Buying homeowner’s insurance is a necessary part of protecting your home and possessions against damage or loss, but knowing what to look for can be confusing. The best way to ensure that you're getting the right type of coverage at the lowest rate is by educating yourself about the different types of policies out there and then comparing them to each other. Here are five tips for finding the best policy for your needs.
1. Know Your Home's Value
The more you know about your home and its value, the better equipped you'll be to shop around for the best possible homeowner's insurance policy. If there are any major improvements or renovations in your future, it's a good idea to get an inspection before buying insurance. To find a reputable home inspection company, consider doing the following:
- Ask your real estate agent for recommendations on inspectors.
- Check with your local chamber of commerce to see if there are any preferred service providers listed.
- Look for reviews online or ask friends and family members who have recently bought homes if they can recommend someone.
2. Shop Around for Quotes
When you buy a home, you are responsible for insuring it. This means that if someone breaks in and steals your TV or if a storm damages your roof, the insurance company will pay for repairs. You'll have a deductible, but there are many different kinds of policies with different coverage options available to you.
The types of coverage you need depends on what's important to you as a homeowner: Do you want to replace everything in an event of disaster? Are there expensive items in your home that would be worth insuring more than others? Will having earthquake insurance make sense when earthquakes aren't common where I live? Does my current property value increase my risk profile too much?
These are all questions that need answers before deciding on an appropriate policy with sufficient coverage amounts and deductibles. At Fiorentino Insurance Group, we can walk you through all the coverage types and help determine what makes the most sense for you and your family.
3. Add Optional Coverages
It's important to remember that homeowner’s insurance is not a one-size-fits-all policy. The best way to protect yourself may be by adding optional coverages such as:
- Flood insurance, which covers damage caused by rising water levels that can result from a storm or flooding.
- Windstorm coverage, which covers damage caused by high winds, such as hurricanes and tornados.
- Theft coverage, which protects you from theft of personal property (such as jewelry and electronics) inside the home itself or outside its walls on an attached porch or patio area of your property in the event of burglary or robbery; this coverage also includes items stolen from within the car parked outside the house itself.
4. Raise Your Deductible
Your deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance company pays out. It's typically a percentage of the value of your home, and it can be as low as 1% or 2%.
If you're confident that nothing major is going to go wrong with your home and are willing to take on more risk, raising your deductible can save money on premiums—but it also means that if something does happen during the year (fire, hurricane, etc.), then you'll have to shell out some cash upfront before being paid out for a claim.
To figure out if this strategy works for you, take an inventory of all the things that are worth insuring against: would it really be worth getting sued over $5k in damages when there's still $100k left in equity? In other words—is the premium savings worth taking on more financial responsibility for yourself?
5. Don't Buy More Homeowner’s Insurance Than You Need
You don't need to buy a policy that covers every single possible thing that could happen to your home, but instead purchase a policy based on the risks and needs of your family.
For example, if you live in an earthquake region, buying additional coverage for this type of natural disaster will be worth it for you. If not, which is the case in Florida, then it probably isn't worth paying extra for this type of coverage.
How to Best Protect Yourself
When it comes to finding the best homeowner’s insurance policy, you need to know what is going to be covered and what will not be covered, as well as how much coverage you need. You also need to be aware of the cost of your policy and how it compares with other insurance providers.
Avoid being caught off guard when filing a claim, and make sure you have all the information you need before choosing a policy. At Fiorentino Insurance Group, we can help ensure exactly that. Contact us today to help find the possibly that best suits your specific needs.