Three Things You Should Know Prior to Buying Colorado Homeowners Insurance

Although not required by law in the state, your lender may require you to purchase insurance in order to finance your mortgage — and it’s a good idea to have it regardless. Here are three things you should know before you buy Colorado homeowners insurance:

  1. The most expensive policy is not necessarily the best one. Many insurance companies may tout themselves as the "best" insurance company to go with — but they may have hefty price tags on their policies. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting the best deal. To get a policy that’s truly fairly priced, do a careful inventory of your home and its possessions before you shop for your policy. Put a replacement value (not the current value) on everything in your inventory, and price your home’s structure the same way. Go for replacement value, not current value. Then, armed with that information, comparison shop by going online and checking out homeowners insurance companies that service your area. Choose the least expensive policy from a company that has a good reputation but one that still gives you the coverage you need.
  2. The least expensive policy is not necessarily the best one. Lots of insurance companies will give you a price break on your insurance such that it looks like you’re getting a very good deal: low premiums with lots of coverage. Be careful, though. Check out a company’s reputation before you buy, including its quality of customer service. A lower-priced policy may leave you high and dry because you can’t get ahold of your agent when you need to or because customer service is shoddy.
  3. All insurance companies are not created equal. Do your homework. A company’s reputation should always, always trump policy price. When you’re doing your research, choose two or three companies with stellar reputations via online research, establish replacement price points for your housing structure and possessions, and then choose the lowest priced policy from one of these "stellar reputation" companies to give you the coverage you need.

How to Obtain a Colorado Insurance License

To enjoy a successful career as an insurance agent in Colorado, you must first be licensed by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies to sell insurance in the state. The process is not overly complicated and is open to anyone 18 years of age or older. Still, there are a few distinct steps that you need to take in order to get the license to sell auto or home insurance in Colorado. Here is a brief rundown of the process:

  1. Pre-Licensing Education — Becoming licensed as a Colorado insurance agent requires that you first take a pre-licensing education class. There are a variety of courses that the state will approve for this class, and they can be found listed on the Colorado Division of Insurance website. The pre-licensing you pursue must be directly related to the type of insurance you would like to sell in Colorado.
  2. Insurance License Examination — Following the successful completion of pre-licensing education, you will then have to take and pass the insurance license examination administered by Pearson VUE.
  3. Insurance License Application — Once you have passed the insurance license exam, you will need to apply online for an insurance license through the state. You will pay any applicable fees at this time as well.
  4. Repeat — This process needs to be followed for each type of insurance you would like to sell in Colorado. Auto and home insurance are very different in many ways; you must go through all these steps to get the proper education and be sure that you can obtain a Colorado insurance license and sell insurance products accurately and fairly. But if you keep all these steps in mind and study hard for the insurance license exam, it should be quite easy for you to successfully obtain a Colorado insurance license.

How to Compare Colorado Auto Insurance

Some people go to the very first insurance agent they see to buy Colorado Auto insurance while others prefer to compare Colorado auto insurance rates offered by a number of different insurers. In order to try to get the best deal on Colorado auto insurance, you should compare several different insurance companies.

How to Start

It is important to compare the same levels of insurance with every insurance company that you contact for a quote. If you have the same coverage with two or more companies, you can differentiate them by seeing which company charges you the most and which one charges you the least.

Should Price Be the Only Way to Decide?

While the premium is probably the most important consideration when selecting Colorado auto insurance, it should not be the only criteria for making your final decision on which company you want for your vehicle coverage. It is also quite important to have a financially sound company that has a history of handling claims quickly and making fair settlements.

Remember to Ask for Discounts Before Getting a Quote

As you call around or contact different insurance companies, you should be sure to ask them if they have any discounts that might apply. Sometimes, an insurer will voluntarily tell you about all the possible discounts and other times they will only tell you if you ask. Buying two or more policies will usually get you a discount.

Checking Auto Insurance Online

Contacting a handful of insurance companies is a lot less time-consuming if you go to an online insurance site that offers quotes from multiple insurance companies. You only have to enter information about your self and your car once instead of for every insurance company for whom you want a quote. In a few hours or maybe a few days, you should have a quote from at least three or four different insurers.

Best Home Types to Protect Against Snow or Ways to Modify Your Current Home to Enhance Protection

If you are living in an area that endures winter weather, snow and ice, you want to find a home that is constructed with those conditions in mind. Some types of homes withstand harsh winter conditions better than others. However, any home can be modified to enhance protection from snowy weather.

  • One of the best home types to protect against snow is one that has a steep slope to the roof. This makes it easier to do snow removal from the ground, rather than climbing up on top of a low-slope roof. Snow is more likely to fall or blow off from the steep pitch, which will reduce overall weight load. Snow is heavy, but ice is the worst culprit, weighing almost as much as water. Water weighs over 62 pounds per cubic foot.
  • Homes located in a snowy mountainous area may be in the path of avalanches. Some creative designs that work well incorporate protective sliding wooden shutters over glass, retractable wooden walls to protect open areas, and a home may have steelwork added to strengthen the home structure. Glass can be strengthened and glazing enhanced to be stronger.
  • Roofs in snow country should be outfitted with snow guards that help mitigate the effects of snow and ice build-up. Injuries can occur when snow avalanches off a rooftop onto a person standing below. Preventing a build-up of ice at the edge of the roof is recommended; also, removal of large icicles should be done regularly. Metal roofs are particularly prone to sliding snow and ice avalanches.
  • Exterior paint should be the best available for weather conditions. Acrylic paint is very durable. Its elasticity is a benefit, as changing weather can cause expansion of wood trim and siding. If solar panels are used, keep them cleared of snow so they will continue to function well in winter.