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How to Avoid Vacant Home Insurance

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Vacant homes pose a higher risk to an insurance carrier, which often means a large ding in the pocketbook to the policyholder. Homes without occupants or furniture can be prime targets for vandalism, theft and other perils when left unmonitored. While it is never a wise idea to hide vacant home status from an insurance carrier, options to minimize cost and risk are available for such homes.

Instructions

  1. Insure the house as a second home. Keep furniture in the home and visit regularly, even if only as a vacation home. Install an alarm system for fire, smoke and break-ins. Winterize the home to protect it from burst pipes caused by freezing temperatures.
  2. Rent the home out. Purchase a landlord policy, which is more expensive than regular homeowner’s insurance but less costly than vacant home insurance. Up the liability limits for improved asset protection, as renters are sometimes less likely to care for the home as well as a homeowner.
  3. Install a caretaker in the home. Giving someone free accommodations in return for maintenance is less costly than purchasing a vacant home policy. Plus the home is less likely to suffer from vandalism or perils such as water leakage or burst pipes.
  4. Purchase a vacant home exclusion on your regular homeowner’s policy. Not all insurance carriers offer this, but it is often one way to maintain vandalism coverage on the home without the threat of cancellation.
  5. Sell the home, if feasible, within the 30- to 60-day vacancy period allowable on most regular homeowner policies. Check your policy particulars to see how long your home can be vacant before you have to purchase a vacant-home policy.

How To Insure Your Wedding Dress

With rising wedding costs and planning timelines of a year (or more) before the big day, the risk of unexpected or last-minute nuptial mishaps is increasingly present and ever more costly. The wedding dress, the centerpiece of many a bridal fantasy, is no exception. Protecting that investment – an average of $1,357 is now spent on the gown – from the “say yes to the dress” moment to the walk down the aisle can provide welcome peace of mind for emotionally and financially invested couples and their families.

Check Your Existing Coverage
Before purchasing any wedding-specific coverage for your nuptial attire, check your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy. Items such as wedding wear, along with gifts and liability, may fall under your existing policy. Speak with your insurance agent about coverage specifics and review the language of your policy to become familiar with any special rules or procedures you need to follow to qualify for a claim. You don’t want to lose your opportunity for coverage due to a failure to follow terms.

If you used a credit card to purchase your wedding dress, tuxedo or other attire, you will have the added protection of the federal Fair Credit Billing Act, which affords you the right to dispute billing errors and fight back against vendors, potentially recovering losses should something go wrong.

While helpful in providing an additional safeguard, relying on your credit card alone for the protection of your wedding attire, particularly when purchasing or making deposits far in advance, is not necessarily fail-safe.

Insuring Your Dress – And More
You can insure your gown under a broader wedding-insurance policy that covers photos, gifts, rings, deposits and other nuptial essentials, as well as a variety of potential wedding-related incidents, such as a vendor going out of business or delays due to sickness or injury of an essential member of the festivities. In short, wedding insurance is a tool to protect a couple’s investment in their big day from circumstances beyond their control. Disasters involving the gown are no exception.
This type of insurance is available through the Wedding Protector Plan from Travelers Insurance, the WedSure Plan from the Fireman’s Fund and WedSafe Wedding Insurance offered through Affinity Insurance Services Inc.

What’s Covered?
Wedding-dress coverage varies, depending on the provider and policy, but typically, wedding insurance covers loss, theft or damage to the bridal gown as well as to other attire specific to the big day.

Circumstances beyond the control of the couple are reimbursable – for example, if the shop fails to deliver the dress, the seamstress ruins the alterations or the tux is torn or lost on the plane.

However, most plans do not cover “changes of heart,” i.e. wedding cancelation costs due to the bride and/or groom deciding not to get married. The one exception is WedSure, which only covers party funders who are not the bride and groom – and only if the cancelation is made more than 365 days before the first covered event.

Buying Wedding Insurance
You can purchase wedding insurance at just about any point in the wedding-planning process. The Travelers Wedding Protector Plan, for example, covers deposits made prior to purchasing the insurance as long as receipts are available and no impending or existing claims are present when you buy the insurance.

When estimating the coverage you need for your attire, consider the cost of your gown, veil and all other bridal-party wear. Typically, there is a specified maximum amount that can be claimed under each coverage section of a wedding plan – in this case, attire – and it ranges depending on the provider and policy.

A deductible may or may not apply; the Wedding Protector Plan, for example, doesn’t have deductibles. If you have a claim, covered losses are paid from the first dollar up to the applicable limit. Just be sure you understand the details of the specific insurance plan you intend to purchase and keep records of receipts and any other relevant paperwork in the event that you need to file a claim.

Basic policies for weddings usually cost between $150 and $550. Considering the cost of the average wedding today – over $30,000 – the price of protection is not a high one to pay.

Excluding Spouses From Auto Insurance Policies

Excluding a spouse from your auto policy could have financial and legal consequences if your spouse has a valid driver’s license and regularly operates your car. In some cases, there may be a valid reason for the exclusion. It may be necessary to speak with your insurance agent to determine if excluding your spouse is recommended or required for your situation.

The Facts

  • An exclusion is a provision in your insurance policy that eliminates coverage for a specific individual or for certain risks. An insurance company has the right to exclude any driver that does not meet the company’s underwriting guidelines. On the other hand, you have the right to request that the insurance company exclude certain drivers from coverage, such as teen drivers, roommates or your spouse.

Significance

  • You may exclude a spouse from your auto insurance if you do not want him covered or your policy, Your insurance company may also require that you exclude your spouse for underwriting reasons. Your insurance company require an exclusion if your does not meet underwriting criteria related to driving and claims history. The company does this if they have no rating criteria for your spouse’s record. Rather than not charging enough premium or canceling the entire policy, the company will exclude your spouse from the policy. If your spouse does not have a valid driver’s license or has a disability or illness and cannot drive, he will be excluded from the policy.

Advantages and Drawbacks

  • Excluding your spouse may have some advantages. For instance, if your spouse has a bad driving record that would cause your insurance premium to dramatically increase, it may be less expensive to exclude your spouse from your policy and allow him to obtain his own policy.

    A drawback to excluding your spouse is the fact that he will not have coverage while driving your car. If your spouse will drive your car even once, he should be included on your policy to avoid legal complications if an accident occurs. If you are excluding your spouse for reasons other than driving record, it may cause your premium to increase with some insurance companies. Many companies offer discounts to couples if both partners are insured on the same policy.

Consequences

  • Both you and your spouse can be in legal trouble if your excluded spouse is involved in an accident while operating the vehicle. The insurance company will not cover property damage or medical expenses that result from the accident. If your spouse is liable for the accident, she responsible for paying all expenses including court costs and monetary awards that result from a lawsuit. Further, your insurance company may accuse you of misrepresentation or fraud for not including your spouse on the policy although your spouse has regular access to and drives your vehicle.

What Does My Auto Insurance Policy Cover When I Rent a Car?

When you rent a car, you’ll probably be asked if you want to purchase the additional rental insurance provided by the agency. Deciding is not always easy. On the one hand, it can be pricey, and it’s possible you might already have more than enough coverage. On the other hand, you don’t want to forego coverage unless you’re 100 percent sure you don’t need it. Checking the wrong box on that rental form could potentially result in some pretty hefty out-of-pocket expenses in the event of an unfortunate mishap.

Your Insurance

According to Geico, if you already have full coverage on your personal vehicle — including comprehensive, collision and liability coverage — your insurance policy will normally extend to any rental that has a value close to that of your personal vehicle. This type of coverage will even cover you if the rental is considered a total loss in the event of an accident. There is a thin line between being covered and being under-insured, however. Before you turn down coverage at the rental desk, give your insurance agent a call to make sure you understand exactly what is covered when you rent a car, and what isn’t. If your personal policy doesn’t cover everything, you’ll want to purchase whichever coverage your current policy is lacking at the rental desk.

Rental Insurance Options

Rental companies offer a handful of different coverage options. There is the waiver of damage, which covers all or part of the cost for any damage or theft of your rental – assuming you’ve complied with the terms of your rental contract. Supplemental liability coverage covers you – often up to $1 million – if you’re sued by the other parties in an accident. Personal accident coverage covers medical bills and death for the driver and passengers of your rental care. Personal property insurance covers personal items in the event that someone breaks into the vehicle.

Warning

  • If you decline insurance coverage from the rental company, and your current policy doesn’t cover you, you will be considered an uninsured driver in the event of an accident. You will be liable for all medical bills and auto repairs, along with any other judgments against you if you don’t have coverage.

Credit Card Insurance?

According to eSurance.com, it is possible that you have at least some coverage from the bank that issued the credit card you use to rent a car. Most major credit card companies include at least collision coverage if you use their credit cards to pay for your rental car. Some companies even offer additional coverage that you can purchase that may be cheaper than what the rental company offers. Contact the customer service department at the number listed on the back of your credit card and ask about coverage options.

Health Insurance

Your current health insurance may also provide coverage for you, your passengers and anyone else that may be injured in an at-fault accident. Go over your health insurance policy and compare the limits to your state required minimums. Even if your health insurance covers you in a rental car, you might need to purchase the supplemental liability insurance.

Can You Have Two Auto Insurance Policies on One Car?

Most states require all drivers to carry insurance on the vehicles they are driving. The easiest way to insure another driver in your household is to add him to your current policy; however, if you want to maintain separate policies it is legal to do so. If a driver has a DUI conviction, she may have to get separate insurance on any vehicle she drives.

Living in Two States

  • If you live or work in two states, you may have to buy a separate policy in each state, depending on the state’s minimum insurance coverage laws. For example, some states may require you to have a higher amount of property damage or bodily injury coverage than others. If you plan to spend a significant amount of time in more than one state, contact your insurance agent to determine whether you need to purchase two separate policies.

Non-Owner Policies

  • If a teenage driver or other member of your household does not own a vehicle, he may be able to get non-owners’ insurance. Non-owners’ insurance is a secondary type of insurance on a vehicle, in which a driver who does not own the vehicle is covered by a separate policy if the primary policy on the vehicle does not cover him. For example, if your teen drives his best friend’s car and gets into an accident, her non-owner insurance covers her if the owner’s insurance does not cover drivers who do not live in the household. You cannot purchase non-owners’ insurance on vehicles owned by other members of the driver’s household. For example, you cannot purchase non-owners’ insurance on your vehicle to cover your son while he is driving.

DUI Insurance

  • In some states, drivers who have been convicted of a DUI must carry high-risk insurance for several years after their conviction. Drivers who do not comply with this requirement risk losing their license until they comply. If someone in your household has a DUI conviction, he may be excluded from your insurance policy due to the conviction. The DUI offender’s insurance covers him if he drives your vehicle, while your insurance does not.

Considerations

  • Purchasing more than one policy on the same vehicle can be more expensive than adding a driver to your existing policy. Many insurance companies require you to add all licensed drivers in the household onto your policy, so you may be insuring your spouse or child twice if he maintains a separate policy. If you wish to maintain separate policies, you should use the same insurance company so that you can get a discount for having multiple policies with the same company.

Working Towards Your Financial Goals With A Personal Financial Planner

For clients that haven’t worked with a financial advisor before, the assumption is often that everything starts with investments. What funds to buy, when to buy and how much to invest are typical questions. Since most financial commentary is centered around investing – and because many non fee-only planners make their money from investments – it’s easy to understand why consumers might think that’s where the planning process starts. In our view, though, financial planning starts with establishing a robust financial framework and only once that framework is in place do we turn to a discussion of investments.

What is Financial Planning?

Financial planning is a process that begins with establishing financial goals. The goals may be short-term – like purchasing a home or paying for private school – or longer term goals including retirement, funding college for younger children or buying a vacation home. Once the goals are established, a plan framework is constructed that reflects current assets, ability to save, how to invest, the amount needed to fund the goals and other key details. Ultimately, the plan framework maps out steps that the client needs to take in order to have a high likelihood of achieving the financial goals.

Some financial planners offer comprehensive planning, which means that they focus not just on constructing the plan framework, but also on related issues including estate planning, tax planning and risk management. Focusing on these issues allows the client to make optimal decisions and to better manage risks to the plan.

Importance of Financial Planning

Most clients find the most valuable aspect of financial planning is that it confirms whether or not they are on track, and that helps reduce financial stress. A plan is also useful in that it provides very specific information as to what a client needs to do in order to meet their financial goals. With that framework in place, if the unexpected occurs – such as the loss of a job or an unplanned for inheritance – it is possible to quickly assess financial impact and map out options.

An additional benefit of working with a personal financial planner is that the planner – and the planning process – can help a client make optimal financial decisions. Deciding when to finance a purchase versus when to pay cash, or choosing the best insurance coverage can all have material impacts on a client’s financial situation. Finally, the greatest long term benefit we have found for clients who have successfully implemented a financial plan is that they have an ever-expanding choice of options as to how they want to live their lives.

When to seek help from a Financial Planner

Typically, clients seek out a financial advisor when an event has occurred in their lives. The event might be approaching retirement, or receiving an inheritance or having a child. Most of the time, the primary goal of the client is to confirm that they are financial prepared, although in “liquidity events” in which the client receives a large sum of cash, determining how to invest the cash can be the driving concern. In either instance though, the planning process is similar in that it begins with establishing goals and then building the plan framework – including how to invest – within which the client works to pursue those goals.

In searching for a financial planner, a few good resources include the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (www.napfa.org), which is an umbrella organization for fee-only financial advisors, and the CFP Board (www.cfp.net), the governing body for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERs™. Once you have identified a few potential advisors, interview them by phone or in-person, and ask for references. While experience, qualifications and whether or not the planner works via fees or commission are all important, a good fit between client and financial advisor is extremely important as well.

Two Types of Personal Financial Statement Template

Whether you are thinking of starting your own business or you want to loan money from the bank or a lender, it is important that you know your current financial standing. You will know how you are doing financially by filling out a personal financial statement template. Filling out correct data into the template will result in accurate financial information.

There are two basic types of personal financial statement template that you can make or you can download from the internet—balance sheet and income statement. You are probably familiar with these documents but whether you are familiar or not, you still have to know what these documents are all about.

Balance Sheet. This financial document includes information such as your assets and liabilities. Your assets are anything that you own such as real estate properties, cars, and your bank savings. The liabilities are your loans and debts such as credit card debts, payments for the car, mortgages, and so on. You have to deduct your liabilities from your assets and the amount that you will get is your net worth. This will give you an idea about where you are currently standing.

Income Statement. This document includes your sources of income such as salary or business and your expenses like food, transportation, utility bills, etc. Deducting your expenses from your income gives you your net income. The net income gives you an idea about your financial situation at a particular period of time. It is important to include even the small details to make sure that you can get accurate results.

Get To Know the Benefits of No Deposit Auto Insurance Policy With Low Rates

Car Insurance policy is an important aspect in the life of a car owner, but certain points should be kept in mind while buying car Insurance.There are two types of Auto Insurance policies:- Short Term and Long Term Insurance Policies. People buy Auto Insurance Policies according to their requirement.

The Insurance Market is full of different types of Insurance Policies. The Insurance buyer has to decide which policy would best suit him.  He should consider his income while going for an Insurance Policy. He should also think Insurance of how much amount he needs. It will be best for him if he goes for a no or low deposit insurance policy. No doubt it will give Insurance cover for a very short time, but the money of the Insurance buyer will not be blocked for a long time. Now a day, there are so many Best No Deposit Auto Insurance Companies providing low Deposit Auto Insurance Policies. The buyer should go through all the policies of low deposit segment and then decide which policy best suits his budget and requirement before buying a policy.

Insurance Policies for Young Drivers

Now days, drivers of all ages are driving different kinds of vehicles. Different Insurance companies are coming with No Deposit Car Insurance for Young Drivers. These young drivers drive in the local areas (mostly within their cities and nearby areas) so they do not require much Insurance cover and a short Term Insurance Policy is okay for them. Secondly, at this young age people are also low salaried and in this low salary they have to manage their families. So at this age, it will be better for them if they go for a no or low deposit Insurance policy. The Insurance buyers should survey the market of Car Insurance with No Deposit and buy the policy that best suits their requirements at a low or no cost.

The Insurance market is full of Car Insurance with No Deposit Required. In our country most people belong to middle class or lower middle class having a car. It is not always possible for all of them to pay premiums on Car Insurance with No Deposit Monthly Payments. So many Insurance Companies are coming with Car Insurance with no Deposit. The Car Insurance buyers are required to go through the no or low Deposit Car Insurance Policy segment carefully and then buy the Insurance Policy that is best for him. If he is confused about which policy to buy he should take expert advice while buying Insurance Policy. They should go for such Insurance Policy after paying the premium of which they have sufficient fund in hand to meet the basic requirements of their family.

