On average, homeowners file a claim with their homeowner’s insurance about once every ten years. It may seem like you don’t need to put a ton of thought into something you may not use that frequently.
However, you want to make sure that your homeowner’s insurance is affordable but offers the coverage you need when you need it. That’s why you should always be selective when choosing homeowner’s insurance.
What, exactly, should you look for in homeowner’s insurance? What considerations should you make both about your own home and about your homeowner’s insurance provider?
Read on for seven factors to take into account when looking over your options for homeowner’s insurance.
- Pricing Transparency
To begin with, you want to work with a homeowner’s insurance provider that provides as much transparency as possible when it comes to pricing. What kinds of premiums will they charge for a house of your size and age? How do things like severe weather patterns and other outside factors affect their premiums and deductibles?
A quality homeowner’s insurance provider should make it easy to request a quote or compare your current insurance package to theirs. See more about how easy it can be to request a quote or talk to an agent when you work with a quality provider.
- Speedy Claim Services
When it does come time to make a claim, you want to know that it will happen quickly. With most major damage, the faster it’s addressed, the less residual damage you’ll have to deal with.
A good homeowner’s insurance provider should send someone out within days of receiving your claim. It should take less than a week to assess the damage and related costs before providing the coverage you need to start repairing the damage.
- Accurate Property Valuation
Homeowner’s insurance always starts with a property valuation and a lot of insurance companies get this part wrong. Make sure that your homeowner’s insurance provider is transparent about how much they think your home is worth. If you find that it’s higher or lower than your actual property value, bring it up–and if they won’t change it, move on.
When your insurance provider miscalculates the value of your home, you can run into serious problems. You may be paying way too much for your premiums or you might not have the coverage you need down the line.
- Available Discounts
A good homeowner’s insurance provider will offer discounts on your premium (or a lower deductible) in exchange for “good homeowner behavior.” For example, they might lower your premium if you don’t make a claim for a certain number of years. They might lower your premium or deductible if you install updated safety equipment like a security system and new fire alarms.
This is fairly standard. If your homeowner’s insurance provider doesn’t offer any discounts for any “good homeowner behavior,” you may want to keep shopping around. After all, who wants to pay more than they have to?
- What They Cover
Don’t expect that homeowner’s insurance covers any damage to your property. You might be surprised at what is and isn’t covered by some providers.
The coverage you need will come down to your individual property. For example, let’s say that your property is covered in old trees that may eventually need to be cut down as a preventative measure. Does your homeowner’s insurance policy cover preventative tree removal or do they only pay for the trees that fall down and cause damage?
Make sure you also understand whether or not certain coverage costs extra. Something like storm-related damage may seem part of the main package only to be considered an add-on that will up your premium.
- How Well They Cover It
Offering coverage for certain kinds of damage or certain preventative maintenance isn’t the end of the story. Insurance providers may only offer limited coverage and it’s important that you know how much they’re willing to pay if and when the time comes.
This also means that you’re going to want to have a full understanding of your deductible. How much do you need to pay before insurance kicks in? Is there a way to lower that deductible now or over time?
- Overall Client Satisfaction
As you can see, some of the factors we’ve mentioned here aren’t always easy to determine from the get-go. For example, you may not know how quickly a homeowner’s insurance provider responds to a claim until you’re filing one, yourself.
The best way to find answers to your questions before signing up is to talk to current or previous clients. Who are your neighbors using to insure their property? What about your friends in the area?
Maybe you’ve found a provider that looks promising but you don’t know anyone who is currently using them. What are people saying about that provider online? How positive are their Google and Yelp reviews?
One of the best ways to see if an insurance provider passes the test is to listen to their clients. If a provider only receives negative or mixed reviews, keep looking. They may look promising online, but that doesn’t mean that they’re all they’re cracked up to be.
Choosing Homeowner’s Insurance Is Made Easy With These Seven Considerations
We all hope that we never have to cash in on our homeowner’s insurance. After all, who wants to deal with damage on their property? That being said, you need to know that your insurance is there for you when you need it, which is why you should take your time when choosing homeowner’s insurance.
Do you have more questions about your financial needs and goals? Take a look at our financing section and find out what’s going on in the wide world of finance and how you can make a profit of your own.