Changing Homeowners Insurance
There are a lot of things to consider when changing homeowners insurance, especially whether or not you’re making the right decision. Here are a few tips to help you switch home insurance with confidence, and not worry that you’ve made a regrettable mistake. Remember that sometimes, change is a good thing.
- Learn the lingo. Get yourself familiar with the lexicon of the insurance companies. In order to make all the right decisions, and in particular the decisions that are best for you, you need to become well versed in home insurance terms and their definitions. You can accomplish this by visiting any number of online resources and educating yourself, or by contacting the insurance company directly and asking if they have a home insurance guide or other resources. If you ever find yourself engaged in a discussion with an insurance agent about coverages or insurance policy changes and there’s a term uttered that you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. Remember, you’re the customer—not the expert. It pays to slow things down to your pace.
- Look before you leap. You’ve done as much research as possible and decided that a particular insurance company is right for you. Before you cut ties or even burn bridges with your current insurer, make sure that your application for insurance is accepted and that all terms are established exactly as you’d like. You don’t ever want to come to the late realization that what you perceived as much greener grass was actually just an optical illusion.
- Understand what types of disasters are covered, versus what aren’t. A majority of insurance policies won’t cover you for damage that occurs due to earthquake or flood, so if you want either you’ll have to purchase separate coverage. If you live in a low-lying area in southern California, this could be a major concern and a greater out of pocket expense. If you live elsewhere, you may not have to worry about earthquake insurance but flood insurance should be strongly considered even if your home isn’t located in an area that’s prone to flooding. While you’re not likely to find an insurance provider that includes flood or earthquake, the fact that you may have to take out separate policies for either of these highlights the importance of finding an insurance company that offers special discounts by combining such policies.
- Look into group coverage. It’s possible that you could qualify for discounted premiums and special rebates and not even know it. Look into the possibilities that your affiliation with certain businesses, credit unions, or colleges could land you an enviable homeowners insurance policy.
- Don’t just compare—scrutinize. Anytime you switch home insurance you need to be absolutely confident that your level of coverage is either equivalent or greater. Otherwise, there’s no reason to switch at all. Take the time necessary to compare both policies. Never make a decision unless you are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that you’ll be receiving better service and coverage for a better price. A failure to do so is like leaving the safety of your home to the random hand of chance. And as you know, that hand can sometimes be cruel.