7 Tips for Purchasing Home Insurance in Trinidad and Tobago

As a property owner, home insurance is your most valuable asset. In the event of structural damage, theft, injury or natural disasters, insurance covers the expenses to repair, replace or compensate as required. While there are many aspects of home ownership where you can safely cut corners, trust us when we say home insurance is one item that must be treated with the utmost precision. Here are 7 tips for purchasing home insurance in Trinidad and Tobago.

1. Shop Around

It is important to familiarize yourself with the options available. The insurance industry is quite dynamic and no two providers will present you with the same packages. Take the time to identify the pros and cons of each quotation before deciding on the one that suits you best. Talk to your family and friends about their experiences with their insurers. Peruse social media to learn what each company’s clients have to say about their service. And seek the advice of a registered real estate agent. While it might seem like a time consuming process, it is well worth the effort.

2. Consider Bundling Your Policies

This is not a hard and fast rule, but insurers often offer discounts to clients who take out multiple policies. When you request a quotation, ask for an option that includes auto and life insurance. Providing you don’t have recent claims on your car insurance, the discounts you receive may well be worth making the switch.

3. Opt for a Higher Deductible

When it comes to deductibles, higher is actually better. Why, you ask? The answer is simple: a higher deductible means a lower premium. The key is to find the ideal balance between the short-term cost in the event of a disaster (your deductible) and the long-term cost of a policy (your premiums). While the likelihood of you having to pay your deductible is low, your premium payments are mandatory. As such, it is always best to opt for the highest deductible you can comfortably afford in order to reduce the amount you spend on premium payments.

4. Cover the Accurate Value of Your Home

It is imperative that you insure your home for its actual value – no more and certainly no less. Some homeowners may be tempted to undervalue their property to lower their premiums, however this decision results in significantly larger out-of-pocket expenses when it’s time to make a claim. Conversely, over-insuring your home does not result in higher payouts when a claim is made. In the end, the rebuild value of your property is what determines the compensation you receive. Undervaluing will leave you footing a large chunk of the bill while overvaluing means you would have spent excess money on premiums that you will never recover. The most logical approach is to have a professional evaluator assess the accurate value of your home, including its contents, to ensure you purchase the right amount of coverage.

5. Know Exactly What is Covered

Home insurance covers a range of items, but do you know which ones are included in your policy? Structural coverage does not include the contents of your home. Similarly, content coverage does not apply to accidents that cause injury to others. Before committing to a plan, assess the full scope of your insurance needs and select a package that includes all critical items, especially the contents.

6. Purchase Additional Coverage When Necessary

Home insurance needs can vary depending on your location. If you reside in an area that is prone to flooding, for example, we strongly advised that you invest in flood insurance. Additionally, after the devastation caused by the August 2018 earthquake, it is highly recommended that you acquire earthquake insurance to cover the cost of any damages caused by this unpredictable act of nature.

7. Reassess Your Plan Frequently

Your home is always changing. Whether you make notable structural additions or simply add to the contents within its walls, the value of your house will undoubtedly increase over time. Your insurance policy should match these increases every step of the way. As such, at Propsnoop.com we strongly advise homeowners to reevaluate their homes at least once a year (or any time you make a big change with your home’s interior or exterior) to avoid being under-insured.

Selecting the right home insurance can mean the difference between financial stability and financial ruin. If you follow these critical tips, you’ll be 7 steps closer to selecting a coverage plan that is perfectly suited to your circumstances.