When you purchased your house, you did more than just make a huge financial investment. You purchased a place to call home—a place you could make memories with your family and feel safe. Not to mention, a lot of time and energy goes into finding the perfect house to buy. For all of those reasons, you need home insurance to protect the emotional and financial investment you just made.
We know that buying insurance of any kind is overwhelming, however. There are so many companies, policies, and benefits. It can be difficult to find the best house insurance policy for your budget. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to take you through the steps of finding the best homeowners insurance for you.
Choose What to Cover with Your Policy
A pretty standard home insurance policy covers repair or replacement costs for your home and its contents in the event of peril. The damage could be caused by fire, smoke, water, theft, and more. The coverage includes your main structure and any outbuildings, HVAC systems, and personal property. Your policy even covers medical and legal expenses if someone outside of your family gets injured while on your property.
Unfortunately, standard home insurance isn’t always enough coverage, especially if you have any particularly expensive items. Your insurance policy may even limit the amount of coverage for collectibles, jewelry, and artwork. If this is the case, you can often add extra coverage for a higher premium. You may also be required to get flood insurance, depending on where you live.
It is up to you to evaluate the value of your home and items while also taking into consideration other risk factors. All of these things will help you decide what kind of coverage you need.
Determine Your Home Insurance Coverage Amount
Once you have a better idea of what you need to cover, you’ll know how much coverage you need. We recommend that you start by calculating the replacement cost of your home and any other structures on your property. From there, you need to take an inventory of all of the items in your home and appraise their value. You’ll want to keep an ongoing inventory in case you ever need to file a claim.
If this all seems a bit too daunting, you can always enlist the help of a licensed insurance agent. He or she can walk you through the process and ensure that your inventory is detailed down to the salad fork or gym sock.
We recommend that you pay attention to the wording of your policy. Though your premium is lower for plans that cover the actual value of your items at the time of the disaster, you could end up paying a lot out of pocket to replace things. A replacement value policy ensures that you have all of the coverage you need to pay for a new item.
Select a House Insurance Company
Now that you know the exact specifications of your policy, you’ll be able to narrow down your search for a home insurance company. You should start by finding a list of companies that offer the coverage you need in your area. From there, we recommend that you take a look at the benefits that set each insurer apart from the others. Some examples of what to look for include:
- Good Discounts
- Good Financial Strength Ratings
- High Reviews
- 24/7 Assistance
- Exceptional Customer Service
- Simple Claims Process
- Other Insurance Products for Bundles
As you can see, it comes down to more than premium rates and deductibles. We recommend that you speak with family, friends, and even professionals to learn more about their personal experiences with insurance companies. An insurance provider who goes above and beyond in your time of need offers more value than simply choosing the lowest price.
Start Shopping by Requesting a Home Insurance Quote
With your shortlist of home insurance companies and policies, you can begin to request quotes. We suggest that you get a home insurance quote from each provider and compare it to all of the benefits they offer. Don’t forget to take the whole picture into account! The best home insurance company should protect the investment you made in your home.