commonly available. The older materials will generally cost more.
Currently, the national average cost for homeowners insurance is $1,428 per year. The table below highlights some of the top insurance companies and their average rates for a policy with $250,000 in dwelling coverage, according to Bankrate’s study of average home premiums. Personal rates will vary between customers, companies and circumstances. Consider speaking with a licensed agent about quotes to see what your rates could be.
|Home insurance company||Average annual premium for $250K in dwelling coverage|
New construction home discounts
It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to offer discounts on policies for newly constructed homes. As mentioned, these newer structures are often seen as less risky by the provider, and some insurance providers use discounts to incentivize building materials that can reduce the risk of the homeowner filing a claim. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you may want to consider these home insurance discounts when deciding whether or not to purchase a new construction.
Discounts vary between companies and some are dependent on the specific materials used in construction. Below are some other common discounts that might make sense for a new home.
- New home construction discount: This is often one of the most significant discounts you can find for home insurance. Actual savings will vary between companies and policies. Generally, new home discounts can save homeowners significantly during the first few years of insuring a new home.
- Home security discount: Many devices ranging from fire extinguishers to smoke and burglar alarms can lead to discounts. Tech and safety features that help reduce risk to your home are often able to reduce your premiums.
- Roofing discounts: The age of your roof and the material it is made of can impact premiums. New roofs, especially when made of more durable materials, can often qualify for discounts with some insurers.
Frequently asked questions
Up to a limit, standard home insurance policies generally cover renovations. The specifics depend on the policy and certain renovations may void the policy or leave your expanded or improved home underinsured. It may also be vital to make sure that any contractors involved have proper insurance in case they get injured, something gets damaged or a fault occurs in the work.
The best home insurance policy and company will vary between individuals and circumstances. Rates vary significantly between people and companies, and providers often specialize in certain coverage areas to gain distinction from each other. For this reason, shopping around for providers is one of the best ways to find the best home insurance for you.
While homeowners’ insurance can often cover some renovations, it is not the right type of policy for a house being built. Insurers are hesitant to issue standard home insurance policies to homes that are vacant and still being constructed. Instead, a builder’s risk insurance policy is often recommended.
While your contractors may need certain types of insurance, the owner insures the property being built. In these situations, obtaining a homeowners insurance new construction endorsement is the standard approach. Builder’s risk coverage is designed and used for this purpose. Even though you are usually not living in the home while it is under construction, you still want to protect your investment in the event of any catastrophe.