Whether you own your own home, or rent one from someone else, the possibility of tragedy is ever present. Natural disasters, like hurricanes or fires, can wreak havoc on owned and rented homes alike. As such, it is advisable to seriously consider acquiring insurance, no matter what your living situation is.
Insurance available for homeowner and renters differs in really only one way. If you own the dwelling, the insurance covers the building, as well as your personal belongings, liability, and living expenses while your home is repaired. Since you do not own the property, renters would only need to cover the latter three costs.
What to Look for in a Homeowners or Renters Insurance Company
While the two types of insurance are different, they are similar enough where the same basic considerations should be made when acquiring them. While it is relatively easy to switch carriers, it is something that can be avoided by doing a little research. The following are some things to consider if you are looking into homeowners or renters insurance.
With the digital tools available to us these days, finding the best deal on virtually anything is easier than ever. While price alone should never decide which insurer to go with, it is always a good idea to pay as little out of your pocket as possible.
One of the best ways to find the best prices is to check your specific state’s website. Usually, you will find an online shopping guide that will help steer you towards the best deals. If your particular state does not offer this, try contacting an agent that deals with multiple carriers.
High Company Ratings
Deciding which carrier to sign up with is much easier if you look at their past performance. Consumer Reports is a good resource, and they put a ratings list out every couple months. A.M. Best is another, and deals specifically with different types of insurance. Save yourself a lot of heartache by looking at the history of each prospect.
The financial situation of each company is also something to scrutinize before any decisions are made. An AA rating from Moody’s Investor Service is a good indicator of fiscal strength. Standard & Poor’s is another reliable benchmark, and an A rating there also shows it to be a good pick. The last thing you need is for your insurer to go belly up just when you need them the most.
Excellent Claims Service
Regardless of renting or owning, when disaster strikes it is likely to be an incredible hassle. A difficult claims process only adds to that difficulty, so one that goes smoothly is highly preferable. This includes serious considerations like how quickly claims are paid and how much you are awarded. Even small things, like having no trouble reaching a courteous agent, can lower your frustration immensely.
Deals and Discounts
One of the first places you should stop during your quest for home or renters insurance is a carrier you use for another type of insurance. For example, if you have auto insurance, check to see if they offer other types of insurance as well. Multiple types of insurance from the same insurer can lead to savings of up to 30 percent or more.
Many insurers will also offer deals and discounts for things you do to lower your risk profile. These include things like installing security to quitting smoking. If you have good credit, you may also qualify for lower rates. Senior citizens may be eligible for substantial savings as well.
Making sure your assets are covered in case of calamity is of paramount importance for homeowners and renters alike. Knowing what to look for when the time comes is one of the best ways to make sure you get it right the first time.