You may view insurance as a necessary evil; it seems like you pay a lot for insurance, and never have to need it. In order to ensure you are getting the best value for your dollar, here are some questions you may want to ask when thinking about purchasing a homeowners policy.
Your home is likely your largest investment, and making sure you have the right coverage is important. If, for whatever reason, you have a claim and need to cash in on your insurance policy, make sure you are prepared and know what to expect. Everyone sees the commercials selling insurance and not all insurance companies are the same; there are many different factors which differentiate them. Price, service, claims process, and local presence are all things to consider when selecting a company. Consider these questions when selecting a home insurance policy.
- What Coverage do I need? Tornado, Back up Coverage, Earthquake
- What are the limits on a additional policy such as back up coverage? Finished Basement perhaps: is there enough coverage to pay for your contents & structure?
- What is my Deductible? How does it affect my price, what should my deductible be?
- Multiple deductibles based on the cause of claim? Hail/Wind verses Water/Fire
- What discounts are offered? Bundling, Forgiveness
- Exclusions on Policy?
- Payment Options?
- How do you assess the value of my home?
- How do you determine the cost of rebuilding my home verses the sale price?
- Do you have a 24 hour claims service?
- Do you have local field adjusters or does the company utilize independent adjusters?
- Do you have local agents or does an 800# handle their claims?
- What is my risk assessment? Have I had claims in the past?
Keep in mind; you get what you pay for. While paying for what you think you will never need, can be hard to swallow, don’t assume this is the case! If an event requires your insurance company to help, make sure you have the coverage to get back to whole. If you minimize the premium and cut things out of your policy, you may regret it later. After a claim, tensions and anxieties are high; the last thing you want is to be surprised or upset. Know what your policy covers!