When it comes to buying homeowners insurance, the old adage about real estate being all about “location, location, location” is equally true. As any financial advisor will tell you, when you are looking to make any large purchase, it is always a good idea to check multiple sources. It is no different when it comes to getting quotes.
That is where IIS comes in. We are dedicated to finding the best and lowest rates for you and your family.
There are a number of factors which go into determining the costs you pay. No factor is more important however than the location of your home. There are a number of reasons why location is important for determining your rates. California has a number of coastal communities, for example, which have beach front properties. Because of the dangers posed by extreme weather (a danger that climatologists believe will only increase in the next generation), insuring coastal properties costs more than insuring properties in most inland areas.
Many coastal properties present dangers from flooding, wildfires and landslides. This triple threat has driven many companies to refuse to offer coverage in many coastal areas or driven prices up to the point where homeowners can no longer afford to purchase such insurance.
Even if you do not live in what seems to be a high risk area, you may find extreme differences among neighboring homeowners. California providers will try to hedge their bets by avoiding taking on too many policies in one vicinity, so that in case of a widespread natural disaster such as an earthquake or flood they will have limited liability.
The basic idea is simple: they don’t want to have all their eggs in one basket.
For this and other reasons, it is a good idea to get several quotes when looking for coverage.
Our Advice to Homeowners: Quote Tips
When it comes to lowering your rates, we have found several tips to be useful for homeowners. California providers tend to reward the following activities with lower rates:
- Bundle Your Auto with Your Homeowners insurance: California providers will lower both the cost of your homeowner’s and your auto coverage, if you choose to carry both policies through the same carrier. If this is a possibility for you, be sure to inform your agent.
- Make your House Secure: If you have a home security system such as Brinks or ADT, you will not only protect your home but may also qualify for a lower rate because of this.
- Fire Retardant Roofing: Having roofing materials that are fire retardant (as opposed to wood shingles for example) will lower your rates as well in many cases.
- Raise you Deductible: One of the major factors in determining your policy is the amount of your deductible. One way to find cheap coverage is to accept a higher deductible. Many providers will let you take a deductible of up to $10,000. California mortgage companies, however, will often disallow this high a deductible, so you should definitely check with your lender before signing any new policy.
All of these will help you to lower your rates and find affordable protection.
How Much is Enough?
Another question our agents get at IIS, is the question of how much is enough? There are some basic rules of thumb that you should consider when you are buying homeowner’s insurance.
Generally speaking, for example, your plan will cover less than the value you paid for your home. This often comes as a surprise to many homeowners. California companies, however, only cover the actual home price not the property price. So if you live on a large property that has a home erected on it, it is quite likely that your homeowners coverage will be at a price less than your overall home price.
Replacement Construction Cost: Another factor that you need to take into consideration is how much to get for your “replacement construction” costs. Replacement construction costs are the costs that arise when homeowners reconstruct their homes after a disaster. The reconstruction adds an additional cost to the actual cost of the home. This is the cost that will be covered by the policy.
However, your policy does not automatically cover the reconstruction costs, so if you intend to rebuild a home of the same value as your destroyed home, you need to figure that additional reconstruction cost into your policy. 200% the cost of your home is usually the recommended amount for this.
Liability Insurance: The cost you will want to figure into your rates is the cost of adding liability insurance. Your basic policy will usually only cover damage to your actual home. But what happens if shingles from your roof injure some of your house guests during a house party or a balcony collapses on the meter reader while he is on your property?
Liability is an important add-on to your homeowner’s policy, which will help protect you from other kinds of liability. You also need to be careful when purchasing to indicate if you are using your home for any business purposes (such as running a bed-and-breakfast) as these may affect your liability coverage.
How IIS can Help You
Our trained agents will help you save time and money when purchasing your homeowners insurance. By doing the due diligence of comparing various policies for you, we can make sure that not only will you get a cheap policy, but one that fits your specific requirements so that, should tragedy strike, you will not uncover any unwelcome surprises.
Our agents have the knowledge and experience to make sure you, your family, and your assets are protected against the unexpected events in life.