Over the past several weeks, our series on how to buy insurance has looked at the 8 parts of a home policy. This series provides great background information on what to know about your home policy but now it’s time to really delve into how to buy. Here’s a list of X tips to help you buy the right policy for you and save money too!
Do your research:
- Read the blog posts on this site.
- Read blog posts on other personal finance blogs (www.getrichslowly.org is an excellent one). Many include introductory articles on insurance.
- Read Wikipedia’s article on insurance at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insurance.
- Look at insurance company web sites for additional educational information.
- Review personal finance books by Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman and others information on insurance and how it’s a part of an overall financial plan.
- How much coverage do I need for the home?
- How much coverage do I need for my personal property?
- Do I have special items (jewelry, artwork, collectibles, etc.) that may need special coverage?
- What’s covered if something happens?
- What’s excluded or not covered?
- Is this a replacement cost or actual cash value policy?
- How is the amount of coverage determined?
- How much liability coverage do I need?
- What are my options on deductibles?
- Does it make sense to get policies for my home and auto with the same company?
- Ask what discounts are available?
- What is the impact of pets, a swimming pool or a trampoline? It can make a big difference!
- How many questions did the agent ask you? If they are not asking questions then you’re not getting an accurate quote.
- Most people that buy insurance buy it from the first person they speak with. Be willing to talk with up to 4 different companies. You’ll save money if you do.
- Many first time buyers that have their car insurance with Progressive or Geico start there. That’s a good place to start, but realize they’re selling someone else’s policy. Neither company has a home policy of their own.
- If you grew up in a family with insurance at a particular company, have them quote it too. Don’t buy from them because that’s what your parents had or stay with a company because you’ve been with them 20 or more years.
- Talk with an independent insurance agent. We work with several companies, not just one and can do a lot of shopping for you. The time savings can be really good and the savings could be excellent!
Note improvements & updates:
- Has the roof been replaced in the last 10 years?
- Have there been any electrical, plumbing (water heater) or heating & air conditioning updates?
- There may be discounts available on each of these!
- If you’re buying a home, these will also tell you a little about prior claims & potential work to have your inspector look at.
Do you have a suggestion on what worked for you? Share it with us on our Facebook page or in the comments section! We’ll all learn from it. Have a question? I love questions and am happy to answer them!