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When it is time to purchase a home, there are many things to consider, such as where to live, how long you will want to stay in the area (can you raise children there?

How are the schools? Do you want to retire there?), and then there are matters of protecting yourself and your property.

The way this is done is by getting accurate quotes that will reflect the appropriate amount of coverage, which may adjust over the years, whether or not you need supplemental policies, and then following up to ensure that you are still properly covered.

For some, this sounds like a bit much. After all, it's just insurance, right? Wrong. Insurance is equally important to whatever the policy is protecting, because, without it, you would not be able to replace the item(s) in the event that they are lost.

The whole point of having a policy is to cover yourself in the event of losing something you cannot afford to replace, such as a house or automobile, and it is also why many policies have coverage in the event that someone is hurt; the average person cannot typically afford to relieve someone of their pain and suffering, especially if it is ongoing, but they can afford the premiums to protect themselves in the event that something unfortunate occurs.

Understanding this, the first step is to go out and get the quotes you need. You should also use the FREE comparison tool above to start your search!

Getting Insurance Quotes Online and in Person

For those who have not heard, there is a wonderful not-so-new tool called the Internet. Joking aside, the web should be your first choice for finding quotes. There are some sites that will measure multiple quotes at once, but it may be best to get them one at a time.

As you get them, it is important to make sure that you are getting all of the same coverage so that when you compare them to one another, it's a like comparison. Essentially, you want to be sure that you are measuring apples to apples.

Just as you would not hold a mansion in Bridgeport to the same standards as a shanty in Gaylordsville, you would not do the same with a policy that covers ten times the coverage of another.

This cannot be overstated because there are times when consumers pass up the best policies for a lack of understanding them.

Once you have gathered your quotes you can make a choice and sign up online, but a better option is to call a local agent, confirm the amount and other details, and then form a relationship with him or her. This will work to your favor because you will not merely be a customer of the giant insurance firm, but a client of the professional service provider who will want to make sure you are satisfied.

Part of this process is that he or she will let you know if you qualify for any discounts. Discounts are afforded for multiple reasons. Among them are:

  • Customer Loyalty
  • Falling Into a Certain Demographic
  • Being Part of a Buying Group

When an insurance person refers to loyalty, this means that the customer has brought all of his or her policies under the roof that that agency. It is a great way to save money, and it helps the insurance agent assist you in making sure you have all of the policies you need.

Demographics can be the result of age or past service. For example, senior citizens with an exemplary driving record can get a discount. Part of the reason is because seniors tend to drive less, but it is also because of past performance. They have a proven history of being safe behind the wheel. When it comes to members of the Uniformed Services there are certain discounts available to honor the good work and sacrifices they are making, or have made.

Some of these groups overlap, interestingly enough. For example, senior citizens can also beĀ members of AARP, which uses the leverage it has through the many people it can provide to a service provider so as to guarantee discounts in areas of not just insurance, but also for car rentals and other services.

While doing all of this, though, it is crucial that you know exactly how much coverage you need, because the amount may surprise you.

How much coverage do you need?

If you buy a home for $250,000 it is perfectly reasonable to assume that $250,000 in coverage will be adequate to rebuild in the event of a loss. However, that is rarely the case.

When it comes to getting the proper amount of coverage, the amount needed is for the replacement value of the home. How much would it cost to build that same home brand new?

This is how much coverage you need, and here is the reason why: if you buy a home that was built in 1945 and it is lost to a fire or other disaster, the cost to rebuild is going to exceed the cost of buying. That $250,000 home may have cost $400,000 to build today, and that is the level of coverage needed.

Outside of this, there is still the need for supplemental policies. In a coastal state like Connecticut, the first priority is flood insurance, especially in the wake of recent events like Hurricanes Sandy and Irene.

Supplemental Insurance Policies: Flood

In the past five years there have been two major hurricanes that hit the east coast. While Connecticut is typically saved from the brunt of high winds by Long Island, the state could not be protected during Hurricane Sandy because it was a tidal surge, meaning that the storm caused an unusual level of water to rise, leading to the flooding that destroyed so many homes.

For those who did not have a flood policy they had to wait for the federal government to assess whether or not they were deserving of relief, which also meant that federal taxes were going to rebuilding homes.

Given the location of the state, especially for coastal towns like Milford, Guilford and Branford, it seems like a no-brainer to get extra coverage, but the truth is that even in the towns more to the north, such as Granby, Hazardville and Storrs, homeowners need to also have this coverage, because flooding is not merely defined by rising tides when it comes to insurance.

The best way to explain flooding is with an example: Brandy Wilkins is a young professional who has just purchased her first home. One weekend while she is away on business a storm passes through her town and knocks over a tree.

The tree falls against the side of her home and breaks a window on the first and second floors, allowing a substantial amount of rain to pour in. Brandy's neighbor checks the property for her, letting her know that things do not look very good, but it is nothing that her insurance shouldn't cover.

She calls her insurance company and an adjustor schedules to meet her when she comes in from her business trip. He explains that the damage to the windows and the siding are covered by her regular policy, but that the rain that came in as a result of the broken windows is considered to be flood damage.

It is disconcerting because this means more waiting, but she is incredibly thankful that she had gotten a flood policy. She had no idea that anything other than a rising tide could be the reason for her to need it.

Following up Over the Years

As time goes by there will be changes that take place. You may move or the insurance industry may be reformed.

Regarding the latter, there are times when people downsize from the home they raised their family in to something more manageable, but during all of the transitioning, it is possible that the insurance policy is not adjusted to cover the same specs of the new home. The result is that you end up overpaying by hundreds of dollars each year.

By checking your policy, and getting quotes from other agents/websites, you can be sure to get the best prices and coverage for all of your policies.

The keys to getting quotes in Connecticut are to: 1) get a a variety of them from the web and from actual agents, 2) form a relationship with an agent and see if there are better deals to be had, 3) do not forgo the supplemental policies, particularly flood insurance, and 4) to follow up over the years to make sure that you are getting the most coverage for the best price.

Lastly, do not forget that the amount of insurance you need is not for the appraisal value of your home, but for that same home if it was brand new. Be sure to compare quotes using the FREE search tool below!

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