Comparing homeowners insurance among several companies is smart. When you only check one company, you don’t know if you’re getting a good value. Some insurers target higher value homes. Others focus more on the middle-market. Still others specialize in manufactured homes or hard-to-insure homes.
What’s the best way to shop for homeowners insurance?
Step 1: Gather Information About Your Home
Approximate age of updates to roof, plumbing, heating and electrical systems
Details about any claims in the last 5 years
Current coverage limits and deductibles (if you currently own the place you’re insuring).
Step 2: Decide Where to Get Quotes
You have 3 main options for getting insurance quotes:
DIY – go online or call an 800 number. You’ll get 1 quote at a time from companies like Progressive, GEICO, State Farm or Liberty Mutual. Plan to call a few places and repeat answers to the same questions to get quotes to compare.
Company Agent – State Farm, Allstate, Liberty Mutual and others may have local offices near you. You’ll still only get 1 quote at a time. But unlike the DIY option, you’ll get advice and help from an agent.
Independent Agent – like Noyes Hall & Allen. Indie agents offer the convenience of several quotes at once. They also provide help and advice, like a company agent.
Step 3: Comparing Homeowners Insurance Quotes
Comparing homeowners insurance quotes can be challenging. Each company’s presentation looks different. Some may not offer the coverage you asked for. And they may not even tell you that it’s not the same.
The basic coverage limits and deductibles should be clear. You should be able to tell the difference by looking at the numbers. A policy that insures your home for $600,000 obviously has more coverage than one insuring it for $500,000. Of course that coverage costs something. Likewise, a higher deductible usually costs less than a lower one.
The other differences may not be easy to find. Here are a few things to look for:
Extra Replacement Limits – Base policies limit coverage to the amount on the face of the policy. If building materials or labor costs spike after you buy your policy, that may not be enough. Look for “additional amounts of insurance” or a similar clause to protect yourself.
Wind deductibles – Some insurers apply special wind deductibles to homes near the coast. This practice is very inconsistent between companies. Pay attention! Wind deductibles can be several times higher than your regular one.
Comparing Homeowners Insurance Quotes Since 1933
Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in South Portland Maine has helped generations of home and condo owners protect their assets. As an independent agency, we offer a choice of several insurance companies.
We’re sorry to hear about your loss. You’ve reported an insurance claim. What’s next?
After you report your claim to an insurance company, they assign it to an adjuster. The adjuster determines whether your policy covers this claim, and, if so, what it will pay.
The adjuster should contact you within 24 hours. It might be longer if you reported your claim on a holiday or a weekend. If you haven’t heard from the adjuster after a full day, or if your situation is urgent, contact the adjuster or your agent.
Your insurance policy is a contract. It requires you AND your insurance company to do certain things.
Your Responsibilities in an Insurance Claim
Prevent further damage to any property until it can be inspected and repaired.
Respond promptly to any claim communication. That helps speed the process.
Keep copies of any documents important to settling your claim. That might include: police reports; receipts; estimates; or notes of conversations.
Cooperate with the insurance company to settle the claim. That may include providing a list of your lost or damaged items.
Your Insurance Company’s Claim Responsibilities
Investigate your claim thoroughly, promptly and fairly.
Pay or deny your claim within a reasonable time.
Provide a written explanation for any denial, referencing your insurance policy wording.
Fairly compensate you for a covered loss, according to the terms of your policy.
Your Agent’s Role in Your Insurance Claim
One reason you do business with Noyes Hall & Allen is assistance after a loss.
Most claims go faster if your agent doesn’t get in the middle. You and your adjuster work together to settle your claim quickly and fairly.
Sometimes you need more help. We’re here! Your agent can:
Explain any insurance terms, or how the process works.
Help get your claim back on track if communication falters during the process.
Many of us are online more than ever. We can shop for everything from groceries to garden supplies. We can pay bills, communicate with doctors, connect with loved ones, and read news online.
This can all be really convenient. It can also expose your personal information to cyber criminals and other bad actors.
Up to now, insurance coverage against cyber crime frankly hasn’t been very good. It covered limited types of loss – mostly the kind that don’t occur often.
But Andover Companies recently introduced Cyber Protection coverage.
We like Andover’s Cyber Protection because it covers you against many common situations, including:
Cyber attack – someone attacks your computer, stealing information.
Data breach – your personal information is stolen or compromised from a vendor or service you use.
Online fraud – unauthorized use of accounts, identity theft, etc.
Cyber extortion – your computer is disabled by bad actors who promise to fix it – for a price.
Cyberbullying – harassment or attack via text, email or social media.
Premium starts at $45 per year for $25,000 in protection. You can buy as much as $50,000 coverage for $55 per year.
For years we’ve asked our insurance companies to introduce coverage like this. Andover Companies is one of the first one to make it broadly available to our clients. We recommend that our clients consider it.