Insurance Companies in various countries:

They should come with such Car Insurance Policy that fits the requirements of the people of that country. The people of these countries are required to go through the insurance market carefully and then buy the Insurance Policy that best suits their requirement. If they are confused about which policy to buy they should take expert advice.

Know more About Life Insurance Agents

A Life Insurance Agents the settlement involving the number of this insurance to the loved ones on the death in the guaranteed person. You will find three celebrations associated with life insurance policy- normally the one who’s going to be guaranteed, normally the one that safeguards that, and also the insurance policy holder. Generally the guaranteed person and also the insurance policy holder tend to be very same person. Customers which can be interested in getting life insurance policy can speak to any reputed Term life insurance Real estate agent. The actual tasks involving Term life insurance Agents include getting together with new individuals, find necessary specifics of his or her existing position and also supplying these specifics of his or her insurance policy solutions.

Life Insurance Agents shows insurance provider in promoting and also helping insurance plans. Term life insurance Agents sends out and about reminder to cover high quality or perhaps tell consumers involving just about any change in rates. You will find two types of Term life insurance Agents-Independent Term life insurance real estate agents and also Direct Term life insurance Agents. Separate Term life insurance real estate agents assist this consumers by simply looking the very best selling price for the most coverage. Separate Term life insurance Real estate agent can symbolize 2 or more businesses. Generally the commission this real estate agent obtains is usually a portion of each one paid high quality as well the expenses with regard to helping this insurance policy involving guaranteed person. Direct Term life insurance Agents can symbolize merely one company during a period and also markets it’s insurance policy only. Direct Term life insurance Agents tend to be paid same manner seeing that Separate Agent- which is by simply commission and also expenses.

It is vital for virtually every Life Insurance Agents to go his or her insurance check-up and find any permission by simply his or her Express so that you can market his or her life insurance procedures to consumers. An excellent Term life insurance Real estate agent will be the person who will not demand the customer directly into choice, knows client’s particular and also budget and also make clear information on life insurance policy systems. Term life insurance Agents prepares and also keeps this record involving procedures, and also in case there is any misplaced insurance policy, suggest this policyholder the best way to settle his or her insurance assert.

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Get Your Homeowners Insurance Ready Before Closing

Now that your offer on a home is accepted, the whole process is almost done until the closing day. But that does not mean you have nothing to do before closing. You still have some things to consider before closing. One of the important things that you need to get done in the weeks before you complete the closing is the homeowners insurance.

If you are a first-time homeowner, chances are you already have renters insurance. Homeowners insurance is like renters, but it is more expensive and it has more elements. You will need to protect your property and not just your possessions, and this is why you need to get homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance gives protection to homeowners from financial losses in the event of theft, storms, fire, natural disasters and all other causes stated in your policy. So you must read the policy carefully to know the details and your rights. Take a second look at your policy and know your rights.

It is best to get homeowners insurance that covers five or six coverage instead of separate policies for specific coverage. You will spend more when you chose to get separate policies. Homeowners insurance includes five coverages.

Dwelling insurance coverage: This covers the physical structure of your home and not any other structures like guest house, fences, detached garage etc. This means you are covered in case of damage to the main house and any attached structures such as an attached garage.

Personal property coverage: This coverage of the homeowners policy ensures the contents of your household items like the items you usually use which are not a permanent part of you home’s structure, such as furniture, television sets, appliances, clothing, utensils and tools.

Liability coverage: This coverage secures you when you are accountable to someone else’s injury or damage. In such incident homeowners insurance will soon give you a minimum of $20,000 as coverage. Policy holders can get an extra premium of one million dollars. This coverage include at the scene emergency aid, bodily injury medical expenses, legal defense fees, loss of income compensation, funeral expenses, bail bonds (the person must be listed on the insured’s policy) and medical services for sickness and/or disease.

Medical payment coverage: This coverage will take care of all your medical expenses if someone gets hurt even in the area of your property. Particular injuries are covered by your medical insurance including your dog biting someone in your property. It also covers policyholders and their family members when in others’ vehicles, or when the insured and their family members are on foot and hit by a car. The costs of coverage are subject to the limits you choose when you purchase your auto insurance policy. Normally, the basic coverage you can get is $500, which can increase up to $5000 by paying added charges.

Loss of use cover: In case your home is damaged due to any reason and become homeless, under this kind of situation your homeowners policy will cover your living expenses.

With all the benefits of having a homeowners insurance policy, you ensure security to your home and your life.

Homeowners Insurance FAQ

Backdated homeowners Insurance Policy?
The homeowners insurance on my home expired and i was unaware. The company admit that they cannot verify they sent me anything to let me know that I had a bill due or that my insurance be unpaid. My mortgage company now tells me 4 months subsequently that they have been tallying monthly installments of…

Ballpark Figure Needed – Homeowners/Hurricane Insurance contained by FL?
I’d like to know how much you think homeowners insurance would be on a 2,000 sq. ft. home, west of I 95? It would be a newer home, built 2003 and worth within the market of $375,000. Just a ballpark figure will do. We’re relocating but unsuspecting to contact a…

Bankruptcy and Homeowners Insurance Lapse….?
Going through bankruptcy. My question stems from a fire we have at the house. We did not mention it to our insurance company just yet and it have been 5 months already. we were told we should report it right away, but I wasnt’ sure if we have insurance. Couldn’t afford…

Best company for homeowners insurance?
Right now I am with Allstate and I am not beaming with the service I am getting does anyone know a good company for homeowners insurance? Here is a ratings site which may help you. http://www.jdpower.com/Homes/ratings/hom… Please keep contained by mind that a compilation of opinion without more is other suspect. how…

Best Florida homeowners insurance? Specifically Ft. Lauderdale nouns?
I am in charge of finding a new home insurance company for my boss to use since State Farm will be dropping their South Florida ethnic group. Any suggestions? Who have all you South Floridians have an excellent experience with as far as rates, service, and coverage? Thanks. It’s not who has the…

Best homeowners insurance company within Austin Texas?
Well, it’s going to vary. Different companies offer different “bonuses” to houses surrounded by their target area. MY homeowners policy (Houston) is with State Farm – because as you know, Texas doesn’t use ISO forms, and my State Farm form is more broad, next to more coverages, than any other…

Best homeowners insurance out within?
I’m doing my own research right now, but I would still like to hear other people’s opinion. I would like to stay away from statefarm and allstate. Any and all advice/websites would be greatly appreciated. Many thankfulness. Well, the BEST policy out there is the Chubb homeowners form – it’s the most broad, and even includes…

Best homeowners insurance?
~~In my opinion it is State Farm.~~ When trying to find the best homeowners insurance you should compare quotes from multiple top insurance companies to see which one can offer you the best rate and the best coverage. Choose a ably known insurance company such as State Farm, Progressive or Allstate. Also, work with an independent insurance…

Best opening to enusure my homeowner’s insurance co. fixes adjectives impairment to my home after a waterheater ooze?
My water heater leak throughout the first floor of my home while on vacation. They’re not willing to split down drywall to “truly” assess damage/mold. They partially tore up my laminate floor…2/3rds of it. They broke half of the borders…

Best second home homeowners insurance?
It’s usually best to stick near the same company that writes your primary home. Some companies will not write a secondary home. You may enjoy to look around. I would start with the company that insures your house right now. Shop for homeowners insurance at http://www.nationwidebillrelief.com/home… they may can save…

Boxer Dogs and homeowner insurance?
in the state on Louisiana in the N.O nouns does Boxer dog cause ur insurance to rise?.. and what are some links? Your homeowners insurance carrier is sure to own a list of “dangerous dogs”. If your breed of dog appears on their register, they may either raise your premium or exclude claims within which…

California Insurance homeowner locator, lookin to find out what company provides coverage for lasting personage?
You can’t find it, unless the person is willing to let somebody know you. This information is subject to the privacy laws. You’ll just own to go ahead and sue them, and see if an insurance company contacts you. Source(s): agent, 21+ years…

Can a homeowner also win renters insurance for renters?
my mother owns my grandmothers home now, and i rent it, but the house is supposed to have homeowners insurance which i am not sure of, but she claims that she have to get renters insurance for me. arent i supposed to get renters insurance myself seeing as though i am…

Can a homeowner constraint an insurance report for his archives?
I’m the owner of a Beautiful Condo in VA bottom floor, and the owner upstairs blew a water pipe and her hot hose enter my unit through the ceiling for several hour, she could not stop the leak for hours. My tenant called me at approx. 7:00am VA time saying in…

Can a homeowner manipulate a case/lawsuit on his own in need contacting his insurance co.?
If a homeowner/landlord is being sued, do he have to capture his insurance company involved? Can he just handle it himself, so his premium wont win rasied? Can he just work with the person’s attorney to come to an agreement? Depends on how stupid he…

Can a homeowner own two homeowner’s insurance policies on one home?
Yes. Because you could enjoy one to cover the gaps that the other insurance doesn’t cover. You’re paying the bill for it a month if you want two then yes can take it because you pay for it. It’s not illegal. It’s wicked to deliberately…
Can a homeowner pay cheque his taxes & home insurance himself or must he hold an escrow acct so the lender pays them?
It depends on your mortgage company. Some require that you escrow the taxes & insurance, some don’t. Word of advice though – avoid escrowing if you can. I am an insurance agent & I…

Can a homeowner’s insurance be cancelled because of a “soft” claim?
A few years ago, I had my homeowner’s insurance canceled because a thunderstorm caused significant mischief to my home. They cited the reason being that the insurance should one and only be used for a “catastrophic” loss. I attempted to obtain another policy with a different underwriter, but be turned…

Can a homeowners insurance company call off me when i enjoy my first claim?
I recently had an incident near my lawnmower starting a “leaf fire” while mulching leaves, the fire spread and my lawnmower exploded from the heat combined near the gasoline. I filed a claim with my homeowners insurance and they asked for information roughly speaking the replacement…

Can a homeowner’s insurance cover an auto stolen because key be taken from break contained by to home?
My friends home got broken into and car key were stolen and with that stole the vehicle. The vehicle solely had liability insurance. Now both homeowners and auto insurance are telling them that they won’t wages for that loss. …

Can a mortgage company hang on to money from a homeowners insurance settlement lacking paying contractor?
I work for a contracting company and recently we changed the roof on a house that was destabilized by a storm. The insurance company sent a check to pay for the work done on the roof. The check was drawn out to the owner…

Can a party capture homeowner’s insurance next to poor credit?
Yes you can. You are going to pay more because of the discouraging credit but you will be able to get it. The best article to do is call an independent insurance agent and ask them if they have anything available. Source(s): agent 25+ years Yes, because ins…

Can a renter cause a claim on their park lords homeowners insurance?
My apartement was broken into last week, and I am out roughly 4000.00 dollars. I have no renters insurance. But, does anyone know if I can make a claim on my landlords homeowners insurance? Has anyone in actual fact done this before? Thank you. Sorry – you…

Can anyone recommend a righteous homeowner’s insurer within Massachusetts? I be only dropped from Electric Insurance.
I would discourage anyone from using Electric Insurance (EI). EI is a small company with a VERY LOW risk threshold. I had EI homeowners and auto insurance for over 18 years. In adjectives that time, I had one claim filed against…

Can anyone recommend affordable homeowners insurance?
I live in Muscatine, IA. I am interested in any national or local companies. Anyone have a company or policy they think is other? Who has the friendliest agents? Thanks! AS another said you obligation to consider the deductable. This is because you only make a claim if something primary happens… little things consider…

Can anyone recommend insurance companies that issue homeowner policies for log homes or log cabin?
My insurance covered my log home for a very good price, I be even surpised I thought it would be higher. Insurance I use is Allstate, in Alaska. Hope that help what state do you live in?

Can anyone update me where on earth I can swot the details of parts of my homeowners insurance policy?
Terms like HA-6,HA-300 IL, HA-32, HA-406, HO-827, 56432 and there’s more. Are these “Policy Forms and Endorsements” specific to Travelers Insurance or are they used industry-wide? There must be a site that explains them. (I hope) HA-6 – sounds similar to…

Can co who bought our mortgage modify homeowners insurance requirement?
Our mortgage (placed three years ago) was recently sold, and the bright mortgage company sent us a letter saying they require us to enjoy more coverage. Is this legal? homeinsurance.awardspace.us – try this one. Got my home insurance from them. As I know they provide such a service. Not…

Can first-time homeowners use homeowners insurance premiums deduction from your taxes?
There is a new deduction this year for PMI – private mortgage insurance. That might be what you are thinking of. If you are a first ime home buyer and are paying PMI, you should be capable of get a tax beneift. Good ask. This is…

Can Homeowner Insurance Policy Cover Injury to Self?
I got hurt while masking a pane in my garage. The window have a hidden danger that I didn’t not see (until the twist of fate happened). While masking, the window broke and my Pink go right Through it causing laceration to two tendons. Had surgery and I am on therapy. …

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Some Methods to Get Cheapest Car Insurance in Singapore

Obviously, it is not a complicated thing for car owners to get their car insurance. As a result of the car insurance market is booming and there are a lot of car insurance company are competing for your business. What’s more, getting car insurance online is an emerging industry in recent years, which provide more stages for those car owners to buy their car insurance. Without doubt that it is easy for car owners to purchase their car insurance. However, it is not an easy thing for car owners to get a good deal which suit your needs. In order to meet everyone’s demand, there are some methods offer you to get a cheapest car insurance in Singapore.

Understand your risk
There is a certain thing that you should know before getting your car insurance. That is you should fully understand your risk. There is no doubt that the young driver is a group which is in the high risk of involving an accident on the road. Whether you have previous insurance claim will have a great impact on your pricing. Of course, there are many factors which have played an important role in the way of purchasing a cheapest car insurance. Such as the condition of your car, your driving skills and your driving habits will certainly fall into insurance provider’s consideration. From above mentioned, you may have realized the importance of knowing your risk when you are going to get a cheapest car insurance in Singapore. Let me take you another example which will make you have further understanding the importance of understand your risk. If your car has a long history, it is not a smart choice for you to buy a large amount of coverage for your car. Because it will break down soon.
Shop around
Shopping around for the best coverage and the best service is a common sence for car owners when they are planning to buy a cheapest car insurance. Hence, there is a key point that you should keep in mind that do not sell your mind to insurance provider for the first or second estimate. It is imperative for car owners to compare several different car insurance companies before making the final decision. As you know, different companies will have different regulations and services. Therefore, through conducting coverage across many insurance companies and comparing rates will help giving you an idea of how much money you will be paying.

Use the same insurance provider
It is common that one has several different types of insurance. Such as home insurance, business insurance and health insurance and so on. So, if you buy your car insurance in the same insurance provider, it is more likely for you to get a discount and a greater coverage. As you know, they want to retain you as their customer. Thus, they usually provide packages with cheaper overall rates. In that of case, it is really a good choice for you to pay less.

Pay your premiums in advance
There are lots of car owners have overlooked this detail which they didn’t pay premiums in advance. Even though the company has provided you an option that paying your premium in installments, it is advisable for you to forget this scenario. As a result of insurance provider will be more likely to charge you extra fees for premiums once you didn’t pay in advance. It is universal that a number of car owners overlook some details when they are reading. Thus, paying your premium in advance will keep your premiums low and help you get a cheapest car insurance in Singapore.

Get To Know the Benefits of No Deposit Auto Insurance Policy With Low Rates

Car Insurance policy is an important aspect in the life of a car owner, but certain points should be kept in mind while buying car Insurance.There are two types of Auto Insurance policies:- Short Term and Long Term Insurance Policies. People buy Auto Insurance Policies according to their requirement.

The Insurance Market is full of different types of Insurance Policies. The Insurance buyer has to decide which policy would best suit him.  He should consider his income while going for an Insurance Policy. He should also think Insurance of how much amount he needs. It will be best for him if he goes for a no or low deposit insurance policy. No doubt it will give Insurance cover for a very short time, but the money of the Insurance buyer will not be blocked for a long time. Now a day, there are so many Best No Deposit Auto Insurance Companies providing low Deposit Auto Insurance Policies. The buyer should go through all the policies of low deposit segment and then decide which policy best suits his budget and requirement before buying a policy.

