Just bought a new house and looking to outfit it with a new policy that financially protects it? Or, simply in need of change? Esurance breaks down — step by step — how to compare home insurance policies (without breaking a sweat).
first things first: compare coverages
Choosing the right policy for you would be so simple if price were the only thing that mattered, but it's important to check coverages, limits, and deductibles before deciding which quote to move forward with.
After all, the variety of perils that homeowners insurance can help cover is the reason we all carry insurance, right? With a policy from Esurance, for instance, you can tailor homeowners coverages to fit you and your life — including protection for your house, your guests, and your personal liability, among other things.
Tailor your coverage options
It's time to gather up that homeowners paperwork you filed away — including mortgage statements, an up-to-date home inventory of your belongings (like appliances, electronics, furniture, etc.), a recent home appraisal report, and receipts for any major renovations done to your house. Having this stuff handy can really help you narrow down the coverages, limits, and deductibles.
Make sure you're getting apples-to-apples quotes
Sure, Policy A might be $50 cheaper every month than Policy B. But as you read more about each quote, you might discover that Policy B offers better coverage options, limits, or deductibles (or heck, all 3).
That's why it's important to match these details up when you're getting quotes — so you can better determine which policy helps you get the most bang for your buck.
compare homeowners insurance rates
A bunch of factors can impact what you end up paying for homeowners insurance. So it's key to read into the details of each quote to check out what's contributing to the home insurance rates you'll be paying.
Some policies may have deductibles on certain coverages that you have to pay before your insurer steps in to help — and since you'll have to pay more out of pocket in the event of a claim, your premium may be lower. Subsequently, a lower deductible may result in a higher premium, but you won't have to pay as much out of pocket if you need to make a claim.
And of course, the coverage limits you choose for your policy also typically affect what you pay. Carrying higher coverage limits (as well as adding optional coverages) could provide you with more financial protection in exchange for a higher premium. On the other side of the coin, carrying lower coverage limits sacrifices some of that financial protection in exchange for a lower monthly payment.
Make sure you're getting all the available discounts
There are all kinds of homeowners insurance discounts offered by insurers to help you save cash on your premium — like the Home Safety Features discount from Esurance, which gives you a discount just for installing simple precautions like smoke detectors, a water safety system, a burglar alarm, and more. And the more safety features you have, the more you could save.
Be sure to read through the terms of each insurer's discounts. While one company's claim-free discount may last as long as you remain claim-free, another company's similar discount may expire after a certain period of time. Take these terms and conditions into account when determining which policy looks best to you in the big picture.
digging deeper: ways to compare homeowners insurance companies
No matter how good the premium is, it's likely you don't want to get a homeowners insurance policy with a suspicious or unreliable company. Luckily, we have a few suggestions for getting comfortable with a potential insurer.
Do some research on the company's financial status
Check on ratings from trusted industry sources, like the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and A.M. Best*, so you can better determine the financial strength and reliability of each company.
Visit your state's department of insurance (DOI) site
You'll be able to get more information on the average cost of homeowners insurance in different areas of your state — plus you can get access to consumer complaint ratios, which outlines the number of complaints made to the state DOI about an insurance company.
A high consumer complaint ratio can be a red flag, as these complaints often surround slow or delayed claim investigations, lower-than-expected claim payouts, and bad customer service experiences. In addition, it's also worth searching the web for any customer reviews you can find on a company.
Think about customer service
Is this company going to make it easy for you to get exactly what you need when you need it? Look into their hours of operation (round-the-clock claims availability is ideal).
Speak with a human
Calling an agent at the companies you've quoted with can help clear up any questions you may have regarding your quote, as well as offer even more insight into their customer service and claims handling experience. If you have any questions about your Esurance quote, feel free to give us a ring at 1-866-439-5633. Our agents are available to help 24/7.
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