Finding the right home insurance is vital if you will protect your home and your other assets. Home insurance isn’t just for the structure; it’s also there to safeguard your personal wealth. When you are in the market for home insurance, here is what you need to know before you buy.
Knowledge is Power
An informed buyer is one who gets the right coverage. Make sure that you choose the right coverage levels by taking the time to inform yourself. Look at comparable home sales to determine your home’s market value, and call a local builder to get an estimate on the home’s replacement costs. In addition to learning how much it will cost to have your property rebuilt, you should also have an inventory of your personal belongings to be sure everything will be properly covered.
Price is Not the Bottom Line
You want the best home insurance and you also want great prices, but you should not look at price alone. A cheap company may be able to offer lower premiums because they don’t respond to claims and will refuse to pay them whenever possible. You want insurance that will be there when you need them, and that means choosing a company with an excellent claims payment history and financial stability.
Shop Around and Ask for Discounts
You can find dozens of insurers in your area who are financially strong and have great customer service. Get quotes from several of them, and be sure to ask about discounts. With a little research and the potential to save with discounts, you can find affordable insurance you will feel good about.
Read the Fine Print
Before signing a contract, make sure you read the fine print for important features. You want your company to cover your personal belongings at the replacement value instead of the cash value. Find out if they cover cost-of-living expenses if you have to move out of your home after a fire. If you live in an area prone to floods, ask about separate flood insurance. Finally, talk to the agents about your basement to learn how the insurance handles these subterranean living spaces and the personal property you have down there.
Review the Information Carefully
When you sign up for home insurance, the company will pull up a report of your home and the construction materials used in it. Take the time to review this information before signing the contract. Many people will invest in home improvements without informing their insurance company. Unfortunately, companies will only replace what they show on file. If the last owner replaced carpet with hardwood, then you will be getting carpet again if something happens to the flooring. They won’t cover bay windows, sunrooms or other structures that they don’t know about. Make sure your company is aware of all improvements so you are properly insured.
Getting home insurance is not a difficult task. With the right coverage, your home will be protected against damaged from weather or accidents. You will also be personally covered in the event that someone is injured on your property. Shop around for the best home insurance rates, and ask for discounts. Choose a company based on customer service and financial strength as well as price. Finally, make sure that you are informed about the value of your home and notify the company of any upgrades.