Insurance Policies for Young Drivers

Now days, drivers of all ages are driving different kinds of vehicles. Different Insurance companies are coming with No Deposit Car Insurance for Young Drivers. These young drivers drive in the local areas (mostly within their cities and nearby areas) so they do not require much Insurance cover and a short Term Insurance Policy is okay for them. Secondly, at this young age people are also low salaried and in this low salary they have to manage their families. So at this age, it will be better for them if they go for a no or low deposit Insurance policy. The Insurance buyers should survey the market of Car Insurance with No Deposit and buy the policy that best suits their requirements at a low or no cost.

The Insurance market is full of Car Insurance with No Deposit Required. In our country most people belong to middle class or lower middle class having a car. It is not always possible for all of them to pay premiums on Car Insurance with No Deposit Monthly Payments. So many Insurance Companies are coming with Car Insurance with no Deposit. The Car Insurance buyers are required to go through the no or low Deposit Car Insurance Policy segment carefully and then buy the Insurance Policy that is best for him. If he is confused about which policy to buy he should take expert advice while buying Insurance Policy. They should go for such Insurance Policy after paying the premium of which they have sufficient fund in hand to meet the basic requirements of their family.

Insurance Companies in various countries:

They should come with such Car Insurance Policy that fits the requirements of the people of that country. The people of these countries are required to go through the insurance market carefully and then buy the Insurance Policy that best suits their requirement. If they are confused about which policy to buy they should take expert advice.

Car Insurance Quotes – Get The Cheapest Rates

Free car insurance quotes from the online firms provide you with fast quotes so that you may quickly decide in the best car insurance firms for purchasing the car insurance. We can easily locate the car insurance company with the help of the online car insurance quotes.

Car insurance quotes could be obtained effortlessly online. The days of bargaining with the agent for an estimated figure have been reinstated with online insurance tools such as free car insurance quotes which makes obtaining the quotes as simple as typing numbers in the calculator. There are some distinctive features which go into forming car insurance quote; however there are consistencies, which still exist right through the insurance industry.

Access to the data regarding car accidents as well as insurance claims are developed and shared across the world. To locate the differences or similarities, the risk analysis software is developed. Historical information could provide the statistics regarding the place of the accidents, the cars that were involved, the age groups of the involved drivers, and offer a rich statistical value which analyzes the probability of an insurance company paying out on any policy. While you are filling out forms or online applications for car insurance quotes you would frequently be asked the self same questions from several insurance firms. To promote the policy as the cheapest car insurance policy, certain online firms may also ask for additional information based on the deductions they provide.

Once the information form is filled instantly you can get the free car insurance quotes on the screen or in some times quotes may emailed. Necessary data for your car insurance quotes would probably comprise of your location; the model, make and year of purchase of your vehicle; your age; marital status; your sex; the validity period of your driver’s license; and whether you have driving confidence.

Based on the car insurance quotes we cannot judge the best insurance companies. Most of the insurance firms are differ in deductibles and the coverage of the policy we can see all the differences between the insurance firms at the time of analyzing the car insurance quotes from various car insurance companies. Free car insurance quotes would merely help you narrow down your search results to locate the most affordable car insurance firms as well as the cheapest quotes. On the other hand after that you have to analyze them all to take the final decision regarding the purchase of the car insurance policy.

Michigan No-Fault Auto Insurance Policies – Coordinated & Uncoordinated Medical Coverage

If you have been injured in a Michigan car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident you may be available for either coordinated medical coverage or uncoordinated (primary) medical coverage depending on what type of no-fault auto policy you selected.

Under the Michigan No-Fault law, if a person is injured in a Michigan accident, the insurer must pay all the reasonable charges for products, services, and accommodations till the person’s recovery.

**Michigan Coordinated Medical Coverage

If you have selected coordinated coverage as your no-fault auto policy, you must submit your medical bills to your health care insurance or HMO first. With the coordinated medical coverage, the insurer will pay for the reasonable and necessary care/expenses that is not covered by your health insurance or HMO.

The No-Fault auto insurer does require proof that the bills have been submitted to your health care insurance first. The auto insurer will pay the medical coverage if after the bills have been submitted, they were either rejected or partially paid.

If you have a deductible with your coordinated coverage, payments made by your primary health insurance will be used towards satisfying the deductible.

If your primary health insurance does not cover medical expenses or you do not have health insurance coverage on your policy, payments will be reduced to $300 in addition to your deductible if any. Medicare is an example of a health insurer that does not cover medical expenses for car accident injuries. In this scenario, you would submit your medical expense bills directly to your No-Fault auto insurer.

**Michigan Uncoordinated Medical Coverage

If you have selected uncoordinated coverage or primary medical coverage as your no-fault auto policy, your medical bills may be paid twice. Your health insurer will pay the provider and the auto insurer will pay you.

Your health insurance may not always cover medical expenses. In fact, health insurance plans try to avoid paying for medical expenses caused from car accident injuries. Some health insurance plans use policy language stating that if a person has no-fault coverage they will not cover medical expenses. However, other policies state that to prevent duplication of benefits being paid they will not cover medical expenses if the victim has an uncoordinated or primary no-fault policy.

When choosing a health insurer, you should always inspect their policy to establish whether or not they would cover your medical expenses if you were to be injured in a Michigan car accident.

How to Buy Florida Homeowner’s Insurance

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The very real threat of hurricanes makes adequate homeowners insurance a must in Florida. Homeowners insurance can pay for the repair or replacement of your house if it is damaged by a hurricane, tornado or other natural disaster. Homeowners insurance also offers protection for other types of damages, such as theft of personal items after a break-in or repairs needed after a tree falls into your roof.

Instructions

  1. Compare rates from the Shop And Compare homeowner’s insurance website produced by the state of Florida. The site isn’t detailed enough to tell you exactly how much you would pay for homeowners insurance, but it can offer a general idea about pricing from the various insurance companies licensed to sell in Florida.
  2. Select an insurance company. Seek referrals from real estate agents, bankers, friends, and others. Confirm, if necessary, that the company is authorized to sell homeowners’ insurance in Florida by searching for the company’s name in the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation database.
  3. Choose your level of coverage. Consult with your mortgage company for guidance on how much insurance to buy relative to what you owe on the house. Calculate how much you would need to pay off the balance and purchase a new home if necessary. Florida endured brutal back-to-back hurricane seasons in 2004 and 2005, with tens of billions of dollars in insured damages caused by eight hurricanes and four tropical storms, according to the state of Florida website. As a result homeowners shopping for insurance are presented with a sliding scale of options, each offering a different level of protection. For example, some policies offer discounts for homes built to minimize damage from storms. Such homes may feature hurricane shutters or storm-proof windows.
  4. Contact a licensed agent and purchase the insurance.

What to Look for in Homeowner’s Insurance

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Homeowner’s insurance protects more than just your home. A comprehensive policy protects your home and your assets and offers liability protection for you and your family. Where you live will largely determine your insurance costs; however, there are other factors that can help reduce the costs. To ensure you get the right plan for your needs at the right price, plan ahead.

Coverage for Your Home

  • Your home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make. Be sure your homeowner’s insurance covers it in its entirety. Homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood or earthquake damage. If you live in a high-risk area, consider purchasing separate insurance. A typical homeowner’s policy, which is based on a form HO-3, will protect from damage from fire, hail, explosion, riot, aircraft, vehicles, smoke, falling objects, snow, sleet, wind and theft. Make sure to purchase a guaranteed replacement cost policy, which offers more protection for your assets and home than an actual cash value policy. For example, if your home is destroyed and your policy is for $100,000 but your home costs $125,000 to rebuild, without the guaranteed replacement coverage you would be required to pay the additional $25,000.

Coverage for Your Assets

  • Homeowner’s insurance also covers your personal belongings. In a typical policy, the insurance company may allow up to 40 percent of the total policy to account for your personal assets. There may be a max amount, such as $2,000, of what the insurance company will pay per item. Make sure you have adequate protection for high dollar items, such as collectibles, electronics, jewelry, fur coats or expensive clothing. The insurance company may require an appraisal. Take pictures or videos of your home and keep records of your home inventory. Your policy may also cover landscaping. If the amount of your assets decreases over time, be sure to adjust your policy so you aren’t paying more for items that have lost their value.

Liability

  • A standard homeowner’s insurance policy may include about $100,000 in liability insurance. Liability protects you and your family in the event that your neighbor hurts herself in your home, or your dog destroys your neighbor’s yard. Owning pets, a swimming pool or a home-based business may put you at a higher risk for lawsuits. Consider purchasing more liability.

Reducing Your Premium

  • Homes located near a fire hydrant or fire station may nab better insurance rates. In addition, having a smoke alarm, security system, fire retardant roofing and deadbolt locks in your home may further reduce your premium. Increasing your deductible from $500 to $1,000 will lower your premium. You may be able to further reduce your premium by purchasing your auto and homeowners insurance policy from one company.

Can a Person Have Multiple Home Insurance Policies on the Same House?

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Though many people wish they didn’t have to buy one insurance policy on their home, there are circumstances when you may consider owning two on the same property. To determine whether you should have two policies, you should understand the principle of indemnity and how insurers decide to settle claims when more than one policy exists on a single insured item.

Principle of Indemnity

  • All lines of insurance follow the principle of indemnity. This states that the purpose of an insurance policy is to restore the insured person or business to its financial condition before the loss occurred without causing a financial gain. This is why most insurance settlements are not taxed by the federal government; the IRS only taxes financial gains. When two or more insurance policies exist on the same person or property, the principle of indemnification still applies.

Double Coverage

  • Because you cannot profit from an insurance claim regardless of how many policies exist, most people do not buy more than one policy per item being insured. The exception is with health insurance, when people commonly have two or more companies insuring them. That is because health insurance benefits vary widely from one company to another, and are sometimes available from the government. As a result, having more than one policy increases the chances your entire medical claim will be covered.

Homeowner’s Insurance

  • It is not illegal to buy more than one insurance policy for your home, but doing so is unlikely to increase the amount you collect in a settlement. Insurers report claims to the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. If you report the same claim to two insurers, they will discover the multiple claims and coordinate their efforts to determine which company pays primary benefits and which pays secondary. Because homeowner’s insurance is a standard package policy, the second policy is unlikely to offer benefits beyond those covered by the first policy.

Potential Benefits

  • If you don’t mind paying the additional premiums for a second policy, you may see some benefits when you file a claim. Some insurers limit or exclude certain causes of loss, such as mold damage, or limit the benefits on certain items, such as jewelry. A second policy from a different insurer may cover some of these limitations and exclusions. However, it is also possible you can endorse your first policy to cover these things by paying additional premiums to remove the exclusions.

How to Compare Homeowners Insurance

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Insurance companies offer many types of coverages with varying premiums, depending on the state where you reside. You may require homeowners insurance for the safety and security of your property and its contents, or injuries sustained by anyone on your property. When shopping for homeowners insurance you should make sure to compare the kinds of coverage offered by different companies. Here are some guidelines that can help you to save money on premiums.

Instructions

  1. Go online and search for insurance companies that offer homeowners insurance. You will find several that are located in your state.
  2. Decide what kind of coverage you are looking for. The replacement costs for your home and its contents work as decisive factors in assessing this.
  3. Get contact numbers for the different companies. Talk to your local agents and seek their advice on the type of policy you should buy to get maximum coverage. Ask for the cheapest insurance quotes available for such a policy.
  4. Compare the policy coverage based on your home location. For example, if you live in an earthquake or flood-prone area, your homeowners insurance should provide that coverage. The premium for that specific type of incident will likely be somewhat expensive.
  5. Examine the coverage based on the quality and type of your home’s construction. For example, if you live in a stone and brick home in Florida you may want to consider buying a cheaper policy as the likelihood of damage from forest fires, floods or tornados is less.
  6. Evaluate the policy based on the age of your building. If your home is newly built, you will require lesser coverage since things such as heating and ventilation should be of better quality compared to an older property.
  7. Play with the deductibles. There is a good possibility of reducing your premium by allowing an increase in the deductibles. Be sure to ask for any discounts that an insurance provider might offer.

Why I’m Glad Your Renters Insurance Was Canceled

A photograph of a burglar outside a house at night.

I saw a segment on a news show recently that highlighted a family whose insurance company had canceled their renters policy. The family in question filed two claims against their policy over the holidays, after burglars broke into their home before Christmas and again just before New Year’s. As a result, their insurer dropped them.

Of course, the timing was horrible, and the local media covered the story exhaustively. But I’m glad the insurance company canceled their policy, and you should be happy, too. Here’s why:

What are the odds of a family having two robberies in such a short span of time? It’s very unlikely. In fact, such unusual circumstances are strong warning of potential fraud. And while I don’t want anyone to needlessly suffer, if insurance companies don’t take action when faced with those sorts of events, it could translate into higher insurance costs for the rest of us.

It All Comes Down to Higher Rates for All of Us

Most people forget that most insurance coverage is typically a group policy. Insurance companies, whether they’re selling property insurance or life insurance, depend on large groups of people acting as participating partners. It’s the law of large numbers at its finest.
View all Courses Insurers have armies of actuaries whose sole job is to determine the likelihood of a payout on a given policy. Our policies, and their profits, depend on most people paying their insurance premiums and hardly ever needing to file a claim. That, combined with the actuaries ability to make accurate predictions, is what keeps premiums relatively low for the rest of us. Having one customer file two claims practically back to back is highly unusual. If it stopped being unusual (say, if unscrupulous individuals realized you could do that without consequences), the ripple effects would spread through the system.

Insurance companies raise the cost of premiums when they have to make more payouts than they anticipated. Maybe that wouldn’t happen right away, but eventually, they always increase prices to cover their unexpected losses.

Don’t File Small Claims on Your Insurance

So what can you do to ensure that your insurance premiums don’t go up? First of all, you should be happy if your insurance company is denying frivolous claims or dropping its coverage of less-desirable customers. That ultimately keeps prices low for those of us who rarely or never have to file a claim.

Most insurance is a safety net against catastrophic bad luck. And that’s the only time you should use it. If you can self-insure yourself against having to make small claims, that’s the way to go. Save your insurance for when you really need it.

For example: What’s the first thing you do when you have a fender-bender? Most people reach for the phone and call their car insurance companies. But, you may be better off self-insuring in the case of a single-car accident with no injuries. The same may also be true for small renter’s insurance claims, which may be better to self-insure.

For your own single-car accidents, you should seriously consider getting an estimate from an auto body shop to have the damage repaired out of pocket instead of filing an insurance claim. Many can give you a free written estimate on your first visit.

You also have to consider your deductible. (On our cars, it’s $500.) Even if the cost to repair the damage is a little more than that, it could be worth it to simply pay out-of-pocket. Otherwise, if you file a claim and get paid, you could see your insurance premiums go up or even have the policy canceled altogether.

But if another person is involved in your car accident, you should call your car insurance company. If you don’t make a police report and file a claim with your insurance company, the other party could still sue you later for injuries. And your insurance company may refuse to cover a bodily injury claim against you if you didn’t notify them of the accident in a timely manner.

Have an Emergency Fund to Protect Yourself and Keep Your Premiums Low

An emergency fund can help protect you from having to file small claims against your insurance policy. These funds are no longer simply to protect you against a job loss, a broken-down car, or an unforeseen expense. You should also think of your emergency fund as a cushion that can provide you with a stopgap for small losses from accidents or theft.

While no one wants to pay for damages or replace stolen items out-of-pocket, filing a claim might not be the best route either. Your insurance should protect you from the major losses, not the little ones.

How Much House Insurance Do I Need?

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The time to think about whether you have adequate house insurance is not when your house is burning down. Because most mortgage lenders require proof of insurance before closing on your home, chances you have some, but not necessarily the right amount of house insurance. One of the most important factors is the amount of insurance on your home’s structure. Careful consideration of structural coverage — and an understanding that coverage limits for most other categories depend on the amount of coverage you choose for your home — can help determine what level of insurance is right for you.

Structure

  • You need enough house insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding your home at current market prices. As a start, check with a local builder or your real estate agent to find the average building cost per square foot for the area in which you live. Multiply this cost by the total square footage of your home. For example, if an average building cost is $200 per square foot and your home is 1,800 square feet, a rough estimate of the cost to rebuild your home is $360,000. Factors to consider that may increase this amount include the quality of construction materials, customization or home-remodeling projects that increase the value of your home, as well as additional structures on your property, such as a garage or shed.

