Paid Too Much for Home Insurance? Mistakes to Avoid & Tips
Having home insurance is important. But, it’s equally important to have the right amount of coverage when you need it. Use these tips to select the right insurance and avoid a few common mistakes. And, compare plans to ensure you get the best quote.
Tips on Selecting Home Insurance
Your home is a valuable investment. And, if you're shopping for home insurance, there are a few things you can do to get the right coverage.
- Compare rates for deeper discounts: To get the best coverage at a reasonable cost, use an insurance comparison site. You can compare quotes from several insurance providers. And, you'll save more money.
- Ask for additional discounts: Are you in the military? A senior? Some insurers offer discounts.
- For higher savings on premiums, select a higher deductible: A typical policy might have a $500 or $1,000 deductible. To pay less in premiums, set the deductible higher. But, remember, if you file a claim, that's the amount you'll need to come up with before your insurance covers any additional costs.
- Bundle your packages: Shop with insurance providers that sell home, auto, life, and travel insurance. Ask about discounts for bundled policies.
- Know what’s NOT covered: Floods, earthquakes, landslides due to flooding, frozen pipes (preventable). These are just a few things that are not be covered in typical policies.
- Live in an area with extreme weather? Start a flood insurance policy: Ask your agent about the additional policy. And, ask for replacement cost coverage - not the original purchase price especially if you’ve made renovations.
- Insure your home office and any collections or valuables: If you have a home office, ask for a rider (additional coverage). You should also ask for a rider for valuables, artwork or any collections.
- Update your policy with any renovations you make: Renovated the kitchen and bathroom? Added new fencing to the yard? These increase your home's value, so add them to your policy.
- Reduce your risks: Try to reduce leaks in your home. Keep gutters clean. Don’t let pipes freeze in winter. Reseal windows and replace an old roof.
- Have an accurate list of your home’s inventory: A video camera is the fastest way. Go room-by-room and take videos of your belongings (But, don’t share it online. Criminals like watching home movies, too!). Include serial numbers on all electronics. Include artwork, collections, kitchen appliances, tools and jewelry.
- If you’re renting space, add tenants insurance to your policy: This protects you from liability if you have tenants. It covers you if there’s a fire or a flood from a tub. And, it replaces costs for clothing and other belongings.
Mistakes to Avoid with Home Insurance
Homeowners are sometimes unsure of their coverage options. Here are a few mistakes to avoid.
Don’t Under-Insure to Save Money
Homeowners sometimes get only a basic plan that covers their total mortgage or current real estate value.
- Select coverage based on actual costs to rebuild your home.
- Include the costs of all your possessions.
- Talk to your agent about policy and coverage.
Don’t Assume Everything is Covered
Another mistake homeowners make is they assume they’re covered for everything. They don’t fully understand the policies they signed up for so they over- or underestimate their coverage.
- Speak with your agent and discuss your policy in-depth.
- Ask questions. Pick a scenario like a flood, theft or fire. Ask your agent what’s covered if it happened to you.
- Ask if mold in your home or a sewage backup are covered.
- Do you hire a nanny, maid, or landscaper? Have an assistant who works from your home? Get additional liability coverage for workers on your property. A typical plan might include $100,000 in coverage. But, $300,000 is recommended by Consumer Reports. Add additional coverage for any relatives living with you (even temporarily).
- If you get a new pet or remodel a section of your home, these should be added to your policy. An insurer can refuse a claim on a new addition that was fire-damaged if you failed to disclose it.
Don’t Take the First Quote You Come Across
New homeowners sometimes call one insurer for a quote and accept it.
- Shop around for quotes to compare rates. Not every provider has the same rates or packages. Read their reviews to see how they handle claims.
- Ask about available discounts from all the providers you contact. Compare quotes from several home insurance companies.
- Concerned about monthly premiums? Ask if you can pay annually or semi-annually.
Ready to Find the Best Home Insurance Rates?
Being knowledgeabout about your coverage options can save you money. Talk to your insurer to confirm you're not over- or under-insuring and then walk through scenarios (fire, flood, mold, theft). These can help you understand your particular policy. To comare home insurance rates or if you have questions, contact Kanetix.ca.
With Kanetix.ca, you can compare costs from the best insurance providers in Canada (and get bigger discounts!). Shop for home insurance today!