Should You Consider Home Insurance Rates When Buying a Home?

When you buy a new home, you want to make sure it's within your budget. That includes not just the purchase price but also other ongoing expenses such as home insurance.

What's the Average Cost of Home Insurance?

The average cost of home insurance ranges from $598 in Delaware to $2,559 in Oklahoma. Actual rates, of course, vary widely based on factors such as the exact location of your home, its size, its value and more. If you buy a starter home, your rates could be lower than average, and more expensive homes could come with higher rates. You can get an estimate of what you'd pay for a specific home by requesting a preliminary quote from a home insurance company.

The real thing to think about is where the cost of home insurance fits into your budget. If you're stretching to buy a home and never considered insurance costs, you might decide to wait. If you're choosing between two homes, the difference in insurance premiums would probably make up such a small percentage of your overall budget that it wouldn't make a difference in your decision.

One exception might be if you're considering a home in a flood or hurricane zone versus one outside of it. The higher home insurance premiums that come with living in a high-risk area, the need to buy additional flood insurance and the extra worry that comes with living there could make you want to skip that house.

When Do You Need to Buy Home Insurance?

The short answer is: before the home is yours. If you close on the house and a lightning bolt lights it on fire before you have insurance, you just lost your down payment and still have to pay the mortgage. Purchasing home insurance is usually part of the closing process, although you can shop for quotes and line up coverage before you actually close.

If you're worried about what to do, you probably don't need to be. Your mortgage lender requires you to have insurance to protect their investment. It would take a pretty big mistake by people who close home sales almost every day for you to not get the home insurance you need.