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Home Insurance Calculator: Shop Around, Save Money, and Mock the “Experts”

According to this recent piece in Fox News, home insurance rates are on the rise.  That’s bad.  But the article then goes on to say that hope is not lost; there are ways homeowners can reduce their home insurance premiums.  They can, for example, “shop around,” “calculate your insurance needs,” and “choose a high-deductible plan.”  There’s just one problem.  Aside from choosing a high-deductible plan, these pieces of advice are a lot easier said than done.

After all, homeowners know they should shop around.  They know they should calculate their insurance needs.  But they don’t.  And why is that?  Because it’s hard, it’s confusing, and it’s time-consuming.  Until….(drum roll)….now.  Introducing Home Insurance Calculator, a web site equipped with tools, resources, and information to help homeowners choose an affordable plan without the hassle.

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Home Insurance Calculator consists of it’s crown jewel – the calculator itself – on the home page (which we’ll get to later), plus a Home Insurance Guide, Home Insurance Comparison page, information on a state-by-state basis, FAQ, Glossary, and Blog.  So before we dig into the calculator itself, let’s take a quick spin at the Homeowners Insurance Guide page.  But before we do, a quick tangent.  Ever see those “man on the street” interviews that Jay Leno used to do, whereby they’d ask random people on the street simple questions like, “Who’s the Vice President?” or “What does the DMV stand for?”  Eight out 10 times, sadly, people look rather foolish.  And our point is this: if the average person doesn’t know these basic things, how are they supposed to comprehend the complexities of home insurance?  It gets even scarier when your hard-earned dollars are at stake.  All of this makes the Homeowners Insurance Guide so helpful.  It spells out the ins and outs of home insurance simply and without the legalese that makes your head spin.

For example, under “Forms of Insurance,” it describes HO-2 Home Insurance like this: “Normally, this is where your form search will start.  It covers your house and personal belongings as long as the damage occurs as a result of pre-determined causes.”   Even I understand that!!  Better yet, if it’s greater detail you crave, you can simply check out the pages devoted to each specific form of insurance, like the HO-1 policy page here.

So, just by taking five minutes to review the Homeowners Insurance Guide, you’ll be equipped for the nitty-gritty: actually shopping around.  So I entered my zip code into the calculator – which again, is found on the home page – and was instantly greeted with eight carriers in my home state.  I went to each page, got my respective quotes, and – tada! – realized I officially “shopped around.”  And it only took, what, 20 minutes?  Imagine if I shopped around the old-fashioned way via the telephone; one could quickly understand why so many homeowners want to compare providers, but don’t – without an online tool to guide the process, it’s a pain.

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So, to recap thus far.  In less than the time it takes to cook dinner, we’ve been able to quickly ramp up on home insurance basics, shop around across multiple carriers, and limit our search to a handful of carriers.  You’d be forgiven to think you’re done, but there’s one more step – one that Home Insurance Calculator acknowledges in its FAQ page.  Specifically, this step involves understanding the specific, random, and confusing details that may significantly influence your rates.  For example, the FAQ page addresses important questions like “”My insurance company does not pay for a claim another company would pay.  What can I do?” and “”Which elements of a home insurance policy are the most important?”  In other words, if the insurance “devil” is in the details, consider this page a kind of exorcist.

This bring us back to the Fox News page with their helpful tips.  We’re grateful someone took the time to spell them out, but when reading the article, the cynic in us can’t help but say, “Duh!”   For example, an “expert” in the aforementioned article noted – brace yourselves – “You want to take a look and see what’s out there.  You may save money going to another company, or you may not.”  Wow – who knew?

Our point is this: ideas like “saving money,” “shopping around,” and “seeing what’s out there” are easy to conceptualize and agree upon in theory.  It’s actually doing it in the real world that’s difficult, which is why, well, no one actually does it.  Fortunately, Home Insurance Calculator changes the dynamic.  It allows homeowners to quickly and easily shop around, educate themselves, and save money in the process.  It may even put a few so-called “experts” out of business.

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