The Ultimate Memphis Home Insurance Buyer’s Guide

memphis home insurance

Today I am going to demystify the buying process for Memphis home insurance.

We all know that there are different types of home insurance policies. The same applies for agents and insurance companies. And many of them have differing rates for essentially the same coverage.

You should also keep in mind that each company & individual agencies under a company are different.

Therefore you shouldn’t judge companies solely based on size.

As bigger does not always mean better and smaller doesn’t automatically mean you’ll have a great customer service experience.

There are certain things to look out for, or better still, there are questions that have to be asked. Whichever company has the best answers to them will be the best fit for you.

ALERT: Click Here To Get Your Free Home Insurance Quote Now!

What You Will Learn

• The key questions you should ask while shopping for Memphis home insurance

• How insurers determine your premium

• The best quote-gathering practices

• How you can save money

• The best ways to properly keep up with your homeowner’s policy

 

Want My Team To Help You Get Smart Home Insurance in 6 Minutes?

I show you step-by-step exactly what you need to do to get customized, affordable home insurance.

If you want my team to get you started for FREE click the link below…

How Does It Work?

1. Begin by clicking on the blue button below

2. You will be redirected to our smart home insurance page

3. Click on the yellow “Get Your Free Quote Now” button

4. Fill out the required fields on the form to begin your quote

5. Receive a custom quote

6. Speak with my team within 24 hours (we will contact you) about the exact step-by-step game plan we have in mind for you to get the best smart home insurance plan for your money.

 

 

 

How To Shop For Homeowners Insurance

If set up properly your home insurance policy can be the difference in peace of mind or chaos in a time of crisis.

So don’t be shy while inquiring about a quote or policy.

 

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Here are some of the questions the NAIC recommends that one should ask insurance agents while on the market for the best quote.

• What is the claims history of the home I am considering?

• If I submit a claim, how will it affect my premium when I renew the policy? Could it end up costing me overall?

• How will my credit history affect my premium?

• What does & doesn’t the policy cover? What are the limits of the coverage?

• How much coverage do I need for my personal property?

• How much liability coverage should I buy?

• Should I buy flood insurance or earthquake coverage? Can an agent help me determine how much risk my home is at?

• What types of water damage are not covered? Is mold damage covered?

Check with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance or a consumer agency for their premium comparison guides for Memphis home insurance.

 

Homeowners Info

 

Also use the evaluations conducted by independent ratings agencies such as Standard & Poor’s, A.M. Best and Moody’s to confirm that your prospective insurance company is financially sound.

 

AM Best

 

Stick with the Professionals

There are simple methods that can be used for the selection of an insurance agent. You should especially beware of referrals from non-professionals.

 

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The fact that your younger brother got a great quote from his agent, does not guarantee you’ll get the same.

Homeowners insurance companies in Memphis, TN generally implement one of these three methods to market their services.

• Independent agents work with several companies and can give you several quotes at once

• Exclusive agents work with and sell the products of a specific insurance company

• Direct market sales that are done over the Internet, by mail or by phone.

 

Note: So you don’t get fooled by a lousy agent, always make sure you take the time to look up the credentials of independent agents. You can ensure that they are fully licensed as they claim via the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance .

 

memphis home insurance

 

How Insurers Determine Your Premium

To determine the premiums you pay, many factors come into play in the underwriting process. Often times, premiums for similar coverage vary from one insurance company to another. Keep in mind, the amount of coverage you buy can also affect your premium.

The following are some other factors than can determine your premium:

• The cost to rebuild your home – this is not the same as its value or purchase price, which would normally include the cost of the land. Replacement cost will be estimated using only information about your home and its contents

• The material your home is made out of – homes built of brick or masonry often have lower premiums than that of wood frame homes

• How close or far your home is to resources and services – this includes how close it is to a water source or the fire department and also the quality of your community’s fire protection services

• Your home’s age and physical condition – older homes and homes in poor conditions usually attract greater premiums than recently built homes & homes in fair condition

• The claims history of your neighborhood and community – particularly the homes immediately next to your address

• The presence of a wood furnace or stove in your house

• Outdoor amenities – having things such as a swimming pool, trampoline or outdoor playground may be considered high-risk due to the possibility that they could easily cause damages or be damaged

• Pet breeds & pets types – for example owning a dog of an aggressive breed may ruining your chance of getting insured depending on the company’s policies. Some other firms may not exclude specific breeds; rather they choose to consider animals individually on a case-by-case basis. In some other cases, housing exotic pets such as lizards, snakes, birds and horses, may also drive up your premium.

