NJ Homeowners Insurance: Any advice?

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PlayingLife
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Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:10 pm

NJ Homeowners Insurance: Any advice?

Post by PlayingLife » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:03 pm

Hi Bogleheads,

My wife and I are purchasing a home and are starting our search for homeowners insurance with this post. After this, I will jump into the world of Google, but first I wanted to see if anyone has some general advice? I did try a quick forum search but saw a lot of unclear topics. Home is 1992, not in a flood zone, in generally good condition, and is 3000 sq ft. Not sure what factors play into insurance, as again, this is my first post. If I'm missing way too much info, please skip for now. I will jump into research now and will update as I gather more info as to what determines a quote. We currently have renters insurance with a separate line item for my wife's ring...roughly $260 annually I believe, so obviously nowhere near what we're about to pay. Thanks!

Requirements from lender:
Homeowners insurance policies that limit/exclude from coverage perils such as windstorm, hurricane, or hall damage are not acceptable. If the policy excludes such coverage, a separate policy/endorsement that provides adequate coverage is required.

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htdrag11
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Re: NJ Homeowners Insurance: Any advice?

Post by htdrag11 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:13 pm

1st off, try to buy all your insurance from the same company, such as auto, home and umbrella.

2nd, your credit score matters.

3rd, I've NJ Manufacturers since my company selects them. Check if that applies to you.

4th, try Amica if you qualify.

In the past, I've All State, Liberty Mutual and Geico, but NJM was the lowest cost provider.

Good luck.

PlayingLife
Posts: 246
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:10 pm

Re: NJ Homeowners Insurance: Any advice?

Post by PlayingLife » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:50 pm

Thanks! That's a good point, I'll probably start with my current company, Liberty Mutual, but I'll definitely check out NJM.....I'm not too familiar with the various companies but I'm digging lots of good information up on the NJ state website.

bluelight
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Re: NJ Homeowners Insurance: Any advice?

Post by bluelight » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:19 pm

I've had Travelers for my home and auto insurance for a few years. Last year my house was broken into and most of my jewelry was stolen. It was the first time I had ever put in a claim on any insurance and they were great. Based on that experience I don't hesitate to recommend them.

August
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Re: NJ Homeowners Insurance: Any advice?

Post by August » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:15 am

The best advice I can give is if you aren't familiar with reading insurance policies is to find a good local independent agent. A good agent will not only help you get a policy to meet all of your needs, but can also work with your insurance company in the event you have a claim. An online broker will not usually be able to help you with your claim.

That aside, if it applies to your situation make sure you get a sump pump overflow/sewer back up endorsement as flooded basements are not usually covered under a typical HO policy and is a common occurrence in NJ. Endorsements can usually be purchased to provide between $5000 or more of coverage.

Other things to be aware of in NJ are hurricane deductibles if you are near the coast which may apply to certain storm situations.

An endorsement to provide Replacement cost and open peril coverage (as opposed to named peril) for contents should also be considered.

Hope this helps

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Drain
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Location: Maryland

Re: NJ Homeowners Insurance: Any advice?

Post by Drain » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:50 am

NJM's reputation is pretty much on par with Amica's. I'd get quotes from both.

One approach is to google for jdpower insurance, look at the survey results, figure out how low in the quality ratings you're willing to go, and then get quotes from every insurer meeting your specs. That's more or less what I did recently, although I threw in a couple other insurers for various reasons and I used another ratings resource, as well. Not that there's anything special or wonderful about J.D. Power, but they do what they do and their results are easily accessible. I'm always iffy on surveys, but I'd rather work with their results than with anecdotes from not-so-random Bogleheads. (That's not a criticism of anyone--just a preference for large, reasonably random samples.)
Darin

vveat
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Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:24 pm

Re: NJ Homeowners Insurance: Any advice?

Post by vveat » Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:02 pm

Another comparison option would be to check the NJ Banking and Insurance department price comparison by county. They have 3 types of policies, HO-3, 4, 6, you need to figure out which fits best and then look at the ranges.

Here is the example for one county, just google the department and your county and it should pop up
http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/division_co ... nionco.pdf

I have found a real difference in how the insurance companies calculate the replacement cost, that for us was more of a factor than the premiums themselves.

eschaef
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Re: NJ Homeowners Insurance: Any advice?

Post by eschaef » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:26 pm

I've had excellent experience with NJM (auto, renters). Definitely check to see if you qualify.

"All applicants must meet NJM's membership eligibility criteria. In order to qualify, you or your spouse must be one of the following:
The named insured or resident spouse/civil union partner on a current or previous NJM car or homeowners insurance policy
Currently employed by a member organization of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA)
Currently employed by the State of New Jersey
A current or previous operator of a vehicle insured under an NJM car insurance policy"

lululu
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Re: NJ Homeowners Insurance: Any advice?

Post by lululu » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:58 pm

Drain wrote:One approach is to google for jdpower insurance, look at the survey results,


I have no truck with jdpower. I don't know how things are now, but they used to rank HP's customer service as very good. This was when you could stay on the phone for two hours waiting for someone in some God-forsaken place to answer the phone, and then no matter what symptoms your computer was having, they would tell you to reinstall the operating system.

As to the requirement for hurricane coverage, I wonder how much of that is in most policies. Homeowner's policies do not generally cover flood damage, for example.

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Drain
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Location: Maryland

Re: NJ Homeowners Insurance: Any advice?

Post by Drain » Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:30 am

lululu wrote:
Drain wrote:One approach is to google for jdpower insurance, look at the survey results,


I have no truck with jdpower. I don't know how things are now, but they used to rank HP's customer service as very good. This was when you could stay on the phone for two hours waiting for someone in some God-forsaken place to answer the phone, and then no matter what symptoms your computer was having, they would tell you to reinstall the operating system.

Yeah, I'm always leery of survey results. For example, I'm always a little suspicious of USAA's high ratings, as I would anticipate a bit of the cult effect to creep in and make the survey responses more positive than they should be. I've had USAA and liked them, but...well, anyway, the point is that the samples can't be entirely random, and you typically don't know the ways in which the process is biased.

Still, as I said, I have to prefer survey results to personal anecdotes. And J.D. Power's rankings were roughly consistent with what I got from Consumer's Checkbook.
Darin

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