Most homeowners understand that they need to maintain a homeowners insurance policy. This policy is what’s going to protect your biggest asset. But, knowing how to shop for homeowners insurance can be confusing. You need to know the factors that influence your rates, what coverage you need, and how to find the best deal. Below are a few tips to follow while shopping for the best homeowner’s insurance policy that will save you money and time.
Your independent insurance agency will need to gather up as much information from you as possible to get you the best rate. The agent will ask some questions to determine insurability such as:
- What the square footage of the home is.
- When the home was built.
- What type of roof it has.
- How old the electrical and plumbing is.
- Where the home’s located.
- How many claims were filed for the property over the past five years.
Location of the home is important. For instance, if your home is in a rural area with no fire hydrant on the street or no nearby fire department, some companies may deny you insurance. If this is the case, you’d have to contact a surplus-lines or specialty company which can take longer to get a quote.
Before you shop for home insurance, take a home inventory. This post provides you with insight on taking a digital home inventory. Your inventory list gives you an estimate of the value of all your personal belongings so you can set a limit for your contents insurance so that it exceeds this amount so you’ll be able to replace any damaged or stolen items.
Taking an inventory list will also help you determine which insurance riders you need, which higher value items require more coverage like art, jewelry and electronics.
It’s also a good idea to tally up any assets outside your home like savings, stocks, and real estate property. By doing this, you’ll know how high your liability coverage limits should be so you have coverage if you have a guest that sustains injuries on your property.
Get a Professional Home Inspector
Have a professional inspector inspect your home before you buy it. Professional inspectors can identify potential issues that could cost you down the road. Make sure the home receives a satisfactory inspection report before you buy it. Give your insurance company a copy of the inspection.
It may take some time to shop around, but you can potentially save a lot of money. Check the Yellow Pages, ask your friends, or contact the state insurance department. Your state may be able to give you information on the average rates major insurers charge as well as the number of consumer complaints by company. Additionally, you can check with insurance agents, consumer guides, and online insurance quote services.
Give us a call here at BOLT Insurance Agency. We’re an independent insurance agency and can compare homeowners insurance quotes for you. Be sure that you review your homeowner policy with your insurance agent every year. It’s important that you stay updated on your insurance since markets change, needs change and coverages change. You’ll want to ensure you can rely on your insurance when the time comes.