Ask Amy: Finding the best rates on home insurance coverage

Just like everything else, you can expect to pay more for your homeowner’s insurance the next time you renew. You know shopping around is key to saving, but it helps to know what to ask. We explain how much more you can expect to pay and how to get the best rate quotes.

We are working to help you save money in as many ways as possible and homeowners insurance is something a lot of us need.

Question: When an insurance broker asks to see current insurance paperwork, should I give it to them?

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Answer: Yes, it is common for a broker to ask to see your current rates. Going to an insurance broker to let them shop multiple companies for the best rate is a good way to see your options. Jessica Fuentes with Brazos Insurance Agency in Richmond says people often think it’s a trick when she asks them for a copy of their current insurance. They think she just wants to see what they’re currently paying so she can give you a rate just under that. But she says that is not what brokers are doing at all. She wants to see your current policy so she can make sure she is looking for comparable coverage.

“And that way, I’m running my coverage options, apples to apples with what you currently carry. And when I present you with the lowest quote, it’s actually the lowest quote, comparable to what you currently have,” said Fuentes.

Check the quote line by line

This is important - because a broker may remove certain coverages to make your quote lower, so you think you are getting a better deal.

Shop with multiple insurance brokers

Different brokers work with different insurance agencies so it’s a good idea to ask more than one for quotes.

Expect to pay more for your insurance bill, even with discounts

And when it comes to homeowner’s insurance you should expect to pay more. When shopping, you are just trying to find the lowest increase possible.

“I would say normal is probably 10 to 15%. Is that sound crazy? And it is? Yeah. But if it’s less if you’re having an increase of less than 10% right now, I would say you’re doing quite great,” said Fuentes.

Hear more from Jessica in the Ask Amy podcast. This week is episode four! We also have tips for lowering your car insurance bill.

Note about renter’s insurance: If you live in an apartment complex, your apartment may require you to purchase insurance. It’s not required by law but many landlords require it. I covered what you need to know about renter’s insurance in a previous Ask Amy.

If you have a question for me, I’d love to help you out! Email and I’ll try to find answers for you.

About the Authors:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.

Award-winning TV producer and content creator. My goal as a journalist is to help people. Faith and family motivate me. Running keeps me sane.