One of the primary pieces of advice given to anyone looking to reduce their new home insurance costs is “shop around.” While calling, emailing or going online to garner quotes from a bevy of different insurance companies can be time-consuming, the reward may be saving hundreds of dollars each year on your home insurance costs. In order to make your hunt for quotes as effective as possible, it’s important to create a “cheat sheet” that outlines an estimation of your insurance needs; once established, you can present the exact same insurance scenario to each company. Doing so allows you to compare “apples to apples,” confident in the knowledge that you are getting the best sense of what each company charges for an equivalent level of coverage.
Here are some of the items you should include on your cheat sheet:
1. Replacement cost for your home. Use an online calculator to estimate the replacement cost of your current home. Remember, this is different than what you initially paid for your home, because you don’t need to repurchase the land!
2. Replacement cost for your personal property. You can also use an online calculator to estimate the replacement value of your belongings. Include everyday items like clothing, shoes and cookware, but don’t forget important sentimental or high-value items like jewelry, or collectibles.
3. Whether or not you will require coverage for special events such as flooding or earthquakes.
4. The amount of personal liability coverage you would like to carry, in the event that someone is injured on your property and sues you for damages, or requires medical treatment.
5. The deductible you would like to carry on your coverage. Remember that a deductible is the amount that you would have to pay towards replacement or repair before your insurance kicks in. For example, if you incurred losses of $50,000 and your deductible was $5,000, your insurance would only cover $45,000 towards your loss.
6. Any discounts you may be eligible for, including home systems in place (fire alarms, burglar alarms) and discounts for military members, senior citizens, etc.
Once you have completed your insurance cheat sheet, you can contact agencies in which you’re interested and obtain a quote that will be easy to compare against those offered by other companies. Once you’ve found a company that offers a competitive rate, you can delve in further to find out more about the unique services they offer that will seal the deal.