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Getting the best value on homeowners' insurance

Homeowners’ insurance is one of those things you hopefully will never use, but need to own. That does not mean you can’t shop around to get the best possible deal, one that balances the homeowner’s need for a comprehensive policy with the desire for reasonable premiums.

KARE-TV recently noted that it is possible to switch providers, even in the middle of your policy term, though you may have to pay a small fee. While choosing what policy to buy, an expert interviewed by KARE suggests the following:

  • Make sure the insurance agent provides an accurate estimate of what it would cost to replace your home, instead of inflating the estimate to sell you excessive coverage.
  • Consider bundling your homeowners and auto insurance with the same company. Many insurance companies offer discounts for this.
  • Opt for a high deductible, and be conservative about filing a claim. Most insurers will jack up your premiums after you make a claim, and they may even drop your coverage.
  • Keep an eye on your credit score. Many insurers set the rates they offer based on customers’ credit rating.
  • Make sure your policy is up to date. Don’t assume the insurance company will point out gaps in your coverage. Have the company provide a new estimate of your home’s replacement cost every few years and adjust as needed.

Following these tips can save you money before disaster strikes. But if your home is ever damaged and you file a claim, you may not be able to count on the insurance company to step up to the plate. In that case, you will need an attorney to get the compensation you deserve.

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