Why Get Home Insurance?
Think about what you have invested in your home and all your personal belongings. The financial investment alone is enormous, the biggest an average person will ever make, but also consider the time and effort you’ve put into your home. Leaving the security of that investment to chance is a risk you can’t afford to make. All it takes is one disaster to wipe out your home and your belongings. That is why you should get homeowners insurance and safeguard your financial security. Perils might befall your home, but if you get home insurance, you will have the peace of mind of knowing you will have the funds to make it right again.
Get Home Insurance Online
The online home insurance marketplace is a competitive one, which presents both benefits and challenges to you as a consumer. Of course, the more competitive the market is, the less you will pay when you get house insurance. On the other hand, trying to navigate dozens of different carriers to find the right one may prove difficult. But we’ve made your quest to get homeowners insurance much easier by serving as a free intermediary between our visitors and home insurance companies.
How to Get House Insurance
Add up all your monthly expenses to determine how much you can afford to pay for monthly insurance payments. But make sure that the deductible is within your financial means.
Obtain three or more referrals. Ask family and friends who own homes about their coverage and any experience they have had with the claims process. Your real estate agent can also provide a dependable referral.
Use Internet sites to obtain free quotes from local homeowners insurance companies. Try to narrow your search to three home insurance agents.
Meet with insurance agents in person to discuss their rates and any special discounts they may offer.
Apply for your insurance once you have chosen an agent. If the cost of the policy ends up being is different from the initial quote, consult with your agent before you make a final commitment.
How to Reduce Your Insurance Costs
With the cost of insuring homes on the rise in recent years, now is a good time to examine your policy and look for ways to save money.
The Insurance Information Institute, a non-profit organization supported by the property and casualty insurance business, attributes the increases to the mounting number of catastrophes, the high cost of home repairs, and the emergence of mold claims.
So what can you do to help keep your rates reasonable? Check out the following suggestions:
- Shop for the best deal. Get at least three quotes. See if your state department of insurance has any price comparisons available. But don’t just look at prices. Evaluate which companies provide the best customer service and are readily available to answer your questions.
- Raise your deductible. The higher your deductible, the less premium you’ll have to pay. The III says if you raise a $500 deductible to $1000, you may save as much as 25 percent.
- Buy your home and automobile policies from the same insurer. Some companies will reduce your premium up to 15 percent if you have at least two policies from them.
- Reduce the odds of being affected by a disaster. Make your home more resistant to disasters – you might be able to save by adding storm shutters and shatter-proof glass or reinforcing your roof. If you live in an older home, you should consider modernizing your heating, plumbing and electrical systems to reduce the risks of water and fire damage.
- Understand the costs. The cost to rebuild your home is going to be different than what you paid for it. Don’t include the cost of the land in deciding how much coverage to purchase.
- Secure your home. Some companies offer a modest discount, usually at least 5 percent, for installing smoke detectors, burglar alarms and dead-bolt locks. Some insurers will also offer a discount if you install a sprinkler system and a fire and burglar alarm that rings at the police, fire or other monitoring stations. First you’ll want to research the costs involved, and whether you’d be saving on your premiums.
- Inquire for discounts. Ask your company about all potential discounts. For example, some offer discounts to those 55 and older.
- Investigate group coverage. You may be able to get a group coverage plan through your employer or a professional or business group. See if it’s a better deal than what you have.
- Stay put. Many companies offer discounts for longer-term customers – sometimes up to 10 percent if you’ve had your policy through the company for more than six years. Be sure to compare prices against other companies once in a while.
- Review your policy and the value of your possessions. If you sold that pair of diamond earrings or other valuable for which you have a floater policy – additional coverage for items not covered by a standard homeowners policy – be sure you’re not paying for the extra insurance.
Do’s & Don’ts to Insure your House
- Compare prices
Every five years or so, shop for the same level of coverage, including deductibles, policy limits, and riders.
- Bundle your coverage
Buy several policies—home, auto, boat—from the same insurer to save up to 15 percent on all policies. The more business you do with your insurer, the less chance your coverage will be dropped due to a single claim or a risky home location.
- Raise your deductible
Going from $500 to $1,000 can save you up to 25 percent on the overall premium.
- Clean up your credit report
An insurer viewing a mistake on your report could deny coverage or place you in a more costly price tier.
- Maintain and upgrade your home
Fire and smoke detectors, burglar alarms, and dead-bolt locks can cut as much as 20 percent off the premium. In storm-prone areas, add hurricane shutters and shatterproof windows.
- Stay with your current company
If your insurer’s rates are competitive, you might save by staying. Companies often give discounts for loyalty. They also might be less likely to drop a longtime customer for one or two claims.
- Do a home inventory—now
Experts say one of the most difficult parts of the claims process is recalling lost or stolen items and papers. Catalog your belongings, including receipts, with video or photos. Keep copies of vital documents in a fireproof safe, in a bank safe-deposit box, or with someone you trust.Don’t
- File small claims
Insurers can raise your premium or even drop you for making, say, two claims in two years. Avoid filing a claim if it’s just a small amount above your deductible.
- Call to discuss whether to file
Even if you decide not to make a claim, your inquiry could end up in your claims record as an incident, making you vulnerable to a premium increase.
You’ll incur higher premiums. Also considered risky and possibly uninsurable: homes with trampolines and dog breeds that are prone to biting.
- Don’t buy policies from too many companies.
- Don’t ignore home improvements