Home insurance policies can become complicated, so it is in every owner’s best interest to brush up on some key information before diving in.
Here are some tips for homeowners looking for coverage and ways to make the process as stress-free as possible.
Knowing you are covered is priceless.
Having a piece of mind is valuable, so sleep better at night knowing you are covered rather than worrying about breaking the bank. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are 4 basic kinds of coverage:
- Coverage for the structure of your home
- Coverage for your personal belongings
- Liability protection
- Additional living expenses if you are temporarily unable to live in your home because of an insured disaster.
The truth is, most people will never have a use for the majority of the coverage they acquire. But in the event of a natural disaster, emergency repair or any other pitfall that could occur it is worth the extra money to know that you are covered.
Purchasing auto and home insurance from the same company can save money.
In some cases, insurance companies will offer a discount on either home or auto insurance if you buy both from the same place. For example, Progressive offers a potential 8% discount on auto insurance if a property policy is added. This can become tricky, so be sure to crunch the numbers and make sure it will be less expensive to do both rather than purchasing separate policies from different companies.
Research insurance companies and premiums.
Insurance companies will determine the premium of your policy based on several factors. You can get a ballpark figure of what it might cost by simply entering your information at the website of any number of insurance companies. For example, Chill.ie Home Insurance provides fast quotes without even having to speak to an agent.
Anything that puts your home at a higher risk of damage will affect how high the coverage premium is set. Do some research and find out what insurance company could potentially save you the most money. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has tons of information on their website as well as recommendations for insurance companies within your region.
Secure the home as much as possible
It’s any homeowners’ nightmare to imagine something happening to the home when no one is there. Improve the security as much as possible, but keep in mind that effective alarms and monitoring systems can be expensive. But the good thing is some insurance companies will offer discounts for things like burglar alarms and smoke detectors. So, you can essentially save money while simultaneously protecting your home.
Know how much your possessions are worth
There is also coverage for things inside of the home. Keep an itemized list of all of your possessions because it is important when trying to recoup expenses. There are even online inventories that can assist with keeping things organized. According to Bankrate, the average household can have anywhere from $10,000-$30,000 worth of valuables. That sounds like a lot, but when you really break it down piece by piece the numbers make sense.
Attach dollar amounts to every single thing you own and a clearer picture will start to develop. Also, remember to make several copies of the list and receipts and keep them in a safe place. Either store them digitally or keep them someplace away from any possible hazard involved with the home, as damage/loss will render them useless.
Purchase earthquake and flood insurance
If you live in an area that could potentially be affected by a flood or earthquake it is a good idea to get some extra coverage. Standard policies cover fire, hurricanes, lightning, hail and many other disasters but not floods or earthquakes. Know the history of your region to be sure you are not at risk.
Less is not always more
It can be tempting to simply go with the insurance company that charges you the least amount of money. That is not always a wise decision because the service and support they provide are also very important. Ask questions about the company’s reputation. Find out their track record with satisfied customers. Weigh those things and try to find one that provides the right balance of cost efficiency and quality service.
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