Homeowners Insurance Company: How To Choose One
It is almost inevitable that when purchasing a new home the homeowner will be required to also purchase a home insurance policy. Many mortgage companies who are granting the mortgage loan will require that proof of the Homeowners insurance policy be shown before the closing on the house. This ensures that their investment into that home is safe in case of damage or destruction. There are an overwhelming number of Homeowners insurance companies to choose from, making it difficult to determine what is right for you and your home. Many mortgage companies will suggest a Homeowners insurance company that they work in conjunction with, but this does not mean you have to use that insurance company to cover your home insurance needs. Before jumping in and accepting the first quote that comes along, it is best to call around to a few different insurance companies and see which coverage plan is right for you, since different companies will offer different plans and different discounts.
The first thing you should ask about when determining which insurance company to use is whether they offer special discounts. Depending on the company you may find discounts ranging from fire resistant, security system discounts to senior citizen or dual insurance discounts. A dual insurance discount usually means that you will receive a discount from the company if you have more than one type of insurance through them, so check with your current car insurance company to see if they offer special rates to loyal customers. Keep in mind that in a similar fashion as creditors looking at your previous credit history, insurance agents will be looking at your credit history as well as your past insurance history. For those who may have a high car insurance crash history or for those who have a bad credit history, this could mean higher premiums in the long run.
Insurance companies are taking a gamble on you and although they assume that they may have to help replace something in your home along the way, if you are already a "high risk" client, this means you will have to pay for those risks because it is more likely their services will be needed sooner than later. Most basic Homeowners insurance policies will cover the house for a total replacement cost as well as the possessions of the home for a total replacement cost. Because of this, insurance agents will be asking in depth questions about the home you are about to purchase such as square footage, the age of appliances, the air conditioning and heating units, the age of the plumbing and electrical system, and even the style of flooring, countertops and cabinets. Although you might want to try and save money by stretching the truth about the age of the plumbing system or the style of the countertops, remember that you will only receive the replacement costs for what you have told the insurance company, so it is important to be as accurate and truthful as possible. Many insurance companies will include in a quote special needs perils such as flooding, hurricane or earthquake insurance. Nevertheless, if you know you live in a high risk area for any of these particular perils it is best to ask if those are covered under the basic policy. You don’t want to get started on an insurance policy and realize that you are not fully covered. The same can be said for special possessions like computer equipment and jewelry or furs. Often times a separate policy or a clause in the policy is needed to insure any special possessions for their full replacement cost, so be sure to ask the insurance company about these items. All in all it is most important to find a Homeowners insurance company that is reliable, has a reputable name and has been in business for a long time.
This may mean asking friends or family members who are current homeowners who they use for their home insurance, or even searching ratings for the best Homeowners insurance companies. Remember that they will have a large portion of your financial investment and the possessions inside in their hands, so it is important that you feel confident in the policy and company you select.
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