If you are a homeowner, you’ve already invested a great deal of time and money into acquiring and maintaining your home.
Now it’s time to make sure that investment is safely guarded in case of an unexpected loss. Researching and purchasing home insurance is a crucial step in safeguarding your large equity investment. Understanding the basics of what home insurance is as well as how to shop around for it is crucial.
Know Your Home’s Actual Value
This may be different from the price you initially paid as the market changes often. Your house’s actual, current market value is what matters to an insurance agent when he is considering your application. A local builder may provide the best estimate as he or she will be unaffiliated with the insurance industry.
unfortunately, your home insurance agent isn’t necessarily going to be your friend. To an agent, your house is not a home but rather a series of potential risks and statistics. Be sure to know a fair market value on all of your largest investments (furniture, electronics, cars, etc) and keep records like photos or receipts in the unfortunate event that you need to prove your home’s value in case of loss.
Shopping Around Means Looking at More Than Just The Price
A low price isn’t a good deal if your agent takes a long time to respond to or service a claim. Ask around about agencies and take recommendations from friends. Demand discounts from your potential home insurance agent and ask about average turn around time on claims.
Not all insurers price the same risks identically. If you live in a coastal region at risk for flooding, it’s wise to ask different home insurance agencies what their policies and costs are on flood insurance. This is just one example, but it’s good to be aware of the potential risk factors that your agent will be taking into consideration when considering the cost of your home insurance policy.
While you can’t change your risk factors, you can work hard to save money through wise shopping around and asking for discounts. Don’t waste money on an overpriced home insurance policy ever again when a little research can be your best ally. Ask about combining coverage and discounts for your credit score if it is particularly strong. Information is the best protection so be prepared when looking into purchasing a home insurance policy.