Questions to ask your insurance agent should be at the top of a homebuyer’s to-do list. Buying a home is probably one of the largest investments a person can make. Today, the right small choices can make a BIG difference at the end of the homebuying process so don’t be shy. Add these top 5 questions to ask your insurance agent to your list and don’t forget to speak up!
Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Insurance Agent:
What is Your Financial Rating?
When you are trying to choose a policy it’s important to ask the agent about the financial rating of the company. Because every insurance company is different, each one will have a different financial rating. In other words, the strength of the insurance company and it’s financial standing may not be equal to another company.
However, it is impossible to know this until you dig a little deeper into their financial standing. Remember: just because an insurance company is established doesn’t mean that they have a solid financial footing. Verify their financial rating by forming questions to ask your insurance agent like, “What is the company history?” and “Can you tell me about your claims records?” For more information, check with the State Department of Insurance.
What Type of Policy is This?
Remember to consider the replacement cost versus the depreciated cost of a home before you buy it. The effect of inflation can significantly change your policy and ultimately the premium. In some markets, the cost to rebuild a home may not be in step with the initial purchase price of the home while others may include the replacement costs. Questions to ask your insurance agent may include ways to point out these limitations and apply them to your policy.
Does This Cover My Personal Property?
You may not be able to recover your personal property in the event of a disaster. Questions to ask your insurance agent about protections and exclusions may include, “Do you offer a Replacement Value (“RV”) clause?” If something catastrophic happens to your house having an RV rider could end up saving thousands of dollars. It usually includes furniture, computers and other technological equipment, jewelry, along with irreplaceable personal inventory. Ask your insurance agent about what is excluded from your coverage. There is nothing worse than finding a gap in coverage after disaster strikes.
How Do I File a Claim?
You may not realize that there are numerous departments designed to address claims. In some cases, your agent can provide a phone number for a 24-hour claims department. There, you can speak to an agent and file your claim. In other cases, a website address may be available so you can review the process and even file online.
How Can I Save Money on My Policy?
Questions to ask your insurance agent should always include savings. There could be any number of discounts available to help you cut costs so always remember to ask about how you can save money.
Talking to Your Home Insurance Agent
One of the most important steps in the homebuying process is also one of the most commonly overlooked: finding the right insurance agent. You see, choosing an insurance carrier isn’t enough to get the best coverage. In today’s competitive market insurance products include policies, riders, deductibles as well as exclusions and you need someone you can talk to honestly about your policy.
Ask your agent these 5 questions to get the cheapest and most comprehensive home insurance available and enjoy the home buying process.