Your home is one of your most valuable assets, so it is important to make sure it has adequate insurance protection at all times. However, not all home insurance companies are the same. For this reason, you need to do careful research before selecting a provider. Below are some tips to help you make the right choice.
1. Consider an Independent Insurance Agency.
When comparing your options, you can go to each provider separately, or you can work with an independent insurance agency. Independent insurance agencies represent multiple insurance companies, allowing you to get multiple quotes in one easy step. The process of comparing your options is much easier with the help of an independent insurance agency.
2. Understand That You May Not Qualify for All Policies.
Different insurance companies have different underwriting rules. Some companies will disqualify you from coverage if you possess certain risk factors. Examples of factors that may disqualify you from coverage include:
- A history of homeowner’s insurance claims.
- Running a business out of your house.
- A history of lapsed homeowners insurance coverage.
- A home in a high-risk location.
- Criminal history.
- Certain hazardous features of your home, such as swimming pools or a large amount of personal property piled up outside.
3. Be Aware of What Will Be Covered.
Not all policies will cover the same events and losses. To properly compare different home insurance policies, you need to be aware of what each policy covers. The majority of policies will provide the same basic coverages, which typically include damage to your home, damage to other structures, loss of personal property, personal liability expenses, coverage of medical expenses and certain additional living expenses. However, any additional coverages you need must be added in the form of an endorsement, which is likely to raise your premium.
4. Understand That the Cost of Your Insurance Will Depend on Many Different Factors.
All insurance companies have certain base rates for their premiums, which will then be modified based on the specifics of your home and situation. Factors that may increase or decrease the cost of your home insurance premiums include the value of your home, the age of your home and the location of your home. Another important factor is your home’s “Protection Class,” which is a factor that considers the distance and quality of the nearest fire department.
5. Consider the Financial Strength of Your Insurance Company.
The stronger an insurance company is financially, the more reliable it will be. Several independent agencies rate the financial strength of different insurance companies. The most well-known of these agencies is A.M. Best Company Inc. Other independent agencies providing ratings include Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investor Services, and Standard and Poor’s Insurance Rating Services. Keep in mind that ratings may differ between agencies, so it is a good idea to check with more than one agency when evaluating an insurance company.
Choosing the right insurance provider can be a difficult task, but an independent agency can help. If you are interested in purchasing homeowners insurance in Clear Lake or the surrounding area, please contact Lillie-Couch Insurance today.