Whether you own your home or rent, you need insurance to cover your personal belongings and you need personal liability protection. Additionally, homeowners need protection for their homes. A single policy can usually give you all the protection you need for your home, its contents and personal liability coverage.
Wisconsin residents already pay some of the lowest rates in the country for property insurance. Competition between insurance companies means consumers should shop around for price and value.
Tips for saving money on home and renters insurance
Shop Around Prices vary from company to company. Get at least three price quotes by calling local insurance agents and checking on the Internet.
Increase Your Deductible Deductibles are the amount you pay before your insurance policy kicks in. By increasing your deductible from say $200 to $500, you could substantially lower your property insurance premium.
Combine Property Insurance with Auto Insurance Many insurance companies provide a discount for carrying two or more policies with them. Consider combining your home or renters policy and your auto insurance with the same company.
Maintain Good Credit Record Insurance companies are increasingly using credit information to price property insurance policies. Protect your credit standing by paying bills on time and keeping your credit balances low. Check your credit record on a regular basis and have errors corrected promptly.
Improve Home Security Smoke detectors, burglar alarms and deadbolt locks can prevent or minimize damage or loss. More sophisticated alarm systems will also help. Many companies provide discounts for these security measures. Always report home security improvements to your insurance agent and ask about possible discounts.
Ask About Other Discounts Claim-free property owners and long time policyholders are often rewarded with discounts by their insurance companies. Ask your agent about available discounts.
Do renters need insurance?
YES, renters need insurance coverage for their personal property and they need personal liability insurance coverage. A landlord’s insurance policy does not provide this coverage for a renter.
Renters Insurance covers your furniture, clothing, TV set, stereo, appliances and other personal belongings from theft, damage caused by fire, lightning, smoke, vandalism, wind and hail, and many other causes of loss.
Home daycare or business
If you work at home you may need special coverage for business property like your computer or other tools of your trade. You may also need special liability insurance if you are running a business such as child daycare from your home. Make certain you discuss the nature and scope of your home business with your insurance agent or company representative. Your policy may already contain the extra coverage you need, or you may need to add a special endorsement or rider to the basic policy. In some cases, it may be necessary to purchase an additional policy. Your insurance agent will advise you on the best way to accommodate your home business insurance needs.
What is the Wisconsin Insurance Plan?
The Wisconsin Insurance Plan (WIP) is a company that insures certain properties rejected by regular insurance companies. WIP is not a state agency, nor are its programs funded with tax dollars.
If your company refers you to the WIP, it does not mean this is the ONLY company that will insure your property. Every insurance company is different. If one company will not insure you, another company may agree to give you coverage.
What if I'm turned down for property insurance?
Insurance companies may decide who they will insure based on a review of your application for insurance. If a company refuses to insure your home you are entitled to:
Proper notification – If you have applied for a new policy, a company may cancel during the first 60 days. You must receive at least 10 days notice that coverage will end. If a company refuses to renew an existing policy, they must give you at least 60 days notice.
An explanation for the company’s decision – The company’s explanation must be specific and in writing. For example, if the company’s letter states that they will not insure your property because it “does not meet underwriting guidelines,” you should contact the company for more specific information.
Information on how to apply for coverage with the Wisconsin Insurance Plan – The Wisconsin Insurance Plan (WIP) provides insurance for property owners who are not able to find coverage with other companies. All insurance companies must tell you about the WIP if they turn you down or do not renew your property insurance policy.
If you cannot find a new insurance policy, ask your insurance agent to assist you in applying for a policy through the WIP. Any agent in Wisconsin who is licensed to sell property insurance is required to help you. You cannot apply to the WIP by yourself.
If you have trouble finding an agent to help you apply to the WIP, contact our office for assistance.