Shopping for bundled homeowners insurance isn't easy, but 90 minutes showed me how to save $1,600
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- After getting an offer accepted on a potential new home, I had to shop for homeowner's insurance for the first time.
- Homeowner's insurance shopping is a bit more complicated than other policies I've shopped for in the past, with lots of detailed questions. The process took me about an hour and a half for six quotes.
- The most expensive quote I received was $2,741 from Farmers for home and auto, but my research found that a similar Progressive policy would save me about $1,600 per year.
- Policygenius can help you compare homeowner's insurance policies to find the right coverage for you, at the right price »
After a few months of shopping, I finally found my dream house. Once my offer was accepted, the house was inspected, and I started the financing process, I had some slightly less glamorous shopping to do: shopping for homeowner's insurance.
I've shopped for car insurance policies before, but I quickly learned that homeowner's insurance is quite different. The same basic process to shop for insurance still applies: Gather between four and six quotes, look for the policy with the most coverage types and highest limits along with the lowest deductible and premium. While the process took me a bit longer than shopping for car insurance or renters insurance has in the past, I was glad I did — I could have overpaid for my insurance by as much as $1,600.
Homeowners insurance shopping takes a few extra minutes
As I started shopping, I realized the process of homeowners insurance shopping would require a lot more time and information than the process of shopping for auto or renters insurance. All of the insurers I got quotes from asked very specific questions about the various types of roofing, siding, about the foundation, and questions about the electrical and plumbing systems.
I'm not too well-versed in these things, but luckily, I had the inspection completed and the report on hand. I found it helpful to have the inspection report and the listing to reference while getting quotes.
I wanted to bundle my insurance possible
Since I also own a car, I wanted to get a bundle quote for both my car and my homeowners insurance. I broke out a spreadsheet to keep everything organized, and kept my eye on three major factors:
- The deductible: The amount you'll pay before your coverage kicks in if you need to make an insurance claim. Generally, the smaller the deductible the better, but low deductibles can make coverage more expensive.
- The personal liability limit: This coverage protects homeowners if sued by someone else for an accident or other situation that happens on your property. The higher, the better with this coverage.
- Limit of repair and rebuild coverage: If your home is damaged or destroyed, this is the maximum amount that an insurance company will pay for a repair or rebuild. I wanted this amount to be as close as possible to (or above) my home's value.
Here's how my quotes stacked up for the same house and car, including any bundling discounts where available:
|Company||Deductible||Liability||Repair & rebuild||Yearly home premium||Yearly auto premium||Yearly total|
|Progressive||$2,500 wind and hail, $1,000 for anything else||$300,000||$173,000||$453||$640||$1,093|
|Nationwide||3% of home's value for wind and hail, $2,500 for everything else||$100,000||$196,999||$418||$1,045||$1,463|
I started with Business Insider's 2020 top homeowners insurance picks, a list of companies that made top marks for customer satisfaction, financial strength, availability, and company size. I got quotes online from four of the top five: State Farm, Amica, Erie, and Farmers.
However, these four companies didn't offer me the best price. While Erie had a very good homeowners quote at $762, the auto insurance quote was high. This is the perfect illustration of how insurance works — a company that has the best quote for one person won't always have the best price for everyone. Each insurance company considers your personal information differently, and prices the policies differently too. With that in mind, I decided to get quotes from a few more companies.
I kept looking with other insurers I'd worked with before, and found a winner at Progressive
I'd had a good experience with Progressive in the past, and wanted to see if I could get a good quote again. For both their home and car insurance quotes, Progressive beat the competition.
However, comparing the coverages led me to notice a glaring problem — Progressive's limit on coverage for rebuilding or repair was $24,000 lower than what other insurers were offering, and my home's value. Progressive's online tool didn't allow me to make edits on the coverage online before buying.
Before I buy the policy, I plan to call and see if I can raise that maximum rebuild and repair coverage to the amount of my other quotes. While that will probably raise my premium a bit, Progressive's quotes still offered me the best coverage for the best price by leaps and bounds. I don't think that raising that coverage will add enough to the premium to change that.
By taking the time to shop around for homeowners insurance coverage, I saved a significant amount. The difference between my highest quote and lowest quote was $1,648 per year. Not only am I sure I didn't overpay — I'll hopefully have a little cash left over to start my house out right.
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