It’s good to revisit your homeowner’s policy every couple of years. Most homeowner’s have their premium (the amount of money you pay for coverage) automatically deducted from an escrow account through their bank who holds their mortgage. It’s very easy to forget how much you are paying or what your coverage provides. If your credit score has improved since you last changed insurance carriers you should definitely review your homeowner’s policy and see if you can get a better deal. In many cases, you might be eligible to receive better coverage for the same or even less money.

In order to shop for quotes, be prepared to disclose a good bit of personal information about your household. Don’t be offended – the information you give to an insurance agent will ensure you get the right amount of coverage at the appropriate rate. It’s probably a good idea to have the standard information an insurance agent will ask for readily available. They will need to know the square footage of your house, its construction method (brick or frame), year built and appraised tax value. Be sure to be as honest as possible – if you falsify information at the time of signing an insurance application you could be denied coverage if there is a claim. Your household’s prior history will be a big rate determiner. Insurance companies look at several key things when setting rates: claim loss history, how long you’ve had continuous coverage and finally your credit score.

There can also be new insurance products that weren’t available at the time you first took out your policy, such as automatically self-lowering deductibles or different liability products. You might get a better deal if you switch all of your insurance products such as auto and your umbrella policy to a single carrier. In some states, it is now required that you have your homeowner’s policy with your auto insurance carrier in order to get coverage. Either way, it’s generally a good idea to review your current coverage with an insurance professional to make sure you have the proper coverage for a catastrophic liability loss (a big car wreck or fall in your house) and that you have the proper coverage for all possible perils. For example, standard homeowner’s policies don’t carry flood insurance. Be sure to work on several quotes before your policy automatically renews. In most cases, if you cancel a policy after it’s renewed you won’t be refunded on a pro rata basis and will instead be penalized.