- Know how much your house is worth.
- Know what level of coverage you need.
- For instance, you need to decide whether the coverage should be enough to completely replace the home and its contents. Or, would you rather have a lower premium with a higher deductible that would come out of your saving, if anything happens.
- What kinds of insurance do you need? Fire? Theft? Earthquake? Flooding? Tornado or wind damage?
- Get quotes from different insurance companies.
- Consider the trade-offs between the different quotes.
- Company reputation.
As you check with different companies for insurance, they should ask about key factors, and it is helpful to be ready to answer questions such as
- the location, size and value of the home,
- insurance for contents,
- distance from a fire department,
- type or construction of the home (e.g., wood or brick?),
There may also be risks that are higher in your region or neighborhood. For instance, in some regions of the U.S. radon gas can be an issue. You may be asked if you've done anything to alleviate the risk, such as testing for radon.
Some things that may lower your insurance rates:
- a close fire hydrant
- smoke or fire detectors
- a safe neighborhood
- no or few recent insurance claims
- other insurance policies through the same company -- you can often get a discount if you have automobile, life or health insurance through the same company
- sometimes you can same some money by paying for a longer term