Dozens of home insurance companies might be available in your area, so how do you choose the right provider for you? Here are a few steps you can take:
- Understand your needs. Do you live in an area where wind damage is common? How much would your home cost to rebuild? Do you have specialty belongings that might need additional coverage? Understanding what you need from a home insurance company is often the first step to choosing the best carrier for your circumstances.
- Determine what matters to you. Would you feel more comfortable with a local agent who knows the area and can help you navigate the insurance buying process? Or do you like to handle your policies digitally? Is customer service important to you? Analyzing third-party reviews might help you decide if a company will be a good fit.
- Shop around. Once you know what you are looking for in a policy, you can get quotes from several different property insurers. Most companies offer a different combination of optional coverage types and discounts, so getting a minimum of three quotes helps you compare, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I). Also, insurance costs can vary significantly between companies, even for the same level of coverage.
- Reevaluate your coverage occasionally. Life changes and your insurance should change with it. If you experience a life event — maybe you get married, have a child, or suffer a home insurance loss — you should talk to your insurance company or agent to evaluate your needs. This helps to ensure you have the coverage and policy features that work best for you. Triple-I recommends conducting an annual insurance review with your agent to ensure you have the right amounts and types of coverage.
Working with a licensed insurance agent can be very helpful during the process of purchasing homeowners coverage. An agent can assess your needs and help you choose the options that are best for you.
Why location matters when choosing the best home insurance for you
Home insurers use multiple rating factors to determine your annual premium, and location — including state, city, ZIP code, claims history, and proximity to a fire station and fire hydrants — can have a substantial impact on the cost of coverage.
Nationally, the average cost of homeowners insurance is $1,393 per year for $250,000 in dwelling coverage.
However, different areas of the country come with distinct risk factors, which affect premiums.
For example, a homeowner living along the coastline may need to consider how hurricanes might affect their property, while someone in the Rocky Mountain region may need to consider the impacts of heavy snow and wildfires.
Becoming familiar with your state’s risks and common causes of loss could help you make a more educated decision regarding your homeowners’ insurance coverage.