You can choose to pay for your policy up front or at closing with the rest of your closing costs.
If you pay up front via credit/debit card, your lender will just need to see the receipt of payment along with the evidence of insurance and declarations page.
If you choose to pay at closing with the rest of your mortgage closing costs, your insurance agent will indicate this on your policy and your lender will know to only charge you at closing.
For either of these payment choices, your lender will require that you pay for the entire first year’s premium.
If your insurance is escrowed, you can still choose to pay for the full year at closing or up front via credit/debit card. Once your loan closes, you will then be billed on a monthly basis for your insurance plus an additional small percentage of that premium (to be determined by your escrow officer) which will go towards your renewal policy next year. The extra amount is to account for any potential increase in your premium.
For more info, read our article on the types of homeowners insurance coverages.