Category Archives: Insurance

7 Ways To Spend Less On Your Home Insurance Policy

Property is a prized possession, and to safeguard it from unexpected damages in the event of fire, flood, earthquake, etc. getting a home insurance is always necessary. However, if your existing health policy is exhausting your monthly income, listed below are a few sure shot ways with which you can control your home insurance costs:

1. Shop around: The decision of buying a home insurance policy should not be taken in haste. Instead, you must explore and make a list of insurance policies that are being offered by various insurance providers. You may also get insurance quotes online to estimate the costs of different policies. Choose a reliable company from which you can buy the comprehensive home insurance plan that suits your needs, and of course, your budget.

2. Increase your deductibles: Deductibles is the fraction of the claim that you have to pay before your insurer pays the claim as per the terms of the policy. The higher the deductibles you set, the lower premiums you will have to pay every month. However, you must set the deductibles as high you can afford.

3. Locate intelligently: Purchase the property in a strategic location but make sure that it is based away from the damage-prone areas. Reason being, if you live in a disaster-prone areas where flood, storm or earthquakes are a common occurrence, there are chances that your home insurance policy may have a separate deductible for such kind of damages.

4. Avoid making small claims: This is the most common mistake that many people make. You exhaust your policy in small claims thus leaving no room for bigger loss protection. Rather it is advised to deal with smaller issues on your own and keep this policy to protect your home from bigger catastrophic losses.

5. Improve home security: To avoid getting your home damaged from little mishaps, it is suggested to increase the security in your home by installing devices like smoke detectors, burglar alarm, etc.

6. Merge Policies with one Insurer: Just like you pool your internet, phone, and TV package, you can also merge your insurance policies with one insurer. Buy your health insurance, homeowners, life, and auto insurance plan from one insurance company and come out cheaper by bundling these insurance products together. You may also buy policies in a package that is less expensive as compared to single policies. It also liberates you from the trouble of policy renewal.

7. Eliminate Unnecessary Coverage: Don’t buy the coverage you don’t need. Like earthquake coverage is often unnecessary in most zones, don’t include jewelry if it is at a catchpenny price etc. Also exclude a land value from your policy. Covering land on which your house is constructed is simply of no use as it is unlikely that your land will be stolen or burnt is fire. So to save big, insure the value of your home only.

There are many insurance providers who offer age and profession discounts as well. Some times there certain discounts for retirees and people with good credit rating. Never eliminate the coverage that is important just to save your money as spending extra on important services will benefit you in the long run.

Understanding Why You Need Renters’ Insurance

You may have moved from your parents’ house into an apartment or perhaps recently graduated from school getting your own place for the first time or you may have decided to rent a house rather than own. You have lots of items on your “to do” list and getting renters’ insurance may not be a high priority. A lot of people don’t feel they need this type of insurance because they don’t own “much” or feel they have nothing to lose. There are several good reasons why you really do need this type of coverage.

There are two main coverages provided by a Renters’ policy (aka: tenants insurance.) The first is coverage for loss due to fire, theft, etc. for your personal belongings. Most people don’t realize how much they own. If you had to replace everything that you own, every piece of technology, article of clothing, furniture, sports equipment, etc.; it could create a financial hardship that would take time to recover from.

The other coverage that is even more critical is your personal liability. Here are some major considerations that you may not currently understand about this coverage:

· What happens when you play sports and accidentally hit another person with a baseball or golf ball, etc. Who do you think will pay for the medical expenses and loss of earnings for example for that person? What if you take an airline flight and accidentally hit someone with your carry-on luggage while taking it out of the overhead bin? Your first thought may be- “Let them sue me – I don’t own anything!” There are a couple of problems with that thought process. First, it is just morally wrong and second, you not only have your current assets at risk. Your future wages could be at risk as well. If you were to be sued, could you afford to defend yourself and pay the judgment that could follow?

· Another issue that you may not have considered is causing damage to your landlords’ property. We all do things unintentionally. You could leave a stove burner on, leave candles burning that you forget about or leave the water running in the tub while you answer the telephone. Damage caused to your unit or units above and below you caused by your negligence could be your responsibility.

· Most people may not have had experience with having a loss or just don’t think it will happen to them. Unfortunately, it happens all the time! I recall a renters’ policy loss where the tenants left candles burning and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars to the house they were renting.

