Going through the process of getting home insurance might seem intimidating and overwhelming. There are a ton of questions to answer, lots of big fancy words, and plenty of details. It might help to be prepared for what questions you’ll get ahead of time…and to know why the agent on the other end of the phone is asking what they’re asking. We’re going to explain 10 questions that an insurance agent might have for you and why the answers matter.
Getting home insurance? Be ready to answer these questions from an insurance agent.
1. What’s your legal name?
Lots of people go by nicknames. Or maybe you prefer to go by your middle name, or perhaps you just decided to be called something else. That’s totally fine – you should be called what you want to be called. But even if you’ve gone by a nickname for so long that everyone’s forgotten what your legal name is, you’ll need to give your legal name to the insurance agent getting your quotes.
2. What’s your exact date of birth?
You know how you answer a questionnaire and it asks you to check a box for the range of your age? 18-25, 26-30, 31-35, or something like that? Well, that’s not going to cut it for your insurance. You’ll probably have to provide your exact date of birth.
3. Your address.
You’ll also have to give the address of your house. That one just makes sense, right? The agent is going to need the address of the property that needs to be insured. Insurance agents aren’t Santa Claus – they don’t just magically know where you live. They need the address so that they can help you get the proper insurance.
4. Are you currently insured?
The insurance agent may also ask if you’re currently insured. It’s okay to tell them you are, or you aren’t. They’re not looking for one answer or the other. It’s not a pop quiz you can fail.
Also, if they ask for a copy of your current home insurance policy, it’s okay to provide it. There’s nothing nefarious about it. They’re not going to judge you about your coverage or be offended that you’re not insured with them. They just want to know what coverages you have so it’s not a mystery or a guessing game. Maybe it seems like an odd request or one that’s too intrusive, but it’s okay to just send a copy of your policy.
(This can also help you make sure you’re getting apples-to-apples comparisons of pricing and a fuller picture of what option could be best for you.)
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5. Does your home have a monitored security system?
The agent you’re speaking with may also ask if you have a monitored home security system. That’s because a lot of carriers offer a discount if you have a security system. (Burglar alarms deter theft and bring the police to your house ASAP if there’s an uninvited intruder.) So, if you’ve got a security system, the agent wants to know about it – they can help you save money! Good agents like to do that.
6. Are you in a gated community?
The agent may also ask you if you’re in a gated community. This is another common discount, so they’re just trying to see if they can save you some money on your home insurance premium.
(There may be some other questions related to discounts thrown your way – it’s important to take advantage of all the home insurance discounts you qualify for.)
7. Is the home over 30 years old?
If the house is over thirty years old, there might be some follow-up questions. The agent will probably want to know if the roof, electrical system, and plumbing have been updated and, if so, when. Having updated wiring and such help make the home safer.
8. Do you have a pool or a trampoline?
The agent assisting you with getting home insurance quotes will probably want to know if you have a pool or trampoline. If you do, there will probably be some follow-up questions. Is your backyard fenced in? Does the trampoline have a net? Pools and trampolines are attractive nuisances, meaning they tend to draw kids and trespassers, who can end up getting hurt…which can lead to a big lawsuit.
Anyways, the agent needs to know this so they can help you get to the right carrier. Some insurance carriers are okay with trampolines and pools, so they might be a better fit for you.
9. Do you have any pets?
The insurance agent may also ask about pets – particularly dogs. Some insurance carriers have “dangerous dog” lists and are warier about insuring homeowners with certain breeds of dog. They’re not asking because they have anything against dogs. It’s so that they can help you find the best carrier for your needs – and your beloved friend!
You can also discuss claims with the agent if you’re so inclined.
Anyways, those are some of the things an insurance agent might ask you as they help you get home insurance quotes. It might seem like a laundry list of questions, but there’s a reason for each one. It’s not just to make you pull your hair out…believe it or not!
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