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Buying the Right Insurance

Buying the Right Insurance

At Brown O’Haver we get asked all kinds of questions and we are always happy to respond as best we can, recognizing that our recommendations are what we would do not, what you must do. One of the questions that comes up frequently is the question: “How do I find the right insurance company?”. Here is our answer:

When shopping for home insurance, premium quotations and claim experience are useful tools for comparison of different companies’ products.

When asking for price quotations, it is critical that you provide the same information to each agent of the company.

To give you an accurate quote, the agent or company will usually request your provide the following information;

  1. Description of your house.
  2. Distance from the nearest fire department and fire hydrant.
  3. Square footage of your home.
  4. Recent remodeling.
  5. Alarms or security devices.
  6. Sometimes they ask for a picture of your home.
  7. The coverages and policy limits you wish.
  8. Other optional coverage.

The information above is necessary to the rating process in determining your quote.

Not all insurance companies use their own insurance agents to sell their own products so they retain independent agents. You might have to search to get a quote from an independent insurance agent but trust me, the search is worth it, especially if you want a quote from a good company like Amica or Chubb or Pure. Independent agents represent several companies so if you wish you can get quotes for more than one insurance company. This is considered a plus for many insurance consumers.

The major insurance companies use direct agents who are employees of their company or companies that represent only that particular company.

Before making an insurance purchase, you may want to call the State Insurance Department and ask for the company’s complaint ratio. Or, you can call us and ask us which companies are hard to deal with. From my own experience based upon getting insurance settlements, I would not select American Family or Liberty Mutual for my insurance. That being said insurance companies are cyclical and are sometimes better and sometimes not. Paying attention to these patterns and changing your policy often is a good idea. There is typically no loyalty in rates. So being a 20-year customer of an insurance company is not going to benefit your premium.

And by the way, since it keeps coming up as to what insurance company I have, here they are: Home: Chubb. Cars: USAA and Hagerty. Business: CNA.

Good luck in your insurance quest. At Brown – O’Haver, we hope you retain a company that won’t drag your claim out. Dragging claims out is not uncommon. With one Guard Insurance Claim, I once wrote or called 100 times in my quest to obtain a fair settlement.

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