Shopping for Homeowners Insurance? What you Need to Know

Whether you are purchasing your first home insurance policy or seeking to update your coverage, talk with your SelectQuote agent to make sure you’ve got your bases covered. Things may seem complicated, even with a basic understanding of how home insurance coverage works. It makes sense to have questions for an expert when you shop for homeowners insurance.

Here are five important questions to ask your SelectQuote agent about homeowners insurance.

Does my homeowners insurance policy cover replacement cost or the actual cash value?

Insurance agents strongly suggest replacement cost policies. However, some homeowners purchase actual cash value policies because they cost less. Saving money upfront may cost significantly more in the end. Actual cash value policies figure in depreciation so you won’t get the same amount back you paid.

Sue Callies, regional coaching manager at SelectQuote explains if you choose cash value and not replacement coverage and have to rebuild your home, “you may be able to build the walls but not everything else.” Replacement cost coverage is more expensive. But knowing you may have to come up with tens of thousands of dollars after an emergency to finish rebuilding your home may make you think twice about the coverage you purchase.

Do I need an endorsement or rider on my homeowners insurance policy to cover some of my belongings?

One of the most important things you can do to protect your personal property is to complete a thorough home inventory. A complete listing of your possessions and the value will help your insurance agent recommend if any of your belongings need to be scheduled separately for coverage beyond a standard policy. Callies points out if you have expensive jewelry, antiques, china, or electronics and suffer an insured loss and receive a lump sum for your belongings from a standard insurance policy, “you likely won’t get enough money to replace your high-value items.”

What losses aren’t covered by my homeowners policy?

Many people find out the hard way that losses, such as earthquake and flood damage, are excluded from standard home insurance policies. If your sump pump isn’t working and your basement floods, you probably won’t be covered either – unless you have a separate endorsement on your policy.

Ask your SelectQuote agent for specific examples of losses that aren’t covered by standard policies. Keep in mind where you live may also affect coverage and rates. If you are required by your lender to have flood insurance or if you want more protection, your agent can help.

What level of liability protection do I need?

Protection against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage caused by you or your family members is important. But what amount of liability protection do you need? Your SelectQuote agent will help you answer that question.

Liability limits usually start at $100,000 but many agents recommend at least $300,000 worth of liability protection. If you have significant assets or are at high risk of being sued, your agent may suggest an umbrella liability policy also known as excess liability insurance, to add an additional layer of security.

How can I save on my monthly premium?

There are a number of ways to save money on insurance premiums. Talk to your agent about discounts or credits you qualify for. Discounts include new customer discounts, being claims free, having alarms to protect your home, paying your annual payment in full and bundling home and auto insurance policies.

Increasing the deductible that you’ll pay for an insured loss can also save you money. Make sure you have money saved to pay the higher deductible in the event of a covered event or disaster.

Educating Yourself About Homeowners Insurance

Before you buy or renew a policy, take time to learn about how home insurance coverage works. Unfortunately, people often believe things about their insurance policies that aren’t true. Callies explained another common error people make is believing you “leave claims behind” when you move. The truth is depending on your carrier, your claim history may follow you to a new home or new state.

Your SelectQuote agent can answer your questions, explain common myths people believe about insurance coverage, and guide you in making choices to protect you and your family, along with your property and other assets.


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  1. Angela Waterford Reply

    It’s been complicated for us to find homeowners’ insurance without any help. I think I’ll contact an insurance company so we’ll know what policies we should get. Thanks for the tip that we should have an inventory of our property as well so that the agent can recommend us the proper policy to cover them.

    • Rachel Spear Reply

      Hi Angela – give us a call at 1-888-220-5450 and we can shop a handful of companies on your behalf so you can get a rate and policy that suits you best.

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