4 Tips on buying home insurance

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.

Ask questions:

  • 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.

Comparison shop:

  • 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!

Evie Wise
Evie Wise


Evie Wise
Evie Wise

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