 

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Getting Premium Quotes

Internet applications have made quote-gathering faster and easier these days than ever before.

Rather than having to call insurance companies one after the other or searching endless web pages for quote information, these online services allow you to put up a comparison of the quotes of many insurance companies’ quickly.

 

Quote Comparison

 

Several Memphis insurance agencies, such as The Hudson Agency, have setup easy to use, sophisticated search algorithms that allow you to insert some basic information about your home, such as your location and size, as well as the type of coverage you want. You will then receive an instant estimated quote.

ALERT: Click Here To Get Your Free Home Insurance Quote Now!

 

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Online insurance shopping services, such as NetQuote and InsWeb have been setup to widen the scope and reach several insurers more effectively.

They offer a similar search service, which calculates the lowest premium quotes available from their network of thousands of agents across the country that work for various insurance companies.

 

Net Quote

 

What Else Do You Need?

You should start out by deciding what type of coverage and policy limits you need in order to allow your quote-gathering process for Memphis home insurance to go as smoothly as possible.

And to help you do this, I am going to highlight the importance the of replacement costs vs. actual costs:

• Actual cash value (ACV) – In this, you are reimbursed for losses or damages to possessions only after the age of each item has been accounted for and their wear and tear (depreciation)-[1st article glossary] has been appropriately discounted. Generally, the ACV is usually lower than the market value, and attracts lower premiums.

• Replacement cost value (RCV) – Here, depreciation is not considered and possessions are replaced with similar items at their current market value, but the downside the RCV attracts up to 10 % higher annual premiums than the ACV.

 

To ensure that you get enough reimbursement, your coverage should equal the full RCV of your home.

The market value, which includes the price of your land, depends on the real estate market estimations.

If your dwelling coverage is below 80 percent of the RCV of your home, the amount paid on your claims may be reduced.

As you shop for a Memphis home insurance quote, basic information about your house will be required, such as:

• Its location

• Size (square footage)

• Construction date

• Construction type

• Roof type

• Number of bedrooms, bathrooms and stories

• Garage type (if any)

• Foundation type

• Its security systems (burglar alarms, smoke detectors, etc.)

• Type of heating and air-conditioning systems

 

It is important to be as consistent as possible during your search. Ask each agent about the same coverage and limits. And also give the same information to each agent or company you interact with. That way, you will get a much better comparison of their rates.

It also might be advisable to assess the insurer’s customer service skills and ability to handle problems, as this is a very good time to do such.

Check with the Tennessee insurance department to see whether they have the “complaint index”, used to measure how many complaints are received by the insurance department, with relation to the size of the company. This will give you an idea of how well each insurer responds.

 

File a Complaint

 

Want My Team To Help You Get Smart Home Insurance in 6 Minutes?

I show you step-by-step exactly what you need to do to get customized, affordable home insurance.

If you want my team to get you started for FREE click the link below…

How Does It Work?

1. Begin by clicking on the blue button below

2. You will be redirected to our smart home insurance page

3. Click on the yellow “Get Your Free Quote Now” button

4. Fill out the required fields on the form to begin your quote

5. Receive a custom quote

6. Speak with my team within 24 hours (we will contact you) about the exact step-by-step game plan we have in mind for you to get the best smart home insurance plan for your money.

 

 

 

What You Can Do to Save Money

We have seen that Memphis, TN homeowners have a huge role to play. Especially in the selection and choices available in determining the types of policies that will meet their needs.

Here are a few suggestions from the Insurance Information Institute (III) to help consumers drive down their premium costs.

Select a higher deductible – A high deductible rate is a good way to save money on your homeowner’s insurance premium. It is also a good way to encourage you to submit fewer claims. For instance, you can save up to 25 % on premiums just by raising your deductible from $500 to $1,000. As long as the deductible is kept within an affordable range.

Bundle your insurance – Keeping your different insurances with the same company usually attracts discounts. For instance, usually companies can offer discounts up to 15% for customers who have purchased two or more policies.

Stick with one insurer – Often the longer you stay with a company, the greater the discounts you get.

Keep your credit history clean – Insurers can often use your credit history to decide whether or not to offer you coverage. And also what rate to quote you. You can use any of the following consumer credit rating agencies – Equifax, Experian or TransUnion – to keep tabs on your credit score. Also check with AnnualCreditReport.com every now and then, to make sure that there are no red flags on your report.

