Read though our loads of home insurance reviews to find the best homeowners insurance coverage. While homeowners insurance is not mandatory, if you finance your home your lender will most likely require it. This is because insurance is a form of protecting your assets, and your home is a valuable asset. Even if insurance is not required, it is strongly recommended not just for homeowners, but for renters as well. Selecting an insurance provider is one of the most important phases of insuring your property, and home insurance reviews can be very helpful during this stage.
Homeowners insurance is necessary to protect your home and its contents as well as provide for liability. Liability is an important and much overlooked portion of homeowners and renters insurance. For example, if someone slips and falls in your home and breaks a leg, the medical costs can be quite extensive. A trip to the emergency room and orthopedic services can tap heavily into your financial savings. Liability would protect your financial assets, costing you only a small amount in premiums and a deductible.
There are several policies that you can purchase, ranging from basic coverage to a “coverall” policy with extra riders. At the very minimum, your home should be protected from fire and theft. Basic coverage usually includes hail and lightning as well as vandalism or property damage. If you are required to move out of your home on a temporary basis while your home is being repaired, insurance would also pay for those expenses. Additional coverage that many people carry involves protection against incidents of ice and snow or falling objects as well as insurance in the event of a plumbing leak or furnace defect. Even damage caused by electrical discharges can be covered.
The next level of insurance includes everything but common exclusions such as flood damage, earthquakes, mudslides, and the like. These events can usually be covered by insurance riders that can be purchased by homeowners living in areas where there is a likely possibility of that occurrence. For example, Floridians usually have hurricane insurance and many California residents will carry insurance to cover mudslides. Floods are almost never covered by any policy except through an add-on, and if your home has a basement it is highly recommended to carry water and sewer backup coverage.
Unfortunately, these necessary extras cost more money, and may not only impact your premium, but your deductible as well. For example, if you require hurricane insurance, not only do you have your standard $500 deductible, but you will also have an additional deductible for hurricane damage, which is typically 2% of the total loss. Yet if you are in a flood prone area, it can be important.
Special Contents is sometimes listed on a form called HO5 (Homeowners 5) and is useful for protecting your property by covering thinks like accidental breakage of lamps and vases or spilling paint on your couch. Regardless of the insurance policy you choose, you will need to decide if you want to pay for replacement cost coverage or actual cash value. While replacement cost has a higher rate of insurance, you are guaranteed to receive the current value of the item you need to replace. Otherwise, you will receive a depreciating cash value for your property. Since homes inevitably rise in value, replacement cost would be most beneficial.
If you have “priceless” property, such as jewelry or a coin collection, consider scheduling coverage for your valuables. Other coverage that may also be offered by your insurance provider includes a home business policy to protect equipment, identity theft, and liability for additional properties you may own. Equipment Breakdown Coverage is becoming popular. For approximately $25 a year and a $500 deductible, you can have coverage on your equipment, such as your air conditioner and heater. Your agent can review all of the various coverage options that may be beneficial to you.
Many considerations should be involved while reviewing insurance providers for your homeowners insurance. Insurance is only as strong as the company that provides it. If you receive a really good deal on insurance for a company that ceases to exist, your insurance will also cease along with your premiums, so your good deal is no longer a good deal. Therefore, the reputation, longevity, and financial strength of an insurance company should be your first concerns.
Other elements to weigh into your review of different companies are customer service, response time, and claim service. The level of service you receive from inception through claim is very important. You may never need to deal with your agent once you have insurance, but you certainly want to know they’ll be there when you have a claim. Keeping in touch with your agent on an occasional basis may help keep your level of service personal and it will also help ensure that your current policy still covers your needs.
Agents are important constituents in the insurance industry and do not always reflect the insurance company they represent. You may have an unfriendly agent but a strong and reputable insurance company. In this case, it is recommended that you switch agents but keep your company. However, sometimes you may have a wonderful agent who unfortunately represents a company you are no longer satisfied with, forcing you to leave the company and also the agent. Unlike brokers, agents represent specific insurance companies, so your agent cannot change providers with you.
When you’re reviewing home insurance policies, certain aspects, such as 24 hour claim processing, are imperative. Also, when you are comparing insurance quotes verbatim, rates and discounts will weigh heavily into your decision. Other features, such as online access to your account information and auto payments, are a matter of convenience that will depend mainly on user preference. With an average of 60 insurance companies in every state, you should be able to find a company that can offer you the correct coverage for a fair price. To start getting quotes now you can use the free quote tool found on this website.
When reading home insurance reviews, it is important to remember that reviews are very personal, and are sometimes written in a moment of anger. Also, one person’s experience does not necessarily reflect the company, so reviews need to be read with an open perspective. For this reason, you should not look at the rating in a review without actually reading the reviews behind the stars. Since negative reviews can skew an otherwise positive rating, the more reviews there are, the better chance the rating is a correct reflection of homeowners’ views of the company.
Read home insurance reviews for information that pertains to billing or claims issues. Are clients satisfied or disgruntled with the way their policy is managed? Are multiple people complaining about the same things, or do several reviews rave about certain elements? Keep an eye on trends, as they tend to be more accurate than a single mention of something.
Home insurance reviews can help you make the final decision on selecting an insurance provider. Price, coverage, and company stability are essential to your selection, and finding out the experiences of other homeowners with certain providers can help you narrow your choice. Remember, you do not have to stay with a company if you are not satisfied. Once you have a policy in place, remember to maintain its contents by reviewing it with your agent on an annual basis. You can appraise the value of your home yourself or hire an appraiser to do it for you.
Notify your agent of all changes, especially upgrades that can lower your rate. Safety and security features, such as smoke alarms and burglar alarms, usually qualify for a discount. Ask your agent about other enhancements that may reduce your rate also, such as a cover for your swimming pool, or a secure enclosure for your guard dog when needed. Even smoking cessation may earn you a discount. After you have experience with an insurance company, write your own evaluation to reflect the pros and cons of your dealings so that other homeowners can benefit from your home insurance review.
After your have browsed through the various home insurance reviews and left your own homeowners insurance company review then enter your zip code into our free comparison tool to find and compare free home insurance quotes online. Get started now!