How do I renew my home insurance policy?
Your insurance provider should discuss next steps for your policy renewal at the end of your current term. The provider should detail the costs of renewing. You can decide if you’d like to move forward with the same policy or seek coverage with a new provider.
While finding the right home insurance policy can take time and research, your renewal process can be much simpler. If you plan to keep the same policy, you can give your renewal notice a once-over to make sure everything is in order. Depending on the plan, it might auto-renew with no action needed on your part.
If you’re reconsidering your plan options, the renewal process might require a bit of extra work. Still, the process doesn’t have to be complicated. Learn the three steps you should take when it’s time to renew your home insurance policy to make sure you’re receiving the best deal for yourself and your family.
Review Your Renewal Notice
The first step to navigating your insurance renewal is understanding what’s changing. Typically, your insurance provider will send you a renewal notice that details your new insurance rate, monthly premium, and coverage term.
You should receive this notice weeks before your renewal date —the date by which you must make your decision regarding your plan’s renewal. With many plans, if you don’t contact the provider by that date, your plan will auto-renew with the new terms and rates. For others, the date signals a cancellation unless you choose to renew the plan.
When you review the notice, make sure you understand any changes in your insurance rate, especially if there’s an increase. Your rate can increase for several reasons, including how old your home is, whether your credit score has lowered, or whether you filed a claim with an adjuster.
If there’s any confusion over new rates, be sure to speak with an insurance agent to make sure no mistakes were made with your policy.
Look for Ways to Save on Costs
Along with your renewal notice, you can expect to receive a renewal form to update the insurance information the provider has on file for you. Providing the right updates to the insurer can help lower your rate.
For example, you can note home improvements that could lower the cost of insurance if those improvements increase the value of your home, such as installing a new roof. You can also potentially lower your rate when you mention new safety measures, like installing a security system.
Another option is to see if you qualify for new discounts. You can check the provider’s website for listed discounts, or you can ask the agent about common home insurance discounts, such as the paid-in-full discount for paying the entire rate at the start of the term.
You can also see if there are future discounts to strive for. For instance, if there’s a responsible payment discount for regularly paying your premium on time, consider setting up autopay on a Visa, Mastercard, or other debit or credit card so that you’ll qualify in the future.
Many insurance companies have options for bundling your home insurance coverage with an auto insurance policy for a discount. You can talk with your insurance agent to see if they offer options for a car insurance policy and what their car insurance rates are. If you’re a student seeking a new plan, look for bundling options with car insurance companies that offer continuing education discounts to add to your savings.
Finally, your health insurance company and healthcare provider aren’t the only ones who pay attention to smoking habits. Your home insurance provider might offer a discount for non-smoking households since smoking affects the likelihood of a house fire.
Be Prepared to Change Policies
Even if you want to keep your policy, the decision isn’t always yours to make. Instead of receiving a renewal notice, you may be notified of your policy’s non-renewal status.
Non-renewal can happen for several reasons. The insurance provider may not want to offer a certain kind of coverage anymore (e.g., for homes older than a certain year), which could cause them to stop covering you. Losing coverage from one provider most likely won’t affect your enrollment eligibility with another, so it’s a good opportunity to find an even better deal.
Your provider should alert you to the non-renewal with enough time before the expiration date to find a new policy. When they do, you can use an online comparison tool to quickly find new policies. Be prepared to provide at least your Social Security number and address or ZIP code for a quote.
Make an Informed Decision When Renewing Your Home Insurance Policy
When it’s time to renew your home insurance, you’re likely going to have to decide rather quickly if you want to continue with your current provider or find a plan elsewhere, especially if there’s a rate increase.
The first step is to carefully review your renewal notice. Then, look for discounts and other cost-saving measures that can affect your rate. Finally, prepare for the possibility of having to select a new policy.
If you choose to find a new plan, you’re in luck: there’s no shortage of home insurance providers in the insurance industry, and there will likely be several to choose from. Get started finding the best policies in your area by seeing all of your options online in one place.