By Benjamin Dias, College Station Real Estate
Being a homeowner comes with a lot of responsibility and getting the right homeowners insurance is one of them. In case anything were to ever happen to your home and damage would occur, your home would protected. Before you go and pick the first company you see, you need to know about a few things.
Thinking About Risks
To an insurance agency, your account is merely a set of risks that could potentially be expensive. They don’t think of you as a person, only as risks. So to insure you or not, they will base their premium on your home’s risk factors. These will include who you are, what you own inside the home, where you live, and even how you live.
Before you go shopping for an insurance agency, you should know your home’s value or replacement cost. You can actually contact a local builder or real estate professional to provide you with an estimate. You should also decide beforehand how much coverage you want and need.
Remember that the better coverage you have when a disaster strikes, the less you’ll have to pay out of pocket. Once you have received that estimate, it’s time to comparison shop because different companies will price their premiums differently. Compare their deductibles, which is the amount you’ll have to pay on each claim, and make sure you are comfortable paying the set deductible.
Look at the Premium Price
When your comparing insurance companies, don’t just look at the premium price. Even if it’s low, it might not always be the best. It’s good to research the insurer’s record for claims service and their financial stability. You might also want to look into a policy that goes beyond covering the basics, because it might not promise to replace your home entirely.
Think about if you’d want the replacement cost or actual cash value if you do file a claim. Replacement cost is the amount of money it would cost to rebuild or replace your home, and/or repair its damages with materials of similar quality (this is without deducting for depreciation). If you choose cash value, you get the amount of money it would take to replace or repair after depreciation.
Ask for Discounts
Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts, either. Insurance companies usually provide their customers discounts to reward good behavior that reduces risk. This will lower your premium and can provide you with policy extras for no added cost. It’s sad to know how much money is wasted each year because people forget to ask about discounts.
Be sure to always read your policy carefully. It’s a legal contract with your rights and responsibilities as a homeowner and those of the company clearly written out. Make sure you completely understand everything in it and if you don’t, ask questions. Store it away in a safe place along with any other valueables and important paperwork.