 

Annual Credit Report

 

Equip your home with safety devices – Protection devices, such as smoke detectors, burglar alarms, and deadbolts, can usually earn you a 5 % reduction in premiums from insurers. Also, the combination of installation of a better sprinkler system and burglar alarms can potentially allow you to see discounts up to 15 -20 percent.

Set replacement costs on the value of your home, not your land – Land is rarely significantly damaged in catastrophes. So why should its value be considered in determining how much it would cost to rebuild? The value of your dwelling should be the basis on which limits of coverage are set. Not the land on which it sits. In most cases reputable agents will draw your attention to this. Though, it may be worthwhile to be vigilant and ask about it in the event that an agent tries to oversell you.

Make your home more disaster resistant – Apply these innovative ways to make your dwelling more resistant to everyday risks:

▪Use of storm shutters on windows

▪Reinforcing the roof against hurricane-force winds

▪Use of earthquake brackets to prevent heavy furniture from toppling

▪Replacing old appliances before they fail and cause water damage

▪Installation of smoke detectors

▪Clearing brush from the sides of the house

▪Getting rid of old or dead trees, which may topple and destroy the house

▪Clearing storm gutters to prevent overflows

Take advantage of senior discounts – If you are 55 and above, some insurers may offer discounts up to 10% on your premiums. This is because of the tendency of the older demographic to lead safer lives versus their younger peers.

Look to the private market – If you had been forced into a government-backed insurance plan because of economic constraints take another look at the private market, as lower-cost plans are becoming more readily available.

 

Keeping Up on Your Homeowners Policy

At this point you have probably made a decision on the best Memphis home insurance company for you. the type of coverage you need, the best type of policy for you, and what measures you need to take to help keep your premium costs down.

But even after your policy is filed your work doesn’t quite end there.

 

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As necessary alterations and improvements are made on your house, your policy should be updated as well.

Your Policy’s Upkeep

Pay your premium on time – Avoid having your coverage dropped. A few insurers will often offer a small grace period. But most are sticklers for receiving premiums in a timely manner.

Keep an updated paper trail – It’s good practice to file & organize all of your signed insurance documents for easy recovery. This includes all paperwork received via the mail, the policy document itself,  & premium payment receipts. Also, keep records of conversations concerning any claims filed.

Make a detailed inventory of your possessions – Make a list of everything of value in your home, especially things that you would want replaced in the event of a break-in. It may also be a good idea to take pictures or record videos of the items, so you’ll have a more thorough accounting.

Secure duplicate copies of your inventory – Store an additional copy of your inventory list in a secure place, such as your workplace, in a safe deposit, on a cloud storage server, or at a relative’s house.

Maintain your home – It is your responsibility to maintain your home, and prevent hazards. Your homeowners’ policy is not a maintenance contract. Rather, its function is to insure you if things such as a fire or wind/hail damage occurs.

 

You should review your written and visual inventory annually to take note of any updates in your home. It’s also a good idea to keep your receipts for the repairs you make with your home inventory to serve as proof of maintenance and hence add value to your property.

ALERT: Click Here To Get Your Free Home Insurance Quote Now!

Filing a Claim

If you do happen to experience a loss, these are some good things to do before you contact your home insurance company to lay your claims:

Read your policy again – Try to determine whether the damage is covered by your policy. If it will cost less to repair the damage, versus you paying your deductible, you might want to consider taking up the repairs on your own without filing a claim. Your insurer’s decision to renew your policy and your premium can both be influenced by how often you file claims and the types of claims you file.

Find out what you’ll need beforehand – Be sure to know the exact documents & forms you’ll need for you claim to be appropriately processed.

Protect your home – Try all you can within reason to help minimize further damage by taking action such as boarding up windows or spreading tarps over damaged areas.

 

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Cooperate with the adjuster – Whenever the adjuster arrives help out with the walk-through inspection and have a discussion with them concerning their observations. Also, be sure that there is a careful record kept of every visit as this might also come in handy later on.

 

Solving Disagreements 

Adjusters can be of enormous help in times of crisis. But remember also that their job is to limit the amount of coverage your insurer has to cover.

Unfortunately, not every claim goes smoothly, and sometimes you may even be denied coverage.

But, remember adjusters don’t always have the last word.

