If you’re like the rest of us, you don’t want to pay a penny more on your home insurance rates than you have to. And with so many low rates being advertised in the media nowadays, it can be tempting to simply choose the lowest rate you can find. However, it’s important to understand that there’s more to choosing great coverage than simply selecting the most affordable home insurance out there.
Low Rates Might Not Offer Adequate Coverage
Though some insurance companies offer special deals and discounts that are usually valid for six to 12 months and do offer good coverage, there are always companies that offer extremely low rates for an unlimited period of time. But often times, even if the coverage amounts are adequate, you’ll find that the companies are lacking in other ways or sometimes are just plain scams. For instance, there are fraudulent companies that never pay out claims. Others don’t send out agents when you need them, and leave you waiting for your money for weeks. And in the event of a claim, that’s the last thing you need.
Finding Reliable and Affordable Home Insurance
The bottom line is, when you’re shopping for affordable home insurance, don’t simply choose the policy with the lowest rates. Find out exactly what types of damages are covered and for how much, and read the fine print to see if the low rates are a special offer that comes with specific conditions. Go online and do a search on the insurance company to see what other consumers say about it, and check with the Better Business Bureau to find out how the company is rated and whether there are any complaints about it.
Whether you’re looking for insurance for your new car, or you’re already insured but want to see if you can find a similar policy with better rates, why not compare auto insurance online? Instead of requesting quotes from each individual insurance carrier, you can request multiple quotes at once when you compare auto insurance online. All you have to do is fill out your information in the online form and you’ll receive instant quotes from a number of top insurance carriers in the nation. Of course, you get the opportunity to fill out what types of coverage you want, how many cars and drivers you want to insure, and what amount deductible you’d like.
How to compare auto insurance
Once you’ve received all of your quotes, just set some time aside to compare auto quotes to see what kind of coverage each insurance carrier offers and what the rates are. You receive all of the different quotes by email, so you can take your time reading them and seeing what each insurance carrier offers. If you’re interested in the details of a particular quote or you have any questions, you can call the insurance carrier for more information about their policies. When you’ve selected the quote you like best and want to purchase car insurance, you can simply click on the link in the quotes or contact the insurance carrier of your choice.
There are several resources Texas residents can use to shop for the best deals for home and/or automobile insurance. These include calling agencies on the phone, visiting different agencies, or doing online insurance.
Here are two tips to shop for the best Texas insurance deals:
You give yourself plenty of time.
If you’re doing your shopping online, you may want to set aside an hour or so to visit different websites and provide the information needed to give you a home or auto insurance quote. Once the information starts coming in, you may want to designate another time period to study it all at once, rather than clicking on each e-mail reply as it comes.
If you feel rushed, you may make mistakes when entering information for quotes, and you’re not as likely to make the best decision on which homeowners or auto insurance policy to choose. If you schedule the time to fill out the quote requests and study the replies, you’re less likely to make errors that could mean getting incorrect information or paying too much money.
You gather all your information first, before you even start searching or calling.
For homeowners insurance, this can include where you live, the type of police and fire protection you have, how old your home is and what it is built of. For auto insurance, this can include the makes and models of vehicles to be insured—it’s not a bad idea to jot down the VIN either, and information on all drivers (age, sex, marital status, age at time first licensed, number of accidents/violations, etc.).
Comparing the different home and auto insurance plans available is the best way to match yourself up with the policy that’s right for you. But sometimes, language can get in the way of helping you arrive at a perfectly sound decision—and what might sound good on paper today could be revealed as a horrible choice if you actually use your insurance. One of the most important terms you’ll need to be familiar with when shopping for car and homeowner insurance quotes is “replacement cost.”
What Does Replacement Cost Mean?
Essentially, replacement cost determines how your insurance company will reimburse you if your home or your vehicle are damaged beyond any reasonable ability to repair them. This is what happens when a car or a home is “totaled” and the insurance company decides it would be cheaper to offer you money for replacement instead of repair. If your insurance policy offers replacement cost over actual cash value, you’re in good shape. The actual cash value method figures in depreciation, whereas replacement cost doesn’t.
Premium Price Differences
Needless to say, the insurance companies aren’t stupid—by offering you a policy that guarantees they’ll pay you for the full value of what it takes to replace your car or home, they know they’re putting themselves in a position to pay out substantially more than they would by offering actual cash value. They make up for this difference by charging more for replacement value coverage, and in some cases you can only get actual cash value coverage. Keep this front and center to all of your decisions when getting homeowner insurance quotes. If you own a lot of expensive items, choosing the insurer that offers you replacement value is the only smart option.
Lifetime procrastinators and last-minute Holiday shoppers alike—take note. When it comes to shopping around for some things, like auto insurance, if you ever want to truly save money on your premiums it’s going to take you a lot more than a mere 15 minutes to do so. Forget what you hear on TV and radio ads. The only true way to save is to compare auto insurance quotes closely. And the key to doing that is by starting far in advance of when you’ll actually need coverage.
Two of the biggest mistakes that drivers make when picking a car insurance policy is going with the first insurer they talk to, and failing to give themselves adequate time to read the fine print of the policy. If all you do is look at the bottom line—your monthly insurance rates—you’ll never really know if what you’re getting is a deal, or the shaft. Remember the following:
- No auto insurance policy is created equal. The closer you look, the more small differences in coverage you’ll spot. This is where real “meat” lies.
- If there’s a big difference in price, there’s something missing. Take a closer look.
- Compare auto insurance quotes no later than 30 to 45 days before your renewal period. This gives you plenty of time to ask questions, explore money saving options, and ensure that the policies you’re looking at truly are comparable.