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Homeowners Insurance Policy Comparison
We’ve all seen those bright, cheerful ads offering us affordable and reliable homeowners insurance. It can be hard to sift through all the noise and choose homeowners insurance providers. It all starts with identifying your priorities, which is why we’ve compiled the following tips to help you figure out where to start! Read this list before you commit to your next insurance policy.
GET MULTIPLE QUOTES
Don’t settle for the first insurance provider that catches your eye. It’s important to get multiple quotes before selecting your homeowners insurance policy. Coverage needs can vary drastically, and different providers will always offer different pricing. Collecting quotes gives you leverage in policy negotiations. It’s a good idea to consult with the company that already handles your auto insurance as they may offer special incentives to bundle with them.
EVALUATE CLAIMS RESPONSE HISTORY
After a large loss to your home, you will need to ensure that your expenses are quickly reimbursed. Many new homeowners who have never filed a claim don’t know that they will be responsible for paying for their household repairs out of pocket before being reimbursed by their insurance company. This process makes it particularly important to select a provider you trust to prioritize your claim. Some insurers actually outsource client maintenance, so it’s important to find a company with a record of timely settlements. Additionally, it’s a good idea to see how many customers are dissatisfied with their settlements. Companies who chronically undervalue claims will receive poor ratings.
LOOK FOR OPEN ENDED WORDING
It’s unfortunate, but if you’re not careful, some insurers will try to transfer the risk to you. For example, in the case of severe rain, there can even be caveats in your policy that allow your provider to deny or reduce your claim based on the age of your roof. Watch out for wording that asks you to pay a percentage of your home’s value. Depending on your property value this can quickly translate to a $10,000-$30,000 minimum in out of pocket costs. It’s important to know exactly how much risk you’re taking on so that you can make an informed purchase. Additionally, be sure to ask about rate increases in the event of a claim. Many homeowners avoid filing small claims because they fear the increased premiums. As you’re shopping around, try to get an idea of potential repercussions to a filing.
PERFORM A COMPANY HEALTH CHECK
One of your greatest weapons as a consumer is the Better Business Bureau. The BBB is a non-profit organization that exists to create a system of accountability for businesses. Search the site and read through reviews, complaints and general customer feedback. Client reviews and the response of the business will give you a sense of what to expect from your working relationship. You will also have a chance to review the business responses to feedback.