Buying a home is an expensive investment, but the feeling you’ll enjoy when you are safe in your new home is priceless. When it comes to picking out the right home insurance policy for your new purchase, don’t let the policy details dull your moment to shine. With just a few simple tips and tricks, buying the right home insurance policy can be as easy and exciting as walking across your new welcome mat for the first time.
Go Company Shopping
There is no one size fits all when it comes to home insurance. In order to get the policy perfect for you and your family’s needs, you have to do a little research. If the thought of hours upon hours of internet surfing scares you, fear not! Most insurance sites can give you policy quotes in minutes and a quick phone call to the company can have you a quote just as fast.
When looking at the policy, make sure to take note of all the details. The best way to keep up with all this new information is to make a chart you can easily turn to for a thorough and quick comparison. Try making an excel chart that lists the company name, deductibles, whether the policy uses replacement cost or cash value, discounts, and the cost for each kind of protection you are looking for.
Look At Your Location
Speaking of protection, your location is going to play a big part in determining your policy checklist. Even with as much research as you do picking a company, the companies do that much more, looking at the size, history, construction, and condition of your home, as well as surrounding landmarks, such as high-ranking fire stations.
The geography of your home’s location is a significant factor as well. Insurance companies will go through every possible risk with a fine-toothed comb and consider every possible scenario. Homes closer to the ocean will likely need higher hurricane and flood insurance, ones in California will need higher earthquake and fire insurance, and homes farther north will likely have the weight of ice or snow and sudden freezing listed as perils on insurance policies.
Don’t Ditch The Discounts
Who doesn’t love a good discount these days? Now, you probably won’t be able to find them in the Sunday coupon section of the newspaper, but they are definitely out there. Many home insurance companies are happy to give out discounts if it means they get a new customer.
When making your phone calls and finding out about insurance quotes, make sure to take a few minutes to find out what money-saving opportunities they have available. Some companies will list these insurance discounts online, but sometimes you have to ask someone about them. Depending on where you live and the company you ultimately choose to commit to, you can receive discounts for bundling your auto and home insurance, installing certain kinds of locks and/or security systems, making home improvements, living in a gated community, and even not having any smokers in the home.
Get Only The Coverage You Need
Remember that information chart mentioned earlier? You can also use that to keep a running checklist of the policy items you are specifically looking for in home insurance. While it is crucial to have adequate insurance and cover all your bases, do not let insurance companies bully you into buying more than you need. After all, nobody knows what you need better than you (as long as you do your research, of course).
Before purchasing a policy, take a home inventory so you know the value of your possessions to prevent overpaying for insuring your belongings. You should also make sure to report any and all home improvements and consider increasing your deductible so that your annual premium is cheaper. Also, consider other types of coverage, such as dwelling, other structures, personal property, and liability.
Having the cheapest premiums and highest discounts is not always the way to go. Look into reviews of the company to see how others’ experiences have measured up. Websites such as ConsumerReports.org offer reputable reviews and recommendations. Once you have your companies narrowed down, schedule a time to meet with some representatives in person. At the end of the day, you want to put the future of your home in the hands of a company you can trust.
Buying a home can be a complicated process, but it definitely does not need to be stressful. An investment of this size creates an even bigger and more invaluable reward. With these tips and a set plan, the reward for this process will leave you snug as a bug in your brand new home, safe, sound, and secure.
Gary Anderson is a freelance writer from Los Angeles, California. With over 10 years of experience writing for many different industries, including insurance, he is an accomplished and published writer and editor. In his free time, he enjoys gardening.