If you’re shopping for a new insurance agency, consider these tips and tricks to make the search simpler.
Speak Directly to an Agent
Insurance is still a person-to-person business. Speaking with an agent in person or over the phone can help you get a sense of how you will work together. An agent should be ready and able to answer your questions and to explain exact costs up front. Local, private agencies can provide the personal attention you need.
Likewise, it is important for you to provide accurate information to your agent. For example, you have rented out your basement, which is not a legal apartment. You never mentioned this to your insurance agent, so your tenant is not listed on your policy. Your tenant leaves a candle going and burns down part of the house. Now you find out your policy won’t cover the damage they have done and you will be responsible for repair costs. When shopping for an insurance agent, bring up factors like this so that everyone is on the same page when finding a policy.
Insurance is one field where it is extremely important to get quotes. Shopping around is required. Compare quotes and see which agencies are willing to explain and break down their process in coming to the number they provide. Agents should be able to explain exact costs. Comparing different quotes can help you identify ways to save with property improvements or local requirements.
While one company may give you a higher quote with little to no explanation, another may break down the information and show you exactly what could be improved on your property to lower your cost. Some things that may need to be updated to bring down your property premium may be:
- Removing in-ground oil tanks
- Fencing around pools (even above ground)
- Adding railings to outdoor decks and stairs
- Removing defunct vehicles from your property
When evaluating the costs of insuring your home, agents look at all of the potential risks that they will have to pay out on a claim. If your deck is missing railings, for instance, there is a higher risk that they will need to pay out if someone falls off your deck. You carry the burden of this increased risk in the cost of your premium–unless you reduce the risk.
If you live in an area with flooding, hurricanes, fires or other expected natural disasters, it is important to review the insurance requirements related to these areas. For instance, you may be required to carry separate flood insurance. Perhaps it will be necessary for you to install storm shutters. Working with a local agency will make sure that you agent is familiar with local requirements.
Have more questions? Our agents are ready to speak with you and walk you through the insurance process. Call 760-244-5684 today for a free quote!