Personal Possessions

  • Before you can determine the amount of insurance to include for personal possessions, conduct a complete home inventory. In addition to photographs and a detailed list of all the items of value in your home, include receipts for major purchases and appraisals for antiques or items, such as jewelry, art or collectibles whose value may be subject to interpretation. According to the Insurance Information Institute, most policies cover personal possessions at 50 to 70 percent of the amount of insurance you place on the structure of your home. For example, if you insure your home for $360,000, insurance for your personal possessions will be $180,000 to $252,000. If the value of your personal possessions exceeds this, consider purchasing a rider to cover the additional amount.

Living Expenses

  • If the damage to your home is extensive, or if your insurance company declares your home a total loss, coverage for living expenses can be a lifesaver. Most insurance companies cover standard expenses, such as lodging and meals, at about 20 percent of the amount of insurance you place on the structure of your home. If you insure your home for $360,000, the amount of living-expense insurance on your policy will be about $72,000. Because coverage rates vary widely between individual companies, this is one area you should thoroughly investigate.

Liability

  • A standard house-insurance policy usually includes about $100,000 of liability insurance to cover claims from property damage that you, a member of your family or your pet causes to other people. This is a minimal amount of insurance, so to better protect your assets, the Insurance Information Institute recommends increasing this level of insurance to between $300,000 and $500,000.

Considerations

  • In addition to choosing the right amount of house insurance, it is important to select the right type. House insurance types range from an HO-1, the most basic, to a guaranteed replacement, HO-8 policy. Although you should talk to your insurance agent to make sure your plan suits your needs, SmartMoney.com recommends starting no lower than an HO-3 policy, as this type provides protections from all perils, such as natural disasters, falling objects and damage relating to faulty plumbing or electrical work, unless the policy specifically excludes them.

What Is the Policy on Homeowners Insurance When the Owner Is Deceased?

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After an individual dies, the executor of his estate must handle many items until the estate is distributed. One issue that often comes up is what to do with the homeowners insurance while the house is in probate. Most insurance companies do not like the house to be left vacant for an extended period of time.

Executor Responsibilities

  • The executor basically handles everything in regard to the individual’s estate until it is finalized. During this period, the executor may need to call the homeowners insurance company and change the name of the policy over to the estate. The executor may also need to add his own name to the homeowner’s insurance policy during this process.

Insurance Company Grace Period

  • Most insurance companies do not like to leave houses vacant for extended periods of time. This tends to lead to vandalism, theft and other losses that the insurance company could be responsible for. Because of this, the insurance company may be reluctant to allow the home to stay vacant. In most cases, the insurance company will provide a grace period of 60 days to 90 days in which the house can sit vacant before the policy is dropped.

Transition to New Owner

  • Typically, when an individual dies, all of his assets are distributed to his beneficiaries by the executor. The homeowner has the opportunity to pass the house on to a loved one. Once this happens, the beneficiary will then have to take out a homeowners insurance policy on the house. Because of this, the house typically does not have to remain unoccupied for very long. Even if the beneficiary plans on selling the house, he will need to take out a policy under his own name.

Coverage Riders

  • When a homeowner passes away, you may want to check with his homeowners insurance company about coverage riders. In some cases, the homeowner may have a type of mortgage life insurance attached to the policy. With this type of coverage, the insurance company will pay the mortgage when the homeowner dies. This takes the burden of the mortgage off of the family members and basically provides them with a paid-off house to use.

3 Reasons To Get Umbrella Insurance

Many people have the mistaken impression that umbrella insurance is only for the wealthy, but that’s not true. Personal finance specialist and CPA Mitch Freedman says, “As long as you can earn a livelihood, you should have an umbrella liability policy.” That’s because if you do lose a lawsuit, you can be held personally liable based not only on your current assets, but also on all future earnings. Wages can be garnished as part of a legal settlement.

An umbrella policy protects you from that risk. It adds liability protection over and above your homeowners and car insurance up to a limit you choose. Most policies cover you up to $1 million to $2 million, but the very wealthy may choose higher amounts. Umbrella policies do require that you maintain liability limits on your homeowners or car insurance policy. Usually insurers require you to carry $300,000 to $500,000 liability coverage on your car and house.

Why Get It?
So what are the three key reasons you may want to get an umbrella policy?

1. To protect yourself if someone is injured on your property and sues you. The liability insurance will not only cover the cost of any medical bills, it will also pay for your legal defense if the costs add up to more than the liability coverage on your homeowners policy.

2. To protect yourself if you are involved in a car accident and are sued. After your insurance is maxed out, the umbrella policy covers the rest up to the policy limits.

3. To protect yourself from slander or libel or other types of lawsuits not covered by your home or auto policy. For example, in today’s world, what you post on social media could leave you open to a lawsuit. Million-dollar lawsuits have been filed against posters on Facebook and other social media. The umbrella policy would cover any legal costs and any settlement. Even if you win the suit, out-of-pocket legal costs can mount quickly. (See Can You Be Sued If You Give A Bad Review On Yelp?)
Any one of these reasons can add up to a million dollars or more in claims. You may not have that much on hand, but if you lose the lawsuit, the judge can award all your assets and any future earnings until the claim is paid. (See It’s Raining Lawsuits: Do You Need An Umbrella Policy?)

What’s the Cost?
Umbrella policies do vary by risk. If you have a house and two cars, you can expect a premium of about $200 for $1 million and you can add on a second million for about $100. Do you really need $2 million? As Jack Hungelmann, author of “Insurance for Dummies” wrote, “You can’t control whom you might injure.” You could injure a CEO or professional ballplayer and owe millions for lost earnings.

If you think you can’t afford the premium, consider increasing the deductible on your homeowners and car insurance policies to $1,000, which likely will save you enough to cover the premium cost of umbrella insurance. That does mean you will have a higher out-of-pocket expense for a minor accident, but most agents recommend against filing small claims because it can hurt your claims-free discount or even result in a loss of a policy for filing a claim.

How Much Do You Need?
Freedman, who heads Mitchell Freedman Accountancy, in Westlake Village, Calif., recommends that everyone should have at least a $1 million umbrella policy. If you earn more than $100,000 per year or have more than $1 million in assets, then you should get more. Other CPAs recommend that their clients carry an umbrella policy with limits at least up to their net worth and advise people with rental properties to have a policy for $3 million to $5 million.

How Does a Car Insurance Claim Work?

How Does a Car Insurance Claim Work?
  • Do you know how a car insurance claim works? If not, you are like thousands of people. Although people pay premiums to their auto insurance companies, many really don’t know what happens if they actually have to use it. The good news is that car insurance claims are pretty straightforward. They have three parts: the submission of a claim, the investigation and the payment. Most claims are processed and paid in 30 days.
  • The first part of any claim is the submission process. Normally, it includes a call to your insurance company and the submission of a claims report. A claims report includes the details of an accident, driver’s license and contact information of each driver, the description and license plates of each car and miscellaneous information such as the police report. With this information, a clerical person sets up a claim, assigns a claim number and a claims adjuster to it for handling. In general, the complete submission of a claim takes less than 24 hours.
  • The second part of a claim is the investigation. After a claims adjuster gets the initial report of a claim, he tries to verify the details and determine who is at fault. This normally includes the review of vehicle impacts and photos, police reports and statements from each driver. The claims adjuster then uses all of this information to determine if any motor vehicle laws were broken and who caused the accident. It is a process that can take a few days or a few years depending on how complicated the accident was.
  • The last part of a claim is payment. Once a claims adjuster determines who is at fault for an accident, payments are in order. Car payments will be paid based on estimates completed by a professional auto shop or an auto appraiser. Checks are normally two-party and include the name of the vehicle owner and repair shop. Unless there is a bodily injury claim or rental, the issuance of payment ends the claim’s process. It is then closed without further follow-up by anyone.

Extortion Insurance: Is It Worth It?

If you look hard enough, you can find insurers willing to protect your business against virtually any calamity – from malpractice to equipment breakdown. But even in today’s crowded insurance market, the need to safeguard against extortion might seem like a bit of a stretch.

That is, until you look at international crime trends. Between 15,000 and 20,000 kidnappings take place around the world in a given year, according to insurance giant Aon. Most of these are done not for any ideological reason, but for profit. Often, an overseas traveler becomes a target because an assailant knows there’s a wealthy family or company that’s willing to pay for his or her safe return.

Extortion insurance is designed to help recoup whatever money has to to be paid by a policyholder in order to save someone – an employee, for example – from the threat of abduction or bodily harm. (If the abduction actually happens, the crimes then include kidnapping.) The policy may also protect against other threats, such as damage to company property or the disclosure of sensitive information. Given the risk – particularly in danger zones like Latin America and the Middle East – most big corporations today have a policy that covers both extortion and ransom demands.

Is It Worth It?
A specialty insurance policy can help companies recoup most of the expenses associated with an extortion plot. Often, that includes the money they directly pay to an assailant – or would-be assailant – as well as the cost of negotiators, lawyers and psychiatric care for any victims. Many insurance companies also offer crisis management services through an affiliated provider.

Extortion coverage isn’t strictly for corporations, however. Some insurers also provide policies to high net worth individuals, who can be just as big a target when they travel abroad. Generally speaking, the greater one’s public profile, the bigger the risk.

Certainly, extortion insurance isn’t something that every company or wealthy individual is going to need. And it can be very pricey.
But considering that experts say the threat is only increasing as criminals become more sophisticated – some even use social media sites to glean information about potential victims – this insurance is worth considering if you or a business is at greater-than-average risk. Added protection may be valuable, for example, if you or a company’s employees routinely travel to hot spots like Venezuela or parts of Africa. There’s also the financial threat to factor in (even for the most profitable firms), as monetary demands have gone as high as $125 million.

Caveats About Coverage
One point to bear in mind is that extortion insurance almost certainly won’t reduce anyone’s risk of becoming a victim. In many cases, employers can’t even let their workers know about the coverage, which would make them ideal targets for criminals.

Also, if you’re thinking about buying a plan for yourself or your business, be advised that filing a claim isn’t always as straightforward as you might think. One complication is that most kidnappers specifically prohibit their victim’s contacts from notifying either the police or the insurance company about their demands. The catch: The insurer may not provide reimbursement if it’s not advised of the transaction ahead of time.

Therefore, it’s important to find a policy without this kind of stipulation, or to try to negotiate it out of the contract. Some insurers only require policyholders to divulge an extortion attempt when doing so won’t further endanger a victim.

In addition, some companies won’t extend coverage to countries where the U.S. government has put into effect a travel advisory. In such cases, there’s an unfortunate irony: The policy may be useless in the very circumstances when it’s most needed.

For potential policyholders, these caveats are all the more reason to research the insurance plan ahead of time to avoid surprises down the road.

How to Exchange Insurance Information

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Exchanging insurance information is an important part of dealing appropriately with an auto accident. Unfortunately, because auto accidents are stressful and frightening, it’s sometimes hard to do it correctly in the moment. For some, it helps to keep a written, step-by-step guide in the same place as your insurance information to help you navigate through this trying part of modern life. Many insurance companies now include this kind of guide with their cards. If not, you can always make one by hand or on your computer.

Giving Your Information

  1. Keep your insurance information in an easy to access and identify place in your car, such as a colored envelope in your glove box. Do not keep it with all your other automotive papers. You don’t want to shuffle through three years of oil change receipts during an already stressful situation.
  2. Show the other party the card provided by your insurance company. Most companies provide cards you can give away to keep. If not, let the other party write down the pertinent information.
  3. Show the other party your photo identification to confirm that you are who you say you are, then ask to see their ID.
  4. Instruct the other party to call your insurance company if they have any concerns. Do not give out your phone number or contact information unless instructed to do so by a law enforcement officer.

Getting Their Information

  1. Ask to see the other party’s insurance information and photo identification.
  2. Check the photo identification against the name on the insurance paperwork. If it doesn’t match, ask for an explanation.
  3. Check the insurance information against the vehicle’s model, make, color and license plate. If it doesn’t match, ask for an explanation if you feel comfortable doing so. If not, simply note what you observe and report it to the police.
  4. Take note of the policy number, insurance company name, insurance company phone number, vehicle license plate and policy holder’s name. Like your company, the other party’s insurer might provide all pertinent information on a card for you to keep. If not, write it down.
  5. Agree on the date, time and location of the accident. Write this information down.

How to Get a 17 Year Old Car Insurance – Cheap and Affordable

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It is not easy for get a 17 year old car insurance that is cheap and affordable, especially during this economic recession. This is largely due to the fact that 17 year olds are considered a risk to the insurance companies – both because they are new drivers and because 17 year olds are known to be less responsible than older drivers.
There are various ways to go about getting your 17 year old car insurance. Follow the steps below to help you get cheap car insurance for a seventeen year old or even a 16 year old.

Instructions

  1. Include the 17 year old on the parents’ insurance policy –
    Instead of getting the 17 year old a car insurance policy of his/her own, include them on their parents policy. This tends to be cheaper than the alternative.
  2. Take a driving course and do well –
    The 16 or 17 year old should take a drivers’ ed course and do well in it. Many insurance companies will give better rates for 17 year olds who have taken drivers’ courses and get good grades.
  3. Get good grades in school –
    If the 16 or 17 year old gets good grades in school, this can also lower the insurance rate. Many insurance companies consider seventeen year old with good grades less of a risk and therefore give them better rates.
  4. Choose your car type carefully –
    If you want to get a 17 year old car insurance that is cheap or at least low cost and affordable, be sure to choose the car for the 17 year old carefully. Older cars and cars with more safety features are cheaper to insure than newer cars and sports cars.
  5. Make sure the 17 year old drives responsibly –
    Any small car accident, ticket or traffic violation can increase the car insurance for a 17 year old drastically. So be sure the 17 year old is aware of this and drives carefully and safely. As the 16 or 17 year old gets older, the insurance rate will become lower as long as their driving record is clear.
  6. Choose a higher deductible –
    Normally, if you have an insurance policy with a higher deductible, you will have a lower premium.
  7. Shop around –
    Look into different insurance policies and don’t just settle for the first one you find. Find which insurance policy offers the cheapest insurance for a 17 year old. Ask specific questions regarding your specific circumstances (including the 17 year olds’ grades, type of car, driving record, etc.)

Looking To Insure Your Wedding Ring? Here’s How

Shopping for insurance sounds about as exciting as doing your taxes, but when it comes to wedding jewelry – engagement rings and wedding bands – securing sufficient coverage can prove as essential as any other wedding-related task.

In 2014, couples spent an average of $5,855 on engagement rings. Add to that the cost of wedding bands for both the bride and groom and it’s clear that the average $1,500 to $2,500 of jewelry coverage available through renter’s and homeowner’s insurance is insufficient for most couples.

Assess Your Existing Coverage
While renter’s and homeowner’s insurance policies cover the value of items in your home, jewelry included, coverage only goes up to a certain dollar limit, and circumstances like loss and damage are usually not included.

Engagement and wedding rings can be covered more comprehensively with the purchase of a rider or extension to your current policy – also called “scheduling property.” Scheduled personal property goes over and above the typical renter’s or homeowner’s policy so that the full value of the designated, high-priced item is covered in the event of a claim.

If you don’t have a renter’s or homeowner’s policy, or the coverage through your existing insurance provider is insufficient, you can purchase a separate policy specifically for your rings. Ask your jeweler if the company offers or recommends a certain policy, or shop around to find an insurance broker with jewelry coverage that suits your needs.

Read the Fine Print on Potential Policies
When it comes to choosing a provider and policy for your ring insurance, the fine print matters. Here’s what to consider:

• Coverage. A good policy should cover all contingencies, from theft to damage to an accidental drop down the garbage disposal. Make special note of anything that isn’t covered.

• Replacement. How will the insurance company replace your rings? Will you have to obtain your replacement rings at a certain jeweler? Will you receive a check as compensation? Will repairs or partial loss be covered? Evaluate the replacement policy against your fiscal and sentimental concerns.

• Assessment of Value. How will the insurance provider assess the value of your ring for reimbursement? Will it use the current appraisal value or will it only consider the price at purchase?

• Documentation Requirements. Note all of the required paperwork for your policy so that should you need to file a claim, everything is readily available. This typically includes receipts, photos and up-to-date appraisals.

Speaking of appraisals…

Know the Value of Your Rings
A professional jewelry appraisal can help you make sure your rings are insured at their proper value. Choose a gemologist-appraiser to verify facts about the ring while also assessing its value. The American Gem Society has a directory of qualified professionals that can be searched by zip code. Appraisal rates range from $50 to $150 an hour. Be sure to ask around for estimates before committing.
Cost Considerations
It’s important to compare not just the cost of one insurance provider to another, but also the relative cost to the relative coverage, as both vary greatly from provider to provider and even from policy to policy.

