Choosing a Home Insurer in California

Choosing a Home Insurer in California

At Lanni Insurance we know that California is different.  And your California home has specific needs.  We specialize in insuring California homes well:  special considerations, brush zones, and all.

When looking for home insurance in California it is important to look at a number of factors in a policy.  You’ll want to make sure you have full coverage for your home, outbuildings and personal property, along with personal liability and any appropriate riders.  Make sure that you don’t make the mistake of including the cost of the land your home is built on in this valuation.  This can lead to over-insurance – something we see surprisingly often.  It’s a benefit the homeowner is paying for but will likely never see.  (Example:  If you live in a suburban home but insure yourself for a mansion, your insurer isn’t going to build a mansion in your suburb.)  You don’t want to insure your actual lot, just what has been built upon it.

The equation to find this number is the estimated Reconstruction Cost of Your Home DIVIDED BY the Square Footage of Your Home.  Currently, you will want the sum of this equation to be at minimum $175-$200/sq. ft.  This number changes continually but this is a good estimate after the most recent California wildfires, that takes into account the cost of construction materials and labor.

Keep in mind that being under insured is just as harmful, if not more so as being over insured, as homeowners want their entire home rebuilt after a total loss.

Most of us don’t want to find that someone cut corners to get our business by saving a hundred dollars but it means we don’t have enough coverage to rebuild our whole home.  As consumers, we need to be our own advocates.  It’s okay to get a good price on insurance as long as you take your overall need into account first.

One thing that helps many homeowners is having an agency that they trust.   Only you can decide if you want a personal agent or  a call center (where it may be the person’s first day, their last day, or you may never get through to the same person again.)  We can only speak for ourselves but as agents we want to keep our clients’ business for the next several decades.   We work for our clients.  Without them we wouldn’t be here.  You may also want to make sure your agent is a specialist in the type of insurance and the type of area you need coverage for.  At Lanni Insurance we specialize in California’s new homes, SHIA, high brush zones, flood zones, and more – all within the home category.

You may want to consider if the company you are considering entrusting the protection of your home and assets with is one you’ve even heard of.  I can’t tell you how many clients have come to us without knowing who they were with before.  How long has the company been writing home insurance specifically, is this company affiliated with your lender or builder?  Is someone else getting something out of placing you with this company? Do they have your best interest?   Is the person writing your policy experienced or were they just hired, do they have a license, are they still writing actively, do they keep up with laws, DOI standards, industry standards, and the changes within their own company.

We do also work with the California Fair Plan in worst-case scenarios where clients are unable to find other options for their home. We offer companion policies through A Rated admitted companies.

If you would like a quote, give us an email or call, or at (760)815-7563