How to Find the Best Homeowners Insurance Online

Posted On Wednesday, 23 June 2021 21:01

Buying a house has its high points: there's finding the perfect place, the thrill of getting the loan you need, the sense of accomplishment you feel at closing, the satisfaction that comes with finally moving into a place you can call your own.

But one facet of home ownership isn't particularly fun: finding homeowner's insurance. Most likely, you'll need it to get a home loan in the first place, and it will likely be part of your mortgage payment for as long as you own the home. But while finding good homeowner's insurance might never be fun, it doesn't have to be a huge struggle, either. Here are a few ways you can save some time, effort, and money by finding the best insurance for your home online.

Why Online?

Why should you shop around for homeowner's insurance online? One great reason why is because the policy you get from your bank or mortgage broker may not be the best. Many homeowners just accept the policy they're given when they sign the contract for their home and never think about it again. But that may not be the best choice for you, either financially or in terms of coverage.

A great reason to shop around online: more and more people are relying on their smartphones and laptops to do their shopping, especially with COVID-19 making in-person shopping a risky proposition. Hunting for insurance from the comfort of home will save you a lot of time and effort.

Know the Type of Coverage You Need

You may not know your insurance coverage quite as well as you think. For instance, many homeowners don't know their insurance may not cover "acts of God" such as floods, earthquakes, or other natural disasters. Some kinds of belongings may not be covered by theft or burglary insurance. A scenario you definitely don't want is finding out your insurance doesn't cover something only when you need it!

Before you even start your search in earnest, look at your needs: what perils will you most need insurance for? What kind of coverage levels are you looking for? What kind of deductible can you afford?

Research Your Market

Another thing you may not know about homeowner's insurance: your coverage and rates aren't determined by your bank or mortgage lender. They're determined by the area in which you live. For example, a neighborhood built on a flood plain is going to have an entirely different insurance policy than a neighborhood in a dry, desert area. The same goes for areas prone to events like earthquakes or forest fires. Preferably, before moving to a new area, do some research on the kinds of policies available and what the average costs look like.

Compare Insurance Quotes

Once you've done your research, it's time to get down to comparing quotes. Fortunately, there are plenty of online insurance tools for making this process easy. All you'll need is some basic information about your home, such as address, whether it's a single-family home / condo / etc., and whether you're buying or looking to refinance.

Narrow Down Your Search

Once you've gotten your hands on what you feel are the best quotes, it's time to put on your research hat again. Picking an insurance company shouldn't just be cost-based. You want to make certain the company is reputable, reliable, and will be there when you need them. Look into your top picks for insurance companies. Check the reviews and don't be afraid to dig deeper, such as looking at a company's business holdings, financial ratings, and stock trends. Companies who are in frequent financial turmoil probably aren't the best pick for you and your family.

Ask for Personalized Quotes

Comparing quotes online is a great start but isn't the end of the process. The next thing to do to narrow down your list of candidates: get a personalized quote from each insurance company. Contact the offices of each of your picks and request a personalized quote based on your home, area, and needs. Some companies might have an automated system, form, or chatbot to make the process more convenient, but you may consider talking over the phone to get a better feel for the company -- and maybe even negotiate a little ahead of time.

Apply Online

Once you've done your due diligence, it's time to apply for homeowner's insurance. But that doesn't necessarily mean you have to drive down to an office. Many insurance companies allow clients to apply for homeowner's insurance online, through their website or possibly even through a company app.

Shopping for homeowner's insurance is never going to be a blast. But the process is easier in 2021 than it's ever been before, and the small amount of work you put now in may pay off big in the future.

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