A home insurance estimate is only as good as the data

A home insurance estimate is, first of all, an estimate. It is a ballpark figure that lets a homebuyer calculate his monthly home cost as part of a future budget. Consequently, an accurate estimate is valuable information going forward. An inaccurate estimate can lead to painful financial realizations as a homebuyer settles into his new home. A wise consumer will try to come as close as possible to nailing down a monthly home insurance figure.

If a homeowner works up his own basis for an estimate, he should be certain of his facts. Square footage of a house, the character of a neighborhood, proximity of a fire station, condition of the roof, whether the structure has a basement—these and other particulars are factored  into a rate and a homebuyer must know how they affect a final estimate. Misstating a key element, such as the age of the structure, could render the estimate less valuable.

Also, a homebuyer should determine the levels of coverage needed before he asks for quotes. He also should know what deductibles he wants in the event of a claim. This is instrumental information in calculating an estimated rate. Armed with these pertinent numbers, a homebuyer then can visit one of numerous online calculators, plug in the data, and receive an estimate of what his rate will be.

While a home insurance estimate is a crucial part of a home investment decision, securing several home insurance estimates is even better. Comparison shopping is as valuable in finding an insurance provider as it is in buying a car—perhaps more so, because a buyer will in all likelihood have a house longer than he has a car. Various online home insurance estimate sites let a consumer compare estimates by different providers. Or the homebuyer can seek out estimates by going to each company for an estimate. In that case, he should always submit identical information for each estimate.

Probably the safest and wisest course for a homebuyer to follow in securing a winning home insurance estimate is to contact an insurance agent. Why? Because that professional can verify the buyer is submitting the correct information and probably come up with one or more overlooked pertinent considerations that would affect an estimate. Homebuyers seek estimates once or twice in their lifetime; agents do it all the time. Their experience can spare a homebuyer grief.


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