It probably comes as no surprise that insurance coverages and premiums vary by company. Of course, this includes homeowners’ policies. The best way to know whether you are buying the right policy for you house is to understand what is involved with receiving homeowners insurance Texas quotes. With this information, you can compare policies that cover the exterior and interior of your home.
This part of the process might seem cumbersome. However, failing to take the time upfront to securing the right coverages and policy limits makes it harder to recover. The reality of no coverage, or inadequate coverage, deepens the pain after a loss.
Determining Your Homeowner’s Insurance Needs
Whether you begin this process alone or with the assistance of an insurance agent, you first want to complete a home inventory. This requires documenting the types of personal property throughout your home and including the value of each item.
Generally, this list is used to select the coverage and limits that protects your property. Documenting unique features and construction quality of your home also helps to determine how much and what type of homeowners insurance Texas quotes closely match your needs.
To start the inventory, describe each item on the list. The description should include where the item was purchased and the make and model, if applicable. Attach any purchase contracts, sales receipts and appraisals.
Count the number of clothing items you own, separating by categories: i.e. coats, shoes and pants. Record the serial numbers of electronic equipment and major appliances. Remember that big ticket items might have increased in value since you began owning them and might need to be insured separately.
In addition to having a thorough list, take pictures of individual items and rooms. Make a note of what each picture represents. Walk through your home while videotaping and describing the contents.
Information the Insurance Company Uses to Provide Quotes
You also want to familiarize yourself with information insurance companies look for to provide homeowners insurance Texas quotes. Each company uses their own set of requirements before they issue a quotation. Important to insurance companies is the five-year loss history. However, there are some distinct similarities in details for you to gather prior to contacting the insurance companies.
Try to gather as much detail of the following:
- Home address
- Year built
- Total square footage, including basement if applicable
- Exterior construction such as wood, vinyl, brick, stucco, aluminum siding
- Roof type such as metal, asphalt, rubber shingle, built-up flat
- Age of roof, heating and cooling system, water heater, electrical
- Style of home, i.e. split level, two-story or ranch
- Garage stalls and whether it is attached or detached
- Nearest fire hydrant
Be prepared to also answer questions about the alarm system, if you have one. This includes the number of smoke alarms and whether they are hard-wired or battery operated. Insurance companies may also ask if you have a battery or hardwired carbon monoxide detector, or whether you have a sprinkler system.
Beyond the following list, be prepared to provide additional information as requested. Doing so not only gives the insurer complete information to provide a fair quote, but it also can offer more insight into how the insurance company is prepared to cover your house and possessions.
Optional Homeowners Insurance Coverages to Consider
Your home inventory list is also helpful when considering homeowners insurance Texas quotes for optional coverages. By visiting the homeowners insurance form, you can get more information on how to review unique exposures that are not part of a standard policy.
As a preview, here are some common coverage endorsements to consider:
- Collectibles: coins, stamps, baseball cards
- Natural disasters such as an earthquake or flood
- Antiques and fine art
- Damage from a sewer backup