Whether you’ve just bought a house and are looking to insure it, or you’ve had the same policy for years and are looking to save some money on premiums, shopping around for home insurance requires comparing policies. Comparisons are difficult, as not all coverages are the same. Sometimes it feels like you’re trying to compare apples and oranges. Here are a few tips on how to choose home insurance when shopping for a new policy.
1. Compare coverages
Not all insurers offer the same coverage. Some companies include certain coverages, while others will require a separate rider to cover the same coverage, as is often the case with personal property coverage. Compare the coverages that the different companies offer. Does one offer considerably more than the others? Is one offering more limited coverage?
2. Look at what it excludes
What the policy covers is essential, but what it does not cover is equally important. Floods and earthquakes are almost never covered, but some policies are open peril while others are named peril. Open peril means that anything other than what is designated explicitly as an exclusion is covered. Named peril implies that only the named risks are covered, and everything else is excluded. It’s important to read carefully to know if you’re looking at open or named peril when choosing your policy.
3. Compare rates
Price is another factor that makes a difference in your choice. You want to get the most bang for your buck, but you also don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on insurance. Make sure that the quotes include all available discounts. For example, you might be eligible for safety discounts for having burglar alarms or smoke detectors.
When comparing rates, make sure that you consider what you get for the money, too. Company B may cost more than Company A, but maybe they offer more coverage for that money, lower deductibles, or other benefits that you don’t get with Company A. If that’s the case, Company B might be the better option.
4. Do some research on the company
Dig a little deeper, and check the insurance company’s financial status. Check out your state’s Department of Insurance site and see if the company has had a high number of complaints filed against them. Call the company and check out their customer service. Do they seem reliable, competent, polite and helpful? If you get a feeling like they might be suspicious or unreliable, don’t let low rates or seemingly great coverage sway you.
5. Look at published rates
If you live in a state, like South Carolina, that publishes rate comparisons for standardized coverage, you can use that to find the lowest-priced insurers. Contact an insurance broker at Upside Insurance for custom home insurance quotes SC so that you know you’re getting the best offers from each company that interests you.
The savings among home insurance policies won’t be as much as it could be on a car insurance policy, but you can save hundreds to even a thousand by shopping around. Over time, that savings can add up. It’s worth the time to compare policies.