In my experience, average homeowners and consumers know the basics of insurance, but usually don't know greater details that can help them in the long term. When shopping for a home, we rarely consider other factors that are just as significant as curb appeal or square footage. Since buying a home is the largest purchase the majority of us will ever make, it's important to protect it like you would another valuable asset, like your car. I asked 3 Lexington insurance agents on their tips for homeowner's insurance and how to find the right policy for you.
- David Saab, Geico of Lexington: “It is ideal to keep a good credit score, as most home insurance companies base some of the pricing off of your score. This is only one factor but it is an important piece of the puzzle. Think about adding a home security system, as most companies offer discounts for keeping an active security system in the house. Plus, who doesn’t want to feel safe when at home? Also, keeping your house in good/strong condition can help you avoid unnecessary claims. Many companies offer discounts or better rates for upgraded roofs and strong foundations or masonry siding. Keep a higher deductible for a lower premium, as I would advise keeping a deductible around $1,000 or more. I have seen customers with multiple home insurance claims on their record that averaged less than $1,000 have a hard time finding affordable home insurance afterwards. Most companies look back around 3 to 5 years on claim history.” Facebook @GeicoLexington
- Ryan Shive, owner of Thoroughbred Insurance Services: "Many clients want to know how they can maximize their insurance saving when buying a new home. The first and best way to get the best possible rate is to bundle your auto and home insurance through the same carrier. Every carrier is going to offer a multi-policy discount for having both auto and home insurance through them ranging from 15-30% depending upon the carrier. I represent 9 different auto and home insurance companies and 98% of the time I try to bundle my clients through the same carrier. Also, to the best of your ability, try to find out if there have been any major updates on the home. By this I mean has the roof, HVAC, electrical system, or plumbing system ever undergone a complete replacement of a significant update. These are systems that if not maintained can lead to a significant claim. If you’ve updated any of these systems be sure to let your insurance agent know." Facebook @ThoroughbredInsuranceServices
- Hays Cannon, Director of Personal Lines Marketing at GCH Insurance Group: “When purchasing homeowner’s insurance it’s crucial to understand the difference between market value and replacement cost. Market value is what you paid for the home and replacement cost is how much you would have to pay to rebuild your home with today’s cost of material and labor. Often, these two values don’t match. Mainly, due to inflation of building material over time and debris removal. For this reason, we always wish to insure the home for the replacement cost value. For example: If your home burns to the ground, there will be a hefty bill for the cleanup. Most clients do not take this into consideration when applying for insurance.” Facebook @GCHInsuranceGroup