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What to Consider When Choosing a Homeowners Insurance Agency

Did you know that each year there are nearly seven million property-related crimes in the United States? This alarming statistic is just one reason why homeowners insurance is so important.

However, despite the importance of this type of insurance, many individuals still make the mistake of picking the wrong insurance agency.

In this article, we’re going to share seven tips for choosing a homeowners insurance agency, so you don’t make the same mistake.

1. Online Ratings

The easiest way to find your options for insurance agencies is simply by reading online reviews. Pay attention to what the average customer’s experience has been when they visit the insurance agency.

Did they feel like they were offered enough coverage options? Were things explained properly to them? Are they satisfied with the insurance coverage they received through the agency?

These are all questions that reviews can answer. Just take some of them with a grain of salt. One or two negative reviews are normal, but many of them should be a clear red flag.

2. How Many Years Have They Been An Agency?

The longer a homeowners insurance agency has been in business, the more practical experience they have in the field. This is important because you want an agency with connections to many high-quality insurance providers.

The more experience an agency has, the more they know about the ins and outs of the industry. They can then pass this expertise on to you.

Ideally, you want a company with a decade or more of experience working in the industry. However, if you can find an option like Central Jersey Insurance Associates that has over fifty years of experience, then that’s even better.

3. Are They a Captive Agency or an Independent One?

When looking for an insurance agency, it’s a good idea to avoid the ones known as captive agencies. These are agencies that can only offer you policies under one insurance company.

Even if there’s a better policy out there for you, the insurance agent is captive to their home company. The problem is that these are cookie-cutter policies that allow little wiggle room with coverage or homeowners insurance budget.

Independent agencies (like Central Jersey Insurance Associate), however, work with a large variety of carriers.

That means they can get the specific policy you need for your coverage needs. For this reason, it’s typically a better option to go with an independent agency over a captive one.

4. The Quotes They Give You

This is one of the number one mistakes people make when shopping for homeowners insurance. Make sure your insurance agency is getting you multiple quotes from different providers.

And don’t just look for the one with the lowest prices. Pay attention to what type of coverage comes with each option.

Your agency should help you strike the right balance between your budget and the coverage options that are right for you.

5. Are They Knowledgeable?

If you’re coming out of your meeting with an insurance agency more confused than when you went in, something’s wrong. They say the true mark of an expert is being able to explain complicated things in a way that anyone can understand.

This should be true of your insurance agency. Make sure they’re knowledgeable by asking them to explain things that confuse you.

6. Additional Coverage Options

Many people make the mistake of thinking that homeowners insurance will cover any damage done to their property.

This simply isn’t the case. The reality is that homeowners insurance typically only provides theft, fire, and liability coverage. What it rarely covers is things like:

  • Hurricane damage
  • Flooding
  • Earthquakes
  • Termite infestations (and other pests)
  • Lost family jewelry and heirlooms

And remember that even if your policy includes these things, there are usually coverage limits set on them. This is the maximum amount of money that the company will pay to replace or repair your things.

If you’re going with cheap insurance, you’re likely dealing with low coverage limits. Make sure your insurance agency is providing you with recommendations in terms of what coverage options you should add to your policies.

They should also put you in touch with insurance companies that specialize in these areas.

7. Do They Have the Proper Credentials?

To provide insurance help to you, an insurance agency needs to have the proper credentials to practice in your state. Ask for their state license if you have any doubts that they have it.

Besides this, you might want an insurance agency that has additional training or testing. Some common certifications include:

  • Certified Insurance Counselor (or CIC)
  • Certified Risk Manager (or CRM)
  • Certified Financial Planner (or CFP)

Remember that these credentials aren’t everything. But, they do show a desire for additional training past the mandatory state license.

Ready to Choose a Homeowners Insurance Agency?

We hope this article helped you learn the seven factors to keep in mind when choosing a homeowners insurance agency. So, how do you find this type of agency?

If you live in the New Jersey area, look further than Central Jersey Insurance Associates. We have the experience required to get you the exact policy you need. Contact us today to get the protection you deserve.