It's that time of year again, and your home insurance is up for renewal. But are you sure you want to renew the same policy with the same company? It may seem like a lot of extra work to get and compare quotes, but a little bit of time may save you lots in the long run. Rushing through your renewal may cost you an opportunity to save on your insurance premiums or to improve the protection on your home. You should reassess your insurance needs annually (preferably when your policy is up for renewal) and ensure you're getting the best fit for your home insurance needs.
10 Points of Comparison
When you compare home insurance quotes, ensure that you look at the following points:
1. Deductible: What are you expected to pay in the event of a claim? Measure the benefit of lower premiums against the risk of having a higher deductible if you need to file a claim. Which is more suited to your current financial position?
2. Coverage Amount: If your home was lost is the coverage amount of your policy enough to replace your home and its contents? Less expensive premiums are nice, but if your policy doesn't offer enough protection then you could find yourself short in the event of a loss.
3. Types of Coverage: Are you covered for all types of loss? Theft, fire, and natural disasters are the most common, but there may be other risks you want covered - just in case.
4. Item Coverage: Some items in your home may have limited coverage - such as jewelery, bikes and specialty equipment. Ensure that you are covered for all of the valuables in your home for their true value or inquire about adding an additional coverage to have particular items covered.
5. Buildings Covered: If you have a garage, workshop, barn or other outbuilding you will want to ensure that it and its contents are covered as well. This also applies to cottages or guest houses that are on your property.
6. Claims Process: It's a good idea to research your potential insurance company's claim process so that you're comfortable with your provider. How easily can you make a claim? Are they known for great customer service, or have there been complaints in the past? The last thing you want is to have to jump through hoops if you need to open a claim.
7. Housing Benefit: If you lose your home, a major expense can be avoided if your policy includes a housing benefit for a hotel, motel or rental while your home is being replaced or repaired.
8. Electronics Coverage: In this age of iPods, laptops, and plasma televisions we have more technology in our homes than ever before. Ensure that your home insurance policy covers you for the full replacement cost of these items.
9. Combine Coverage: Most insurance companies offer a discount if you have more than one policy with them. Find out whether you can reduce your home insurance premiums by combining car and home insurance policies with one company.
10. Comfort Level: Ultimately, the home insurance policy you choose should make you feel comfortable and safe, knowing that your home and contents are protected against loss. Choose a policy that offers the best combination of necessary coverage and affordable premiums with a provider who has a track record of providing great service.
Your home insurance protects you from financial loss should something unexpected happen to your home. It is important that you carefully consider all home insurance quotes you receive to find out which one covers you for all the types of risks you are most susceptible to. Remember that not all policies are the same, and the last thing you want is to find out that you're financially liable for something after the fact.