Open Door Insurance Services Blog
Tips for dealing with (and securing) Home Insurance as national insurers pull out of California. Have you received a non-renewal notice?
· As soon as you get a non-renewal notice, start shopping - don't procrastinate!
· Seek out a seasoned insurance broker with access to multiple options.
· Do as much mitigation as you can to reduce the risk of your home being damaged or destroyed in a severe weather event. Seek out programs in your community that offer mitigation help and/or grants.
· Provide your insurer with documentation of completed mitigation steps and/or your community’s risk reduction activities.
· Get quotes for different deductible levels and make an informed decision: A higher deductible reduces your premium. With too high a deductible your insurance won’t cover even a moderate-sized claim.
· Avoid making small claims. Your claim history impacts your risk score. Your risk score impacts your insurance options and costs.
· Try and reduce/eliminate coverage you can live without (e.g. high dollar limits on Contents/Personal Property, Other Structures).
· If you can't find a known brand insurer willing to insure your home, research the financial strength of the companies that offer you quotes.
· If a state-sponsored insurance plan is your only option, consider supplemental policies to fill coverage gaps.
Tried and true tips:
· Bundle your home, auto and/or umbrella policies.
· Ask what discounts you may qualify for.
· Comparison shop as much as feasible.
· Aim to insure your property for its replacement value, even if that means you don’t pick the cheapest policy.
· Ideally, buy insurance that covers risks in your region (floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, hail).
What can an insurance agent or broker do to help me?
· Put in the time to seek out the best available options.
· Identify insurance options that are only available through a broker.
· Help you make good decisions and save money.
· Tailor your coverages to your specific situation and needs.
· Walk you through options available through non-standard (“non-admitted” “excess/surplus”) or government-sponsored programs.
· Possibly offer a premium financing plan.