For most people, buying a home is the most important purchase they'll make during their lives. Having a great home insurance plan to protect this huge investment makes sense, but it can be expensive. You may be able to find a lower rate online, but that can eliminate some pretty important coverages. With some expert guidance from an independent insurance agent, homeowners can learn which factors lower or raise their premiums while keeping their coverage right in line with their needs.
An independent insurance agent can help you find the right coverage for your home and tailor it specifically to your situation. Whatever the characteristics of your house and your coverage needs, an independent insurance agent will help you shop multiple carriers to help find the right insurance to make sure your home is protected. And when it comes to discounts, they know them all and can help you find what you qualify for.
How to Get Discounts on Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
If you like your current home insurance policy but think you may be able to get a lower rate, there are a few things you can do to lower your premiums.
Get a discount for bundling insurance policies
Most homeowners also need auto insurance. Using one insurance company for your home and auto policies could mean big discounts. If you have a longstanding relationship with a particular insurance company, you may be getting a discount already. Your agent can help you understand how switching companies may impact your rates.
Raise your deductible
Your deductible is the amount of money you'll pay out of pocket before your insurance company covers damage to your property. Agreeing to a higher deductible could lower your premium. Your agent can run the numbers and let you know how much you'll save if your deductible goes up.
Make disaster-resistant home improvements
Reinforcing your home's roof, installing storm shutters, or upgrading your smoke detectors could make you eligible for homeowners insurance discounts. Depending on where you live, you may also be eligible for rebates from your power company or city on some improvements.
When you make big updates to your home, especially if they involve the roof, contact your agent to let them know.
When's the Best Time to Look for Better Insurance Rates and Coverage?
Ideally, you'll check in with your homeowners insurance agent periodically to review your coverage and update your home inventory. There isn't a specific season during which you should shop for a new homeowners insurance policy. It's crucial to be aware of your rates, though. While you should expect small increases each year due to inflation, if your premiums go up significantly, call the insurance company or agent to find out why.
Comparison shopping for homeowners insurance is one way to cut your household spending. However, many Americans accept their policy premiums without question.
For many homeowners, a triggering event like moving to a new home or achieving a higher credit score causes them to reevaluate their insurance options. Independent agents typically have access to many homeowners insurance companies and can compare them for you to ensure you're getting a great rate and the right coverage.
While it's best to speak with an independent insurance agent about your options, only 29% of people meet with their agent in person to comparison shop. 24% talk with their agent on the phone, and 17% get quotes online.
How to Compare Quotes
Comparing home insurance quotes is confusing if you aren't familiar with the terminology, but you want the best possible combination of features and price. When choosing a policy and insurer, be sure to compare quotes based on equal levels of coverage and deductibles. Agreeing to lower coverage amounts and requesting a smaller deductible are two ways to lower your rates. Having less coverage isn't the right choice for everyone, though.
Talk with your agent about coverage options
Gather your most recent home appraisal report, a list of major home renovations, and a basic inventory of your valuable belongings. Having this paperwork will help you talk with your agent about the coverage you'll need and decide which limits best fit your situation.
Compare more than just price
Your least expensive option may not offer essential coverage. No one wants to think about the worst possible scenario, but if there was a fire that destroyed your home, would you be able to rebuild using the money from your homeowners insurance?
Consider an umbrella policy
You may benefit from additional coverage for personal liability that goes beyond the amount provided by your homeowner's insurance policy. If you regularly engage in dangerous activities, like hunting, skiing, or boating, it makes sense to extend your personal liability coverage. If you have a trampoline or swimming pool on your property, an umbrella policy could help you manage the financial consequences of an accident if someone is injured.
Your umbrella policy goes to work after your other coverage has run out. With this type of insurance, you won't have to tap into your savings to pay for covered damages, even if they exceed the limits of your regular insurance policy.
Finding the Best Insurance for Your Home
Insurance policies can be complex, and searching through options can be confusing, time-consuming, and frustrating. An independent insurance agent's role is to simplify the process.
When it comes time to purchase insurance, they’ll break down all the jargon and explain the nitty-gritty so you understand exactly what you're getting.
And should you need to file a claim, you’re not alone. Your agent will be right there to help guide you through every last step and get your life back to where it all was. How great is that?
Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you. So instead of searching around from company to company, your agent can help simplify the whole process, and let you focus on things that are more important to you.
Find an independent insurance agent in your community here.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Greg Safford
©2020, Consumer Agent Portal, LLC. All rights reserved.