Wednesday, September 5, 2012

INSURANCE: Should you switch home insurance co mpanies?

With any luck you'll purchase homeowners insurance and never actually need it. But if you never think about or reassess your coverage, you may be throwing money away. Not only should you take the time to examine the coverage you have, but consider finding a new company if your current insurer no longer meets your needs. Why should you think about switching your insurance?
Your rates keep going up. If your insurance rate is going up, but you aren't making any significant improvements to your home or your policy, it might be time to shop around. At least call your insurance company to determine the reason behind the rate hike.
Even if your rates aren't going up, you may hear about lower rates with other agencies. Do your research and find out if another company might be a better fit for you.
You've had a life change. According to the Insurance Information Institute, when you've had a life change (birth, death, divorce) in your family, you should alter your will, life insurance, and yes, even your homeowners insurance. Call for estimates from other companies before negotiating with your own in order to guarantee that you're still getting the best available rate.
Comparable residences are insuring for less. Insurance rates aren't usually the topic of discussion at neighborhood barbecues. If it does come up, though, you may find that comparable residences on your street are being insured for substantially less than your own. It may be because of upgrades or items within their home, but you won't know if you don't ask.
Customer service is falling short. There's more to quality insurance than the lowest available rate. If you are receiving sub-par customer service, can't ever get an agent on the phone, or have to haggle over claims, you might need to consider switching your home
insurance. Don't forget that your insurance company needs you just as much as you need them -- don't settle for lackluster service.
You're remodeling. If you're making changes to your residence, you'll need to contact your home insurance agent. Even adding a home security system can lower your rate. Don't like the new numbers they throw at you? Shop around for a better rate!
You can get a deal for combining your coverage. You may be using three different companies for your auto, home, and life insurance coverage. However some companies will offer a discounted rate for combining your policies. If you find a reputable company that will insure all your items in one place, you may want to consider switching agencies. 

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