Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

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Alto Astral
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Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by Alto Astral » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:42 pm

Hi,
This is the first time I am buying a homeowner's insurance. Had renter's insurance (condo) so far. I am looking to buy one before closing on a new home. I got quotes from Geico (current auto insurance) and Liberty Mutual (current renter's insurance), State Farm and Travellers. Below are the default limits that Geico gave me. I tweaked the limits on the Liberty Mutual quote so that the comparison is similar. Please let me know if I have sufficient coverage and limits. Does one look better than the other?

Thanks for your time
Alto

1960's home. Price: $375,000. However, Geico provides a $468,000 limit as the cost to repair/rebuild. I can't reduce this at Geico but Liberty Mutual lets me pick a way lower limit.

Code: Select all

Amica    | Geico    | Liberty Mutual | State Farm | Travellers | HomeSite/AmFam
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
$1,580   | $1,113   | $1,054         | $1,338     | $738       | $1,181   : Annual Premium
$450,000 | $468,000 | $455,600       | $439,000   | $468,000   | $431,000 : Dwelling Coverage (Coverage A)
$45,000  | $46,800  | $45,560        | $43,900    | $46,800    | $43,100  : Other Structures (Coverage B)
$337,500 | $234,000 | $341,700       | $329,250   | $327,600   | $215,500 : Personal Property Coverage (Coverage C)
$135,000 | $140,400 | 20%($91,120)   | N/A        | $140,000   | $129,300 : Loss of Use (Coverage D)
$500,000 | $500,000 | $500,000       | $300,000   | $500,000   | $500,000 : Personal Liability Limit (Coverage E)
$5,000   | $3,000   | $5,000         | $3,000     | $2,000     | $5,000   : Medical Payments Limit (Coverage F)
$2,500   | $1,000   | $1,000         | $1,500     | $1,000     | $1,500   : Property Deductible
N/A      | $5,000   | 1%($4,556)     | N/A        | N/A        | $5,000   : Wind/Hail Deductible
$10,000  |$10,000   | $10,000        | N/A        | N/A        | $10,000  : Water Backup and Sump Pump Overflow Coverage

Protect Personal Property against Standard Incidents (Geico). Liberty Mutual does not seem to have an equivalent. Geico has an option to change this to "Extended Incidents" which raises the annual premium by $20. This is what they say: " Incidents refer to the perils covered by your policy. With Extended Incidents, unless a particular peril is specifically excluded from the policy, a loss caused by that peril is covered. Some examples of excluded perils are: Earthquake Flood War Nuclear Accident Landslide Mudslide Sinkhole Please see your Policy for the complete list of exclusions. "

No Coverage for the following:
Mine Subsidence Coverage
Earthquake Coverage
Flood Insurance [Not a flood zone]
Identity Fraud Expense Coverage
Home Computer and Smartphone Coverage [Liberty Mutual Specified that this is not covered]
Last edited by Alto Astral on Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:29 pm, edited 4 times in total.

August
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Re: Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by August » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:03 pm

I would pay the extra premium for extended (open peril) coverage. I'd also make sure the policy you are looking at has replacement cost coverage for contents as a typical Homeowner's policy offers only Actual Cash Value for contents without an endorsement (Actual Cash value means replacement cost less depreciation- similar to car insurance). Last I checked, Geico Insurance is basically acting as an agent for Travelers for homeowners, so I would compare Geico's rates to what an independent agent can offer for Travelers. Having an actual human agent on your side when you have a claim never hurts and can sometimes speed up your claims process.

If you have a basement with a sump pump or drainage system, you want the sump pump endorsement. Without it any damage to your basement from groundwater seeping through the foundation will probably not be covered.

As with any insurance policy, make sure you read the entire policy and endorsements. Most companies used standard policies but not all do, and each one has endorsements that can add or remove coverages.

