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How do you purchase homeowners insurance?

Choosing a homeowners insurance policy could be confusing since there are an abundance of insurance providers and a plethora of policies. You can get information about various insurance providers through a variety of methods, such as your state’s insurance department, the Internet and advice from friends. However, before purchasing a homeowners insurance policy, you need to determine exactly what your needs are based on your lifestyle and your home’s location.

To make an informed decision about which type of home insurance policy to buy, familiarize yourself with your home and neighborhood. A professional home inspection could uncover potential problems in your house’s structure. Once these problems are fixed, the insurance premium will decrease. In addition, find out if your neighborhood is conducive to crime. If so, the insurance premium might be higher than the standard. Similarly, if you live in a neighborhood that’s prone to storms and hurricanes, the cost to insure your home will be higher as well.

Your lifestyle is also a factor. Decide if it is worthwhile to insure the contents of home and if you should insure your valuables separately. Make complete records of all your possessions, including photos and videos of each big-ticket item, in case of theft. Keep this information in a safe location, such as a safety deposit box or fire-proof home safe. This way you have proof of your valuables and will be able to be fairly reimbursed by the insurance company if necessary.

Once you decide on what type of insurance best fits your needs, your next step is to choose an insurance provider. You can ask your local realtor for recommendations, get advice from friends and neighbors or find a company via the Internet. Make sure you choose an insurance carrier that is licensed to operate in your state and has a good reputation. In addition, Web sites, such as Ambest and Fitch Ratings, compare different insurance companies’ financial strengths and weaknesses.