Homeowners insurance quotes: what to know
Homeowners insurance is a policy that protects you and your home in the event of a variety of circumstances. Below you'll find practical information to help you compare homeowners insurance quotes and get the best policy for your needs.
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- Homeowners insurance covers much more than your home itself
- Comparing quotes is the best way to find the right policy
- It is not required by law to have homeowners insurance but those with a mortgage must enroll in a policy
- Rates vary by individual factors, but homeowners insurance premiums can cost in excess of $2,000 per year
How to shop for homeowners insurance
Our first recommendation is to get homeowners insurance quotes. Only by comparing rates from as many companies as possible can you ensure you get the best coverage at the cheapest price.
We first recommend shopping with the company with which you insure your car. Keep in mind, this company won't always be your cheapest option.
Information needed to get an accurate homeowners quote is as follows:
- Number of full-time residents in the home
- Is the home your primary, seasonal or secondary residence?
- Presence of detached structures like a shed or garage
- Presence of wood stoves or fireplaces
How to compare quotes
Getting numerous quotes allows you to compare both the cost and the coverage being offered by homeowners insurance companies. Remember that the cheapest quote may not be the best. Making sure that your most valuable asset is fully protected is crucial when comparing policy options.
Have a look at our rundown below to see the best process for comparing the quotes that you receive.
1 Choose how to get quotes
The first step is to get the quotes themselves. You have a few options for this, including visiting a local home insurance agent, contacting an insurer directly online or over the phone, or going through an online marketplace such as The Zebra. The great thing about using a quotes comparison site like The Zebra is that you get the chance to compare homeowners insurance quotes side-by-side from multiple companies at once, saving you time and — very likely — money.
2 Compare cost
The cost is probably the first thing that will grab your attention. While it's important to fit your homeowners insurance into your budget, remember that the cheapest policy isn't necessarily the best one. If a quote is exceedingly low, make sure that it actually provides the coverage that you need.
3 Compare coverage
One of the most important parts of shopping for home insurance is finding a policy that fully covers you, your home and your belongings. This includes both coverage types as well as your coverage limits. Learn more about how much coverage you need.
4 Compare deductibles
A big contributor to how much you pay per month on your homeowners coverage is the cost of your deductible. A lower deductible often means higher monthly payments. Just be careful not to set your deductible so high that you may struggle to meet it should you need to file a homeowners claim. Also, make sure to consider whether there are separate deductibles for perils such as hurricanes or windstorms.
5 Compare companies
The reputation of your home insurance carrier should be considered when choosing a policy. It's important to go with a trusted insurance company that is responsive and able to resolve claims in a positive and timely manner. Find more information in our guide to the best homeowners insurance companies.
What home insurance covers
A homeowners insurance policy is typically broken down into six parts:
- Coverage A - Dwelling: A house and any attached structures, such as a garage.
- Coverage B - Other structures: Any stand-alone structures — like a carport or tool shed — not attached to the home.
- Coverage C - Personal property: This covers the repair or replacement of belongings or property stolen or damaged in a covered loss anywhere in the world.
- Coverage D - Additional living expenses: Sometimes called a loss-of-use clause, this helps to cover the cost of temporary relocation in the event the home is unliveable due to repair work.
- Coverage E - Personal liability: This covers the costs of another party's injuries on the insured party's property (or offsite) as well as claims against an insured for property damage.
- Coverage F - Medical payments: Covers medical costs incurred on the property by those not listed as residents of the household, regardless of fault.