Comparing home insurance policies requires patience and determination. In most cases, people will just look at the annual premium that their prospective insurers have quoted them. This is a big mistake, knowing that the contents of the insurance policy form the basis for the coverage amounts. A substantial reduction in a single coverage amount can cause a sizable decrease in the premium. The problem will come up when a claim is not accepted because of inadequate coverage on the policy.
The smart shopper will compare each and every amount on each and every policy they’re considering with the use of a spreadsheet. Every insurance company will have a column, and each row will have the same category. When you make exact comparisons, it will be easier for you to see discrepancies explaining why the premium amounts differ. Writing notes next to each of the categories will keep you reminded as to why you excluded a specific insurer from consideration.
When making standard home insurance policy comparisons, keep in mind that their prices will likely not vary substantially. Home insurers give out discounts to encourage homeowners to keep their property low-risk – for example, by installing fire suppression devices or CCTV cameras.
Of course, a good home insurance shopper will take advantage of every discount possible. The cash you spend to install the recommended risk-mitigating measures can save you up to thousands in the form of reduced premiums. And by choosing the same insurer for your auto and life policies, you can be rewarded for your loyalty through multi-policy discounts.
The limits for liability insurance are raised as insurance companies are aware of litigation against the homeowner being a possibility. In the face of a major lawsuit, extra coverage can be made possible by an umbrella liability insurance policy, where the insured’s livelihood and property are protected from loss.
So what should you consider when making comparisons among different providers?
First, look into reputation. Research your prospective insurers’ third-party ratings online. For example, in the U.S. AM Best Company provides third-party ratings for all insurance companies offering homeowner’s policies. The ratings are based on actual company performance, including claim handling. A company with low ratings has a considerable number of consumer complaints filed by its customers.
Also look into an insurer’s customer service model. Standard support is provided by a central customer service, a model accepted by some policyholders. Local agents give guidance through the entire term of the policy and give recommendations for coverage adjustments when needed.
Finally, quick response is of course crucial to every homeowner during a claim. Experienced claims adjusters give enough estimates to include needed repairs to the home.