5 Tips To Switching Your Home Insurance

By Nancy B
February 07, 2023
Two women discussing a new insurance policy
We pledge to provide straight talk from our NNINS Virginia insurance experts. Read the Northern Neck Insurance INTEGRITY PROMISE.

Are you thinking about switching your home insurance? You can change your home insurance coverage anytime, just like you do with car insurance. Think of it as an annual assessment of financial protection around your home and belongings. It can also be a smart way to save money or change companies if you're unsatisfied with your experience. 

Is cheap home insurance worth it?

There's more to consider than cost when switching home insurance as well as saving money on car insurance. While it may be tempting to cut corners and buy the cheapest home insurance you can find, cheap home insurance can mean cutting important coverage and lowering needed limits. Between 2016-2020,  2020 Triple-I Consumer Poll determined the average property damage claim payout was $13,804. Fire and lightning claims had the highest average payout of $77,340.

High deductibles can also save you money. Just make sure you can afford to pay out of pocket if you need to file a claim. You could put yourself in a financial hole if your home incurs major damage. You also could be sued. We live in a litigious society and opting for the cheapest home insurance policy could leave you vulnerable without proper liability coverage through your home insurance policy.

woman with furrowed brow looking at paper

Finally, cheap home insurance coverage doesn’t provide you with the same peace of mind as a quality policy with the necessary limits and an affordable deductible. Owning a home is a big responsibility.  Purchasing the right homeowners insurance will provide you with the comfort of knowing you’ll be covered if something catastrophic should happen to your home.

How to switch home insurance

Switching companies may seem a little more daunting than switching car insurance, especially if your premium is tied to your mortgage payment. It just requires a couple of extra steps. We're here to help you navigate the process with these 5 tips! 

1. Check for terms and conditions 

The first thing to do is check if there are any penalties or fees if you change from your existing home insurance before your policy renews. If you're replacing an active policy and there is a fee, it still may be worth changing home insurance if the savings make up for it. You can also opt to wait until your current policy's renewal and coordinate effective dates.

2. Contact an independent insurance agent

The operative word here is "independent." A captive insurance agent can only sell for one carrier. An independent agent is like having your own personal shopper to help you find the best home insurance fit for you. And that's just one of the benefits! Be prepared to speak with your agent with a copy of your current policy declaration page showing coverages and deductibles for review. You'll also need basic information about your home, such as size, location, and age. It's good to have an itemized list of special high-value items like business equipment and jewelry that may need to be insured separately. 

Insurance agent going over policy with customer

3. Compare insurance carriers

It's important to focus on more than just rate. Savvy shoppers dig into the details and rely on the expertise of an agent to find the best fit for you. Find out what coverages are included and excluded, like earthquake damage and sinkhole collapse.  Are there valuable endorsements needed due to risks in your part of Virginia, or are they included? Is there any need for flood insurance? What about available discounts for paying in full and bundling in your car insurance? Should you consider adding another coverage like personal umbrella insurance?


Check out each carrier's service promise and online reviews. The claims experience is where the rubber hits the road, the place you really need your insurance company to deliver. What do people say about their claims experience? It should be responsive, helpful, and efficient. You know the old saying; you get what you pay for. 

Date circled on calendar with red marker

4. Avoid a lapse in homeowners coverage

Your agent can help you synchronize the important transition between the end of your existing home insurance policy and the start of your new policy. It's essential to have the new policy in effect before canceling your old policy to avoid a lapse in coverage. Heaven forbid you experience damage to your home the one day you weren't covered, leaving you financially on the hook for repairs.

Your lender will also get notified if there's a lapse in coverage. As the financial backing for your home, they have a vested interest in protecting it and can purchase "forced insurance" at your expense. Other insurance companies may also consider a lapse in home insurance as a risk indicator and charge you higher premiums. 

wood blocks with a gap

If you're navigating this process on your own, be sure to coordinate the dates with your new insurance company so that the new effective date is on or before your old policy's cancellation date. Get a written confirmation that your old insurance policy won't automatically renew and how you'll be reimbursed for the unused premium. 

5. Notify your lender

Depending on how your home loan was set up, your home insurance may or may not be paid directly from your loan's escrow account. Either way, you should let your lender know of the change in home insurance. You may be able to do this by phone unless written notification is required.  If you have an escrow, your lender needs the necessary information to pay the new insurance company. 

When contacting your lender, be prepared with your mortgage loan number, the name and address of your new insurance company, your old and new policy account numbers, and a copy of your new home insurance declaration page.

And that's it! We hope you take advantage of an independent agent's added value and service, whether you are changing your home insurance or not. Our agents are the best! You can find a local agent in your area or let us connect you to one. Then think about getting a new home insurance quote. It may be the smartest financial thing you've done all year!  


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THE NORTHERN NECK INSURANCE INTEGRITY PROMISE We pledge to provide straight talk and good counsel from our NNINS Virginia insurance experts through our blog. While we hope you find this to be a helpful source of information, it does not replace the guidance of a licensed insurance professional, nor does it modify the terms of your Northern Neck Insurance policy in any way. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy.