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Homeowners Insurance Online

Purchasing Homeowners Insurance Online

Anyone who has an email account or has spent any amount of time online is aware that there are many different agents offering homeowners insurance online. Many of these companies are very safe to use and offer all of the options available that a live agent can offer. Additionally, because these insurance companies are either offering their insurance direct from the insurance company or they are an agent with only an online presence, it is very easy to receive a more affordable rate than can be had from a traditional agent.

When looking for homeowners insurance online, you will run across one of two types of company. The first type of company is one of your regular, big name insurance companies such as Geico, Esurance, State Farm, Allstate, etc. These companies sell insurance directly to you without you having to go through an agent. This means you don’t have to pay any extra overhead an agent needs to keep himself in business.

The second type of online homeowners insurance company is the aggregate service company. These are agents that will provide you with quotes from several different companies so you can compare them and go with the company you like best. With some of these aggregate agents, you are given the information about the policy and you purchase it from the agent. Other websites simply direct you to the website of each specific insurance company so you can purchase the policy without needing the middleman.

Buying homeowners insurance online can have a few pitfalls if you are not careful. You should already be familiar with your homeowners insurance needs because some companies will not have a live agent that you can question. If you are not sure of your specific insurance coverage needs, you will want to do some research first.

The next issue to be aware of with purchasing homeowners insurance online is that the company you choose should have very specific forms that require very specific information. Otherwise, the quotes returned will not be accurate, you will not receive the proper coverage, or you will miss out on some important discounts. Some common discounts given by homeowners insurance companies include home security features such as security systems, type of locks used, window shutters, fireproof/fire retardant materials, smoke detectors, and sprinklers. Other discounts can be given for non-smokers, seniors, and loyal customers. If the insurance company doesn’t ask these questions, there may be some deficiencies in their online application process.

If there is ever a question of the authenticity and trustworthiness of a company offering homeowners insurance online, consumers have a few resources to help them make an informed decision. The first resource is the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). They have a website with an abundance of information about the insurance companies licensed to operate in your state.

Also, many states have their own insurance department. These state agencies have a consumer division that can answer many of your questions.

A third resource is the A.M. Best Company. A.M. Best is a private, third-party insurance company reviewer. They give almost every insurance company, including online homeowners insurance companies, a grade based on how secure they are. The grade system they use works like school grades, ranging from A++ to F. Any company with a B+ or higher rating is considered extremely stable, secure, and able to provide customers with outstanding service.

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Financial Dictionary: Accounting, Business & International FinancePersonal Finance – Insurance