Homeowners Insurance Quotes

Congratulations upon being a wise purchaser of insurance! The most reliable way of saving money on homeowners insurance is to annually acquire at least three different quotations telling you what insurance companies charge for insurance on your home.

cheap home insurance ratesA side benefit of obtaining quotations on homeowners insurance is that you will take a careful look at the insurance you purchase, the companies from which you purchase it, amounts of coverage, and perils insured against.

Getting quotations on homeowners insurance is not a difficult process, although there are a number of things to examine while asking for quotes.

Be sure to use the FREE quote comparison tool above to start your search for home insurance!

Let’s go through the process, step by step, so you understand how to obtain the quotes, evaluate them, and choose the insurance based upon logic and research rather than mass-media marketing.

Choosing an Insurance Company

The company you choose for insurance is important because not all insurance companies are created equally. Some offer excellent service and claims settlement, but cost a great deal more than others.

Others offer indifferent service, but pay claims reasonably and don’t charge much for the coverage. Even more are shaky financially and are likely to have trouble settling claims but won’t charge much.

How do you select an insurance company? Suggested processes:

  • Ask others about their experience with insurance companies. Be sure you trust the person you’re asking and ask telling questions such as, their experience with claims settlement, the quality of customer service with policy changes, the person’s satisfaction with the company, and experience with premium increases. Get recommendations of names of companies.
  • Investigate with your state’s department of insurance. Each state has a Commissioner of Insurance that has the task of overseeing licensing, evaluation, and rates for insurance companies. Go to your state’s website which may be found by seeing this link. Click on your state to go to its website.
  • Research financial stability, complaint ratios, and reliability by going to National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), A. M. Best ratings, and Standard and Poor’s ratings. Be sure you understand how each is rating the insurance company.
  • Get quotations from at least three different companies for comparison purposes.

Choosing Amounts of Coverage

In order to obtain reasonable quotations, you need to have a good idea how much insurance you want to purchase on your home. Don’t just list the amount you paid for your home because it may not be accurate.

You shouldn’t insure the ground upon which your home was built, but the actual replacement cost of the structure. Ask your insurance agent about this or go to one of the many sources of figures for replacement cost figures.

One that will not charge you is Best-Net which bases their figures upon both area and construction. You will need to give the construction of the home – frame, brick, or concrete; type of roof-tile, slate, composite, or built-up tar; location within a fire protection zone; and proximity to working fire hydrants.

The age of the home, too, is important because it may reflect the condition of the building.

Homeowners insurance, because it is a type of package policy, automatically includes certain items of coverage. A brief example of these follows:

  • house insurance quotesBuilding coverage – at least 80% of replacement cost. For example – $150,000.
  • Other structures – such as fences, detached sheds, garages – 10% of amount of building ($15,000 in this case)
  • Contents – the contents of the home – 50% of the building amount ($75,000 in this situation)
  • Loss of use – sometimes called additional living expense – 20% of the building amount ($30,000 in this situation) to help defray the costs of moving to a different residence until the current one is repaired or replaced.
  • Personal injury liability that follows you and your household. Amounts from $100,000 and up are available to help you out if you’re sued and found liable for injury to others. Note that automobile, recreational vehicle, and watercraft are specifically excluded in this policy.
  • Medical payment liability – $1,000 and up to pay for damages to individuals on your property or inflicted by a member of the household. Pet liability coverage is included — if your cat bites a small child, the medical coverage may be provided.

Perils to be Insured Against

The perils to which homeowners policies refer are those for which the insurance company will consider as causes of damage to your home. Most homeowners insurance policies provide insurance against the following:

  • Vandalism, theft, and vehicle damage (but not owned vehicles)
  • Windstorm, hail, lightning, weight of ice, snow, and sleet
  • Freezing and bursting of appliances and water systems if it is sudden and accidental.
  • Damage to your property from falling trees
  • Explosion, fire, and smoke damage, even riot and civil unrest

You should look at this coverage carefully because many insurance companies have variations in the circumstances when these perils are covered.

Be careful to note that flood insurance is not covered under the standard homeowners policy. For information about flood insurance, go to FloodSmart, a federal program that provides flood insurance.

Definitions of flood are varied, so be sure to read these in your policy. Earthquake insurance is not covered in a standard homeowners policy.

To purchase this insurance, contact your agent because a separate policy must be issued. Since fire, among other things, can result from an earthquake, be especially careful to read the policy provisions.

Deductibles

A deductible can save money and should be carefully considered.

The amount of the deductible means that you must choose between using your homeowners policy for relatively routine maintenance or for catastrophic coverage. A larger deductible can save money.

Getting Quotations

Have the following information available when asking for a quotation. Insurance companies provide quotations to prospective customers as a sales lure. Information you’ll need:

  • Beginning date of the policy
  • Where your previous insurance was purchased
  • Address and age of your home
  • Limits of coverage you want on the home and for liability coverage
  • Perils to be covered
  • Your full name as well as other owners of the property
  • Your occupation and that of your spouse – number of children – any special coverage needed such as that on trampolines, swimming pools, or playground equipment.
  • Mortgagee’s name and address

Evaluation of Quotations

homeowners insurance quotesCollect the information you have acquired about the company, complaint ratios, amounts covered, deductibles and premiums, then compare the quotations.

Some individuals may choose an insurance company with an excellent reputation and complaint ratio over a company with a slightly lower premium. It is your choice.

Make sure the quotes are comparable as much as is possible, then make your decision.

Recognize that an insurance policy is not in force until clear intent to purchase coverage is exhibited. That means that you have to give a check or transfer for coverage for the policy to take effect.

Ask questions about insurance if you don’t understand the quotes. Insurance agents are well trained to answer these questions. Plan to keep the information you have gathered and begin the process a bit earlier next year to keep your insurance premiums, coverage, and losses under control.

Be sure to use our FREE quote comparison tool at the bottom of this page!