Everyone needs the help of auto and home insurance at some point. In fact, without having auto or home insurance, one risks heavy fines and tickets while driving their vehicle, and also losing their home. In addition, not having insurance can be a reason banks will deny someone a mortgage loan. Because of this, many people scramble to get insurance, and might not always get the best, top-rated insurance, or a good deal.
What is Insurance?
The best home and auto insurance work to secure your investment in any asset, whether a home or automobile, and be protected in case any accidents or natural disasters occur. Your insurance company can help settle insurance claims if you are involved in an accident where you are at fault, or help you fix your home in case of an accident or disaster. Knowing that insurance is so important, why doesn’t everyone get insurance? It can be difficult to prioritize insurance and shell out money to pay for it. In fact, it can be difficult for home and automobile owners to pay to maintain their assets, leading to damages that occur due to their negligence. For instance, if you see damage or it’s been over 20 years since your roof has been replaced, it’s time to invest in roof replacement. Failing to do so can cause your roof to cave in, damage your home, and due to negligence, this damage might not be covered under insurance. At the end of the day, having the best home and auto insurance is a choice one must make in order to ensure they stay safe and are able to care for their assets for years to come.
Where do I get Insurance?
There are a variety of insurance agencies around, but not all are considered the best home and auto insurance. Different variables, such as price, past accidents, and customer service can all factor into whether or not someone chooses to get insurance. Due to the many insurance agencies available, it can be difficult to understand how each works, what each representative is like, and how each treats their customers. This is especially true if you have more than one insurance company for both your car and home. Many people choose to bundle their home and auto insurance in order to not have to deal with the hassle of juggling various insurance companies. If you’d like to know more about the pros and cons of bundling home and auto insurance, below are 15 tips to help you find the best home and auto insurance. These are things you should look for before getting involved with an insurance company and devoting your time and finances to them.
1. Customer Service
No matter what business you decide to give your money to, it’s important to make sure they have great customer service and people skills. The best home and auto insurance will have 24/7 customer service agents that can help you at any given moment, and can also be easily reached through telephone or e-mail. Make sure you know how to reach out to your agent, and know that you are deserving of an insurance company that makes you, your home, and assets a priority.
2. Good Ratings
Ratings are an important indicator of the success and usefulness of an insurance agency. Credit rating agencies such as Moody’s, A.M., Best, and Finch use ratings to show how likely it will be that an insurance company will be able to pay for a claim and for damages. It’s important to stick with a bigger insurance company that will provide the best home and auto insurance payments on time, and will have no trouble coming up with funds.
3. Great Reviews
Reviews mean everything when it comes to insurance, and going with a poorly reviewed auto or home insurance policy simply because of the price is a disastrous choice. It’s easy to look at not just reviews of patrons on apps such as Yelp and Google, but also insurance studies conducted by businesses such as J.D. Power. For instance, in 2019, J.D. Power found that the best home and auto insurance for customer satisfaction was Amica insurance, which offers bundles for Auto, Home, and Life insurance. Several other categories of insurance companies are at the top of their game, such as All-State for bundling, and Safeco for replacement cost coverage. A simple internet search could save you thousands in the long run, in addition to preventing stress due to an accident or damage to your home!
4. Low Deductible
Deductibles are the amount that a person will pay for their automobile or home before insurance finally takes over. For an automobile, for instance, someone might pay a $500 or $1000 deductible while the insurance will pay the rest to automobile repair shops so they can initiate repairs. A low deductible rating is always a good option, and the best home and auto insurance policies will give you the option of paying either a low or high deductible. A high deductible will allow you to pay a lower premium in the long run.
5. Affordable Premiums
As mentioned above, a high deductible usually means a lower premium, but premiums can be low at various insurance companies. A premium is an amount you will pay monthly for your policies. Unfortunately, premiums have a tendency to be more expensive if you live in a crime-infested neighborhood or have a lot of accidents, as these are considered high risk for insurance companies. But, not to worry, the best home and auto insurance companies will be able to offer you low premiums if you’ve never been in an accident, or if it’s been a while since you’ve filed for a claim.
6. Bundling Discounts
As we mentioned earlier, bundling can save you a whopping amount of money by combining your home, auto, and even life insurance policies. According to JD Power, the biggest discount seen with bundling was 20% by Allstate Insurance. In addition, bundling discounts aren’t just given by bundling home and auto insurance, but also within each insurance policy. For instance, families adding a car to their family plan can save hundreds of dollars in premiums a year by simply bundling their separate insurance policies together. Ask an agent how many discounts are available to you.
