If you’ve decided you want to pay more for home insurance, you should probably skip this post. However, if you’re someone who likes to save money or you want to fire your current home insurance company because they’re just plain bad, you’re in luck. It’s actually very easy to switch home insurance providers if you know what you’re doing. We’re here to help.
There are many reasons you might want to switch your home insurance policy.
- Save money. Insurance rates go up and down. Insurance companies have different ways of setting their rates. For example, the cheapest company for new houses might be the most expensive for older houses. It’s a scientific fact that your new house will become an older house over time. You might also have a home insurance CEO who wakes up one day, decides to be a grinch, and starts charging double if you have a pool. Maybe you just get a discount if you buy all of your insurance in the same place. If you haven’t shopped for rates lately, you could be missing out on big savings.
- Changing coverage needs. You might need more coverage because you did a renovation, added a pool, or got a dog. Maybe you’re convinced your spouse’s bad cooking will burn down your house, and you want to make sure you have the most coverage possible. You might also have serious concerns like a change in flood zone maps or an increase in wildfires in your area. Not every insurance company offers the same coverages or pricing.
- You’re moving. If you’re moving, your current home insurance company might not work there, or another company might be a better option. Since you have to call and update your policy anyway, you might as well shop around to see what’s best for your new house.
- Your current insurance company is just plain bad. Did your current insurance company hassle you over a small claim and leave you wondering what will happen with a big one? Are they rude every time they answer the phone (if they even do answer)? Then fire them.
Changing Homeowners Insurance Providers in 7 Easy Steps
Remember how we told you it was easy to find new home insurance? This is the part where you get to see just how easy it is.
- Decide if you have a reason to switch. This could be a reason you definitely want to switch or something you want to check, like if you can find a lower rate.
- Carefully inspect your current home insurance policy. It’s a common trick in the insurance world for homeowners insurance companies to say they can lower your monthly payment but what they’re really doing is cutting your coverage. If you were buying ten apples for $1 each, would you switch to buying three apples for $6? You have to know what’s in your insurance policy to know whether you’re getting the same coverage.
- Shop for better rates. This is the part where you go to different insurance companies and say, “I have replacement cost coverage, $500,000 in liability insurance, a pool, a dog, and a brand new roof. Can you give me the same coverage and beat what I’m paying now?”
- Call your current provider if you’re changing coverage. If someone gives you a lower price to change coverages and you think that’s a good idea, call your current insurance provider to see if they’ll beat that price (unless you hate them more than the money you’ll save).
- Call your mortgage company. If you have a mortgage lender or broker, call them before you change anything. Your mortgage requires certain types and amounts of coverages. Your mortgage company also has to be named on your insurance policy, and they have a process they want you to follow. Call them up, so you know the policy you want to buy is OK and what they want you to do next. They also may need to make adjustments to your escrow payments.
- Buy your new insurance policy, then cancel your old one. Always, always, always buy your new home insurance policy and make sure everything goes through before you cancel your old one. You don’t want to be without insurance because you canceled too early or found out at the last minute your roof is too old for the new insurance company to give you a policy.
- Break up with your old insurance company. Buying new home insurance doesn’t cancel your own home insurance. You have to tell your old insurance company, of course, after you have your new policy.
Changing homeowners insurance policies mid-term is one of those things that can vary based on both your insurance company and your state laws. You can always buy a new policy whenever you want, but you need to figure out if it costs you extra to switch.
There are three possible situations.
- You get a full refund for any unused premiums. If you paid in advance for 12 months and switch after six months, you get half your money back since you used half your policy.
- You get a partial refund. Same as above, except maybe you only get four or five months’ worth of premiums back.
- You owe a penalty. Some insurance policies have an early termination fee. If you pay monthly, you may have to write your old insurance company an extra check when you cancel.
You’ll need to check your existing home insurance policy to see what situation applies to you. If you don’t get a full refund, wait until near the end of your current policy or do the math on if switching sooner beats the penalty.
Let’s face it, the reason most people don’t switch home insurance companies for years is that they think it’s too hard or they don’t have the time. That’s why LemonBrew is here. LemonBrew Insurance can quickly get you a home insurance quote. It also checks to see if you can save even more by bundling with your auto or other insurance coverages. Give it a try now to see how easy it is and how much you’ll save.