Disclaimer: I haven't reviewed either of the policies in question, but have years of experience working as an adjuster specializing in property claims.

boglerdude
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Re: Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by boglerdude » Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:30 am

Check out State Farm and Amica. I havent heard of other carries offering "Extended Incidents" so maybe that's +1 for Geico (Travelers?)

jmagi76461
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Re: Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by jmagi76461 » Wed Nov 18, 2015 8:00 am

Regarding your house, think of it this way, worst case scenario the house burns to the ground...what is the cost to rebuild from the ground up? That is the amount of Dwelling coverage you want. Most carrier will have replacement cost calculators to assist.

Agree with August regarding sewer and drain coverage...most companies will only cover with endorsement. Definitely worth the cost.

Also agree with boglerdude, both Amica and State Farm are very good companies that will help you with your decision and give you advice regarding coverages. I have had both (currently with Amica)...ultimately, the premiums will be pretty close, so making a decision based on cost isn't always the best thing to do. Hopefully you will never need to use your insurance, but if you do, you want to be with someone that you are comfortable with and trust.

Alto Astral
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Re: Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by Alto Astral » Wed Nov 18, 2015 8:12 am

How much coverage do I need for "Water Backup & Sump Overflow Protection"? The amounts are $5k, $10k, $15k,$ 20k, $25k. The sump pump is in an unfinished basement.

I will get quotes from Traveller's directly as well as State Farm and Amica.

Ninnie
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Re: Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by Ninnie » Wed Nov 18, 2015 8:14 am

Warning story about Liberty Mutual. We had them for a number of years and after the first couple of years they started increasing our rates excessively, to the point that it was about double what we started out at. I was lax in addressing it and let it get far too high before switching. When we finally did switch (to MetLife) the rate dropped in half again. With MetLife it has held steady so far.

Also, Liberty Mutual was very non-helpful when we called about an ice dam. We ended up not filing a claim, but dealing with them did not instill confidence if anything major were to have happened to the house.

I second calling other companies - Amica, MetLife, State Farm are good possibilities. Read reviews about how these companies perform if you need to file a claim.

Alto Astral
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Re: Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by Alto Astral » Wed Nov 18, 2015 8:21 am

August wrote: I'd also make sure the policy you are looking at has replacement cost coverage for contents as a typical Homeowner's policy offers only Actual Cash Value for contents without an endorsement (Actual Cash value means replacement cost less depreciation- similar to car insurance).

Geico gives two options for " Replacement based on": (1) Cost to Purchase New (2) Depreciated Value.
My quotes is based on 'Cost to Purchase New'. This is what they say about that:
"For example, if you bought a brand new television 2 years ago, the fair market value today may only be $100. If a covered incident damaged the television, selecting Cost to Purchase New would allow you to purchase a brand new television, just like your old one, as a replacement. If you had selected Depreciated Cost, you would receive the $100 fair market value."

jmagi76461
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Re: Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by jmagi76461 » Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:00 am

If you have an unfinished basement, this coverage isn't as important. If you ever finish, that is when you will want to add.

pshonore
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Re: Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by pshonore » Wed Nov 18, 2015 10:56 am

jmagi76461 wrote:If you have an unfinished basement, this coverage isn't as important. If you ever finish, that is when you will want to add.
Unless your washer/dryer/hot water heater/furnace etc. is in the basement

Alto Astral
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Re: Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by Alto Astral » Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:12 am

pshonore wrote:
jmagi76461 wrote:If you have an unfinished basement, this coverage isn't as important. If you ever finish, that is when you will want to add.
Unless your washer/dryer/hot water heater/furnace etc. is in the basement

Good point. The boiler and furnace are in the basement. So is the electrical panel - but its at eye-level on the wall. The washer/dryer are at the main level. In this scenario, is $10k coverage sufficient?

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JDCarpenter
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Re: Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by JDCarpenter » Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:24 am

Alto,

Are you comfortable with the 300K personal liability coverage limit? It's enough for many, not for all.

Simplifying a bit, it is your liability protection (and legal representation) for any alleged injuries you cause other than when driving.
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Alto Astral
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Re: Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by Alto Astral » Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:34 pm

August wrote:Last I checked, Geico Insurance is basically acting as an agent for Travelers for homeowners, so I would compare Geico's rates to what an independent agent can offer for Travelers.