The general rule of thumb for insuring wedding and engagement rings is $1 to $2 for every $100 of value, paid annually. A $5,000 ring, for example, would cost around $50 to $100 per year to insure. If you live in a city where the risk of theft is higher, you can expect to pay a bit more for your coverage. However, you can reduce costs by installing a home security system or by using a safe to keep jewelry protected when it’s not being worn.

In addition, some policies have deductibles, others don’t. Those without deductibles have higher premiums. In the case of a deductible policy, look to see what types of repairs can affect your coverage costs.

After you’ve combed through the policy fine print, assessed the value of your rings and compared relative costs, you should have enough information to choose an insurance policy that meets your needs. Don’t wait too long to secure coverage, though. You’ll want to make sure you’re protected in the event that anything happens in the days after your purchase or receipt of the ring.

Once You’re Insured…
• Keep all insurance-related documents in a safe place. By this point, you should be familiar enough with the details of your policy to know exactly what documentation you need to keep on file – a written appraisal, ring receipts, photos, gem certificates, etc. Also make sure that any policy details you’ve discussed with your insurance agent are included in the paperwork. All promises need written documentation.

• Consider having an appraisal done every two to three years – even if your insurance policy doesn’t require regular appraisals – to ensure that your insurance coverage is still adequate. This is particularly important for vintage, antique and/or collectible rings. Values of precious metals and fine jewels change frequently. Bring a copy of your original or most recent appraisal each time so that your appraiser can work from that rather than starting from scratch each time. This can help reduce your costs.

• Make sure your ring fits. It might sound obvious, but getting your ring properly sized can reduce your chances of ever having to file a claim with your insurance company.

The Bottom Line
If, how and where you decide to insure your wedding rings will depend largely on your specific needs and assessments of value. By doing your due diligence in combing through the fine print of potential policies and comparing true costs and coverage, you can ensure you’ve made a proper assessment in protecting jewelry that has both monetary and emotional value.

How Does Insurance Work?

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Introduction

  • Insurance provides people and companies with protection against major financial losses due to damage or loss of property. In exchange for a periodic payment or premium, individuals and companies are guaranteed to be compensated or reimbursed under the terms of the insurance policy. Insurance is a part of daily life. Car insurance and homeowner’s insurance are two of the most common forms of insurance. Health insurance and workmen’s compensation are also well-known types of insurance. While insurance is a part of most people’s lives, not everyone understands how it works.

How Insurance Works

  • There are always risks in life such as fire, theft or earthquake. Many people hope to avoid the financial consequences of replacing personal property that is lost or damaged. Insurance is a way to protect your personal finances from undue burdens. Insurance is really a form of risk management in which the risk is transferred to the insurance company in exchange for payments or premiums. When a person purchases insurance, he gets an insurance policy which is a legally binding contract. This policy describes in detail all the rights, responsibilities and obligations of both the insured and the insurance company. If a person suffers losses covered in the policy, he files a claim. A claim is a detailed account of what is lost or damaged and its value. The amount of money a person is reimbursed is based on the amount of the policy. If the policy is for $5,000 that is the maximum amount the insured person can get.

    When individuals or companies purchase insurance policies, all the money from the premium is combined into what is called the insurance pool. Insurance companies use statistics to predict what percentage of insured people or businesses will actually suffer a loss and file a claim. The statistics also help to determine the amount of the premium. Other factors such as credit scores and previous claims are also taken into consideration. Because the vast majority of insured people do not suffer losses or only small losses, the insurance companies make a huge profit which enables them to pay out the occasional huge claim.

Types of Insurance Available

  • There seem to be insurance policies available for any situation. Anything that has a potential risk of loss or damage can be insured. One policy can cover several areas of risk such as a homeowner’s policy dealing with fire, theft and liability. Some of the more common kinds of insurance are renter’s, life, disability, liability, travel and pet insurance. Companies have political risk insurance if they do business in politically unstable countries. Crime insurance protects against theft or embezzlement. Property insurance protects against loss of boats, planes, and farm crops. Boiler insurance is for machinery and equipment. Credit insurance provides protection for loans if the borrower should die, becomes disabled or lose his job. There is insurance to protect against natural disasters such as flood, windstorm, earthquake and volcano. Nuclear accident insurance is also available as is kidnap and ransom insurance and terrorism insurance. In considering any of these types of insurance you have to assess your situation and determine what is best for you, your family and your business.

Term life insurance: How it works

Term life insurance is easy to understand. When you buy a term life policy, you are buying a promise from an insurance company that it will pay your beneficiaries a set amount if you die during the policy’s term. In exchange, you pay a monthly premium to the company for the duration of that term.

Looking for a quote? Use the form at the top of the page to compare today’s top insurance companies.

Touted for its “pure life insurance protection,” term life insurance includes none of the cash-value features found in whole life policies. Because of its low cost relative to other types of life insurance, term life continues to be the most popular life insurance choice.

Generally, you purchase life insurance to replace your income if you die, so your loved ones can pay debts and living costs. For example, if you and your spouse own a home and you were to die tomorrow, your spouse would have to pay the mortgage on his or her own. If you had the proper term life insurance policy, your spouse would receive enough money from the policy’s death benefit to pay off the mortgage.

Term insurance doesn’t just cover specific debts, however. If you have children, term insurance can provide money for college and living expenses if you die before your children are fully grown.

If you outlive your policy term, the insurance terminates and you must buy another policy if you still want to carry life insurance. However, the annual premium for another policy could be quite expensive because your older age and any health conditions will be taken into account. That’s why it’s important to choose a suitable term length early in life.

Compared to other types of life insurance, shopping for term life is simple. The necessary steps include:

  • Choosing a life insurance company. Insure.com maintains a list of the best life insurance companies based on customer reviews.
  • Choosing the length of the policy. Common terms include 10, 15, 20 and 30 years.
  • Choosing the amount of the policy. This is the sum your beneficiaries will receive in the event of your death. The amount you choose should depend on a number of factors, including your income, debts and the number of people who depend on you financially. Many policies amounts range from $100,000 to $250,000, but higher and lower amounts are also common.

Once your policy is in place, maintaining it is a matter of paying your monthly premiums. From there, if you die while the policy is in force, your beneficiaries receive the face amount of the policy tax-free.

Medical exams for term life insurance

When you apply for term life coverage, you’ll be asked a large set of questions about your personal health history and family health insurance. The insurance company will also probably require a medical exam. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked the same set of questions more than once – first by your agent, and then by the paramedical professional who conducts the exam.

The exam typically covers your height, weight, blood pressure, medical history, and blood and urine testing. With the blood and urine tests, the insurer looks for specific medical problems and the presence of nicotine. Positive results could affect your premium, or even your ability to buy a policy.

Nicotine users will pay more for life insurance, although occasional cigar smokers may be able to get less expensive premiums. You don’t have to be a smoker to get what used to be called “smoker” rates. Anything that delivers nicotine into your system, from nicotine patches to e-cigarettes, will garner you higher life insurance rates.

Marijuana users also must disclose their drug use, but those that fail to mention this will likely be caught anyway by the medical exam.

Types of term life insurance

The calculations behind life insurance rates are all about life expectancy. That’s why life insurance costs more as you get older. You can lock in low premiums by buying a “level premium” policy. That means for the policy’s time period, say 20 years, your premium stays the same. Many term life policies give you the option to renew your coverage at the end of the term without undergoing another medical exam, although your premiums will rise annually after the level term period – often substantially.

A less popular type of policy is “annual renewable term.” This gives you coverage for one year with the option of renewing it each year for a specified duration, such as 20 years. With this policy, your rates go up every year you renew and are calculated based on the probability of your dying within the next year.

If you’d like to have term life insurance protection in place to provide for beneficiaries but you’re confident you’ll outlive the policy, you could consider “return of premium” term life insurance. Under this type of policy, if no death benefit has been paid by the end of your insurance term, you receive all your premiums back. It pays to shop around for a policy like this, but on the low end you can expect to pay 50 percent more in premiums than comparable traditional term life insurance.

If you have trouble finding life insurance because of illness or a troubled medical history, you can turn to a simplified issue term life insurance or “guaranteed issue” policy. These policies require only a few questions and no medical exam, but you pay a much higher premium in exchange for the guaranteed coverage. That’s because the insurance company takes on more risk by insuring people without knowing their medical conditions. Guaranteed issue policies often have “graded” benefits that pay only a partial benefit if you die within the first several years of the policy. A life insurance agent can search the marketplace for a guaranteed issue policy that meets your needs, but even if you have a spotty medical history, an underwritten policy like term life still could be less expensive.

If you don’t like answering a lot of questions and you want a small policy just to pay for your funeral, you might consider final expense insurance. This coverage typically pays a lower benefit than conventional term life insurance. You cannot be turned down for this type of policy, but here again you’ll pay more for that convenience.

How much term life insurance costs

According to trade group LIMRA and the LIFE Foundation, the average cost of a 20-year, $250,000 term life policy for a healthy 30-year-old is about $160 a year. That comes to less than $14 per month.

The price of your policy will vary depending on your age and other risk factors, but you should never assume that a policy is out of reach because of cost. Eighty percent of consumers misjudge the cost of term life insurance, according to LIMRA. This is especially true of members of Generation X, who overestimate the cost by 119 percent, and millennials, who overestimate the cost by 213 percent.

Choosing the right term life policy

Figuring out which term you should buy – 10 years, 20 years, 30 years or some other number – requires a review of your debts, financial needs, dependents’ needs – and when all those responsibilities might change. When will your dependents reach financial independence? What are your major debts, such as mortgages or other loans, and when must they be paid off?

It’s a good idea to review your life insurance needs carefully, both when you buy a policy and when you experience a major life change. To stay on top of your life insurance needs, you should:

  • Watch your circumstances. Review your situation yearly to make sure your term life policy still provides appropriate coverage.
  • Shop around. Life insurance quotes vary considerably among insurers, so do your homework.
  • Sweat the fine print. An insurance policy is a legal document, so read it carefully and make sure that you understand it before signing anything.
  • Be truthful. Answer all application questions accurately. Insurance fraud is a serious crime and companies treat it as such.
  • Maintain your list of beneficiaries. Don’t wait to change them when it’s necessary. And tell your beneficiaries about the insurance – don’t pay for a policy that your heirs can never claim because they don’t know about the policy or the name of the insurer.

Choosing the right term life policy requires a small investment of time, but the benefits can be priceless. The first reason for this is obvious: The right policy will help care for your beneficiaries in case you die. But the second reason, which will benefit you even if you outlive your policy, is the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you and your loved ones are covered.

7 Insurance Policies You Don’t Need

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You could almost insure every step you take in life — but you shouldn’t.

You could spend every available dollar you have on insuring against something bad happening. What’s the likelihood of something going wrong? What are the exemptions in the policy? And if you make a claim, will the payout be worth the cost?

That said, insurance can protect you, and having it can put your mind at ease. Life insurance, for example, is important to have if your family relies on your income. There are some exceptions to life insurance, but all depend on your situation and comfort level.

Putting life insurance aside, here are seven insurance policies you should consider canceling. Put money aside in an emergency fund to cover you in the rare event that something does go wrong in these areas:

Rental car insurance. We’ve all been bombarded at the rental car counter by a salesperson trying to get us to buy extra insurance as we rush through a rental agreement. Chances are your credit card covers you if you’re paying with one, or your auto insurer for your car you left at home covers rentals. Check with both companies before you leave home.

If you insist on having rental car insurance in case of an accident, one option is Protect Your Bubble. It sells rental car insurance for $8 a day, compared to the $30 or so the rental agency will charge you at the counter. The catch is you have to buy it ahead of time. The checkout counter, as many insurance companies know, isn’t the best place for a consumer to make an educated decision.

Pet insurance. Read the policy’s fine print for exclusions and coverage. Ask yourself if it’s a worthwhile expense, given that your pet may be old and be in more pain after surgery than without.

John K. Barnes, a certified financial planner for Modern Woodmen of America, says it’s a waste of money for his pet, which would cost $50 to $100 a month to insure, depending on the plan. Putting that money in a savings fund, such as $50 in a college 529 plan each month, would exceed $20,000 in 18 years, Barnes says. While your dog won’t thank you for that savings choice, your kid might.

Travel or evacuation insurance. Traveling to a foreign country can be exciting, but it can also bring trepidation before a trip — especially to somewhere covered by a U.S. Department of State travel warning.

Suzanne Garber, a travel executive who has helped thousands of people out of dangerous situations, says she has never bought travel or evacuation insurance. Medical, security or other travel emergencies can be planned for, she says. “Plans can be as elaborate as researching the destination or packing appropriate safety supplies to taking certain medications that prevent disease or discomfort while traveling.” Plus, many health care policies already cover you when traveling. She also recommends using a carryon bag to make changing flights easier if your flight is cancelled.

Auto collision insurance. If you own an old car that’s paid for, you don’t need collision insurance. It covers repairs after a car accident, but it doesn’t such non-collision events as fire, theft and vandalism. Those are covered by comprehensive auto insurance.

Both types of coverage will likely be required by your lender if you still owe money on the car. But once you own the car outright, collision insurance is optional.

If a car is totaled in an accident, insurers only pay the current value of the vehicle. So if you own an old car that isn’t worth much, you won’t get much money. You’re better off putting that collision premium in a fund to help you buy a car when you need one.

Mortgage insurance. This will pay off your home’s mortgage if you die. While that can be a major benefit to your family, you’ll save money by buying a term-life policy instead to pay off the mortgage and other bills through the length of your mortgage.

Water line insurance. This is one I get every year from my water company, reminding me that I’m responsible for the water and sewer lines between my house and the curb. If something breaks, I’ll have to pay for it. I throw each letter in the recycle bin, knowing that repair costs are a few thousand dollars that are more affordable than the insurance coverage being offered.

Credit card insurance. Your credit card company may try to sell you this, playing on your fear of losing your job and being unable to pay your credit card bill. A better idea is to not use your credit cards so much to begin with. Insurance is also sold to cover you if your credit card is stolen. Don’t buy it. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if your card is used by a thief, as long as you report it promptly.

Insurance isn’t meant to cover the little problems of life. It’s meant for the big problems that could devastate you or your family. Don’t let these small issues get in the way.

A former newspaper journalist, Aaron Crowe is a freelance writer who specializes in personal finance, real estate and insurance posts for Wisebread, MortgageLoan.com, AOL and other sites.

Is There an Insurance Company That Covers Pizza-Delivery Drivers?

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Pizza delivery is not covered in most personal auto insurance policies. If you plan on getting a job delivering pizza using your own vehicle, you will need to find a carrier who offers Hired and Non-Owned Auto Coverage in a commercial auto policy. It is important to make sure you are covered in the case of an accident. Some pizza companies have their own insured vehicles that delivery drivers use.

Progressive

  • Progressive offers pizza delivery vehicle insurance. Its policy can be customized to reflect on-season and off-season usage of your vehicle, including times when you will not be delivering pizza. There are certain discounts offered that may apply to you. Progressive provides flexible payment options including an online bill pay service. Progressive is one of the largest commercial vehicle insurance carriers in the nation. The company has an A+ rating from A.M. Best, a company that provides credit ratings and financial information for companies within the insurance industry. Progressive operates a customer service hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Sunderland Insurance

  • Sunderland Insurance Services, Inc., is a surplus-lines broker licensed in California but offering coverage in all states but Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa and Oklahoma. Its Hired & Non-Owned Auto policy specializes in hard-to-place risks that other companies exclude, including pizza delivery drivers. The coverage excludes a guaranteed-time delivery. The coverage limits are $100,000 to $5 million, as of June 2011. Sunderland Insurance uses only A.M. Best “A” Rated national insurance carriers.

International Property & Casualty Insurance Brokers of NV, Inc. (IPC)

  • IPC has a Hired & Non-Owned Auto Coverage available for pizza delivery drivers. It offers lower minimum premiums and deductibles. The policy limits are from $100,000 to $1 million, as of June 2011. IPC provides coverage in all states except New Hampshire. Coverage is in excess of the delivery driver’s personal auto policy. Premiums start at $2,700. The company was founded in 1996 and is an A.M. Best A+ rated carrier.

Crump Property & Casualty

  • Crump Insurance is the nation’s largest insurance wholesaler, offering nationwide coverage with the exception of Alaska. The company has 27 office locations in the United States and Bermuda. The Hired & Non-Owned Auto Coverage policy offers a low minimum premium starting at $1,250, as of June 2011. The minimum deductible is $2,500, but may be waived if there is valid and collectible owned-auto coverage in place.