Most insurance carriers provide discounts for having multiple policies with the same company. You may qualify for a discount on your auto insurance too. The cost of renters’ insurance is probably a lot less than you think! Contact a good independent insurance agent to find you the best coverage appropriate for your situation giving you the best value for your premium dollars.

Tips to Find Home Insurance at an Affordable Price

Buying Home insurance can always be termed as a good decision since it gives you appropriate financial cover in the event of theft, damage, robbery, earthquake, storm, or more. However, many people do not think of it as a necessity and often avoid purchasing it so as to save their money.

Keeping in mind the benefits associated with home insurance, the price cannot be considered as the best comparison point. After all, it just doesn’t cover for your home but also for your belongings and gets you monetary aid even in the case when you’re liable for third party injury or property damage.

Though there are numerous factors that determine your policy rates, the most obvious ones include the location of your property, its age and construction type. Newer homes in areas are less prone to damage, natural disasters and crime, and are also cheaper to insure. This definitely is something that you can’t control, but there are certain other ways that can make you eligible to get cheap home insurance. Read on:

1. Shop Around: Like everything else, you need to shop around to find the cheap home insurance. Online websites and tools can help you a lot in finding the best policy. You can even compare two and more policies online to pick the most suitable one for you. Never assume that a certain insurance firm offers cheap home insurance that clicked for someone in your friends and family, for your needs and situation can be entirely different from theirs, and so the same policy may not be the best option for you.

2. Bundle your policy: Rather than buying a home insurance policy from a separate provider, consider bundling it with your existing insurance provider – for instance, home, car, and life – with the same company. This way you’ll get a discount for having multiple policies with the same company.

3. Don’t over insure: When it comes to buying a home insurance policy – homeowners try to get cover for anything and everything for obtaining optimum protection. However, it is advised to get coverage only for what you actually need. Also, try to get insured for how much it would cost to rebuild your home, not re-buy it. This is an important factor because market value considers the location of your home and value of your land. Your homeowners’ policy would not pay for any damage caused to your land.

4. Consider a higher deductible: You can opt to pay a higher deductible in order to pay off the entire insurance premium at the earliest. This will not only help you get better cover at the same price but will also let you get better rebates when filing your taxes.

5. Add safety features: Integrating safety features such as deadbolts, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, etc. may get you good discounts on premium payment. If your home is located in a disaster-prone area, check on the special modifications you can make to further reduce your premium.

6. Check Your Credit Score: Poor credit scores not only affect your ability to get a loan but can also lay an impact on your insurance premium. Let’s say, if your credit score is low, you may have to pay a high premium value. Work towards bettering this score by making your payments on time and maintaining a good banking transaction record. This will in the course of time improve your credit score, which will lead to you needing to pay a lower premium in future.

All in all, opportunities to find the cheap home insurance are all around you. You must, for your part, take time out to find out the most suitable policy as per your need, which will enable you to save considerably more in future.

A Homeowner’s Guide: Insurance Scores Explained

Do you understand insurance scores and its relevance on your policy’s premium?

Here’s the classic illustrative example:

Barbara and Gail are neighbors, living just houses away from each other.. Barbara lives on the corner property on Farms Road, while Gail lives smack in the center of Farms Road. Both women marvel at how similar their homes look on the outside. They chuckle at the personal joke they share about the interiors.

“If not for the vast difference in home decorating tastes,” says Barbara with a broad grin, “we’d live in identical looking homes and our kids would mistakenly enter the wrong house when returning from elementary school!”

The joke kept smiles on their faces until they discovered a serious difference in homeowner policy cost. Gail was paying a premium of $1,300 on her homeowner policy while Barbara only had a premium rate of $700. Gail couldn’t believe the fact that the price tag on her home insurance plan was $600 more for coverage on a very similar home from the same independent agency.

Gail was desperate about getting to the bottom of the enigma so she drove to the agency’s office immediately after work one day.

As soon as she met the broker, it was clear he knew his facts. He proceeded to lay everything on the table.

Although Gail’s home matched Barbara’s in size, layout and look, there were numerous reasons why her premium was so much higher.

