Finding the right home insurance policy is just as important as finding the right home. And yes, just like you shopped for a home, you should also shop around before you buy homeowners insurance. Not all providers are created equal. And not only that, home insurance might not be completely comprehensive. For instance, the major appliances in your home won’t be covered. You’ll likely want to also look into a home warranty plan.
In this article, we’ll answer some of your burning questions about how to shop for home insurance. If you know what to look for, finding the right protection plan(s) for your home can be a painless process.
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How to Shop for Home Insurance in 6 Steps
There are some simple steps you can follow to buy home insurance that will best fit your needs. While the prospect of sifting through multiple companies to find the one that works for you sounds daunting, it doesn’t have to be. Follow these easy steps and you’ll be fine.
1. Determine the Level of Coverage You Need
Before you buy homeowners insurance, a great baseline for determining how much dwelling coverage you need is to figure out the build price of your home. If you didn’t build your own home, that can be challenging. Do what you can to find at least a ballpark figure. This calculator might help.
If something happens to your home, you’ll want to be able to rebuild it. Once you know the rebuild cost, you can start searching for plans with the right amount of dwelling coverage for your needs. After uncovering the building cost of your home, you should also think about the cost of the personal property in your home. With these figures in mind, you’ll have a great starting point. But don’t fear, the best insurance companies have agents who can walk you through the whole process.
2. See If You Can Bundle
Sometimes you can get a discount on your home insurance if you bundle with your auto insurance. If you like your current car insurance company, see if you can add a home insurance policy. And if you do find that another company has a better bundle offering, don’t be afraid to switch car insurance providers. Chances are good you could save a pretty decent chunk of change by bundling home and auto.
3. Read up on the Companies
The cheapest homeowners insurance isn’t always the best option. There are so many things to consider beyond just price. Perhaps the most critical consideration is the customer service. After all, if something goes wrong and your home needs to be repaired, you’ll want a friendly agent on the line helping you through the headache. Don’t just go with the cheapest option when deciding to purchase homeowners insurance. Read online reviews, talk to neighbors and friends, and don’t rush more than you need to.
4. Know the Process to File a Claim
Do you know what you’ll do if you do need to use your insurance? Sometimes it can be a really complex process, especially if you choose the wrong company. Consider the claims process even while you’re shopping around, because it’s critical. If your insurance company gives you the runaround and makes it very difficult to file a claim, it can be an absolute nightmare. Do your research so you know how things work beforehand. A bit of time now can save you a lot of headaches down the road. Choose the right provider.
5. Pick the Company and Policy That Best Fit Your Needs
Some people need more coverage than others. And some people value the customer service so much that they’re willing to pay a premium for it. If you just need cheap, basic coverage and aren’t as worried about a few more steps to file a claim, a cheap option might be best. If you’re lucky, you might find affordability and ease of claim filing all in one company. The point is that there are pros and cons to each homeowners insurance policy and company. Take ample time to find the one that best fits your needs.
6. Get a Home Warranty Plan to Cover Other Things
Your home insurance does not cover everything. For example if your fridge or washing machine stops working, homeowners insurance won’t do much for you. That’s where a home warranty plan comes in. It will cover the major appliances and systems in your home and repair or replace them if they break down. Home warranties are critical. Windstorms don’t come around all that often, but broken down appliances are pretty common. Protect yourself from the headache of everyday breakages with a home warranty plan.
Things to Keep in Mind When Shopping for Homeowners Insurance
The steps outlined above are easy enough to follow, but there are some common pitfalls you should be aware of and tips you should follow when you purchase homeowners insurance.
1. Know the Terms
Policy, deductible, premiums, rates, coverage. These are all terms that you’ll want to know when shopping around. A home insurance policy is essentially an agreement you have with an insurer that outlines what they will cover in the event of damage to your home. Home insurance premiums or rates are how much you pay. Often, you may pay one lump some per year for your home insurance. Coverage defines how much money the insurance company will pay for specific repairs or damages. Types of coverage include dwelling, personal property, and more.
2. Get as Many Discounts as Possible
Just like you might get a discount on your car insurance for being a safe driver, you can usually save money on your home insurance premium if you take measures to keep your home protected. For instance, a new roof might go a long way. Deadbolt locks on all the doors and a home security system might also get you some money off. You’ll not only be more protected, but you’ll be less of a risk for the insurance company. This means you’ll pay less for great coverage.
Final Takeaways About How to Shop For Homeowners Insurance
The best thing you can do to find the right plan is to do your research. Home insurance is a huge decision, so you shouldn’t rush into it. Even after you purchase a plan, you might look into switching at some point down the road if a better offer comes along. It’s not uncommon to change insurance plans every so often. If you take your time, read reviews, talk to friends and family, and follow some of the tips and steps we’ve laid out, you can have a good experience shopping for and selecting homeowners insurance.
And don’t forget to purchase a home warranty plan also. Enter your ZIP code to get a quote today. You’ll be glad you did.