Home Insurance : best home insurance rate – Prices are determined by a number of factors the major one is risk. Some areas have higher risk, so own in an area with lower risk.
In addition can you self insure some of the damages?. Perhaps a higher deductible or cost sharing. Perhaps you may decide that some cover may not be needed – I understand that in California earthquake cover is not part of many policies. This contrasts with New Zealand where earthquake cover is with all policies.
In addition a policy may only cover up to a certain value. You may decide that in the event of an event you will accept a bigger loss, so not get cover for a full event. So if your house is worth a million dollars you may decide to only have cover for $800,000 instead and take a loss above that. Or have enough cover for contents so that you have enough to only replace the basics.
Shopping around can help you get a good price. And just asking for a better rate from your current company might get you a better price. If you don’t have enough time a broker may be able to help you out with this as they will know the local market – but of course they are paid by the insurance companies so want you to buy as much cover as possible.
But you also pay for what you get.
Now it is important to note that price is not the only factor. What one company may cover another may not. Another company may be rather hard to deal with while another may be very easy. So it pays to check the fine print.
In addition the financial stability of a company is important. A company can increase profits and/or prices by reducing the amount of re-insurance it carries. But it means that if there is a major event such as an earthquake you may find yourself with a policy with will not pay out because the company is broke. This occurred in Christchurch New Zealand, where AMI went bust after a major quake. It was only a government bailout which allowed the policies to be paid out. And there were a few other companies which failed which were not bailed out.
Another easy way to burn yourself is to not disclose risk or lie when buying the policy. You get cheap insurance, but you find yourself without cover when the facts are found out. When in doubt disclose everything.
You can also burn yourself by paying in installments. The company may charge a higher price for this and if there is a delay in payment – perhaps because there is not enough money in the account, your cover may be void until your payment is made, should you have an accident in this time you may be out of luck.
My insurance company charged an extra 10% if you payed in installments – taking money out of savings and paying this amount gives a better return that leaving it in the bank. And in Ireland the insurance company charged 3% more if you paid in installments.
In addition as stated by Robert Lee, you can get discounts by buying more than one policy.
Edit: One other thing to consider is make sure that you have a list of what you own, possibly with photos. If you have a list and evidence and possibly recipts then you can make your claim easier with the company.
In addition the company may require you to list certain valuables on your policy otherwise they are not covered.