7. Rental Insurance
No matter what insurance policy you have, rental insurance is a must-have for any vehicle policy. Rental insurance can be of immense help if you find yourself the victim of auto theft, or simply can’t operate your vehicle due to an accident. Rental insurance will ensure you are covered for a certain amount of a rental vehicle each day. Most rental vehicles cost between 50-100 dollars per day if not more. Select a policy that will cover these costs and ensure you during the time your vehicle is being repaired or replaced.
8. Earthquake Insurance
Depending on the area you live in, you want to make sure your home insurance offers earthquake coverage. Earthquakes can cause major damage to a home, especially in states such as California where mudslides can also result from an Earthquake. Keep in mind the extent of the coverage for earthquake insurance. Most policies will not cover incidental damage, for instance, if a well is damaged to do earthquakes. You will have to pay for well drilling and other incidental damage out of pocket. However, a good home insurance policy with earthquake coverage can pay for most of the damages.
9. Comprehensive Coverage
Comprehensive coverage should come with your home and auto insurance and can be a life-saver when you really need it. For instance, if your vehicle gets a part stolen, such as a catalytic converter, this can make your vehicle loud and unsafe to drive. A good insurance policy will cover such thefts of vehicle parts under comprehensive coverage, so make sure it is extensive in your policy.
10. Perks of Standard Insurance
Standard home insurance covers things such as natural disasters, fire, and burglary, but what are the other perks? When looking at the best home and auto insurance plans, look at the little things that you might need to take care of and if they are covered in your plan. If you need a locksmith company to come and fix your locks after a break-in, or simply because you locked yourself out, will this be covered? What about a broken window screen? Attention to the small perks and details in your insurance policy is crucial.
11. Covered Perils
Both home and auto insurance policies look at covered perils to determine what you might be compensated for. For instance, if you need heating services to replace a furnace costing thousands of dollars, covered perils might only include fire and not flood damage. Because of this, it’s important to understand what covered perils your insurance utilizes, and if you’re likely to use them in the future.
12. Insurance for when you’re Not There
The best home and auto insurance will cover damage to your vehicle even if you’re not the person driving it. The best insurance to have if you know you won’t be driving your vehicle often, or if you’re going to be using title loans and putting your car as collateral, are comprehensive and collision insurance. Comprehensive and collision insurance will cover your car if, for instance, your child is driving the car, or if anything damages it such as natural disasters and theft. Let your insurance agent know that you will be putting your car up for collateral, or that you will be having additional drivers behind the wheel. Not doing so might damage your chances of being covered in case of an accident.
13. Additional Living Expenses
If both your home and car are damaged due to natural disasters, you might have to couch-surf or spend your time at a hotel. But, will the best home and auto insurance cover this? Absolutely! Under additional living expenses coverage, homeowners can wait out repairs in the safety of a hotel or motel. Be sure to understand the policy exactly. For instance, if your home is flooded and uninhabitable, many times this is not covered under ALE. However, if your home was flooded and in the process, your roof was damaged, you can use ALE coverage while a roofing service repairs your home. There are many ways to ensure you get the full benefits of additional living expenses coverage.
14. Commercial Bundling
Just like you’d save money with bundling home and auto insurance, you can be sure you’ll save money bundling commercial insurance too. Commercial insurance can be anything from worker’s compensation insurance, to insurance used on a vehicle you use for business. For instance, if you own a trailer, and are maintaining it using proper maintenance procedures such as checking tires and trailer alignment, chances are you’ll be covered in case of an accident that’s not your fault with commercial insurance. Don’t just stick with bundling home and auto insurance, and see how much you can save by bundling commercial insurance too.
15. Dwelling Insurance
Some units inside your home are fairly expensive to repair and can cause some serious damage if gone without repair and maintenance for a long time. Take HVAC units that are essential for filtering and distributing heated and cooled air throughout the home. Without properly maintaining these units, you can cause them to give out sooner rather than later, and have to replace them. Though old age can cause these units to be damaged quicker, so can accidents such as damage from hail and the elements. You’ll want the best home and auto insurance to be able to cover these damages through dwelling insurance. Speak to your agent about dwelling insurance coverage to ensure you will be covered for HVAC contractors, replacement, and repairs in case of unexpected damages.