Cheapest Home Insurance May Not Be Clever At All!
Everyone is looking for cheap house insurance quotes — and many will go through great depths in order to find it, whether legal or not. For those you may ponder about lying to an insurance company in order to try to cover an incident or simply buy cheap insurance, misrepresentation may simply leave you without coverage and insurance fraud may land you without the benefit of your freedom; the least penalty would be a cancelled policy on record with the inability to obtain insurance again from a preferred insurance carrier:
- Who Resides In Dwelling (Owner, Tenant, or is it vacant)? The true answer determines the type of policy required to cover the home; the wrong type of policy would surely void coverage by definition. Imagine the house catching fire followed by a denied claim by the insurance carrier perhaps accompanied with a check for your premium refund. Now, this instance could occur due to misrepresentation or by a simple change in occupancy without reporting the change to the insurance carrier. It is important to understand the insurance contract which you are paying for; too many clients are constantly shopping around for the cheapest premium with ABSOLUTELY NO REGARD for the coverage and terms provided. Many of these clients would be better off uninsured.
- Do You Have a Dog (if so, what breed)? Each carrier has a list of dog breeds which are their prohibited breeds; all lists include the verbiage ‘any mix of the above’ and ‘any dog with prior aggressive history’. Claims due to dog aggression comprise approximately 30% of liability claims on property insurance policies; it is much more likely to present the carrier with a dog bite claim than a house fire. Insurance is all about risk; misrepresentation may result in a denied claim and a canceled policy. What use is saving a few dollars on your home insurance policy when you could’ve stayed with your prior carrier who permitted your breed of dog? Insurance is serious business; the application process and insurance contract will be closely adhered to when a claim is presented – this is what is expected and ultimately will happen!
- Do You Have a Trampoline? Insurance companies are not trampoline haters, there is a reason for each question asked! The presence of a trampoline greatly increases the risk for bodily injury on the insured property. If someone is hurt on your trampoline; whether falling off or landing on his/her own weight within the trampoline, this could easily land you a lawsuit potentially causing you out of pocket medical expenses and legal fees if you haven’t disclosed the trampoline to your carrier. Although most insurance companies will not accept homes with trampolines, there are a few carriers who will accept an in ground trampoline surrounded by a protection netting preventing people from falling out and further injuring themselves.
- Have You Had Any Prior Claims? Prior to purchasing homeowners insurance, all insurance carriers will pull the CLUE report and utilize any type of available investigative tools which will help underwrite the risk. A minute percentile of claims may go unreported but this would be no gift if you were to withhold the truth from a new insurance carrier; lying could result in your home insurance claim being denied if a loss were to occur or if the carrier were to find out at a later date, your insurance would be cancelled for misrepresentation.
Insurance carriers are not your enemy; insurance policy contracts are standardized to offer uniform protection to the consumer and regulated by the Department of Insurance in each State. The system is designed to share your risk amongst a larger segment of the community but not to allow any one person to take advantage of the multitude.
Trying to mislead the underwriting process as a way to get cheap house insurance. Since the purpose of insurance is to cover you in the event of a loss, the transparent honesty is the only way to go. The best option is to review all available discounts, perhaps remove any optional coverage, purchase lower limits of required package coverage and observe lower premium rates for higher deductible options. For the future, consider keeping your insurance record claims free as all carriers have special discounted rates for claims free customers as well as the obvious of not being charged for any incident surcharges. As of late, most insurance carriers do review property claims for the past 60 months although some carriers claim only to surcharge incidents which have occurred during the past 36 months.