If you’re like most home-owning Americans, then your house is your most valuable asset. Having a proper homeowners insurance policy is essential to protect you from the unexpected.
Most people are looking for the best deal that covers all their needs. When it comes to shopping for homeowners insurance, it’s no different. To get the best rate, here are 4 steps you should take:
1. Make sure you know what’s covered and what’s not in a standard homeowners insurance policy
The majority of policies will cover property damage from most disasters, such as fire, hail storms, vandalism, theft, and windstorms, as well as liability. Damage from floods, earthquakes and mold is not usually covered and requires a separate rider (additional insurance).
Property damage coverage includes the dwelling, other structures, personal property, and loss of use or additional living expenses. Make sure you know whether or not the policy offers actual cash value (today’s cost minus the depreciation) or replacement cost coverage (today’s cost).
Liability coverage includes medical and legal expenses incurred from someone injuring oneself on the property.
2. Gather information about your house
To make sure you get the best homeowners insurance rate, you’ll need to gather information about your house. You’ll need to know the general condition of the house, square footage, number of bathrooms, roof materials, and exterior wall materials (whether its a brick, wood frame, or another material) as they will affect the premium and types of policies available.
If you can get a CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) report for your house, it’s a good idea. It will show what kinds of claims were filed previously. Most insurance companies will use this report in determining eligibility or coverage requirements.
3. Create a home inventory list
In terms of your belongings, knowing exactly what you have will help determine your coverage requirements. Obviously, the deductible will go up if you need more coverage. It is better to have a thorough understanding of your possessions rather than just paying for a coverage amount based on a haphazard estimate.
In addition to helping you get the correct coverage amounts, having a detailed home inventory list will greatly help out if disaster does strike.
If you can, take pictures to include with your list and then upload the list and photos to an online site for storage. If the only place you have your list is in your house and your house gets destroyed, then your list will be destroyed, too.
4. Meet with an insurance agency
Maybe you have lots of extra time available to contact multiple insurance companies, give them all of the required information, interpret the quotes and then compare them so that you can get the highest coverage with the lowest rates. But if you don’t or just don’t want to deal with the hassle, then you should contact a licensed, experienced insurance agency, such as Bozzuto & Co. Insurance Services. Although being able to negotiate with insurance companies can help provide better insurance rates, finding the right policy more important just finding the right price. We know what each policy covers and what it doesn’t. The main purpose of a homeowner’s insurance policy is to get the best coverage to protect your assets. We can help get you the right policy for your home.