What Is Overlap Car Insurance?

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Overlap car insurance is when a vehicle is covered for a short period of time by two insurance policies. This usually occurs when switching insurance companies.

Benefits of Overlap Car Insurance

  • Overlapping your car insurance, especially when switching insurance companies, ensures that your vehicle is covered throughout the process. A lapse of your policy can mean no coverage in the event of an accident or claim. An error can cause a lack of insurance coverage if dates are input wrong or there is confusion on the part of the agent.
    Human error can result in dates being input wrong on your new insurance policy.
    Human error can result in dates being input wrong on your new insurance policy.

Downfalls of Car Insurance Overlap

  • If your car insurance overlaps for too long, it will be expensive to pay for two policies covering the same vehicle. Also, if your insurance overlaps and you experience a loss at that time, the two insurance companies may disagree about which one pays the claim.

How Long Car Insurance Should Overlap

  • Car insurance should overlap for a day or two at the most. This will lessen the problems should there be a claim on the overlapping days. To avoid dual policies, have one end at midnight on one day and the other begin at that time.

Who Pays a Claim on Insurance Overlap Days?

  • If you need to make a claim during the days that your insurance overlaps, your new insurance company likely will pay the claim, according to the Auto Insurance Select website.
    In the event of an accident, the active insurance coverage will pay the claim.
    In the event of an accident, the active insurance coverage will pay the claim.

A Quick Guide on How to Insure Jewelry

Some of the most valuable assets in your home may be unprotected.

We’re talking about your fine jewelry: your diamond engagement ring, the vintage Rolex Dad left you, the black-pearl necklace you picked up in Tahiti. Sure, you most likely have a comprehensive insurance policy covering your house and furnishings. But homeowners’ or renter’s insurance doesn’t automatically mean every item under your roof is insured (if you’re a renter, you know of course that your belongings are not covered by the property owner’s insurance. See 6 Good Reasons To Get Renter’s Insurance).

In fact, some policies specifically exclude jewelry and other valuables (musical instruments, artwork and furs among them). Other policies limit coverage to certain types of events and to a defined dollar amount. This level of coverage can be significantly inadequate, especially if you want to replace the sort of item that has substantially appreciated in value since its purchase.

What You Need
What’s required, if you have substantial assets of this type, is additional insurance. Known as a rider or, more specifically, a floater (which targets small, moveable items), it takes over when traditional insurance coverage ends, and typically covers the insured item against fire, loss, theft or damage.

Most major insurers do not offer jewelry coverage as a stand-alone product (an underlying property insurance policy is required). But owners of valuables can purchase coverage as an add-on to their existing homeowners’ policy. In fact, most of the more well-known insurers require additional handling for high-end valuables.

Cases in Point
At USAA, for example, a typical homeowners’ policy covers jewelry lost to fire or theft, but not to accidental damage or loss. The coverage limit for jewelry is $10,000 (no per-item limit) and is subject to the policy deductible (the amount you’ll have to pay before insurance coverage kicks in). For more jewelry coverage, a separate policy is necessary.
USAA’s Valuable Personal Property policy covers a broad assortment of accidents and incidents. It will, for example, pay for a replacement diamond if the stone falls out of your engagement ring, or for repair if the ring is accidentally broken. And the deductible is $0. This coverage also applies to musical instruments and fine art. No appraisal is necessary for any jewelry items insured for $15,000 or less, though a receipt or proof of ownership is required when making a claim.

Farmers Insurance has a similar approach. In a typical homeowners’ policy, for instance, jewelry is covered up to $1,000 per item and $5,000 per incident (theft, fire). Damage due to accidents is not protected. Farmers offers riders to cover valuable items, and the deductible is chosen by the insured (starting at $0). In most cases, Farmers requires a receipt or appraisal for each item being insured.

Geico and Allstate offer comparable options. Standard policies limit personal property coverage to $1,000 to $2,000. Riders or floaters are available to increase the amount of coverage, and to cover loss and damage not covered by the main policy.

What To Ask
When you look around for the best policy, keep these questions in mind to ask the insurer:

How exactly claims are handled: Will you be required to purchase a replacement and then request reimbursement,or will the insurer send a check first?
Is the item’s full replacement cost covered and how is that amount determined (especially if the item is antique or custom-made)?
Do coverage limits fluctuate with the price of precious metals or gems?
How often can/should you submit updated appraisals?
What proof of loss or damage will be required?
Which exclusions does the policy have? What types of loss and damage are not covered?
Additional Tips
Before buying your policy – and when making additions to it down the road:

Have your item(s) professionally appraised, to determine their value for insurance purposes.
Take photos of the item(s).
If you have the option, as with the aforementioned Farmers Insurance rider, consider increasing the deductible to lower the insurance premiums.
Once your policy is in place:

Keep all your items’ receipts, appraisal paperwork and photos locked away in a safe (but easily accessible) place.
Store items securely when you aren’t wearing them.
Avoid traveling with irreplaceable or extremely valuable jewelry.
The Bottom Line
Most insurance providers offer discounts to customers who purchase multiple policies. If you purchase your home, auto, life and property insurance from a single provider, you are likely to get a better deal overall (see Making Sure Your Jewelry Is Insured).

If you don’t have homeowners’ or renter’s insurance, you may be able to purchase stand-alone coverage from a provider that specializes in insuring jewelry. Some jewelers offer such policies, or can recommend a company that does.

How to Find Out Who I Had Car Insurance With in the Past

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Whether you’re searching for information on an old insurance claim or searching for paperwork to complete your personal files, it can be frustrating when you can’t remember the name of the company that once provided your auto insurance. There is, however, no need to panic. With a bit of patience, a few phone calls, and a little research, you should be able to locate the name of the insurance company that covered your vehicles.

Instructions

  1. Start by contacting your former insurance agent. If he was an independent representative who sold products for several companies, he may still have file containing details about your former insurance company. Ask the agent to search his computerized files as well. Advise him of any characteristics that may have differentiated your from the average customer. For instance, tell him if you had young drivers on your policy or if you had moving violations. The agent may have worked closely with one or two companies that fit your needs at the time. These details will help him to remember the company with which he would have placed your business.
  2. Call the corporate offices of the insurance company with which you think you had coverage. Tell the company representative your name and address. Then, advise her that you are researching your prior insurance history and would like her to search for old policies that may have belonged to you.
  3. Look through your personal files for insurance papers, expired insurance cards and claims reports. Look through your old vehicle titles and registrations for old insurance paperwork that may be stored there. Check the glove compartment of your vehicle for old insurance cards that may be inside.
  4. Review your old credit card statements for charges initiated by insurance companies. Ask your bank to review your payment history. Any electronic check transactions, automated debits or credit card charges processed by your old insurance company would appear in your banking history. Contact any insurance companies whose names may appear on your statements. Have those companies search for your information in their computer systems.
  5. Contact the department of motor vehicles or appropriate agency to ask if it has information on the name of your insurance company in prior months or years. The compliance office at the agency may have recorded the name of your former insurance company as many states monitor the insurance habits of licensed drivers.
  6. If you have a lien on the vehicle you insure, contact the lien holder. There is a strong likelihood that the bank will have information on file about who your current and prior insurance companies are as they have insurable interest in the property as well. They often monitor this information as a condition of your loan agreement.

How to Become an Insurance Agent

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A high school diploma and insurance classes are the basic requirements to become an insurance agent. Most companies provide on-the-job training, and you must pass licensing exams from your state and understand the common types of policies, such as health, life, property and liability insurance. A college degree can be helpful, especially for gaining promotions, but a willingness to learn is the basic requirement for a career as an insurance agent.

On-the-Job Training

  • Insurance companies typically teach new hires how to work with clients and how the agencies do business. Often they assign a new agent to work alongside an experienced salesperson as a shadow. Some insurance companies offer formal classes or online instruction for new personnel.

    Internships and co-ops are available for college students and graduates at some insurance companies. The idea is that if these work out well, the companies will then hire the interns as permanent employees.

Meeting Licensing Requirements

  • In most states, you must complete a specific course of study before taking licensing exams. In some states, you take different classes depending on the type of insurance you wish to sell. For example, Georgia requires taking a class on property or accident insurance, while in Pennsylvania, agents must complete 24 hours of general insurance study to become licensed.

    You typically must fulfill additional state requirements, such as a background check and fee payment, before passing exams to receive your license.

The College Advantage

  • A college degree or college coursework, while not mandatory, can improve your prospects for advancement. Classes in business, economics, sales and public speaking are helpful, and provide the skills you’ll need for management jobs.

    Some colleges offer an insurance major within the business department, including classes in liability and property insurance. Classes in the major may also cover risk management, pension planning, policy coverage, pricing and workers’ compensation.

Continuing Education and Certifications

  • Insurance companies typically encourage sales agents to continue their education. For example, companies may provide instruction on new products, coaching on sales methods and Web seminars. Most states also require continuing education for licensing. Qualifying topics may include ethics, consumer protections and insurance policies.

    Optional certifications are available from the American College of Financial Services and The Institutes. The classes required for these certifications may count as continuing education to renew your license.

    Some insurance agents take additional licensing exams to sell securities. These exams are available from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA.

Desirable Personal Characteristics

  • An outgoing personality, self-confidence and sales skills are essential for a career as an insurance agent. You need the ability to take initiative to contact customers “cold” and convince them to purchase policies. You must be a careful listener to meet customers’ needs, and an able communicator to explain the advantages of different types of policies. Deciding what policy is right for each customer also requires analytical skills.

Prospects and Pay

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 10 percent increase in jobs for insurance agents between 2012 and 2022 — about the same as the expected 11 percent increase for all jobs. The BLS notes that additional positions will open up because some agents quit when they can’t meet their earnings expectations.

    Many agents receive at least part of their pay as commissions or bonuses. Agents’ wages averaged $63,730 annually in 2014, according to the BLS.

    The BLS expects the best prospects for insurance agents with superior sales skills who are licensed to sell both insurance and financial products. Fluency in a second language is also a plus.

How to Obtain Car Insurance After a Policy is Cancelled

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It isn’t impossible to obtain car insurance after a policy has been cancelled, but it can be costly. Since car insurance is required in every state, you will be in violation of state law if you drive a registered vehicle on public roads without insurance. A cancelled insurance policy isn’t the end of the world, as long as you take the cancellation notice seriously and obtain replacement coverage before the policy expires.

Instructions

  1. Rectify the reason for cancellation, if possible. If your policy was cancelled for non payment, then pay the outstanding amount owed to have the policy reinstated. If it was cancelled for underwriting reasons, such as too many moving violations or too many accidents, take a safe-driver class to help reduce the risk. Your auto insurance history follows you and becomes the basis for underwriting your future auto insurance policies.
  2. Seek a new auto insurance company if you cannot reinstate your current policy. The cancellation may make it difficult to find a standard auto insurance company willing to insure your car. Depending on the reason for your prior cancellation, you might have to seek coverage from the Assigned Risk Pool. The Assigned Risk Pool is a collection of insurance companies mandated by the state to provide insurance for hard-to-insure drivers.
  3. Visit your state’s Department of Insurance to find the listing of Assigned Risk Insurance Companies in your area if you cannot secure coverage elsewhere. These are companies mandated by your state to provide coverage for hard-to-insure drivers. Select a company from that list and apply for coverage. Whether your replacement coverage comes from another company or the Assigned Risk Pool, expect to pay a higher premium.
  4. Complete the application thoroughly and honestly. As mentioned earlier, your auto insurance history follows you, and it’s easy for an underwriter to determine if you are stretching the truth on your application. Lying on an insurance application gives the insurance company the right to void your coverage. In fact, if an insurance company pays a claim and later learns you lied on the application, it may be able to void your policy and you may be required to reimburse the company for claims paid. Voided coverage can potentially be worse than having a cancelled policy.

How to Get the Best Price on Car & House Insurance

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Auto and home insurance rates vary for each locality. Regional weather conditions effect house insurance, and factors like population and frequency of accidents figure into local auto insurance rates. The best rates are found by checking with several companies that cover both homes and cars for cheap insurance quotes. The company with the cheapest car insurance may have high homeowner’s rates. Taking the time to shop and compare car insurance and homeowner’s coverage is the key to finding good prices.

Instructions

  1. Check with several companies that underwrite both home and auto insurance (see the Resources section for links). Ask for quotes by phone or through online tools to compare car insurance and homeowner’s insurance rates.
  2. Ask your employer or college if they are part of a group with any auto and home insurance companies. Group discounts often give the best rates regardless of other companies’ discounts.
  3. Choose high-deductible rates for cheap insurance quotes. The deductible is the amount you pay for claims out-of-pocket before the insurance begins to pay for losses. The more you are willing to pay in deductibles, the less you have to pay in premiums.
  4. Call insurance providers to ask about multiple policy discounts. Most insurance companies will discount the cost of both policies for customers who buy car and house insurance.
  5. Inquire about any discount that may lower your premium cost. Homeowner rates are lowered by security systems, lighting, fire resistant construction and up-to-date plumbing and electrical equipment. A good driving record, anti-lock brakes, airbags and alarm systems help you get the cheapest car insurance rates.

How to Switch Insurance From Car to Car

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When you change cars, transferring your insurance from one vehicle to the other should be a priority. Depending on your auto insurance company, the process could be as simple as calling your agent. If you know in advance that you plan to change cars, it’s a good idea to call your agent to verify the company’s policies ahead of time. Even though swapping insurance from one car to another should prove a fairly simple process, you need to be aware of your company’s procedures so that you don’t risk a loss of coverage during the switch.

Instructions

  1. Evaluate your coverage limits to determine if you need to change your deductible or policy limits. Carinsurance.com recommends that you determine which coverage is required and from there decide “what you have that needs to be protected” beyond the minimum. At the very least, consider your liability, comprehensive and collision coverage limits to ensure that you have adequate coverage.
  2. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible after you change vehicles. Neglecting to promptly inform your agent of your car change could result in an unpaid claim if you were to have an accident in the meantime. If possible, call your agent before driving the new car. Now is the time to inform your agent of any changes you want to make in deductibles or coverage limits.
  3. Provide your insurance company with the details of your new car. Typically, your agent will need to know the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the car, the make and model, and the purchase price, if applicable. Most auto insurance companies will transfer your coverage from your former vehicle to your new car over the phone.
  4. Ask your insurance agent about the billing process for your coverage change. If there is a difference in rates, your company may send you a short bill for the difference to cover the period between your car change and your next regular billing statement.
  5. Request an updated insurance card from your agent. Some states require drivers to keep proof of insurance in the vehicle. When you change cars, you’ll need a record of insurance that lists the correct vehicle under coverage.
  6. Check your short bill or next auto insurance statement for accuracy. Make sure your deductible and coverage limits are correct, and address any discrepancies immediately.

How to Get Health Insurance

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While you may not need life insurance, and you might be willing to risk not having earthquake insurance, don’t gamble with health insurance. Just a couple of days in the hospital can drain almost anyone’s savings. Health insurance can be expensive, but with a little research, you can find coverage that fits your budget.

Instructions

  1. Sign on with the health insurance provided by your employer: it is likely to be the cheapest option you can find. Search for your own insurance if you’re self-employed, or if your company doesn’t offer it.
  2. Investigate coverage under COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1985) if you’ve recently left your employer. Through COBRA you can extend your coverage for 18 months beyond your separation date, though you have to pay the premium yourself.
  3. Find a health insurance broker to compare plans and costs for you. The National Association of Health Underwriters (nahu.org) can help find one in your area.
  4. Purchase a fee-for-service plan. The biggest plus is that you have complete control over which doctor you see and determine for yourself when you need to see a specialist. However, there is a significant out-of-pocket cost for this kind of care, the premiums are generally higher, and if your doctor charges more than what is considered customary, you may have to shell out additionally for that care as well.
  5. Sign up for a managed care plan where your insurance provider determines which doctors you can see. There are three basic kinds of managed care:
  6. Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) have a list of doctors to select from when choosing a physician who will be your first contact for health care. If you see doctors in your insurer’s network, you pay a low co-payment. However, if you see a physician not in the network, your co-pay is higher. You also generally don’t need prior approval to see a specialist–PPOs give you the most flexibility but cost more in monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
  7. Point-of-service (POS) networks are similar to PPOs, except that your primary care physician makes decisions about which specialists you can and can’t see. You can still see a physician outside the POS network, but face higher fees and more paperwork to do so.
  8. Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) are the most restrictive, yet least expensive managed care programs. Most require that you see a doctor in their network, but offer low or no copays in exchange. Many HMOs also require you to see your primary care physician before getting referred to a specialist.
  9. Find out if benefits are limited for preexisting conditions, or if you have to wait for a period of time before you’re fully covered. Other plans may completely exclude coverage of preexisting conditions.
  10. Compare the prescription drug coverage offered by various plans. Many plans have tiered benefit systems, and usually offer a preferred list of prescriptions that have a lower co-pay. Search for any medication you are taking on this list; drugs not on the list can have a co-pay that is twice as high. Also, see if any plans limit the amounts of new prescriptions or refills on a given drug.
  11. Check to make sure your regular doctors are on your plan’s preferred provider list. All plans provide a database of their provider list on their Web site. Go with a plan that lists most or all of your regular doctors. Be aware that most PPOs will pay up to 20 percent less for out-of-network doctors.
  12. Investigate what sorts of delays you may encounter with managed care. Some plans are notorious about keeping members waiting to see a doctor. Ask a doctor you intend to visit how long a typical wait is before you choose a plan.
  13. Shop around. Call several agents and compare policies and premiums.
  14. Look into other potential sources for health insurance. Alumni associations, professional groups, fraternal organizations and other associations often offer health coverage to their members.

