With the added exposure of earthquake coverage, California homeowners have to carefully consider their options when buying homeowners insurance.
If you’re a California homeowner, or renter and are looking for homeowners insurance, the first place you should visit is the California Department of Insurance. Their website has pretty much all of the information you need to become an informed insurance purchaser.
The California Department of Insurance provides the California homeowner a series of informative articles that take you through each aspect of purchasing homeowners insurance. Your home may be the largest single investment you make, take the time to insure it properly. The series of articles are not passive. They cause you to stop, think and take stock of what you have. You have to seriously consider what you’re purchasing and why you’re purchasing it.
Very appropriately, their first article in the series requires you to take a home inventory. The 41-page document takes you step by step through your home and assists you in taking an inventory of your belongings. This is a very important and most often overlooked step by homeowners.
Here are a few of the other articles available on their site:
- Residential Insurance: Homeowners and Renters – This is a tutorial on California homeowners and renters insurance. It gives information about what is usually covered and what is not. It offers advice on how to set policy limits and how to get discounts.
- Residential Property Claims Guide- This document takes you through the claims process, from what to do after a loss to how to report it to your insurance company.
- There are several documents on earthquake insurance. Unfortunately, California homeowners are faced with this very real exposure. The California Department of Insurance gives tips and advice on how to purchase coverage, mediation programs and earthquake preparedness information.
- Don’t Get Burned After a Disaster: Tips on how not to be scammed after a disaster. It’s a shame, but unethical scammers tend to take advantage of people when they are most vulnerable. The California Department of Insurance offers tips on how to avoid being scammed.
After reviewing the various articles available on the site (there are many informative documents than those outlined here), take the interactive Homeowners Survey.
The interactive survey provides California homeowners with the ability to enter information such as location, the type of coverage, amount of coverage and age of your home. Upon clicking the ‘Get Premiums’ button, you will be presented with a listing of the insurance companies, and their estimated annual cost to insure your home (of course this is subject to each company receiving and reviewing your underwriting information).
This nifty little tool helps you to get insurance quotes on homeowners, renters, condo, and mobile homes in addition to quotes for earthquake coverage. Each listed insurance company contains an ‘info’ link. Upon clicking the link you’re taken to the insurance company’s information page which provides information such as company profile, lines of business the company is authorized to write in the state of California, company complaint information (a very useful tool), and the ability to find a representative in your area.
Take advantage of these free tools to become a more informed consumer.