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How to Switch Your Homeowners Insurance to a New House
Moving to a new house can be an exciting transition and a tremendous hassle at the same time. Packing up and moving your furniture and dishes is challenging enough, but unfortunately, dealing with the intangibles related to a move can be even more work. Moving your homeowners insurance policy to your new house is one task that may feel like a nuisance, but that you certainly do not want to forget. Fortunately, if you plan ahead, switching your homeowners insurance when you move need not be excessively difficult.
# 1: Plan Ahead
If you have any experience with moving, you know that careful organization can make the packing and unpacking process quite a bit less stressful and overwhelming. Planning and organization are similarly crucial for switching your homeowners insurance to your new house.
Start by examining your policy and its terms closely. Ideally, your move will happen to take place near the date that your policy renews, since this will make transferring your policy to your new house a bit easier. Of course, you may not be able to control this; if your move happens to fall in the middle of a coverage period, transferring the policy will be a little more complicated. As far as the insurance company is concerned, you will actually be cancelling the policy, then taking out a new one on your new house. This means that in some cases, the company will charge you a cancellation fee for the privilege of continuing your coverage. In addition, if escrow is involved in your policy, your transition may be slightly more complex. Regardless, researching all relevant details about your specific policy and situation in advance will help ease the transition process.
# 2: Study Alternatives
Has your current homeowners insurance met all of your needs at your old house, both in terms of the specific policy and the company as whole? If not, a move to a new house is the perfect opportunity to decide what home insurance would suit you better moving forward, both in terms of policy and company. Your coverage levels, deductible and potential discounts are all areas that you should discuss with a customer service rep from your current company, as well as any other companies you are considering.
Keep in mind that, even if you are completely satisfied with your current coverage and want it to remain the same after you move, you may be able to lower your rates depending on the details of your new house. For example, a newer house or one with additional safety features or a preferable location might seem like a lower risk from the perspective of the insurance company; in this type of situation, you should always make sure that that lower risk is reflected in your premium.
# 3: Talk to Your Insurance Company
With all the prep work and research out of the way, the final step is to actually transition your homeowners policy to your new home. In most cases you will need to actually talk to an agent at your insurance company (either on the phone or in person) to complete his transition; it will usually be a bit too complex to handle via email or an online portal.
Even if you plan to simply cancel your old policy and open a new policy for your new house at a different insurance agency, you will still need to talk to someone at your old company to end that policy. In addition, the customer service might have the authority to offer you a discount or similar incentive to encourage you to stay.
Regardless of your specific preference, the insurance agent at the company that will be covering your new house will be able to advise you on exactly when to trigger the policy switch, how to complete all necessary paperwork and any related details you should understand to complete your move smoothly and conveniently.