How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance in Florida

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There are many different ways to get cheap auto insurance in Florida. Many times you can make a great deal on auto insurance even better. Knowing the minimum requirements and certain tricks about auto insurance in Florida will make this process easy. The steps below will help guide you to find the best deal on cheap auto insurance in Florida.

Instructions

  1. First, know the basics about Florida Auto Insurance…
    Knowing the basic requirements of Florida auto insurance is crucial. You do not want to buy more than you need or choose the wrong type of policy. Auto insurance in Florida requires 10,000 in PIP and PDL auto insurance at all times.
    The resource section below has a link to an additional Ehow article on the required insurance in Florida.
  2. Next, do an online comparison to find cheap auto insurance in Florida…
    Once you have basic knowledge on what type of company you are looking for you should do an online comparison of cheap auto insurance options in Florida. Think of using a site like Progressive that will allow you to enter your information once and still give you a comparison of several companies. Many times insurance companies will offer better rates online because they know you can easily compare other offers. Once you have narrowed down your selection move on to the next step for additional savings.
  3. Then, look for employee or membership discounts on auto insurance in Florida…
    Now that you have the names of a few auto insurance companies in Florida that fit your budget you can look for additional discounts. Do an online search using the insurance company name and the search term member discounts. You will find there may be some organization discounts. If you are a member of an organization you can take advantage of this. Check with your employer to see if they have a group rate or discount with any of the companies on your list. If you don’t find any contact the auto insurance company directly and ask what discounts they offer. You may find that you are eligible for a discount you were not aware of. This will help make you auto insurance cheaper than expected.
  4. Last, save more on auto insurance in Florida by earning rewards on payments…
    You can use a reward debit card as visa to make your auto insurance payments. Using a debit rewards program will not cost you more because there is not interest or fees involved. This necessary expense will earn you cash back or rewards each time you make a payment. The type of rewards will depend on your debit card reward program.

How to Find Cheap Car Insurance In Canada

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The economy these days makes how to find cheap car insurance in Canada a big issue. So you know you need insurance, it is mandatory in Canada, and you know that you can’t afford to waste money? What do you do first? What do you look for? What if you don’t live in Canada but are only a visitor? Can you still find cheap car insurance in Canada? The answer is yes, you can find car insurance that fits your budget if you know where to look.

Instructions

  1. r insurance that fits your budget if you know where to look.
    1. Your first step should be getting all your ducks in a row, in other words get your license numbers, dates of any moving violations, and make sure you have this information for all the drivers you will want to be covered under your policy. The fewer strikes you have against your clean driving record, the less expensive your car insurance in Canada is going to be, but you must have the information so the agent or or insurance quote tool can provide you will accurate quotes.
  2. How much do you know about insurance, especially insurance in your province? Do you know what the minimum amount of 3rd party liability insurance is that you are required by your province to carry? If the answer is no, it is important you speak to a car insurance agent. They are not always the best source for cheap car insurance in Canada but they can provide you with a quote for the company they represent and they will keep you legal. In Canada everyone is required to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance and the amount varies with your province.
  3. Canadians are not the only group who might be looking for cheap car insurance in Canada. For instance, all drivers including visitors are required to carry the minimum amount of liability insurance. Americans who are just driving across the border can probably just check with their current insurance company and be sure they are covered and that their coverage meets the minimum liability coverage. Rental cars are almost always covered and you can be sure though they are not perhaps the number 1 source of cheap car insurance in Canada they will keep you legal to drive. Others should ensure they know the minimum amount of coverage required in Canada as well since liability while driving is taken very seriously there.
  4. If you know how much minimum coverage you need in your province (from 50,000 – 200,000) you can use the comparison method with no problems or fear of having less coverage than you need. The sources for these comparisons vary with what you are comfortable with. An independent insurance representative may provide you with just the cheap car insurance coverage you need in Canada. If you are more digitally oriented you can go online and use one of the Canadian car insurance comparison tools. You will find several listed in your search engine, just make sure you specify Canada Unfortunately, American or Italian insurance policies probably won’t work for you. The tools will give you policies, exclusions, and of course just how cheap this car insurance is for Canadians you won’t have the benefit of sitting across from a Canadian insurance representative and asking questions.

6 Reasons Healthcare Is So Expensive in the U.S.

Healthcare in the U.S. costs about twice as much as it does in any other developed country. If the $3 trillion U.S. healthcare sector were ranked as a country, it would be the world’s fifth largest economy according to “Consumer Reports.” The cost of this huge financial burden to every household because of lost wages, higher premiums and taxes plus additional out-of-pocket expenses is more than $8,000.

Even with all this money being spent on healthcare, the World Health Organization ranked the U.S. thirty-seventh in healthcare systems, and The Commonwealth Fund placed the U.S. last among the top 11 industrialized countries in overall healthcare.

Why is the U.S. paying so much more for care and not appearing at the top of the rankings? Here’s a look at six key reasons the U.S. is failing to provide adequate healthcare at reasonable prices.

1. Administrative Costs
The number one reason our healthcare costs are so high, says Harvard economist David Cutler, is that “the administrative costs of running our healthcare system are astronomical. About one quarter of healthcare cost is associated with administration, which is far higher than in any other country.”

One example Cutler brought up in a discussion on this topic with National Public Radio was the 1,300 billing clerks at Duke University Hospital, which has only 900 beds. Those billing specialists are needed to determine how to bill to meet the varying requirements of multiple insurers. Canada and other countries that have a single-payer system don’t require this level of staffing to administer healthcare.

2. Drug Costs
Another major difference in health costs between the U.S. and every other developed nation is the cost of drugs. The public definitely believes drug costs are unreasonable; now politicians are starting to believe that too. In most countries the government negotiates drug prices with the drug makers, but when Congress created Medicare Part D, it specifically denied Medicare the right to use its power to negotiate drug prices. The Veteran’s Administration and Medicaid, which can negotiate drug prices, pay the lowest drug prices. The Congressional Budget Office has found that just by giving the low-income beneficiaries of Medicare Part D the same discount Medicaid recipients get, the federal government would save $116 billion over 10 years. Think of what the savings might be if all Medicare recipients could benefit from Medicaid-negotiated drug prices!

3. Defensive Medicine
Yet another big driver of the higher U.S. health insurance bill is the practice of defensive medicine. Doctors are afraid that they will get sued, so they order multiple tests even when they are certain they know what the diagnosis is. A Gallup survey estimated that $650 billion annually could be attributed to defensive medicine. Everyone pays the bill on this with higher insurance premiums, co-pays and out-of-pocket costs, as well as taxes that go toward paying for governmental healthcare programs.
4. Expensive Mix of Treatments
U.S. medical practitioners also tend to use a more expensive mix of treatments. When compared with other developed countries, for example, the U.S. uses three times as many mammograms, two-and-a-half times the number of MRIs and 31% more Caesarean sections. This results in more being spent on technology in more locations. Another key part of the mix is that more people in the U.S. are treated by specialists, whose fees are higher than primary-care doctors, when the same types of treatments are done at the primary-care level in other countries. Specialists command higher pay, which drives the costs up in the U.S. for everyone.

5. Wages and Work Rules
Wages and staffing drive costs up in healthcare. Specialists are commanding high reimbursements and the overutilization of specialists through the current process of referral decision-making drives health costs even higher. The National Commission on Physician Payment Reform was the first step in fixing the problem; based on its 2013 report, the commission adopted 12 recommendations for changes to get control over physician pay. Now it is working with Congress to find a way to implement some of these recommendations.

6. Branding
“There is no such thing as a legitimate price for anything in healthcare,” says George Halvorson, the former chairman of health maintenance organization Kaiser Permanente. “Prices are made up depending on who the payer is.”

Providers who can demand the highest prices are the ones that create a brand everyone wants. “In some markets the prestigious medical institutions can name their price,” says Andrea Cabarello, program director at Catalyst for Payment Reform, a nonprofit that works with large employers to get some control on health costs.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has pushed back to some degree against the high costs created by branding. In central Florida, for example, one of the top brands is Florida Hospital. This year ACA policies offered by Humana did not include services provided by this brand. Similar types of contract negotiations knocked out top hospitals in other locations. It remains to be seen whether this will cause those hospitals to reduce prices to get those patients back.

The Bottom Line
Most other developed countries control costs, in part, by having the government play a stronger role in negotiating prices for healthcare. Their healthcare systems don’t require the high administrative costs that drive up pricing in the U.S. As the global overseers of their country’s systems, these governments have the ability to negotiate lower drug, medical equipment and hospital costs. They can influence the mix of treatments used and patients’ ability to go to specialists or seek more expensive treatments.

So far in the U.S., there has been a lack of political support for the government taking a larger role in controlling healthcare costs. The most recent legislation, the Affordable Care Act, focused on ensuring access to healthcare, but maintained the status quo to encourage competition among insurers and healthcare providers. This means there will be multiple payers for the services and less powerful control over negotiated pricing from providers of healthcare services.

How to Find Cheap Car Insurance in Spain

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Visitors to Spain and residents alike are constantly asking how to find cheap car insurance in Spain. Spain does have compulsory 3rd party liability coverage laws. The fines for driving without insurance in Spain are hefty. In fact is compulsory to carry your proof of insurance with you as well at all times. Residents of Spain will probably not have too hard a time finding cheap car insurance in Spain. Spanish is a primary language for them and their cars are registered in Spain. Visitors and expatriates may have a lot harder time. We will cover both types of drivers and how to find cheap car insurance in Spain in this article.

Instructions

  1. Residents of Spain will have their vehicle almost surely have their vehicle registered in Spain, the easiest way for a resident to find cheap car insurance in Spain is either an online search tool (be sure and specify Spain) or an independent insurance representative. It must be a Spanish agency if your car is registered in Spain. That might seem complicated but it is the law. An online search car insurance search tool will give you the rates and comparative coverage amounts for each company. Simply type in “car insurance Spain comparison” you should come up with several companies offering to compare rates with others. Be aware some companies will not insure high performance vehicles and you will need to include the information on your vehicle type with your insurance application.
  2. The people who are most likely to have the hardest time getting cheap car insurance in Spain are the tourist, and expatriate. For those who have brought their vehicle that is registered in another country particularly the UK, there are a couple of steps you should follow to be sure you are insured at the cheapest rate possible. Insurance rates in Spain are some of the lowest rates in Europe, however it is the law in Spain that only Spain registered cars can be insured by a Spanish insurance company. European insurance companies in general issue an automatic green card so you are covered in other European countries. Not so with the UK, which limit the period of time they will extend a green card, x number of days in a year. Before your visit, a UK resident with a UK registered car will want to contact their insurer and if their coverage can remain in effect in Spain and for how long.
  3. You can also find car insurance in Spain through a European based insurance company with a branch in Spain. This is permitted by law there. You might want to be aware though, the rates are often anything but cheap if you must choose this option.
  4. The final alternative is for expatriates or persons on extended visits from the UK with a British registered car, usually if you spend over 6 months in Spain you may be required to take out a special European insurance policy or insure your vehicle through a British car insurance company with a branch in Spain. How easy it is to find cheap car insurance in Spain will depend upon where your vehicle is registered and the policies in force by your current insurer.

Is My Health Insurance Good In Another State?

You just got a new job – congratulations – or maybe decided to retire. And you’ll be leaving your state to do so. Does the insurance you have now cross state lines when your moving truck does?

It may or it may not. But there are things you can do to make sure you keep your coverage or pick up new coverage so you can avoid any gaps. Don’t let yourself be that person who breaks a leg or gets diagnosed with cancer while uninsured, all in an attempt to save a few bucks. Health insurance is expensive. Getting caught without it can be more so.

Employer Provided Health Insurance
If you’re moving states because your employer is transferring you. then you’ll likely stay on that employer’s plan, providing it has a complete network in the new city. If it doesn’t, the employer might find you a new plan in the new city.

If You’re Leaving A Job Behind
If you’re leaving your job and moving to a new state – or even if you’re not changing states – you have the ability to extend your coverage by something known as COBRA, which is an acronym for a particular federal law. As your existing health insurance ends, you can get coverage extended another 18 to 36 months (depending on your circumstances), which could tide you over in the new state. But this only works if the insurer has a network in the new state that makes it feasible to get treatment. And you’ll face sticker shock as well: Under COBRA coverage, you pay the full cost of premiums – so you’ll suddenly be aware of how much your employer had been paying for their share of your coverage. Full details on COBRA are available here. (You may want to read What You Need To Know About COBRA.)

Insurance Shopping In Your New State
If you need to buy insurance in the new state, the Affordable Care Act made that easier. Under the 2010 health insurance law popularly known as Obamacare, you can move to a new state and become eligible to buy insurance in that new state. Moving triggers a special enrollment period so you can select a plan right away. If your state doesn’t run its own exchange, you can use the federal exchange: healthcare.gov. You may want to check out Essential Health Benefits Under The Affordable Care Act.)
Much of the uncertainty of moving to a new state has vanished with provisions of the new law.

If you move to a new state, but don’t immediately have a permanent home, you are still eligible to get insurance in your new state, as long as you intend to remain there.

Where Should A Snowbird Get Insurance?
The exchange, in most instances, will accept your statement regarding change of state residence without any verification. However, you may need to provide documentation that you have moved and intend to reside in a new state if there is some information available that suggests you may live in a different state.

Let’s say you have coverage through an ACA exchange and are a snowbird – living part of the year in one state up north and other in the winter in the south. You should buy coverage in the state where you spend most of the time, pay taxes, and officially reside. If you truly split your time in half or even in thirds, it might be worthwhile to consider plans offered by insurers that use a national provider network so that you could find participating providers in more than one state.

How To Insure The College Student Or Grown Child Under 26?
You can cover your adult children who attend college in another state under your healthcare plan. But check out if your student will be able to find medical providers in-network nearby. Some insurers have agreements with companies in other states. Otherwise, you may need to look into a separate plan.

How to Get Cheaper Online Auto Insurance Quotes

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Not only is auto insurance required by law but it’s also a good thing to have should you get into an accident or your auto is stolen. Unfortunately rates vary greatly between auto insurance companies and the cost of the premiums can equal or even exceed the payments on your auto. This is especially true for new drivers or one with a poor driving record. With some research on your part and following some simple steps you too can get cheaper auto insurance quotes online.

Instructions

  1. Search around, don’t automatically assume the largest companies will have the best rates. In fact, they spend a significant amount of money on advertising, which is paid for by you, their customer. Don’t be afraid to visit sites of lesser known insurance companies, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at their rates. Lot’s of lesser known insurance companies will give you a lower online insurance quote, you just have to find them.
  2. Take a defensive driving course. 5 hours of your time could equal 10% off your premiums. It’s a good idea to take one of these every few years anyway as it will reduce your insurance rates and remove points from your license. A win – win situation for you. A little known fact is the motorcycle safety course also gives a discount on your auto insurance premiums. Make sure the insurance company knows you have the completion certificate, that way you’ll get cheaper online auto insurance quotes.
  3. Buy a auto with inherent lower insurance rates. Don’t buy a Ferrari for a new 18 year old driver. Go with a safer auto, your rates will be much cheaper when you apply for an online insurance quote.
  4. Instead of taking a low deductable. Take a $1000 deductable and just put $1000 in a savings account. Not only will your rates be lower, but your money will earn interest in the bank. Another win – win situation.
  5. Don’t automatically assume that adding a second vehicle to your existing policy will give you lower rates. Always get an online insurance quote listing both vehicles from another auto insurance company.
  6. If your state allows insurance companies to check your credit rating as part of their quote then do everything you can to clean it up before you ask for an online auto insurance quote.

