How New Homes Can Help Buyers Save

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 23 July 2014 10:33

While older homes may have charm, new homes definitely have their own allure. Buyers can’t help but be drawn to their shiny fixtures and fresh coats of paint – until they get scared by the bottom line.  If you’ve got a potential buyer who is shying away from a new home because of the price, it might be a good time to point out the savings they can reap on home insurance – savings that can continue to accrue over the years.

Why are new homes of less expensive to insure? Because they pose less risk of filing a claim than older homes, which can have worn out features that are much more likely to fail and cause damage.

Home insurance companies evaluate risk every day. Providers consider a number of factors when calculating the risk for a home such as square footage, claims and credit history of the customer, location, the age and type of building, and much more. For many reasons, newly built homes usually translate to lower risk and therefore, lower premiums.

Here are a few of those reasons:

It all starts at the top

When it comes to home insurance claims, severe weather is often a main culprit. Each year, severe weather damages thousands of homes across the United States. In 2012, for example, severe thunderstorms alone caused nearly $15 billion in insured losses, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Older homes are particularly vulnerable to severe weather damage, which is one reason why newly constructed homes are more desirable to home insurance providers.

No matter what kind of home you live in, insurance providers will usually ask the age of your home's roof. That's because roofs take the biggest hit during storms. Hail and high winds and weaken a roof over time; however, a home with a new roof is ready to take on years of severe weather, and a buyer will reap years of lower premiums because of it.

Improved fire safety

Increased fire safety is another insurance-friendly feature of homes that have just been built.  Older homes often come with outdated electrical systems, which are a major cause of house fires. New construction feature up-to-date electrical systems with circuit breakers and modern wiring that are much safer than the fuse boxes and ungrounded electrical outlets of yesteryear.

House fires can also start from heating and air conditioning system failures in old units. In fact, these system failures contribute to about 2,500 house fires a year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The updated systems featured in new construction home are much less likely to fail than older units.

Because these features reduce your fire risk, you'll again reap the benefits of lower premiums for years.

In addition to insurance savings, modern electrical and HVAC systems, in conjunction with more efficient insulations and better seals around windows and doors, the buyer will save on energy costs.

Better plumbing

Modern plumbing systems can also help your buyer save on water costs. Older plumbing systems are more likely to leak and waste water while newer systems are more efficient. Between the new plumbing and heating system, a new home also will be much less likely to experience damage from frozen pipes. Water damage from leaks and broken pipes is the third-largest cause of property loss, according to the III.

On top of all these benefits that manifest during the process of the initial quote for coverage, buyers of new homes could be eligible for a new home discount of up to 20% on their home insurance policies for 10 or more years. Adding items like smoke alarms or a home security system can help them save even more.

Many buyers don't think about home insurance until after they've decided on a home. But real estate agents who know the home insurance benefits of new construction should make sure buyers are aware of the potential savings. Those savings could be the key to closing a sale.

Samantha Alexander is a North Carolina native with a background in public relations and editorial writing. She graduated from N.C. State University with a bachelor’s in Communication and enjoys passing insurance tips to her readers, primarily in the blog.



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