Tips For Buying Homeowners Insurance
Rates and coverage vary from company to company, so it's a good idea to shop around. The following tips can help you find the best deal for your money:
- Decide before shopping which coverages and coverage amounts you need.
- Consider higher deductibles. Your deductible is the amount you must pay before the insurance company will pay. Higher deductibles will lower your premium, but remember that you'll have to pay more out of your own pocket if you have a claim.
- Ask several companies and agents for price quotes because rates vary. When comparing rates, make sure they are for the same coverage.
- Ask your agent whether you qualify for discounts. Insurance companies may offer policy discounts that will lower your premium.
- When getting a price quote or applying for insurance, answer questions truthfully. Wrong information could cause you to get an incorrect price quote or could lead to a denial or cancellation of coverage.
- Your home's age and condition. Companies may refuse to insure homes in poor condition, but they may not deny coverage solely because of a home's age or value. However, most companies will charge you more if you are insuring an older house.
- Your home's replacement cost. If you have a replacement cost policy, your policy will pay to rebuild your home if it's destroyed. Your premiums will increase in relation to the amount of your replacement cost.
- Construction materials used in your home. Homes built primarily of brick are less expensive to insure than frame homes.
- Where you live. Premiums will likely be higher in areas with a higher crime or high storm activity.
- Availability of local fire protection. Premiums are usually lower for homes in areas with access to good fire protection.
- Your claims history. Companies use your claims history to determine what to charge you for your coverage. Your claims history includes both the type and the number of claims filed.
- Your credit score. Companies may consider your credit score when deciding whether to sell you a policy and what to charge you. However, a company can't refuse to sell you a policy or cancel or nonrenew your policy solely because of your credit score. Companies that use credit scoring must file their credit scoring models with TDI. It's a good idea to look at your credit report each year and correct any errors. For more information about credit scoring, visit TDI's Credit Scoring and Insurance web page.