Shopping Tips for Buying Property & Casualty Insurance

Shopping Tips to Consider When Buying Auto and Homeowners Insurance

  • Answer the questions on the application completely and honestly.
  • Do not sign a blank application.
  • Do not pay the agent in cash. Make a check payable to the insurance company, and include the type of policy that you are paying for (auto or homeowners, etc.).
  • If you are turned down for insurance, ask for the specific reason.
  • Do not buy on price alone; consider coverage and service. Select a company and agent you feel you can trust.
  • Do not forget to ask about discounts for safety and security devices (burglar alarms, fire alarms, dead bolts).
  • Remember to use the Insurance Quotation Worksheet to see which company has the lowest price for you.
  • Ask if the company gives a new home discount or multi-policy discount.
  • Ask about the difference in price between a "named peril" policy and an "open perils" policy.
  • Make sure your dwelling policy limits are at least 80% of the replacement cost of your home. If you do not have a recent appraisal, ask your agent to help you.
  • Does the company offer an inflation guard endorsement?
  • Discuss with your agent whether you should list your valuable items of personal property on a personal property schedule. Does the company offer full replacement cost coverage on your personal belongings?
  • Ask about the difference in price for basic liability limits of $100,000 and a higher limit such as $300,000 or $500,000.
  • Companies are required by law to offer you water and sewer back-up coverage. If your property is subject to water which backs up through the sewer or drains, make sure you get this coverage. You may have to pay extra.
  • Companies are required by law to offer you building ordinance or law coverage.This provides protection when a building damaged by a covered peril must be repaired or rebuilt in a more costly manner because the original construction does not comply with current building codes. This coverage may cost you extra.