Most people don’t know the steps they need to undertake when planning to get home insurance. However, you may not learn so much unless you learn to walk through this process by yourself. As the loan officer is preparing your escrow, you may not even be sure where you would like to get your home insurance from. The company that gives you your car insurance may not be the best for home insurance. You can have both policies in a single place especially if you would like to get a multi-policy discount. However, this is not always the best choice unless you are sure of what you are doing. In this article, we will be looking at some tips on how to choose the right homeowner’s insurance policy. You will discover that there are several factors you need to consider when choosing homeowners insurance. Here are seven tips that will help you choose a homeowner’s insurance that will meet your needs.
1. Shop Around
The first step to take when searching for the best home insurance policy is comparing several companies that offer these services. You need to pay close attention to the available coverages, exclusions, deductibles, and limits. For instance, you will rarely come across a home insurance company that covers damages that result from general wear and wear, infestations, landslides, mold, earthquakes, and flooding. The most affordable policies may not give you the best value especially when dealing with subpar coverage and high deductibles. What this means is that you need to avoid sacrificing your protections because of getting a monthly premium that is slightly lower.
2. Inquire About Discounts
Most insurance companies provide discounts to entice their clients. However, most of them don’t advertise these discounts through the phone call or in the initial home insurance quotes that you find online. These discounts also vary from one insurance company to the other. For instance, you may come across insurance companies that give discounts to homeowners who have storm shutters on the exterior windows. Another company may give you a discount if you install specific impact-resistant roofs in your home. Some companies also provide a multi-policy discount when you have a home and auto insurance from the same company. If your home has a security alarm, you may get a home security discount and a new home discount for recently built homes. You can even get a smoke-free discount if all the family members don’t smoke. You will come across several discounts after comparing different insurance companies.
3. Research the Financial Strength of the Company
Once you decide on the best home insurance company, you will want to be sure that it will meet its financial obligations especially when it comes to paying claims. If the company will go under in the middle of a claim or hits a rough financial patch, you may remain dry and high. There are several independent agencies that can help you to evaluate the financial strength of the company. Make sure you go through the published financial reports for the preferred insurance company. Some insurance companies share their financial ratings from any of the available agencies. However, this information is readily available from the website of these agencies.
4. Answer All Questions Well
The home insurance application process is long even if you decide to do it online. You will have to provide several features for your home. Some of the questions may include the roofing materials, the location of the garage, some of the major systems in the home (air ducts, water piping, etc) and the last renovation date among others. Some companies may want you to provide the proportion of the home that is carpeted. Don’t make any guesses as you fill out this section of the application form. You will only get the right once you answer all the questions correctly. Wrong answers may provide an inaccurate quotation and inadequate policy. There are some cases when the insurer may even cancel your home insurance policy.
5. Know the Level of Coverage You Require
When you apply for home insurance, lenders normally have coverage level requirements. Be keen to know all these requirements before you begin to shop around. Also, speak to agents at various insurance companies to get to understand what you need to cover. For instance, you may want to use the replacement value of the home as a basis for ensuring it and not the amount you paid for it. In some instances, it may be costlier than the sales prices to do a full rebuilding.
6. Evaluate Customer Satisfaction
You may not get the peace of mind if you choose the cheapest available policy yet the company is slow in processing claims. Some websites publish annual customer satisfaction rates for all the insurance companies within the region. Some of the factors they use to rank the best home insurance companies include claims, interaction, billing, price, policy offering, and overall customer satisfaction. choose the one that has the best ranking if you want to be on the safe side of life.
7. Boost Your Credit Score
Most insurance firms will run a soft credit check during the application process to get to preview your credit history. In most cases, homeowners who have a poor credit history pay higher premiums in comparison to what those who have an excellent score pay. Make sure you work on any issues at hand to get your credit history back on track before you submit your application. You can get a copy of your credit report to see what is giving you a low score. The tip is paying off any overdue debts. If your credit balances are higher than your limits, you need to pay them down. Start improving your credit scores the soonest possible so as to qualify for better rates.
The best home insurance depends on your unique needs. There is no single homeowner insurance that is good for everyone. Therefore, you have to do your due diligence to get the best product for your needs. You need to find ways of reducing the costs without compromising the level of coverage. The home is the most valuable asset that you can have and it is good to give it the best protection.