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Learn... Plan... Act... Insure!

Steps to Build Plan
  Step 1 - Locate policies
  Step 2 - Get educated
  Step 3 - Determine needs
  Step 4 - Evaluate policies
  Step 5 - Make changes
  Step 6 - Get help
Insurance Tools
  Home Inventory List (Excel)
  Home Inventory List (pdf)
  Home Inventory List (html)
  Home Insurance Worksheet (html)
  Home Insurance Worksheet (doc)
Online Quotes
Make your changes now

The most important thing you will do is to implement those changes that you have decided to make regarding your insurance coverage. While the earlier steps are certainly necessary, if you don't actually make the changes then you gain nothing.

Go over your notes to make sure that you understand the changes you wish to make, and especially why you wish to make them. If you have an existing policy with an agent, and you are increasing coverage, you probably won't get any objections when you call your agent. However, if you are decreasing your coverage, you might anticipate that the agent will try and convince you that your current coverage is what you should have. Be firm and don't give up until you get what you want.

If you don't yet have your homeowner's policy (e.g., building your house), then you need to begin with gathering price information from different sources. We suggest that you first make a list of the amounts of coverage that you want. This will include the amount of property coverage and content coverage you want, the type of replacement coverage you want (actual or replacement value), the amount of liability and medical payment protection you desire, and the amount of deductible that you can afford to pay if you need to file a claim. For this, and also obtaining the necessary information from various insurance companies, we have provided a worksheet that you can print as well as one that you can modify (if you have Microsoft Word).

Next, identify the local companies from which you wish to obtain quotes. Before you actually contact companies, you might also consider talking to family and friends to see what they are paying and what kind of experiences they have had with their chosen insurance company. This is especially true if someone has filed a claim with their insurance company. This will give you a good indicator as to what to expect should you choose that company.

Once you are ready, begin contacting your sources. We suggest that you start with your automobile insurance carrier if you have a vehicle. Getting the policy through them may qualify you for a discount on your new homeowner's policy as well as your automobile insurance policy. There are lots of other places to try, including the Internet, direct writers, direct marketers, etc.

Once you have received your quotes, investigated the companies and made your decision, then get your new policy. Make sure you review the coverage and it matches all of your needs and that you understand all of its provisions.

As a final step, take your list together with any receipts and your video or pictures and put them in a secure location, preferably outside your home so that you are sure to have them if you need to file a claim.

Step 6 - Get Help If You Need It

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