Securing the right home insurance should be at the top of your to-do list if you are a new homeowner.
It’s easy to get distracted by furnishing your new home, deciding who gets which bedroom and inviting guests over for a tour, but protecting your home is an important consideration. The great news is that there are many options out there when it comes to finding home insurance to fit your needs. The bad news: combing through those options can feel overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.
To help you through your journey, here is a quick guide to understanding what you’re looking for and where to find it so that you can enjoy complete peace of mind that your new home is protected from the unexpected.
What Are You Looking For?
It’s easy to get lost in the insurance-speak, so let’s get down to the basics. In its simplest terms, home insurance requires you to pay a small premium each month to help avoid a more significant expense down the road should unexpected events damage the structure of your home or its contents. As an added bonus, you will also be protected up to certain limits from financial liability if someone becomes injured on your property.
There are several tiers of homeowners insurance available – from “no-frills” fire and extended coverage policies to “heavy-duty” comprehensive policies – that differ based on what risks or perils they cover and the amount of coverage available to you should you make a claim.
How Much Coverage Do You Need?
In Ontario, the average cost of home insurance can vary greatly; quotes are specific to each applicant, and there is no one-size-fits-all price for standard coverage. The reason is that the cost of your premiums depends on a variety of personal and property-related factors. Some of these factors include your home’s rebuilding cost, the age and construction features of your home, the area you live in and local crime rate, your marital status and claims history, and the amount of coverage you are seeking.
Because every insurance company will use a unique approach to weigh these variables, quotes will often differ between providers. Remember the old adage, “you get what you pay for.” Price should not be the sole factor as you compare quotes; a lower premium can translate to less coverage, or a newer carrier may offer it in the market, lacking the experience of a more established insurer.
Without appropriate home insurance coverage, you risk underinsuring your home, which will leave you with limited coverage should you ever need to make a claim. Meanwhile, if you over-insure your home, then you’ll be stuck paying higher premiums than necessary over your home insurance policy term. Your insurance advisor or broker should help guide you through the differences between each policy quote, helping you understand what loses are covered and which are excluded and any limits that may be applicable.
Where Can You Look?
A great place to start as you’re looking for home insurance is talking to those you trust; your family, friends, and co-workers. It’s easy to feel inundated by internet searches or advertising messages as you’re on the lookout for reliable insurance providers. Still, the people in your life will share an unbiased review of their experience with their provider and whether they feel like their insurance coverage is fit for purpose.
Once you’re ready to start purchasing, you can reach out directly to insurance companies or use an insurance broker. While an insurance company will only walk you through their available products, an insurance broker will present you with viable home insurance options from multiple providers that best align with your budget and coverage needs. Further, your insurance broker will help you assess whether you’re eligible for any discounts on home insurance. You may qualify for a reduced rate if you have recently installed protective devices in your home (like a security system or a monitored fire alarm), if you’re a first-time homebuyer or a mature homeowner, or if you are bundling multiple insurance products.
Securing Home Insurance
Finding the right fit for your home insurance can feel overwhelming with so many options to choose from. An insurance broker can help alleviate the burden by shopping on your behalf. The team at Keller & Associates has the expertise and experience to help homeowners like you find affordable home insurance options with the protection you need most.
Reach out to our team today to learn more about your options for securing your biggest asset, your home!