5 Important Questions to Ask Your Home Insurance Agent
When you are meeting with your home insurance agent, there are many questions you should ask. However, as with most kinds of insurance, some questions are more important than others. For your home insurance, here are five questions that should be at the top of the list.
- Make sure the agent can practice in your state: Trust can be a key factor when you make your judgment on a home insurance agent. Therefore, make sure that key component of the puzzle can be reached. You really need to know if they are authorized to sell insurance in your state. There are a lot of unscrupulous people who will offer you cheap insurance and take your money, when in reality they offer nothing. You can put this question to rest by checking with your state’s department of insurance. They will be able to let you know if the insurer you are thinking of going with is legitimate.
- Find out where exactly the agent is located: You need to know exactly where your insurance agent is located. Many times people turn to the internet to get insurance and the agent working with you is not in the area. You will get better, more immediate service on any future claims if the agent is located in your general area. He or she will have a better understanding of your local laws and practices.
- Inquire about the financial standing of their company: You should check and ask about the insurance company’s financial soundness. The reason for this is you do not want to have to file a claim and then find out that the insurance company you chose is now out of business. If this happens, it will cost you a lot of money in the long run. You will have to fix the problems with your home on your own and your premiums will be of no use to you.
- Find out which plans they offer: The home insurance agent should be able to tell you the different types of plans that they offer — the area that you live in will play a big part in those plans. Florida has hurricanes and Oklahoma has tornadoes. There are home insurance companies that offer plans in the event of such disasters, some separate from home insurance altogether.
- Find out if the company will offer you a discount: Finally, you will want to know if the insurance company will offer any discounts with your policy. There are many instances that may qualify you for discounts on your home insurance. A popular discount is having your car insurance and home insurance with the same company. When you do this, you can save up to 20 percent. Some companies will offer up to 20 percent if you are retired, 55 years old, and living in your primary residence. This could almost be considered a senior citizen’s discount. If you have fully operating fire extinguishers and smoke alarms in your home, you could expect to see up to 15 percent deducted from your homeowners insurance. The discounts can cover just about every applicant. You would be hard-pressed not to find a discount. So don’t be afraid to ask the agent when you meet.