WEST VIRGINIA
Offices of the Insurance Commissioner
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James A. Dodrill
Insurance Commissioner
Policy Shopping Tips

To ensure you buy the appropriate coverage for your home and contents at a premium price you can afford, follow these policy shopping tips when buying your insurance.

1. Contact several insurance agents and companies to find a combination of quality coverage and price that fits your needs. Some agents can provide you with quotes from several companies while others can quote you a single company premium price.  Be sure to obtain quotes from several different insurance companies as premium rates can vary dramatically among companies. 

2. Be sure to be specific in telling your agent the kind of coverage you need, the limits you need and any other important information about your home.  You can show pictures of the property, home, outbuildings, garages and contents to ensure adequate coverage is quoted.

3. The proper installation of protective devices such as smoke detectors, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, dead-bolt locks, and fire and burglar alarm systems with tie-ins to the local fire and police stations can result in further discounts so be sure to mention these options to an agent when obtaining quotes.

4. Consider increasing your policy deductible to help reduce your premium. If you choose a higher deductible, be sure that you can absorb the upfront cost of the higher deductible  in the event of a claim.  

5. Once you have narrowed your search to two or three companies and the best range of premium prices, you should consider each insurance company's reputation for financial stability, customer service, underwriting practices, and claims handling practices. You can talk with friends and neighbors who may have the same company, check online reviews, and/or contact our office to get the A.M. Best rating on a particular company(s).