The home-buying process is accompanied by a whirlwind of documentation, meetings, and phone calls… and the time crunch surrounding this process is highly stressful.
Getting the correct information as quickly as possible will help to alleviate the stress and leave you feeling relieved and informed.
Below are ten critical questions for your home insurance broker when getting a home insurance quote. Some questions may vary depending on your specific situation.
1. Is there a guaranteed replacement clause in my policy in the event of a total loss?
Some policies may have a payout ceiling that might not cover the cost of rebuilding your home from the ground up. Property appreciation, building costs, materials, labor force changes, and many other factors can influence the home’s replacement value. Be sure to answer your brokers’ questions about the house as accurately and truthfully as possible to account for any contingencies that affect the replacement value.
2. Is it my responsibility to independently appraise my home to establish replacement value?
Many insurers will wish to complete an inspection of the home to ensure their coverage meets the homeowner’s needs. Your broker should also contact you periodically to review the information on file to assess the home’s replacement value and ensure the policy is up to date. If you complete any updates or upgrades to the house, you need to contact your broker to update that information. Depending on any safety upgrades, you may qualify for additional home insurance discounts on the original policy. It pays to ask a lot of questions.
3. What sort of coverage or limitations are there regarding personal property and contents?
This is over and above the home’s replacement value, as discussed in the last question. This covers the replacement of your personal belongings and possessions. You must develop an inventory of your belongings so your broker can develop the most relevant and cost-effective policy for your situation.
4. What are the requirements for when I am away on holiday?
This is extremely important and should be on every list. You can void your warranty if you leave your home unattended for a particular time. It could be just a few days, so ensure you’ve detailed this requirement with your broker before signing anything. This is often mitigated by asking a friend or family member to peek at the home every so often. Each policy can be different, so be informed!
5. Are there discounts that I can qualify for?
Who doesn’t love discounts? It’s worth discussing this with your broker as there are many ways that you can save on your premiums by way of insurance discounts. Please review our checklist, and don’t miss out on some additional savings.
6. Does my policy cover water damage & are there restrictions on overland water?
We recently covered this topic in great detail here. If you are located near a river, stream, ocean, or even a dam, you will want to check whether you should apply for this coverage.
7. Is there coverage for a home-based business?
You will undoubtedly want to investigate your options if you run a small business out of your home, such as a consulting business. Do your clients visit you at the property? If so, you’ll need some manner of liability coverage to protect you and your property. This topic does warrant an entire post on its own, so look for that shortly. If you work out of your home, ask many questions about business coverage and liability.
8. Does this policy contain additional living expense coverage?
People don’t always discuss this with their broker, but you may qualify for living expenses while forced away from your home after significant damage or a total loss. These costs can add up quickly, from hotel costs to rental expenses, including room and board. Perhaps there is an evacuation order in the area, but your home isn’t damaged. Does the policy cover this? Are you in an area prone to the effects of forest fires? Ask all the meaningful questions and feel confident that you will be cared for during an unfortunate event.
9. Who is the insurance carrier?
Not all carriers are equal, and asking a few simple questions can save you a lot of headaches down the road. Questions related to a deductible, financial stability, and industry tenure can all help build trust and confidence with your broker and the recommended policy.
10. When and how should I initiate a claim?
Call your carrier agent immediately, and they will instruct you on the best action. Sometimes it just makes more sense to handle the situation privately rather than risk the deductible. Anytime you feel there has been damage or theft from your property, you must contact your official carrier and initiate a claim as soon as possible. There may have been an event that attracted a slew of claims, and you’ll want to get in early to ensure a quicker resolution.
There are many beneficial questions to ask your insurance broker when shopping for the perfect plan.
These are just a few of the most important ones to help guide you to an appropriate policy that meets your unique requirements and hopefully includes a few welcomed discounts.
Harbord Insurance looks for the best possible policy by comparing many different carriers. If you know what you want, try comparing insurance quotes here. We look forward to speaking to you once you’ve completed the form.
Alternatively, you can contact our team at 250-388-5533. We hope to chat soon!