Why are Home Insurance Quotes So Different?

Why Are Home Insurance Quotes So Different?

If you’ve shopped for home insurance recently, you might be wondering something…

Why are home insurance quotes so different between carriers?


It’s great to get home insurance quotes from multiple companies before settling on one. After all, isn’t that how you get the best value on your insurance?

But it begs the question,” why do homeowners insurance quotes differ so much?”

In last month’s article, “How Does Insurance Work?” we discussed how certain risk factors (or liabilities) can increase the amount you have to pay toward your premium or deductible. This might explain why insurance on your three-bedroom ranch is so different from your sister’s McMansion, but can it explain why your house received four completely different quotes from four different companies?

Turns out, there is a good explanation for that!


Why Do Home Insurance Quotes Differ?

Insurance premiums and quotes are determined by looking at certain aspects of your home (its location and size, how old the roof is, whether or not you have a pool, etc.) and making calculated estimates of how much your home insurance coverage is going to cost the insurance company in the event of a potential claim.

It makes logical sense, really. Before the insurance company can decide how much a homeowners policy is going to cost you, the insurance carriers first have to decide how much it’s going to cost them to replace and/or repair your unique home. And luckily for you, each company has a unique way of calculating that number, which creates opportunities for quotes to vary.

Here's why five different insurance companies will return five different home insurance quotes...for the same house.

One carrier may have found that the homeowners in your zip code have filed more claims—and thus cost them more money—than the ones in the neighboring zip code. Another carrier may have found the opposite to be true.

One carrier might find your home’s square footage to be more indicative of your level of risk. Another might place more emphasis on your marital status.

Why is this lucky for you? Because it means you have a choice!

If your family requires a certain number of bedrooms or your commute to work makes a certain zip code more appealing, you don’t have to resign yourself to a lifetime of high premiums. You can (and should!) get a cluster of home insurance quotes and pick the one that fits your needs.


The Downside to Cheap Homeowners Insurance

So once all of those home insurance quotes come in, you can just pick the cheapest one and be on your merry way, right?

Not so fast.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with having affordable homeowners insurance (you certainly want a policy you can afford!), there is a problem with buying your insurance policies based solely on cost.

Think about the last thing you called “cheap.” There’s a good chance it wasn’t used as a compliment! In fact, you probably threw in a few four-letter words to communicate exactly how poorly made the item was.

When it comes to insurance, “cheap policies” usually come with higher deductibles, less coverage, more restrictions, and bad customer service.

Instead, coverage should always be your first consideration when shopping for homeowners insurance.


Insurance Coverage Matters

Insurance policies are essentially contracts. And you’d better believe that when an insurance company draws up a contract, they’ve done a lot of strategic math to ensure they don’t end up with less money than they started with.

What does this mean for you? It means that, in the unfortunate event that you need to file a claim, you will end up paying your share—either through a higher premium or a higher deductible.

Coverage should always trump premiums!

When those homeowners insurance quotes first come in, you might be tempted to just pick the cheapest one. (After all, that super low premium from Company A will save you a pretty penny!) But you also have to compare coverage limits. Company B may be offering a slightly higher premium with a drastically lower deductible, higher coverage amounts, fewer exclusions, and better customer satisfaction.

When it comes time to file a claim, which company will you be happier working with?


The Best Home Insurance Quotes…FAST

So having more options is the best way to get the best deal on homeowners insurance. But how many options are you supposed to have? How do you know how much coverage you actually need? And how do you possibly choose between them?

Take a deep breath. There’s an easy way to gather up a nice selection of home insurance quotes from reliable companies…without making yourself insane. Work with a local independent insurance agent.

Captive insurance agents work for a single insurance carrier and can only offer policies offered by that carrier. If you call a State Farm agent, for example, they can only offer you a State Farm policy. Independent agents, on the other hand, work for themselves and can offer insurance coverage from a number of different companies.

Because they work with a greater portion of the insurance market, you not only have more choice, you also have the benefit of an insurance expert on your side. An independent agent can advise you on the types of coverage you might need, inform you of areas where you’re exposed to greater risk, and update you on policy changes or other things that may affect you.

And the best part? You get all this at no cost to you!


Looking For a Home Insurance Quote?

If you live in Florida and you’re looking for homeowners coverage, renter’s insurance, or any other type of policy, the friendly agents at Harry Levine Insurance can help find a policy that fits your risk profile as well as your budget.

At Harry Levine Insurance, we believe in protecting and educating our clients. If you ever have a question about your policy or claim, give us a call! We’re always happy to help.

Call today for your free homeowners insurance quote.

About the Author

Jason received a Masters of Science & Management in Risk Management & Insurance from Florida State University. He has been with Harry Levine Insurance for 9 years and handles the leadership of daily operations. He was the 2013-2014 Florida Association of Insurance Agents Young Agent Council's Agent of the Year. Currently serves on FAIA Board of Directors.

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