4 of the Smartest Decisions You Can Make About Homeowners Insurance


home insurance tips


With Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria battering the United States,  Americans in affected areas have had a difficult time executing recovery efforts.  Most homeowners lacked sufficient homeowners insurance to qualify for compensation for their losses.  As a result, many face huge bills that must be addressed.  This is, unfortunately, an extreme case of what happens when unforeseen circumstances hit an area.  Residents realize perhaps for the first time that they don’t have sufficient coverage regarding their homeowner’s insurance.

Here are three decisions that could help ensure that you have the best homeowners insurance for your needs.

Search for the Right Insurance Company

Admittedly, searching for homeowner’s insurance isn’t how you’d like to spend your time. There’s much to think about and it can get confusing fast. Nevertheless, it’s a necessity. Before you try to shorten the search and cut the hassle by deciding on the first insurance company that offers you a rate that seems decent, do a more extensive search. See what other policyholders of other insurance companies have to say about the insurance company you have in mind or another one. You can find reviews online akin to Yelp reviews but for various insurance companies, such as NerdWallet’s review of Mercury Insurance. Take advantage of this “friendly advice,” so you won’t have any regrets later. The sites furnish you with a host of unbiased, nonpaid-for information about the insurer that you should use to your advantage. The information given should make you a more informed insurance customer.

Obtain Umbrella Insurance

Personal umbrella insurance provides additional liability coverage that goes above and beyond your standard policies’ limits. This insurance is great if for some unfortunate reason a lawsuit didn’t go your way.  With an umbrella policy, you’ll have the insurance you need to pay for the damages incurred.

Make Sure You Have Flood Insurance

Make sure whatever policy you have provides protection against severe damage caused by flooding that your standard homeowners insurance policy would not cover. This is important to those living in areas that may be especially subject to such a disastrous weather event and who therefore should consider this a vital part of their emergency plan. It should be noted that even persons living in areas that are not prone to heavy flooding would do well to buy flood insurance. The reason is that areas of the country that are not high risk and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency therefore classifies as moderate- to low-risk areas may also be hit with floods. In fact, FEMA estimates that over the past five years, over 20 percent of the claims came from homeowners living in these areas.

Go for the Discounts

People have no problem asking retail clerks about markdowns and upcoming discounts, but they don’t ask insurance agents the same.  It’s important to ask so you can see what the insurance can do for you.  Many insurers charge everyone differently.  For example, the rate is based on a range of factors, including the person’s credit score and their driving record.  They’re not beholden to charge a specific rate only.  However, there are a variety of discounts available for those willing to seek them out. Seniors over 55 as well as retired individuals should seek discounts. There’s also a discount called a “persistency discount.”  This discount is for those who’ve been good, long-standing policyholders.  Insurers don’t mind giving them a cut to keep them around for as long as possible. Also, there’s a discount for people who live near a fire department called a “fire department discount.”

Summing Up

Cheap insurance is something most people are after.  However, a good price should only be one consideration when looking for homeowners insurance. Other important considerations to buying quality homeowners insurance is disasters such as flooding.  Hearing the experiences of other policyholders on a particular insurance company is recommended. Visit consumer websites like NerdWallet, which compares various services.  Sites like this can provide you with the best read on an insurance company.