When it comes to buying insurance, you may not know as much as you think! You hear a catchy slogan on the radio, or see a mascot on TV and think, “oh, they must be good, I’ll go with them”. But are they good? Are you really getting the best deal? Will you be covered if you have to file an insurance claim? We spoke with Al Robinson from Lapointe Insurance about how to choose the right homeowners insurance policy.
Al Robinson – Lapointe Insurance
Al knows insurance. He shops around different companies to find homeowners the best rate with the best coverage. When it comes to buying the right homeowners insurance policy, he’s the guy to listen to. Here are some words of advice from The Fresh Prince of Deductibles himself!
Go Through An Independent Agent
You should go through an independent agent instead of a singular insurance company. Why? If you try to shop around yourself by calling 20 different places, you’ll wait on hold forever just for them to ask you the same 12 questions. Who has time for that? Especially in the middle of the home buying process!
Even then what happens is you’ll directly call that insurance company, they’ll ask you, “Do you have a pool? Do you have any dogs? Have you had claims before?” and BOOM “Here’s your policy”. They give you a price, and you pay it every year/month. How will you know you got the best rate out there? Will you be fully covered if you have to file an insurance claim?
When you use an independent agent, they go through the shopping around process for you and it’s free. No agency fees or commission fees, just someone dedicated to helping you find the best coverage for the best rate.
You can even take a quote you already got, bring it to your independent agent, and they’ll compare pricing and coverage with other companies just so you have peace of mind that your policy is solid and a good price. Or they’ll get you even more quotes to try and get you better coverage and spend less money!
Bundling Isn’t As Great As It Seems
You turn on your TV and see that Big Name Insurance Company offers discounts if you bundle your home and auto insurance. It’s a great idea and usually, you can save money by doing this. So a lot of people decide to bundle their insurance…because they don’t know any better! You could potentially get better coverage and a better rate if you split your home and auto between companies. Even without the bundle discount!
The bigger picture here is that if you bundle, how substantial are the savings? By not bundling, you could save $500/year on home insurance vs bundling and saving $10/month on your auto insurance. It all comes down to how much money do you actually want to save?
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You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
A lot of first-time homebuyers only know as much about insurance as they see in the quick ads on TV or the internet. That’s where I was back when I bought my first home. Because I had insurance for my motorcycles and cars through one company, I figured I’d call them for my homeowners insurance policy and get a bundle discount. I ended up paying double what I should be paying for home insurance!
You don’t know what you don’t know. You sign up with an insurance company and months or years later you have property damage. You go to file an insurance claim and realize you don’t have enough coverage to be fully compensated by your insurance company. That’s why it’s so important to know that you’re buying the right homeowners insurance policy from the start!
Remember that cheap insurance is just what it is…cheap. So, think about that when you buy your first or next house or want to redo your policy and search on Google for cheap home insurance.
What should homeowners look out for when buying a new policy?
Keep an eye out for who you choose when picking the right homeowners insurance policy. Small independent agencies like Lapointe don’t advertise the way that big insurance companies do with the Superbowl ads and billboards on 95. Instead, they spend their money giving back to their clients and investing in staff that takes care of their clients.
I always tell my clients to look for two things on their policy before they buy it. Replacement cost value coverage and liability. Thankfully you can add or increase once you buy your policy but the sooner you have them, the better off you are in case of an insurance claim.
replacement cost on personal property coverage
I always preach adding replacement cost value coverage on your personal property when choosing the right homeowners insurance policy. This gives homeowners the ability to go out and buy all new things if they were damaged in a fire, water damage loss, or any other covered peril.
When you have replacement cost value coverage or RCV for short, you won’t need to worry about your personal property depreciating. Let’s say you have a 55” TV that you bought a few years ago and it was damaged in a fire. If you don’t have RCV coverage, your insurance company will account for the value of the TV depreciating as the years go by. A $600 TV quickly becomes a $200 payout from your insurance company. Thankfully, adding RCV coverage isn’t too expensive to add to your policy and if you have a large loss, you’ll see the value quickly!
Get More Liability Coverage Than You Think
Unfortunately, lawsuits do happen. People decide to sue each other, that’s just the world we live in. People get hurt, dogs can bite, and all of a sudden you end up with a lawsuit on your hands.
Most policies are $500k in liability coverage so if legal actions were pursued after an incident at your property, your insurance would only cover that amount. I always recommend bumping that up to $1,000,000. It’s not a ton more money when it comes to paying yearly or monthly, but you’ll get double the coverage in the end!
If you need insurance on a new home or are looking to redo your current policy, click below to contact Al!
In Case You Do Have A Claim
Things happen. Pipes burst, fires take down houses, and storms blow off your roof. Regardless of who you have for insurance or how you bought it, you’re entitled to restore your home back to pre-loss conditions if you have to file a claim. That’s where we step in!
Performance Adjusting’s goal is to help homeowners when they have insurance claims to get the most money possible from the insurance company all while they sit back and relax. We take care of the entire claims process for you, from filing the claim to handing you your settlement check. And we don’t stop there! We have a long list of trusted, local contractors that can help you take that insurance money and bring your home back to normal.
We’ll be happy to take a look at an existing claim or come out to your property, residential or commercial, free of charge to see how we can help you. Give us a call at 401-724-9111 with any questions or to start the process of helping you with your insurance claim.
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We've been helping homeowners since 2005 to get the most money for their claim and take the stress out of the insurance claim process.