Homeowners' Insurance: Finding a Company that Treats You Fairly

Homeowners insurance is something that most individuals rarely think about. When they buy a house, they get a homeowners insurance policy and then they forget about it until they have a claim. When looking for a homeowners insurance company, you want to find one that will treat you fairly. Here are a few things to consider about finding a reputable homeowners insurance provider.

Large Claims

In most cases, your home is going to be your biggest financial asset. When you are dealing with such a large financial investment, you want to make sure that you are protected against any potential problems with it. Most homeowners claims deal with large amounts of money. If you have a claim, it will most likely be over $5000 in most cases. This means that you need to find an insurance company that is reputable and will treat you fairly. Otherwise, you could be severely taken advantage of when it is time to file a claim.

Premiums

In addition to making sure that you are taking care of during a claim, you will also want to be aware of the premiums that you will have to pay. If a company is charging you more for your homeowners insurance premium than any of the other companies in the market, you need to know about it. While you do not necessarily have to have the cheapest insurance plan on the market, you want to be treated fairly with your premiums.

Settlement

When you are dealing with a claim, you want to know that you are going to get a fair settlement. For example, if you have a flood, you want to know how the insurance company is going to come up with an amount for your settlement. Be sure to ask your insurance company about how they arrive at settlement amounts before you sign up with them. Many insurance companies use a program called Xactimate to create estimates when a claim occurs. With this software, the adjuster will be able to create a detailed model of the damaged area. They will then be able to estimate all of the costs that will be necessary in order to repair the damage. Xactimate is constantly surveying contractors and other building personnel in order to determine fair market value for repairs. 

In addition to this, many insurance companies use an independent company to determine the value of building materials. For example, if your flooring is damaged, the insurance company can send a sample of your flooring to a laboratory known as ITEL. This is an independent laboratory that does nothing but test building materials such as flooring and siding. They will be able to run it through a database and give you the approximate value of the material. If an insurance company does not use a system like this, they will basically be guessing as to the value of the materials in your home. 

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