It boiled down to Gail’s insurance score which reflected numerous things:

• Gail was a landlord who rented out her basement and collected rent for it
• Gail had submitted previous home damage insurance claims to the insurance company
• Gail’s credit score ratings were quite low, certainly not as good as Barbara’s

Despite the fact that Gail still had to contend with her $1,300 insurance premium, she understood the reasoning behind the spiked difference she paid in relation to Barbara.

Contemplating her situation on her way home that evening, she marveled at the fact that two homes could be almost identical and still so very different. She knew now that nothing pertaining to the insurance industry is clear cut. Though the layman can perceive something one way, it is the professionals who know all associated matters. If there was one lesson to be learned it was the importance of having a professional answer your questions.

Now it was time to smile again!

Things to Remember When Buying Cheapest Low Cost Home Insurance

Home Insurance for Buildings

This will cover the actual building, but not necessarily outbuildings such as sheds, or garage, or fences. Having building insurance cover is usually a condition of the mortgage for home owners.

If looking for cheap home insurance it is worth remembering that a lower price it may mean a higher excess, which is the amount you have to pay before the insurance cover kicks in.

Questions to ask include whether cover includes the cost of alternative accommodation should the building be so severely damaged that it cannot be lived in while repair work is carried out. It may also be worth asking about whether the policy includes legal fees, as this is usually an extra item.

Another extra on home insurance policies that may be worth considering is emergency cover which provides for immediate, urgent repairs to make a property safe or weather proof if there has been some unexpected event that has caused damage.

If you want to pay by monthly instalments how much extra is the policy going to cost? It may be that what at first sight looked like cheap home insurance quotes are not quite so cheap once you add in the extra cost if the insurer charges extra for monthly payments.

The policy may also have exclusions in the fine print where certain types of damage are not covered. Again this is something that should be checked.

Contents Insurance

These policies may also have both an excess and exclusions but should cover both accidental damage and theft. Many people underestimate the replacement value of their possessions so it is worth making a list of everything you own, from jewellery to furniture to the contents of the loft, garage or freezer then you will be able to come to a more realistic value of your possessions.

Remember also, that insurers are likely to reduce the amount paid out on a claim for loss or damage of possessions for “wear and tear”. It will not necessarily be the full cost of replacing items with new ones.

Buildings insurance is usually required by mortgage companies as a condition of lending and we all want our essential monthly outgoings to be as low as possible.

So the first rule for ensuring cheap home insurance is to shop around and not necessarily to use the insurer recommended by the mortgage company.

If low cost home insurance is what you need there are other ways to ensure it is as cheap as possible.

Firstly, inadequate door locks can increase the cost of cover. It is worth ensuring that all exterior doors, both front and back are fitted with five-lever mortise deadlocks which are considered to give better protection from burglary. Windows, too, should be fitted with secure locks.

Secondly, keep up to date with home maintenance. Insurers are more likely to consider offering low cost home insurance if the property is kept in good condition. It is also true that what started out as a small repair in the early stages can turn into something large and expensive if it is ignored and allowed to deteriorate so that the damage spreads further afield.

To maintain consistently cheap home insurance, take steps to protect the building from damage. Loft and cavity insulation, for example, can not only reduce heating costs but also keep the building at a temperature where there is less risk of burst pipes in a particularly freezing winter.

Keeping guttering and drains clear and clean will also help to prevent damage to the fabric of the building.

Subsidence is another issue that can be difficult and expensive to correct and can do extensive damage to a building.

The two main causes are collapsed drains and tree roots that can undermine the foundations.

Large trees near to a house can be particularly deadly if there has been a dry summer and the ground has dried out and shrunk because a thirsty tree has sucked out more than the usual amount of moisture. While trees can be an attractive feature in a garden it is better to ensure they are planted far enough away from the house that the roots – which can spread further than the above-ground canopy of the tree – are not within reach.

Many towns in the UK have rows of old terraced streets. They can be attractive places to live, offering slightly more interior space than a new build but they can also require more maintenance, which is fine for DIY types with the skill to do the work.

One vulnerability, however, is that their underground pipework is generally made of earthenware if it has not been replaced with more modern pipework made of flexible, plastic materials. Over time, old drains will collapse, leading to underground leakage and damage to the foundations of the house.

Finally, homes are more vulnerable to burglary at Christmas when there are expensive gifts around, so it is worth looking for a contents policy with unlimited cover to allow for the risk.