Buying home insurance is vital to protect one of the most expensive assets you will likely own. To make sure that you get the best coverage at the best price, use the following tips:
- Compare quotes and coverage. Every company is different and offers different price models and coverage packages. Do your research to get a feel for the market.
- Ask an insurance agent as many questions as you can. You will want to know what coverage is necessary to fully protect your home. Make sure that you will have coverage for specific incidences relevant to your area like storm damage, fires, structural collapse and anything else that may occur.
- Opt for a replacement cost endorsement to increase your coverage. Replacing an entire home after major losses is incredibly pricey and something most people need help affording. Make sure that in the event of a total loss you have extra means of protection.
- Take an inventory of your valuables and ensure your “contents” coverage can pay for total replacement. Document the contents with pictures and receipts. Send a copy to your insurer and store a copy off site.
- Inform your insurer of any upgrades or repairs costing more than $5,000. They will need these updates on record to adjust your coverage accordingly.
- Lie on your application. Your insurer will need to know the exact details of your property to provide you the coverage you need. Any misinformation could stall the settlement process after an incident.
- Think you need a low deductible. Raise your deductible to lower your premiums. You will likely only need insurance to help you with repairs over a certain amount, which should be the threshold set by your deductible.
- Forget to account for two years of living expenses after a total loss. Many insurance policies will help you pay for rent, travel and other expenses you will incur after a total loss of your home. Since home construction can take a long time, you will want a buffer of up to two years to prepare.
- Insure a home that is in continual disrepair. Your premiums will go sky high if your home has any perceived dangers. Make sure your electrical systems and plumbing are up-to-date. Get your roof repaired or replaced, and make sure your drainage is such that it does not affect your foundation.
- Go with a policy just because it is the cheapest. Many people buy cheap home insurance since they want to get the process over with. Do not skimp on what could be the most important purchases of your life. More expensive is not always better, but do not let a bargain price lure you into buying inadequate coverage.
Using these tips will help you be prepared for the absolute worst case scenario. You will want to enjoy your property for as long as possible, or have it replaced should a tragedy befall it.