After a long search, you have finally found “the” home, your offer has been accepted, and you’ve signed innumerable documents. Now what? Before you begin to actually move, you need to find a homeowners insurance policy that protects your large investment and meets all the needs of your Tampa FL home. At this point a wise purchaser will make another investment--one of time--to find the right policy in terms of cost, coverage, and service.
- The amount of your insurance should cover the cost of replacing or rebuilding your Tampa FL home. That amount is not the same as market value (or even what you paid) since you already own the land. Most policies include coverage for up to 125% of replacement cost.
- Personal property. Most policies cover personal property at 50% to 75% of the value of the home. If your insurance pays actual cash value, you will not be reimbursed for the current value. However, replacement cost is usually available as an endorsement to your personal property insurance.
- Explore consumer guides, online sites, and agent interviews for price quotes. Check here to ascertain financial stability of the companies you’re considering.
- Don’t consider price alone. Look for quality service and a solid track record. Registered complaint information can be found at NAIC.com, or you can click here for your state’s insurance department website.
- Discounts. Many companies will give you a discount if you insure both your car and your Tampa FL home with them. Ask about other discounts for adding preventative devices such as smoke detectors, deadbolts, security systems, storm shutters, roof reinforcement, and modernized plumbing, heating, and electrical systems, etc. In addition, over-55 retirees often receive discounts.
- Credit rating. Since insurers are increasingly using credit information to influence the price of policies, the higher your credit rating, the lower the cost.
- Long -term customers sometimes qualify for discounts, generally 5% for a 3 to 5 year relationship and 10% for 6 years or more.
- Deductibles. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium. Insurers are currently recommending a $500 deductible, but if you raise that figure to $1000, you can save as much as 25%. Your financial situation will be the deciding factor here.
Coming in PART II…INSURANCE COVERAGE AND SERVICES
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