It Pays To Re-Shop Your Home Insurance
When it comes to any financial task, most of us like to “set it and forget it.” But if you’re not re-shopping your home insurance every year, you could be leaving money on the table — and also potentially leaving your home less protected than it should be.
Giving your home insurance an annual checkup ensures you’re still getting the best home insurance rates and coverage. Here’s everything you need to know.
Why Did My Home Insurance Cost Increase?
If you just received your renewal notice, you might have noticed that your rate fluctuated, and you’re probably wondering why home insurance increases every year. The main reason is inflation — as building costs rise, the carrier realizes it would cost more today to repair your home or replace its contents if you made a claim.
In the past year you also might have made a claim that changes your insurance risk profile, or merely live in an area where there have been lots of claims for a specific issue, which makes the insurer wary of the future.
Another factor in why home insurance rates increase could be that it reached an age where your insurer expects more repairs to be needed.
While most of these factors in why home insurance increases every year are beyond your control, there is an important step you can take if you are wondering how to get the best rate on home insurance — and that’s re-shopping.
When Should You Re-Shop Your Home Insurance?
It’s wise to do an annual review and check rates before you re-up your existing policy, given that rates tend to creep up year after year. Even if you are receiving a discount from a bundled policy, the only way to know if the rate is competitive is by seeking other quotes so you can compare. It is your hard-earned money, after all.
But there might be other reasons to re-shop your home insurance. During the pandemic, many consumers have been spending more time than ever in their homes, causing a boom in home renovation. If you’ve made changes that might increase the value of your home, you’ll want to make sure you’re adequately protected. Some insurers might also provide a discount for a security system or certain types of upgraded door locks or upgrades to your roof or plumbing that can ward off future damage.
You also should update your policy if you’ve added a feature that might require extra insurance, such as a swimming pool. And, same goes for any specialty purchase, such as new jewelry, art work, or collector’s items.
You also might find that your carrier is being more judicious about what “perils” they cover. For example, if you live in a wildfire-prone area, your new policy may exclude fire damage so you’d want to see if you can find a more inclusive policy. You also should confirm the policy is written for “replacement cost,” which means that your insurer will give you the amount needed to repair or replace your home or its contents according to today’s value, rather than “actual cash value,” which is a depreciated amount.
As you aim to find the best home insurance policy, you should make sure your personal liability clause is up to date to protect you and your family from lawsuits that might arise from injuries or damage visitors incur on your premises (and sometimes even off-premises depending on your coverage). Finally, find out if you will need a new home inspection as a prerequisite to a new policy, as that extra layer of work could impact whether the new policy is worthwhile.
If you find the language in your policy lacking, it’s a good time to re-shop your insurance to see if you can find a company that will provide more comprehensive coverage — and look for a lower home insurance rate in the process.
How To Re-Shop Your Home Insurance
The most effective way to figure out if you’re getting the best home insurance rate is to collect quotes from a number of carriers so you can compare rates and coverage. And remember you don’t want to base your final decision on price alone — service matters when you’re dealing with something as important as protecting your home and possessions. That’s why you’ll want to make sure that you’re going with an A-rated agency, as confirmed by an independent rating service like AM Best or Demotech.
Does calling all those insurers to find the best home insurance policy sound daunting? We get it! That’s why you can turn to Matic — we’ll help you re-shop your home insurance before your policy renews. And best of all, all of our carriers are A-rated, so you can be assured you are receiving the high-quality service and coverage you need. Request a quote today, and you can cross one more chore off your list.