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Op-Ed: How to choose your insurance when buying your home

Buying a house or property is one of the most important decisions and the insurance of that property should have the same weight. 

It is important to note that at the time of closing or signing the property, you as a consumer have the right to have your insurance policy independently from that offered by the banking institution with whom you are closing.

As part of the mortgage obligations, you are required to have hazard insurance, which covers damage caused to the structure of the residence by fire, hurricane, and earthquake. For you to ensure that your residence and personal effects are well insured or protected you must engage the services of an independent agent or insurance of your choice to advise and guide you with selecting the insurance policy type hazard, personal package or homeowners’ that is tempered to your needs. 

Author Jaime González is president of Antilles Insurance Co.

Please be aware that under the Puerto Rico Insurance Code you have the right under law to be able to freely select your own insurance agent or broker of your choice before or after the closing your mortgage.

We must emphasize that the “hazard” policies only apply to houses, and not to structures subject to the Horizontal Property Law, such as condominiums or “walk-ups.” And although we talk about the requirement to have this as part of your mortgage, it becomes even more relevant at the time of having your property paid off. Especially on our island where we have peak seasons of hurricanes and atmospheric phenomena. 

This “hazard” policy will help you if necessary to be able to fix or correct the structural damage that you may receive.

The important thing is that you as a consumer know first-hand all the options that exist in the market and do not let anyone impose a policy that may not be adequate or where you do not receive the personalized service you deserve. Even if these are the same cost to you, there is an option where you can receive a refund of 20% of what you pay for your premium each year you have not filed a claim. 

This reimbursement, for example if we take a home with an insured value of $200,000, the “hazard” insurance would have an annual cost of $528, with the option of reimbursement you would receive $105.60, for each year you do not have a claim.

Consult or contact your own independent insurance agent or broker and remember that in Puerto Rico there are thousands of these professionals who are qualified, ready to assist you and offer you the personalized service you deserve.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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