Potential homebuyers are urged to study insurance rates

REAL ESTATE WATCH

April 25, 2004|By James Gallo

The Insurance Information Institute says potential homebuyers should remember to study insurance rates before buying.

The trade group recommends considering the age of the home and the condition of its plumbing, heating and electrical systems.

Features that could lower an insurer's risk, including burglar alarms and hail-resistant roofs might lower a consumer's premium, the group said. The association also recommends that buyers ask for a copy of the home's claims-loss history to assess how much insurance the house has needed in the past.

Homeowners' insurance has risen steadily during the past three years as a slumping economy and a large number of natural disasters have hurt insurance companies' profits.

In 2000, the average consumer spent $508 for homeowners' insurance. The group projects an average of $615 this year.

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