When shopping for homeowners insurance, keep these basic tips in mind:
• Don’t take risks with your new home. You should use the same care in shopping for your homeowners insurance as you did when shopping for your home. After a storm, fire or other calamity, the last thing you want to hear is that your insurance company is not financially stable enough to cover your claim or that you don’t have the proper coverage in the right amounts.
• Shop till you drop. Don’t just buy the cheapest policy you can find. There are other factors you should weigh, such as the credibility of the company.
• Remember deductibles. Homeowners policies in Louisiana carry a basic deductible depending upon your insurance company. Keep in mind that a higher deductible means higher out-of-pocket expense in the event of a loss. Depending on the company, your policy may have a separate hurricane, named storm or wind and hail deductible.
• Buy only what you need. Your company or producer may suggest a higher policy limit than is actually necessary to cover your needs. The fact is, the amount of insurance on your home should not exceed the cost of replacement if it is totally destroyed. However, you need to insure your home for at least 80 percent of its replacement value.
• Burglar proof. You may qualify for premium discounts if you install antitheft devices such as burglar alarms, deadbolt locks and secondary locking devices. Ask your producer for more specific information.
• Compare them all. Be sure to compare similar policies to learn which is the most reasonable. Remember, there are several different types of homeowners policies available.
• Keep in mind company underwriting. Companies have certain underwriting characteristics they use to determine eligibility. Some will look at such things as: the condition of the home, whether or not there is a pool, and the kinds of pets you have. 10 Louisiana Department of Insurance