Whether you like it or not, homeowners’ insurance is a necessity. Whether your mortgage provider requires it, or you’re interested in protecting your investment from potential disasters, you’ll need a policy that provides the coverage that fits your needs.
A staggering one in twenty home insurance policyholders make a claim every year in the US. If you end up being one of this group, it’s not enough to have a policy; you’ll also need one that covers everything you need.
Do you know the top five things you should consider when reviewing your Michigan home insurance policy? Learn about the factors you should consider when buying a new policy or reviewing your current one.
1. What Does Your Home Insurance Cover?
The top thing to consider when reviewing your home insurance policy is the coverage it provides. Different homes need different coverage. From disasters to liability, there are many problems you can purchase coverage for.
Natural Disaster Coverage
In Michigan, we are no stranger to natural disasters. With low-lying areas, heavy rainfall, and some large bodies of water, floods happen almost annually. Severe thunderstorms are also not uncommon and can cause irreparable property damage.
When reviewing your policy, it’s essential to look for what disasters you are covered for. Shop around to find a home insurance provider that provides cover for loss and damages others don’t.
From Bursting Pipes to Dying Appliances
You may not traditionally think about your pipes or appliances when reviewing your coverage. However, you can actually purchase riders that will help you weather the cost of a burst pipe and not just the damage it causes. You can also get one to repair or replace broken appliances, giving you peace of mind knowing you won’t have to scramble to replace them.
Unfortunately, many homes are underinsured in the US, and owners can incur severe financial hardship if disaster strikes and are not covered. Understanding your coverage and adjusting it for the possible issues you may encounter will rescue you from stress later on down the road.
2. What Home Insurance Costs
The price of coverage is another significant factor to examine when reviewing your policy. Overall, home insurance prices are on the rise in Michigan. As we experience more disasters, increased construction costs, and other factors are leading to higher prices.
However, this doesn’t mean you need to pay through the nose for your policy. It’s a good idea to start by researching the average cost of insurance in your area. While things such as the age and condition of your house play a part, having a rough idea of what other people are paying can help you identify companies who are overcharging.
3. Look For Additional Discounts and Reductions
When shopping for insurance, you should consider ways to help you save. For instance, bundling your home and auto policies can reduce the overall cost of coverage. Before settling on a company, inquire with your employer, HR department, or homeowners’ association to see if they offer discounts or special offers you may benefit from. You may also qualify for loyalty discounts with your current provider. These loyalty discounts may not be common knowledge, and you may need to ask or tell them you are looking elsewhere to access them.
Home Features Affect Your Price
There are other ways to save too. Some may be difficult to control once you purchase a home, while others are maintenance and safety items you can take care of during your regular home care. Did you know that your home insurance policy may cost you more if you live too far from a fire department? Or, you may save on your policy if you have a new, impact-resistant roof? Having a pool or a security system also plays into the total cost of your policy. Be sure to ask for any possible ways to reduce your fees.
4. Customer Experience
If you’ve made a claim with your current home insurance provider, think about the service they provided. Was the claim process easy, or did you spend hours on hold discussing your claim, and get drowned in paperwork? Did the people you communicated with have empathy for your situation, and did you feel like they were trying to help? Or did it seem like everything was made intentionally difficult?
You can also look online on the BBB and Trust Pilot sites to assess others’ customer experience with the providers you are looking into. When a company has a lot of customers relating their bad experiences, it’s best to steer clear, even if they are offering great rates.
5. Evaluate Regularly
Don’t wait until your rates are too high or you’re unsatisfied. Your annual renewal is always a good time to review your current policy. If you want to stay with your current provider, it’s always a good time to negotiate better rates or expand your coverage.
When you are at your annual review time, you hold a good hand for negotiating, as it’s simple for you to get out of your current policy. This can help persuade providers to give you that discount you are looking for or improve your policy, so that they can hold onto you as a client for another year.
To Sum Up
Your home is more than simply a roof over your head. It’s full of memories, personal belongings, and if anything were to happen that damaged it, it would be heartbreaking. For peace of mind, having a great home insurance policy does wonder. Knowing in the event of an accident, disaster or robbery, that you are covered will help you sleep easy at night.
However, it is not as simple as picking the first policy you see. Not all policies are the same, and with so much on the line, it is important to take your time to review your home insurance policy regularly. You need to know you have all your bases covered and you’re getting a fair deal for what you are paying.