When to Shop for Homeowners Insurance
If you are a first time home buyer, or even a seasoned home buyer, you may still be unsure of when is the best time to shop for homeowners insurance. Getting the right insurance for you home is as important as making the right home purchase, so it is not something you can sweep under the rug for a later day or take a stab in the dark at the right policy and right company. A bit of strategy can save you money and future headaches. There are certain times that are better to shop for homeowners insurance than others, but it all depends upon your situation.
Shop for Homeowners Insurance Before You Make Your Home Purchase
Before you make your home purchase, you need to have your homeowners insurance in place. In fact, you will most likely not be able to close on the home unless you do. But don’t wait until the last minute, because you will want to compare rates and this may take a little time depending upon how you go about shopping. One advantage to shopping early is that you can compare the rates of prospective homes with each other. If you are trying to decide between two homes and one is much more expensive to insure, you have a reason to make your final decision and you have saved yourself some money.
Shop for Homeowners Insurance When You Are Unhappy With Your Current Provider
There are a lot of fish in the sea when it comes to homeowners insurance companies. If you are unhappy with the way you are being treated, it is time to look elsewhere. If you are happy with the policy, then take that policy and shop it around to the other companies in your area. Get some rate quotes to see who can offer the most competitive prices and then check into those companies specifically. Ask friends, family, even co-workers about their homeowners insurance company. Word-of-mouth about local insurance agents and companies can be a great resource. You can also check out online reviewers and ratings sites.
Shop for Homeowners Insurance When You Are Unhappy With Your Current Policy
You may be okay with your current insurance company, but you may not like the policy. You could be paying for coverage you don’t need or you may be under insured. Either way, taking a bit of time to find the right policy will be beneficial. Evaluate areas of your policy such as:
- Contents coverage
- Cost value vs. replacement value
- Liability limits
- Loss of Use coverage
As long as you are making changes to the policy, you may as well get a few rate quotes to see how it will affect your rates. Also compare the new policy from company to company. Your current provider may no longer be the one who can offer you the best deal once you have made changes to your policy.
Shop for Homeowners Insurance Once a Year
It is a really good idea to do a yearly homeowners insurance policy review and at the same time do a rate comparison. Things can change drastically over the course of the year. A few things to look for during this review include:
- Additions/subtractions to in-home contents
- Changes to neighborhood (fire hydrant added, neighborhood watch, etc.)
- Changing home value
- Changing liability coverage needs
- Incoming or outgoing family pets
- Security and safety features added to home
- Structures added or removed from the property
Get a few quotes that include all changes and see where the best deal lies. Even if you don’t have to make any changes to your policy, spending a few minutes to get some quotes could be worth the time spent.
Shop for Homeowners Insurance After Major Life Changes
If there has been a recent drastic change in your life, it may affect your homeowners insurance, especially the rates. There are lots of discounts available, and changing circumstances could put you in line for lower rates. For instance, retired people usually qualify for lower rates because they are home more often to squash problems and they generally better maintain their homes to prevent potential problems. If you are recently married, you could see a drop in rates, as some homeowners insurance companies offer reduced rates to those who are married. Changes in occupation can possibly lead to cheaper rates. Military personnel, doctors, nurses, farmers and teachers will sometimes receive a discount. It is certainly worth the 15 minutes you will need to spend to find out if you can save.
Shop for Homeowners Insurance Online
Most all resources you need to shop for homeowners insurance can be found online. The convenience makes shopping easy as you don’t have to worry about making phone call after phone call, nor do you have to worry about business hours. You can sit on your couch with your laptop and shop as long as you please. You can research company philosophies and histories, discounts, policies, financials and rates. Once you have the policy you want in place, in will take only about 15 minutes to get multiple rate quotes. These quotes can help you spot the homeowners insurance company that is willing to offer you the best mix of customer service, policies and cost.