UPdated Home Insurance Shopping Tips (2023)

A combination of factors are making property insurance more expensive and harder to find and keep in many parts of the country. Causes include drone imagery, extreme weather events associated with climate change, predictive models and insurers’ business and profit objectives. UP is continuing to advance solutions and help consumers keep their assets protected despite reduced coverage options, high deductibles and high premiums.

Here are UPdated tips for our current times:

  • As soon as you get a non-renewal notice, start shopping – don’t procrastinate!
  • Seek out an experienced insurance broker who has access to multiple options
  • Do as much mitigation as you can to reduce the risk of your home being damaged or destroyed in a severe weather event. Seek out programs in your community that offer mitigation help and/or grants.
  • Provide your insurer with documentation of completed mitigation steps and/or your community’s risk reduction activities.
  • Get quotes for different deductible levels and make an informed decision:  A higher deductible reduces your premium.  Too high a deductible means your insurance won’t cover even a moderate-sized claim. 
  • Avoid making small claims. Your claim history impacts your risk score. Your risk score impacts your insurance options and costs. 
  • Reduce/eliminate coverage you can live without (e.g. high dollar limits on contents, Other Structures)
  • If you can’t find a known brand insurer willing to insure your home, research the financial strength of the companies that offer you quotes.
  • If a state-sponsored insurance plan is your only option, consider supplemental policies to fill gaps.

Tried and true tips:

  • Ask what discounts you may qualify for.
  • Comparison shop as much as feasible.
  • Bundle your home, auto and/or umbrella policies with one insurance company.
  • Despite higher prices and limited options, aim to insure your home for replacement value, even if that means you don’t pick the cheapest policy.
  • Ideally, buy insurance that covers risks in your region (floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, hail)

How can an insurance agent/broker help me?

  • Put in the time required to find the best available options.
  • Identify insurance options that are only available through a broker.
  • Help you make good decisions and save money.
  • Tailor your coverages to your specific situation and needs.
  • Help you understand pros and cons and options offered by non-standard (“non-admitted” “excess/surplus”) companies and/or government-sponsored last resort insurance programs.
  • Some insurance brokers/agencies offer premium financing plans.

 


The information presented in this publication is for general informational purposes and is not a substitute for legal advice. If you have a specific legal issue or problem, United Policyholders recommends that you consult with an attorney. Guidance on hiring professional help can be found in the “Find Help” section of www.uphelp.org. United Policyholders does not sell insurance or certify, endorse or warrant any of the insurance products, vendors, or professionals identified on our website.

Source: https://uphelp.org/buying-tips/updated-home-insurance-shopping-tips-2023/
Date: July 17, 2024