Don’t get discouraged. When and if you have a disagreement with the adjuster, don’t feel pressured into accepting the first assessment. Instead of arguing directly with the adjuster, try to resolve your concerns directly with your insurer before you involve a third party.

Gather your evidence. Have a detailed account of your complaint ready by taking photos & gathering all necessary documents and receipts. All of these will enable you to make a solid argument demanding for reconsideration.

Invoke the appraisal clause. This clause allows you or the insurer to bring in a third-party adjuster to help with the dispute and make a binding decision.

Call the Tennessee insurance department If the dispute continues, contact the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance and file a formal complaint. State agencies have consumer services staff to help you make your case and aid in negotiations with your insurer.

Hire an adjuster. Contact the National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters (NAIIA) and find an adjuster not bound to any particular insurance company, but be mindful that their fees can be around 10 to 15 percent of whatever settlement you receive.

 

NAIIA

 

Get a lawyer. After everything else has failed, get a lawyer you’re confident can help investigate the incident & argue the case for you. This is the most expensive option of them all due to the high legal fees usually involved.

 

Cancelling or Losing Your Insurance

You have the right to cancel your policy for any reason. But Memphis home insurance companies must give you a reason for canceling with you.

This is the case especially after the initial trial period, which is usually 60 days from the policy’s start date.

Acceptable reasons include:

• Late or nonpayment of premiums

• Providing false information on your application

• A conviction for an offence that may increase the risks of your insurer

• Willful disregard for the safety of your property (e.g., ignoring a gas leak)

• Changes made to your property that can void your policy

 

Though, there is a big difference between cancellation and non-renewal of policy.

• Cancellation is the termination of a policy by and individual or the insurance company before the policy’s normal expiration date.

• Non-renewal is when the company refuses to renew the policy upon expiration.

 

A notice must have been given before the insurance company can cancel or refuse to renew their policy.

Different states can have different day limits, but the limit in the state of Tennessee is 30 days.

Also, depending on your insurer you may get a portion of your premium in refund when you or the insurer cancels your policy.

What If You Can’t Find Insurance?

Certain regions are at such a high risk for damages that insurance companies are reluctant to offer coverage to them.

If this ever becomes the case in your area visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) map page on their website & select the Tennessee state insurance department.

 

NAIC

 

At these departments, they will let you know of your state’s status with the Fair Access to Insurance Requirement (FAIR) Plan or any other nonprofit initatives that are willing to take on properties in high-risk areas.

Pulling It All Together

Many homeowners just think of the insurance process as a bunch of papers, that need their signature. But that’s only the case until the worst happens.

You don’t want to be that person who waits until a loss or damage occurs before thoroughly analyzing your policy.

 

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Otherwise, by not being fully informed you can’t reap all the benefits of your policy.

Therefore, it is imperative that you stay on top of your Memphis home insurance policy. Treat it as another living, breathing entity, that is to be nurtured over time.

Studying your policy, shopping for the right agent, knowing your coverage limits, and updating your property inventory from time to time are things that can all go a long way toward making your home truly a place of comfort and security.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, you should do the following things…

My 6 Point Home Insurance Pre Purchase Checklist

1. Write down a list of your home’s specifics (size, roof type, etc.).

2. Make a list of the key questions you’d like to ask prospective insurers.

3. Don’t rely solely on referrals or reviews. Scope out each prospective agency yourself.

4. Get a premium quote.

5. Decide on the coverage & policy limits that will suit your needs best.

6. Look into ways to keep your premium costs affordable.

I’ve put this guide out so you have all the tools you need to take on the Memphis home insurance buying process on your own.

But if that sounds time consuming, or you’d rather spend your time else where no worries. I totally understand.

Luckily for you there’s a shortcut. Save yourself the frustration & let me and my team walk you through the process.

 

Want My Team To Help You Get Smart Home Insurance in 6 Minutes?

I show you step-by-step exactly what you need to do to get customized, affordable home insurance.

If you want my team to get you started for FREE click the link below…

How Does It Work?

1. Begin by clicking on the blue button below

2. You will be redirected to our smart home insurance page

3. Click on the yellow “Get Your Free Quote Now” button

4. Fill out the required fields on the form to begin your quote

5. Receive a custom quote

6. Speak with my team within 24 hours (we will contact you) about the exact step-by-step game plan we have in mind for you to get the best smart home insurance plan for your money.

 

 

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