Ready to see what else is out there? Learn how to shop for a new home insurance policy like a pro.
The Smart Way to Shop for New Home Insurance
There’s no need to be at the whim of an insurance company. Arm yourself with knowledge so you can make informed decisions throughout the process of comparing and buying homeowners insurance.
Before you shop for coverage, understand what your end goal is: a more affordable policy? Better protection? A better claims experience? Knowing what you want will help you better compare offerings.
Next, follow these steps.
Understand the Basics
Every insurance company is a little different, but they mostly care about the same factors that influence the “riskiness” of your house (and therefore the cost of your insurance). Those factors include:
- Age of your house.
- Construction materials.
- Proximity to a fire station.
- Geographic region (and likely weather events).
- Additional structures (like a pool).
- Safety and security features (burglar alarm, smoke detector).
- Safety of your neighborhood.
- Whether you own a dog (and if so, what breed).
It’s also worth noting that, in addition to your risk factors, a few other factors will affect the cost of your homeowners insurance premium, including:
- The deductible you choose.
- Liability coverage limits you choose.
- Whether you cover property at its replacement value or actual cash value (ACV).
- Whether you endorse high-value items you own (like fine furs).
But again, every insurance company is a little different. That’s why it’s important to…
These days, it’s easy to apply for homeowners insurance online and compare rates. It’s always wise to see offers from at least three providers before choosing a new policy. If you’re quoted premium prices that are wildly different from each other, make sure you’re able to…
Compare Apples to Apples
This is where you’ll have to get into the fine print. No two homeowners insurance policies are exactly the same, so it’s up to you to make sure you understand factors that might affect cost differences. A few to keep your eye out for:
- Property insurance: Policies that offer replacement-value coverage for your personal property tend to be more expensive than those that offer actual-cash-value coverage. In the event of a claim, replacement-value coverage offers enough money to replace your stuff with new equivalents. Actual-cash-value coverage only offers enough to cover buying items in a similar condition.
- Personal liability limits: A policy that offers $100,000 in personal liability coverage may be less than one that offers $500,000 – but most insurers agree that the former level is inadequate. Saving money in the short term doesn’t always meaning saving down the road.
- Deductible: The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. But keep in mind that your insurance isn’t that valuable if you can’t afford your deductible, which is the amount you’re required to pay before your benefits kick in.
- Structure of the insurance company: One reason Kin is able to offer lower prices than other insurers is that we don’t have brokers, so we don’t have to pay broker taxes. We also don’t have brick-and-mortar locations: more savings. If a low price seems too good to be true, do a little digging to find out where the company is making cuts.
Look beyond Cost
It’s natural to want to save money on your new homeowners insurance. But keep in mind that there’s more to insurance than its cost. As you get close to choosing your new policy, try calling customer service numbers. How easy is it to deal with the reps? How long do you have to wait on hold?
- Can you manage your policy online?
- How are their customer reviews overall?
- How easy is it to make a claim?
Even if you don’t end up switching from your current policy, seeking out new homeowners insurance can be a great way to reassure yourself that you’re getting the best coverage possible for your budget.