Tenacity and patience are a must when comparing home insurance policies. Most people would jump to the end and compare just the annual premium they are quoted by each insurance company. This is a big mistake, knowing that the contents of the insurance policy form the basis for the coverage amounts. A considerable reduction in just one coverage amount can lower the premium substantially. The problem will come up when a claim is not accepted because of inadequate coverage on the policy.
A good shopper will compare each amount on each policy with the help of a spreadsheet. For every insurance company, there should be a column, with each row having the same classification. If you make exact comparisons, you can easily spot discrepancies which explain why the premium amounts are not the same. Notes you write after each category will will serve as a reminder for the reasons you decided to drop a certain insurer from consideration.
While comparing basic home insurance policies, expect their prices not to vary significantly. 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 if you stay with the same company, your loyalty will be rewarded through multi-policy discounts on your life and auto insurance policies.
The liability insurance limits are increased since insurance providers know it’s possible for the homeowner to face litigation against them. 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 is reputation. Look up your prospective providers’ third-party ratings online. In the U.S., for example, all insurance companies that underwrite homeowner’s policies are rated by AM Best Company. The ratings are determined according to the company’s performance in different areas, including claim handling. Low ratings reflect a huge number of customer complaints filed against the provider.
Also look into an insurer’s customer service model. Central customer service offers standard support and is acceptable to some people. Local agents provide help through the whole policy term, as well as recommend coverage changes when necessary.
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.