What You Need To Know Before You Buy Home Insurance
Buying a home is often referenced as the “American Dream." It represents goals, individuality, family, and in some cases a lifetime of work. Realtors are confidently touting they make the “American Dream” possible, and rightfully so, but “Who’s Insuring It?" Often times home buyers get home insurance from an 800# call center, or the company who’s been insuring their auto for the past 5 years. After all, it’s just home insurance right? Wrong…buying a home is a reason to learn about an essential policy needed to protect the American Dream, and learn about the industry as a whole. At Raymond Preston & Reed, we're working hard every day to educate clients, realtors, and others that Insuring the American Dream is just as important as the concept itself.
Education seems to be lacking, and that is the biggest key to our success. Clients don’t realize there are numerous companies, varying policy forms, and exclusions that apply when buying insurance. How can they? Every time you turn on the TV, open the mailbox, or pull up the web there is an insurance company advertising “We can Save you $." No one is saying “You Get What You Pay For” or “If you want cheap, we’ll give you cheap, but we don’t recommend it." The latter is a reality that home buyers need to be aware of. A couple months ago, our firm had the opportunity to speak to a group of 20 to 25 realtors in Middle Tennessee. When asked if they had “Water & Sewer Back Up” or “Sinkhole” only one person raised a hand. The problem is not only did they not know, but most said no one explained those were coverages that were not automatically included. Making assumptions or thinking each company offers the same policy as the next is a common problem in the insurance industry. More often than it should happen, agents and agencies are issuing polices without going over the details, and it’s at the detriment of the insured who’s paying for the policy. Raymond Preston & Reed does not believe in the “15 Minutes will save you 15%” method. We’ll give you the time and attention to detail you deserve.
When comparing quotes with various insurance companies make sure the person you are working with not only goes over the coverages, but the Limits and Deductibles of each coverage. Just because one policy offers a particular coverage, doesn’t mean it pays out the same as another. Don’t assume it’s covered. Ask questions, ask questions, and ask some more.
Questions and Coverage’s to ask about:
- Extended Dwelling Replacement or Guaranteed Dwelling Replacement
- Sinkhole Collapse
- What is the deductible?
- Does it include the Brick/Masonry Veneer
- Does the policy provide coverage for Theft & Misplacement or just Theft?
- Water & Sewer Back Up
- What are the limits
- Is there a separate deductible
- Open Peril / Special Personal Property Coverage on Contents (Many companies only pay on a “Named” peril basis)
- Increased Limits of Liability - don’t just settle for $100,000
- Ask if an Umbrella or Excess Liability Policy is an option and at what cost
- What are the deductible options? Make sure you know exactly what the deductible is, and ask if it changes from year to year?
- How many companies did the agency quote you with? Why are they recommending the company quoted?