Contrary to popular belief, all home insurance companies are not created equal. In fact, in a cookie cutter society where assembly line products are the norm, home insurance rates, products, and companies are anything but. That being the case, it's imperative that anyone in the market for home insurance does their homework and explores as many options as possible before affixing their John Hancock to a new policy. Here's the skinny on home insurance companies, how to evaluate them, and what employing a little consumer savvy can mean for your home insurance coverage and premiums.
Home Insurance 101: What You Don't Know About Home Insurance Rates
For starters, there are a few industry secrets that every homeowner should know before researching individual insurance companies. First of all, home insurance rates are always on the move – not annually, not monthly, not daily, but hour to hour and minute to minute – regardless of the company or the coverage. That's because home insurance is closely linked to the bond market, stock market, and the larger world financial scene. In addition, companies have been known to independently shake up their home insurance rates a few times a year to gain clients or boost profits. Combine all those factors together, and constantly fluctuating rates are the end result.
Staying Ahead of the Curve
Just how much do home insurance rates change? According to statistics compiled by homeinsurance.com, average national home insurance rates rose or fell an average of 1% per month between September of 2009 and February of 2010, ultimately dropping close to 3% over that same 5 month period (from a September high of $695.70 to a low of $679.11 in February of 2010). What's the moral to the story? While finding the right company should definitely be on your checklist, the rapidly changing rate of home insurance rates mean that finding the right company at the right time is the real trick if you want to save on a policy.
Tips for finding a reputable company are listed below. As for staying on top of fluctuating rates, free online insurance quotes from a service like NetQuote.com are a great place to start. By regularly soliciting free quotes from an insurance quote provider, you'll not only get an idea of which company offers the best rates, but which company offers the best rates right now - the most proven way to save yourself money in home insurance game. Make sure to get at least three Home Insurance Quotes
Evaluating Homeowners Insurance Companies
That said, it's still important that you fully research the insurance companies that are competing for your business. After all, you're going to need to count on your provider to come through for you when you need it most. Here are two proven strategies for finding a company that you can trust:
- Cast a Wide NetBegin by soliciting insurance quotes from a number of potential providers so that you have more options to choose from and a wider range of companies to compare and contrast. While numbers vary, most experts recommend that you solicit quotes from at least 4 different providers to begin your search - though more is better if you can find the time.
- Vet Your CompaniesAfter you get your hands on a list of companies that want your business, the next step is to review the financial stability, ability to compensate on claims, performance record, overall rankings, and consumer satisfaction rates of each provider you are considering. Consumer advocate organizations and third party evaluators such as JD Power and Associates, A.M. Best, Standard and Poore's, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and the Better Business Bureau, are all excellent consumer resources in this regard.
- Last but not least, take into account all of the above and choose the company that is going to best meet your unique home insurance needs. With the combination of an online quote service like NetQuote.com, and the application of some old-fashioned elbow grease, you'll have all the tools you need to find the best combination of low rates, dependability, customer satisfaction, and quality insurance coverage on the market.
See how much you could save today on your home insurance. Get your free home insurance quotes today!