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How to Select a Home Insurance Policy in New Jersey

You've worked hard to afford your New Jersey home and you want to protect it.Just as not all homebuilders are equal, neither are all insurance companies equal.You want to pick a solid company, one with a strong reputation for taking care of its New Jersey customers.Here are some tips to help you find the right New Jersey insurance agency for your needs.

Price

The last thing you want to do is hire a home insurance NJ agency based solely on price. You know that cheap cars are often poorly made and will not last very long; the same problem exists with insurance companies.Cheap rates often come at a high price should you ever have to file a claim.You have valuable property to insure; expect to pay a slightly higher price to do so.

Ratings

Every major insurance underwriter is rated by companies like A.M.Best, JD Power and Standard & Poor's.Take the time to check the ratings of any company you are considering. These ratings will let you know how financially stable a company is, how their customer service rates, how good they are about paying claims and other important information. Reviewing these ratings can help you choose a company that will actually support you when a claim is filed, rather than winding up with one that will avoid paying any claims at all costs.

Coverage Levels

Your insurance company will only pay up to the maximum levels that you are insured for.Review these levels to be sure that you will not be left short if there is a serious disaster. In addition to coverage for the actual building, you also want to be sure that you have coverage for the contents.Walk through the home and make a list of the big-ticket items that you own and what it would cost to replace them.

Replacement Value vs. Depreciated Value

The depreciated value of your property is what it is worth in its current condition.The replacement value is what it would cost you to go out and actually purchase another one.Using depreciated values may save money on the premium, but it can leave you hurting should disaster strike.Talk to your agent to clarify which value is being used.If necessary, pay the extra money to be covered for the replacement value of your belongings and home.

Natural Disasters

New Jersey can be hit with strong storms, including hurricanes and severe snow storms.Talk to company to verify exactly what they cover.If you live in a flood plain then flood insurance will be required.Even if you are not in a flood plain, you may want to talk to your agent about adding this coverage.Read through any contracts carefully to be sure that you are covered in the event of storms.

Accurate Information

When choosing a company, be sure to give them accurate information about the house.If you have recently had the floors upgraded to hardwood, make sure they know that. The insurance company will not pay to replace features they didn't know your house had.Confirm the number of bathrooms, flooring types, siding type and all other information with your company. It's also advisable to notify them of any upgrades you make to the house once you have the policy.

Your agent may recommend a certain insurance company, but it is always a good idea to do your own research.Ask friends and family for referrals, and be sure to check their ratings. Look for a company that is professional and has a solid record for excellent customer service so that you will be ready to weather any storm.

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