It’s a new year with a fresh start. If finding a new insurance carrier is on your to do list, then you may be wondering where to begin. When it comes to insurance, there are definitely some things you’ll want to think about and take into consideration.
Know What Coverage You May Need
- When it comes to insurance there are a lot of scenarios and possibilities. It is important to know what a policy does or does not cover. Most basic policies have limits, so extra coverage may need to be added to have you properly covered.
- Most insurance policies do not cover wind, hail, earthquake, or flood damage. If you live in a high-risk area you may need extra coverage.
- Read your policy and be aware of terms used. Some are very broad, and others may be more restrictive. Pay close attention to how the insured and insured location is defined in the policy. Be on the lookout for things that may be left out of coverage limits.
- Know the value of the items in your home. Taking a home inventory can help you identify what kind of insurance you will need to cover valuables should they become lost or stolen. It will also help you decide if you need extra coverage for larger ticket items such as jewelry, art, or heirlooms.
- Never hesitate to ask questions when it comes to insurance. If you are not sure what something means, ASK! Doing your research and talking with an agent about your questions is the best way to get the service and coverage you need.
- Consider getting at least three to four quotes from different home insurance companies. Be sure to assess coverages, limits, and deductibles. A simple search online will bring up opportunities for quotes and comparisons of companies. Also, check out customer reviews and see what consumers are saying.
Ask About Discounts
- Insurance companies save money when a customer has two policies. Discounts are often upwards to 20% when homeowners link their auto and home insurance.
- Many insurers offer discounts for behavior that lowers your risk. These might include shutter installation, burglar alarms, deadbolt locks, smoke detectors, and waters safety systems.
- Insurers give better rates to those with good credit history. Work on boosting your credit score to increase your chances of a better rate.
- Discounts may also be available to first time home buyers or certain groups of people like those in the military, or senior citizens.
Look at Service & Reviews
- Do not make the mistake of sacrificing bare-minimum pricing for adequate protection or service. You want an insurer that will be quick to handle your claim and provide fair estimates for damages.
- Insurers with high ratings tend to have the best service in dealing with claims and payouts. Whether they are accessible 24/7 is also an important item to consider. Lower-rated insurers tend to have more disputes with damage estimates and lower satisfaction with claim turnaround times.
Know When to Drop Your Previous Insurance
- Be sure to check terms and conditions on your current policy. Sometimes there are penalties or fees for early termination from your policies expiration.
- Once you are approved for your new insurance and have an effective date for your new policy, you will need to cancel your existing homeowners’ insurance. This can be done over the phone, or often through an email. Include any information that is required and an effective date for the cancellation.
You want an insurance provider that has the coverage, service, and support you need. Switching insurance companies is fairly easy to do. If you’re ready for a change, then there’s no better time than now.
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