One of the greatest things the insurance companies are able to do today is to empower people to get instant quotes for homeowners insurance. By simply submitting information online or over the phone, you can get an estimate for homeowners insurance instantly.
However, there’s a missing piece of the puzzle: How do I compare home insurance quotes?
This is a common problem, especially for those who are new homeowners or individuals who are looking to switch coverage.
Before we begin, you should know that you can get help to compare insurance quotes with an independent insurance agent. Independent insurance agents are experienced with helping homeowners find the right policy that meets their needs while providing unbiased recommendations.
How do I compare home insurance quotes?
There are two ways to compare home insurance quotes. Either you can go the do-it-yourself route or with the help of an insurance expert. Experts advise that you should work with an independent insurance agent to compare quotes, but thanks to insurers adopting an online model, you can get quotes easily on your smartphone or computer.
Most insurers offer an easy-to-use form, where you submit your home’s details and personal information. Once complete, you’ll receive a confirmation email and a phone call from a company agent to confirm the details of your policy. This will also give you the opportunity to discuss the policy in-depth and ask relevant questions (see “What questions should I ask my independent insurance agent about homeowners insurance?” below for question suggestions).
Similarly, you can call an insurer and submit your information. You’ll have the option to submit your information through either a) answering questions from an automated system and then speaking further with an available agent, or b) speaking with an agent from the get-go. Either way, you’ll be able to ask questions and confirm the details of your policy, payment info, and more.
There are also insurers that compare multiple homeowners policies on their website or independent sites that do the same. This can be a good idea for comparing different insurers to get a further idea of what insurers are currently offering. However, be aware that these numbers may be biased towards certain insurers, or the number may be inaccurate.
However, even if you choose to find a quote on your own, understanding the fine print about each policy can be overwhelming. Even with websites that compare multiple quotes simultaneously, often there are gaps in information presented, numbers that haven’t been updated, or inaccuracies that may exaggerate what type of policies you qualify for. Independent insurance agents offer a remedy to this by explaining in easy-to-understand terms just what’s included and excluded from each policy as well as how it applies to your unique situation.
What should I look for when shopping around?
Now that you know how to get a quote, it’s time to do some deeper digging into each policy. Often, you’ll find that many insurers offer similar coverage but with widely varying policy language. The following is a checklist you should refer to when comparing policies with an independent insurance agent:
- Coverage limits
- Liability coverage
- Covered events
- Policy exclusions
- Available policy riders
- Dwellings coverage
- Customer reviews
- Contents coverage
- Available discounts that you may qualify for (i.e., installing safety devices)
- Accidental damage
- Umbrella coverage
- Scheduled coverage
- Away from home coverage
- Business property coverage
- Additional living expense (ALE) coverage
- And more
How can an independent insurance agent help me find the best quote?
As you can see, there’s a lot more to compare in an insurance policy than meets the eye. That’s why an independent insurance agent could be a valuable resource when you’re looking to get the best coverage at the most affordable rate.
There are also a lot of variables when it comes to every homeowner. Instead of getting one-size-fits-all coverage from an insurance company representative, an independent insurance agent can help you find a policy that meets your needs. For instance, if your family hosts foster children, which type of insurance policy would you need? An independent insurance agent can answer questions like these that may normally be outside the expertise of a company-specific agent.
Another aspect that makes working with an independent insurance agent a smart decision is the fact that they are not tied to a specific company. Therefore, they’re able to offer unbiased information that helps you find a policy that meets your needs instead of only considering the policies of one insurer.
What questions should I ask my independent insurance agent about homeowners insurance?
While independent insurance agents are very knowledgeable about insurance, it helps to have a series of questions to get a full picture of what policy best fits your needs. Therefore, be sure to discuss the following questions:
- How much homeowners insurance do I need?
- Are there riders that I can add to my policy?
- Is there any way I can qualify for a discount?
- How much does extra liability coverage cost?
- What is the cheapest coverage that I qualify for? The most expensive?
- What are the coverage limitations on the policy? Exemptions?
- Which policy riders may I need for comprehensive coverage? (e.g., earthquake insurance, umbrella coverage)
- Would I get a reduction in premiums if I bundle my other coverage?
- Am I able to insure my business property at home through this policy?
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. Find an independent insurance agent in your community here.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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