Category Archives: Insurance

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.

Selecting The Right Deductible

If you are a professional of any field, it is very necessary that you carry adequate protection just in case you have to file an insurance plan claim. When you don’t have enough protection to protect you against any suits that might be filed against you, your business could be at stake. This is the main reason why you are attempting to look for a professional liability insurance coverage, and are trying to work on finding the best deductible.

Prior to your plan of having any kind of insurance for your business, you have to first evaluate your urgencies. You have to consider the risks your business may possibly attain, the dilemmas you have encountered in the past years, and if you will be having more business deals which needs careful attention. If you think that your business will be filed a lawsuit and that it could be a relatively large amount of money, it is very necessary that you own adequate insurance coverage to protect that potentiality.

Now you have to consider the money you have in your pocket. How much money does your enterprise have reserve to invest for the insurance protection? Remember that your professional liability insurance protection is tax deductible, however you still need to pay. If you know the amount of money set aside then you can pay for your insurance protection and this will enable you to have a much easier way of choosing the perfect deductible.

After you know the amount of money you carry for your insurance protection, you have to begin looking for plans that fall in your criteria. You can have cheap plans if you have a bigger deductible. This refer to your finding out of the amount of coverage you prefer and know how high of a deductible you need to compensate in order to fit the premium to the budget your business set aside.

Prior to deciding on a deductible, you have to make sure first that you will be able to pay the deductible in the event somebody files a suit against you. You have to accept the fact that you may be hauled into court in the near future.

If you are getting an insurance plan, it is very important to read every portion of the plan. It may be very tiring and difficult to read through because it is very long, however this is something that is very necessary. You may want also to take the policy documents to your lawyers before signing all of them. This will make you rest assure knowing that you have gotten the protection that you require.

What Are Medicare HMO Plans?

Medicare itself is not an HMO or PPO or any other type of network. Original Medicare which is now how Medicare is typically referred to is either accepted or not by a doctor. By accepting Medicare the doctor is agreeing to accept what Medicare pays for a certain procedure/visit. The doctor also can agree to accept Medicare Assignment or not which is a whole different topic.

What Are Medicare HMO Plans?

Medicare HMO plans are going to be Medicare Advantage Plans or Medicare Part C plans. These plans are completely different than Original Medicare. When you join a Medicare HMO plan you do have to be aware of the network of physicians and facilities that the HMO plan is contracted with. If you see a provider outside of the HMO network, the HMO insurance will not pay the bill. With Medicare HMO plans you must remain in the network at all times with the exception of emergency and urgent care when traveling. Medicare HMO plans also require a referral in most cases to see a specialist. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but not many. Finally, these plans also usually require authorizations for most procedures and expensive name brand drugs. On the positive side, you will find that you will typically save money on premium and co-pays when you are in a Medicare HMO plan which is why many Medicare beneficiaries find them so attractive.

Is a Medicare HMO Plan Right For You

Everyone has different needs and wants when it comes to health coverage. The first thing you must look at is how attached you are to your doctor. If you have a primary care doctor that you will absolutely not leave then you have to make sure that doctor is in the HMO’s network. If you see several specialist the same thing applies. Also, consider how willing you are to deal with the HMO requiring the referral and the authorizations. Take into consideration that most specialist are going to require the referral even if the insurance does not.

And finally, consider the cost. Many times the HMO is going to be considerably cheaper for the more expensive procedures. Hospital stays, MRI’s, and outpatient surgery are some typical areas where you can save substantially with an HMO. Also, know that not all HMO’s are created equally. Some HMO’s offer better networks than others as well as making faster payments to the doctors. Some examples of companies offering HMO’s are Humana, United Healthcare, Wellcare, and Healthspring.

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Medicare Supplemental Plans – Some Reasons Why You Need It

Most seniors that are just becoming recipients of Original Medicare do not realize the importance of supplemental Medicare plans for 2012. Even for those in perfect health, you never know the need for extensive surgery, or the need for a visit to the emergency room plus some lab work might leave you in tons of debt. As can be predicted, for those with an exiting medical problem like arthritis, cancer, diabetes, or high blood levels, not having a medicare supplement plan will end up costing your way more then any premium that you would have paid.

Medigap Insurance and Your Health Risks

Irrespective of how you choose to perceive things, a long life will cost your body. This consists of developing a much higher risk of tumors, cancer, stroke, and a ton of other major medical problems. Medicare only handles about 80 percent of a seniors total health care bill and for some even more, covering those costs can be impossible if one doesn’t have the ideal amount of supplemental coverage. In fact, for those seniors that are already suffering from a pre-existing condition, or have some sort of medical problem that runs in the family, getting a Medicare plan is the right choice if if you may not need it right away as it will give you financial security.

Protecting Your Financial Assets with a Medicare Supplement Plan

Most senior citizens know the benefits that come along with becoming a recipient of Original Medicare, but so many just do not bother with shopping for medicare supplemental plans. For a minute think about a scenario in which you have just retired, and have now got Medicare opposed to the insurance coverage that was provided by your employer. You must remember a time having surgery and only having to pay off your yearly deductible. However, with just Medicare insurance, you will have to shell out much more. For just a couple of x-rays and some minor surgery after a fall, you can end up paying over $3,000 for the entire bill.

Should you have not satisfied your annual Part B deductible, you will have to pay about $907.00 for a visit to the hospital. As you can imagine, for those who get diagnosed with a major medical problem like cancer or diabetes, chances are that you are going to accumulate thousands of dollars in medicals bills over a couple of weeks. Your life savings can disappear over night if you don’t have much in savings, you can purchase medicare supplemental insurance to avoid such catastrophes.

Nowadays, seniors still look forward to getting Original Medicare as it is still an okay safety net for those rough times. Although it does cover the health care needs for many seniors, that 20 percent which the recipient is expected to cover does add up fast and can get real hard to cover. If those deductibles and co-pays worry you, then you you have an obligation to yourself to get a Medigap insurance plan in order to preserve your finances and future along with being able to choose which doctors you want to see and having control of the quality of your coverage.

Shopping for insurance to medicare supplemental plans can be difficult as their are so many different companies and medicare plans to choose from. With the expert advice and online quote engine at you can easily know and understand all your options. It is essential to do research on everything and compare insurers in your area to see which one offers the most competitive rates on the Medigap insurance that you want.