The Treveller's website does not seem to offer Wind/Hail damage coverage not Water/Sump Pump coverage. It seems to be the simplest among all 4 that I compared, asking only minimal questions. The others wanted to know if I had crown moldings, floor type and what not. Without all that, its got the lowest premiums. No 'Extended Events' either.

Alto Astral
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Re: Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by Alto Astral » Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:06 pm

JDCarpenter wrote:Alto,

Are you comfortable with the 300K personal liability coverage limit? It's enough for many, not for all.

Simplifying a bit, it is your liability protection (and legal representation) for any alleged injuries you cause other than when driving.

I can bump it to $500k which is the max Gieco and a couple of others allow. I also have a $1M Umbrella coverage from Geico that costs me $125 a year. Does that factor in the limit I pick?

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JDCarpenter
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Re: Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by JDCarpenter » Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:17 pm

Alto Astral wrote:
JDCarpenter wrote:Alto,

Are you comfortable with the 300K personal liability coverage limit? It's enough for many, not for all.

Simplifying a bit, it is your liability protection (and legal representation) for any alleged injuries you cause other than when driving.

I can bump it to $500k which is the max Gieco and a couple of others allow. I also have a $1M Umbrella coverage from Geico that costs me $125 a year. Does that factor in the limit I pick?


Sure--what does the umbrella require for underlying?
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pshonore
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Re: Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by pshonore » Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:38 pm

Alto Astral wrote:
August wrote:Last I checked, Geico Insurance is basically acting as an agent for Travelers for homeowners, so I would compare Geico's rates to what an independent agent can offer for Travelers.

The Treveller's website does not seem to offer Wind/Hail damage coverage not Water/Sump Pump coverage. It seems to be the simplest among all 4 that I compared, asking only minimal questions. The others wanted to know if I had crown moldings, floor type and what not. Without all that, its got the lowest premiums. No 'Extended Events' either.
Wind damage (think Tornado, etc) and Fire are the most basic perils insured against in any Homeowners policy. You should be talking to an independent agent.

sesq
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Re: Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by sesq » Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:18 pm

I like to have my umbrella/car/house all covered by the same company so that the companies can't fight about where the coverages stop and the umbrella picks up (or at least that is the idea may it never happen).

When USAA hiked my homeowners I got quotes from Erie (midatlantic) and Amica. Both were competitive and I went with Erie. I have renewed them twice without major premium hikes.

Alto Astral
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Re: Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by Alto Astral » Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:18 pm

JDCarpenter wrote:
Alto Astral wrote:
JDCarpenter wrote:Alto,

Are you comfortable with the 300K personal liability coverage limit? It's enough for many, not for all.

Simplifying a bit, it is your liability protection (and legal representation) for any alleged injuries you cause other than when driving.

I can bump it to $500k which is the max Gieco and a couple of others allow. I also have a $1M Umbrella coverage from Geico that costs me $125 a year. Does that factor in the limit I pick?


Sure--what does the umbrella require for underlying?

$300k is needed on my home owners for the umbrella insurance. If I pick $500k, that will not reduce my Umbrella premium. So maybe I can keep the $300k, get a lower premium on my home insurance and let the Umbrella Policy kick in after the $300k.

Alto Astral
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Re: Homeowners Insurance Comparison: Did I miss anything?

Post by Alto Astral » Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:35 pm

sesq wrote:I like to have my umbrella/car/house all covered by the same company so that the companies can't fight about where the coverages stop and the umbrella picks up (or at least that is the idea may it never happen).

When USAA hiked my homeowners I got quotes from Erie (midatlantic) and Amica. Both were competitive and I went with Erie. I have renewed them twice without major premium hikes.

For a moment there I thought that Geico would want me to have the homeowner's insurance with them to keep my umbrella policy. Turns out that's not the case ask long as I have a minimum of $300k liability. If I remember right, they wanted they Auto Policy with them for the Umbrella Insurance.

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