Anyone who owns their own house should consider taking out a home insurance policy. That’s because these policies protect their assets and make sure that they’re covered in the event of an emergency.
However, finding a good home insurance company can be a bit tricky. Here’s a quick guide on how to find the best home insurance policy.
Learn How Much Coverage Is Necessary
The first step to finding a home insurance policy is to figure out how much coverage you actually need. Usually, coverage amounts on quotes are estimates instead of exact calculations of the amount of required coverage.
To make sure you know exactly how much coverage you’ll need, you might want to get some more information about your home. Some key pieces of information that can help you get more accurate estimates include: home replacement costs; the total value of all assets; and the total value of all personal belongings.
In addition, think about where your home is located and what risks come with that area. For instance, if your house is in a tornado zone, you’ll need to make sure your policy allows you to file home insurance claims for tornado damage.
Get Familiar with Policy Jargon
The next key step to finding a home insurance policy is to learn about the different coverage types each policy can include. There are six main coverage types to be aware of:
Covers physical damage to your home’s structure as well as any attached structures.
2. Other Structures
Covers physical damage to detached structures on your property such as a garage or guesthouse.
3. Personal Property
Covers theft and damage of personal belongings.
4. Additional Living Expenses
Covers temporary housing and relocation expenses while your home is rebuilt or repaired.
5. Personal Liability
Covers you in the event that someone else accuses you of damaging their property.
6. Medical Payments
Covers the medical expenses of visitors who are injured on your property.
Know Your Coverage Levels
In addition to the six types of coverage on a home insurance policy, there are also three different levels of coverage to choose between. These include:
1. Actual Cash Value
Reimbursement for the value of the property and the items contained within it after depreciation. These are the cheapest policies.
2. Replacement Cost
Reimbursement for the current market value of your property. These are mid-range policies.
3. Extended Replacement Cost Value
Reimbursement for the cost to rebuild the home and replace everything within it. These are the most expensive policies.
The type of policy you choose will once again, depend on how much coverage you need. Think carefully about your requirements before selecting one of these policies.
Get Information about the Home
Next, it’s important to get information about the house you’re insuring. This is important so that you can provide accurate information for more exact quotes. Some of the information you’ll need to provide to receive home insurance quotes include:
- Your home’s square footage
- The roof type of your house
- Your home’s heating type
- Your home’s renovation history
- Whether you have a pool
- Whether you have pets
- Whether it’s a primary or secondary home
- Whether you rent your home out
Remember that the more details you can give your potential policy provider, the more accurate the quote will be. Plus, once you have all this information at hand, it’s easy to distribute it to more than one provider.
One of the most important things to do when getting a home insurance policy is to compare quotes. You can either do this by calling up different providers on your own or by using a marketplace to compare prices.
If you already have a relationship with an insurance provider, go to them first. What this means is that if you have an active car or health insurance policy, these companies may be able to provide home insurance as well. Usually, they can do so at a discount.
Once you get your quotes, make sure to carefully read what each one covers. Don’t simply select the cheapest quote. Instead, look at coverage details, customer service options, and reviews to choose your policy.
Select a Policy
After you’ve got a few quotes and compared them, it’s time to choose a policy. From there, you’ll be able to customize the policy to meet your needs. A few ways you can
customize the policy are by adding additional coverage to your plan. Some endorsements that you can add to your home insurance plan include:
- Water backup coverage
- Earthquake coverage
- Flood coverage
- Service line coverage
- Guaranteed replacement cost
- Appliance breakdown coverage
- Scheduled personal property coverage
- Extended replacement cost
Choose a Deductible, Premium Payments, and Policy Dates
The next step is to select a deductible for your policy. The deductible is the amount that you’ll be responsible for before the insurance coverage kicks in and provides payment. You’ll also need to select how you want to pay your premiums. You could pay them through an escrow account, or you could pay them in full at the beginning of each year.
Finally, you’ll select your policy’s period. This dictates how long your coverage will last and when your policy ends. You can time this with the ending of a previous home insurance policy if you already have one. With these details ironed out, it’s time for you to pay your first premium and activate your policy.
Find the Best Home Insurance Policy
With this guide, finding the right home insurance policy becomes easy. By following the steps outlined above, it becomes easy to find a policy that works great for your individual situation.