5 New Ways to Save Big Bucks in Managing Your Money

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There are countless startups sitting on mountains of venture capital money and promising to change the world. Most journalists have focused on the world of payments, and that focus only increased with the launch of ApplePay. But ApplePay offers convenience, not value. While it is fun using an iPhone at a checkout (if you are lucky enough to find one that accepts ApplePay), it certainly won’t help you prepare for retirement.

Technology is finally being used to transform consumer financial services in a dramatic way. You no longer need to settle for 0.01 percent on your savings account. It has never been easier to shop for cheaper auto insurance. You don’t have to pay 25 percent interest on that store credit card. You don’t have to pay 1 percent (or more) to have customized financial planning. Even student loans can now be refinanced at dramatically lower rates, thanks to innovative startups, and not traditional banks.

Here are the five biggest innovations that can actually save you significant money and help you retire early.

  1. Branch-free banks deliver savings accounts with rates 100 times better than traditional banks. The largest banks are paying an average of 0.01 percent on basic savings accounts. If you have $25,000 in an account, you will earn a ridiculously low $2.50 interest over the next 12 months. You could easily earn $280 by switching to an Internet-only savings account paying 1.15 percent. And it is easy to find some of the best interest rates online, by using a comparison site like MagnifyMoney, which I operate.
  2. Shopping for the best auto insurance premium is easy and quick. The majority of Americans use an agent to make a decision. But agents are tied to just a handful of auto insurance companies and usually cannot give you a full comparison. A number of new websites offer you the ability to compare auto insurance easily and quickly online. One of the best is TheZebra, which has compared over 1,700 products from more than 200 insurance companies. In just a few minutes, and without giving any personal information, you can very quickly see how much you could save on a quote. Even if you don’t want to change providers, it is worth doing a quick test drive and seeing if you qualify.
  3. Personal loan companies give you alternatives to obscenely high interest rates on credit cards. Store credit cards regularly charge 25 percent, regardless of your credit quality. And credit cards typically charge 15 percent or more. Historically, the only real way to save money was to surf your debt from one balance transfer to another. However, over the last few years, some dynamic new personal loan companies have been created. LendingClub is the most famous, and borrowers refinancing credit card debt cut their interest rates an average of 31 percent. Even better, you can apply for most of these loans without hurting your credit score. If you are looking to refinance your credit card debt and cut up those cards, shop around for the best deal. Go toMagnifyMoney’s personal loan comparison page to find the best rate.
  4. Low, flat fees for financial planning boost your return. If you go to a traditional brokerage, you will quickly realize that they make money from commissions on trading. As a result, they have a tendency to encourage frequent trading and more expensive products. The data is clear: consistently beating the stock market with actively managed mutual funds is virtually impossible over time. However, stock brokers still make plenty of money trying and failing to do just that. Many financial planners charge a percentage of assets (typically 1 percent) and provide better advice. All of that is changing with companies like Betterment. They charge a low, flat fee to provide financial planning. If you have $100,000 invested, you could save $55,000 over 20 years, by paying only 0.15 percent of your assets as a fee.
  5. Companies can refinance student loan debt at lower rates.Interest rates on student loan debt can be extremely high, and America’s student loan debt exceeds credit card debt. It isn’t a surprise that innovative companies are looking to help qualified borrowers refinance student loan debt. The leader in this market is SoFi, whose variable rates start as low as 1.9 percent. The savings over a lifetime can be dramatic.

I lived in the Silicon Valley during the first dot-com boom. Sock puppets were trying to sell us pet food, and financial services were left largely untouched. All five of these new business models present existential threats to the profitability of big, entrenched banks and financial service companies. That is great news for consumers. Hopefully everyone will be moving their emergency fund to an online bank, refinancing their credit card and student loan debt to low interest rates, slashing their auto insurance premiums and virtually eliminating investment fees. Technology has the power to put more money in our pockets. It is now up to us to use that power.

How to Get the Cheapest Homeowners Insurance

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Homeowners insurance protects your home from expenses that arise due to natural calamities, fire, theft, vandalism and so on. The insurance coverage depends on the value of your home and its contents, while the premium rate depends on the location, quality of construction and level of security. Follow these tips if you want to buy the cheapest homeowners insurance.

Instructions

1.     Estimate the value of your home and belongings including the replacement value of your home, interior furnishings, jewelry, electronics and so forth. Companies like Infinity Home Improvement and many other contractors can provide some appraisal services or remodeling/renovation that you need to have completed before policy changes take effect.

2.     Go online and find out the variable cost of homeowners insurance. The annual premium can vary from $500 to $2,000, depending on the company and type of coverage. Those who are age 62 and over may benefit from reduced premium rates from some companies.

3.     Learn about the regulating authority responsible for insurance rates in the state where you live. The rates for homeowners insurance need approval from the insurance department of the state.

4.     Get quotes from different insurance companies. Most insurance companies have Web sites where you can request online quotes or talk to local agents and compare policies.

5.     Combine policies with the same provider if possible. For example, if you have an auto policy or plan to buy one, combining this with a homeowners policy will lower your premium rate.

6.     Inquire about business tie-ups and affiliations. Many insurance companies have tie-ups with home security system providers. If you buy and install a security system from a company’s associate list, you may qualify for discounts on installations as well as lower premium quote.

7.     Check into buying multiple policies from the same company for other family members’ homes if they are willing to do so. You could be eligible for even more discounts if offered.

How to Change the Owner Name on a Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

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Homeowner’s insurance protects your investment against disasters like flood, fire and windstorm. There are times when, though you own the home, you may want to change owner names on the home insurance policy. For example, if you’ve recently married or entered into a domestic partnership, and have changed the title on your home, you may want to add your spouse’s name to your insurance policy. Changing homeowner names on an insurance policy is usually a straightforward process.

Instructions

  1. Decide whose names you want on the home insurance policy. The names on the insurance policy must usually match the names on the home title.
  2. Call your insurance company and ask to speak with a customer service representative about policy changes. Your insurance company will have specific rules that you need to abide by when making changes. For example, you may be required to fill out a specific form or have a document notarized.
  3. Follow your insurances company’s instructions. For example, send in the letter or the form that you are required to fill out. Changes are usually effective when your insurance company receives the documentation.

How to Obtain Auto Insurance

Car insurance can be ridiculously expensive, but by avoiding excessive coverage and perhaps paying a higher deductible, you can get affordable insurance that actually protects you. Before you shop, however, make sure there are no errors on your driving record or your credit record. A surprise on either can jack up your rates.

Instructions

  1. Contact the DMV to find out about any outstanding violations you might have on your driving record and straighten them out. Order a free credit report from a company like Experian.com to make sure it’s clean.
  2. Find out how much coverage you’re required to carry according to your state’s department of insurance and determine which types of coverage you’ll need. This requires balancing how much you can afford to pay with how much you can afford to lose. You should carry enough liability to cover your assets if you cause a very expensive accident; otherwise the claimant might go after your house and possessions.
  3. Shop around for quotes based on what you’ve determined you need, instead of asking agencies what they think you need. Independent insurance agents and Web sites like esurance.com, Insweb.com and AllQuotesInsurance.com will compare rates for you. Are you willing to pay more for a well-known company?
  4. See what you can get discounts for. Here are some of the things you may already have that can save you money: air bags, antilock brakes, automatic seat belts, antitheft devices, safe driving record, safe car, age, marital status and multiple insured vehicles.
  5. Ask the carrier if filing a claim raises premiums, and under which circumstances it cancels insurance.
  6. Research prospective insurers. To learn how the company’s service is regarded, talk to other customers and repair shops who have worked with the insurer. Check out the company’s rating with your state’s department of insurance, the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) and national consumer surveys. The company should be in good standing so you can collect when there’s a claim.
  7. Read your policy before signing. Make sure it includes the coverage you’re requesting and no surprise clauses. Avoid arbitration clauses that keep you from suing your insurer if it doesn’t pay a claim by asking the insurer to delete it from the contract or going to another insurer.
  8. Keep the policy in a safe place, and keep proof of insurance in the car with your registration.

Is It Worth It To Insure My Wedding Ring?

Couples spent an average of $5,855 on their engagement rings in 2014 and, of course, it’s easy to spend a good deal more. Coverage of jewelry through renter’s and homeowner’s insurance remains limited, though, with most policies paying out a maximum of $1,500 to $2,500 – a fraction of what the newly engaged or married stand to lose should damage or theft befall their rings.

Check Your Current Coverage
Before making any additional policy purchases or changing your insurance, check to see what coverage you already have through your renter’s or homeowner’s policy and how that coverage compares to the value of your rings.

For example, your insurance policy may have a personal property limit of $1,000 per item of jewelry. If the value of your ring falls below that threshold, you may not need to purchase any additional coverage. (See Making Sure Your Jewelry Is Insured.)

Before checking wedding-ring insurance off your list of nuptial to-dos, though, read through the remainder of the personal property policy. Are there any group limits on your jewelry, i.e. a limit for the collective value of all items in addition to each individual piece? If so, you may need to reassess the sufficiency of your coverage compared to the value of what you own.

Get An Appraisal
In addition to providing a definitive value for your rings, an appraisal is often required when purchasing supplemental insurance coverage. Before you go for one, take a look through potential jewelry coverage options to make sure the appraisal you get will adhere to the required guidelines of the insurance company.

To find an appraiser with proper training and credentials in your area, search the directory of the American Gem Society. Be prepared to pay around $50 to $150 per hour for the service. (For more, see Introduction To Gemology.)
Consider Coverage Options
If the value of your rings exceeds your current coverage, consider additional insurance options.

You can add an extension or rider to your current renter’s or homeowner’s policy, or you can insure your rings through a company that specializes in jewelry insurance. To help you decide between options, read through the fine print of potential policies considering the following:

• What is and isn’t covered? Theft? Damage? Accidental loss?

• How will coverage be provided? Replacement rings? Check? New rings through a specified jeweler?

• Will insurance cover the full value of the rings? How will the value be determined – original cost, initial appraisal or current value?

• What will you need to make a claim?

In addition to these fine-print considerations, compare the costs of the insurance deductible against the coverage. These numbers can differ significantly from company to company and even from policy to policy. For more, see Looking To Insure Your Wedding Ring? Here’s How.

Coverage Costs
You should speak to an insurance agent to get an exact quote, but expect to pay an annual rate of $1 to $2 for every $100 your ring is worth. The average $5,855 engagement ring for example, would cost around $59 to $118 annually to insure.

Is it worth it? Before answering yes or no, consider other potential costs. How often will you need to have your rings reappraised? Is there a deductible?

You may be able to lower your insurance premiums (while providing additional protection for your rings) by installing a home security system or purchasing a safe or safe deposit box to store your rings when they’re not being worn.

Be sure to keep all corresponding paperwork in a safe place as well. Anything you might need to make a claim – such as appraisals, receipts and photos – should be as protected as the rings themselves.

The Bottom Line
Considering the reported average costs of today’s rings, protecting your engagement and wedding rings with insurance is probably a good idea. If you decide to go the more economical route – choosing rings that would be covered under the modest personal property allowance of your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy – then it might be worth forgoing coverage. Accidental loss is generally not covered under these policies, but an inexpensive ring may be cheaper to replace anyway.

How Does a Car Insurance Claim Work?

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  • Do you know how a car insurance claim works? If not, you are like thousands of people. Although people pay premiums to their auto insurance companies, many really don’t know what happens if they actually have to use it. The good news is that car insurance claims are pretty straightforward. They have three parts: the submission of a claim, the investigation and the payment. Most claims are processed and paid in 30 days.
  • The first part of any claim is the submission process. Normally, it includes a call to your insurance company and the submission of a claims report. A claims report includes the details of an accident, driver’s license and contact information of each driver, the description and license plates of each car and miscellaneous information such as the police report. With this information, a clerical person sets up a claim, assigns a claim number and a claims adjuster to it for handling. In general, the complete submission of a claim takes less than 24 hours.
  • The second part of a claim is the investigation. After a claims adjuster gets the initial report of a claim, he tries to verify the details and determine who is at fault. This normally includes the review of vehicle impacts and photos, police reports and statements from each driver. The claims adjuster then uses all of this information to determine if any motor vehicle laws were broken and who caused the accident. It is a process that can take a few days or a few years depending on how complicated the accident was.
  • The last part of a claim is payment. Once a claims adjuster determines who is at fault for an accident, payments are in order. Car payments will be paid based on estimates completed by a professional auto shop or an auto appraiser. Checks are normally two-party and include the name of the vehicle owner and repair shop. Unless there is a bodily injury claim or rental, the issuance of payment ends the claim’s process. It is then closed without further follow-up by anyone.

What Is the Insurance Commission on Auto Insurance Policies for Agents?

Insurance agents are, typically, compensated by a commission equal to a certain percentage of your policy premium. If you want to know how much your agent earns from your auto insurance policy, just ask. Some states require agents to disclose this information when you ask, others do not. However, if your agent refuses to tell you his commission amount, you may want to consider finding a different agent.

Commission Basics

  • Most insurance agents are not paid a salary by the insurers they represent. Sometimes, they receive salaries for stated periods of time at the beginning of their relationship with an insurer to help start their businesses, but these are not typically permanent, according to AMPM Insure. Therefore, an agent’s primary source of compensation is policy commissions. When you buy a policy from an auto insurance agent, he receives a certain percentage of the total policy premium and the insurer keeps the rest.

New Business and Renewals

  • Your auto insurance policy typically renews every six or 12 months, depending on your insurer. Each time the policy renews, your agent gets paid again. In this way, agents with large volumes of business often earn a lot of money, because older policies that renew pay commission in addition to that from new policies they sell. However, the agent may not receive the same commission percentage for renewals as she does for new business, so even if your premium remains the same upon renewal, your agent may earn different amounts of money over time.

Typical Commission Structure

  • Most auto insurance agents receive somewhere between eight and 15 percent commission when they sell or renew policies, according to Insure.com. This percentage might be higher for independent agents, or those who represent many insurance companies. Captive agents, who represent only one insurer, typically have a fixed commission amount that is set by the contract they have with their parent company. If renewal commission amounts are different than those for new business, the renewals are typically lower.

Other Factors

  • Insurers often offer their agents incentives and/or bonuses for selling certain volumes of products and meeting certain production goals. Also, independent agents might receive different commission percentages from different insurers they represent. This may pose an ethical dilemma for the agent, since the auto policy that pays the highest commission or the one that comes with the biggest bonus may not be the one that is right for you. Ask about commission structures and other forms of compensation if you are worried that your agent is not working in your best interest.

How to Find Home Insurance Quotes Online

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Every so often, it’s a good idea to shop around for the different insurances you have to make sure that you are getting the best possible deal out there. Here are some places to look to find home insurance quotes online.

Instructions

  1. Visit http://www.insureme.com/home-insurance-quotes.html Type in your zip code. Then pick the home insurance type that you need: homeowners, condo, town home, landlord, or renter. For the site walkthrough, I clicked on homeowner. This brings up another page in which you plug in the year the home was built, the number of stories, property type, and exterior walls. Next, garage, basement, home security system, and roof type. Plug in the square footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms (full and half), fireplaces, decks. There is also an area of potential discounts on this page: deadbolts, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, manned fire station within 5 miles, and nearby fire hydrant. The next page is for add-ons such as hot tub or central air as well as a list of dogs. Check if you own any of them (such as Rottweiler or Pitbull). Next it asks about your current home insurance coverage and the estimated replacement cost of the house, not the house and the land. Then it asks what kind of deductible and liability coverage you would like to have. Finally, it asks for your date of birth and the address of the home to be insured. It then asks for past insurance claims and any valuable items that you would like to have insured. It acts for you to rate your credit (excellent, good, some problems or major problems). It then shows a review of the information that you provided. Plug in you name, phone number, and email and you’re done.
  2. There is fine print to keep in mind when using this site: “By clicking Continue and seeking a quote request, I authorize and agree that up to eight insurance companies or their agents and InsureMe partners may contact me using this information or to obtain additional information needed to provide quotes where permitted by law. Insurance companies or their agents that receive a quote request from InsureMe may confirm my information through the use of a consumer report, which may include my credit score and driving record. I authorize and instruct InsureMe and its partners to obtain a consumer report. I acknowledge that I have read and understand all of the InsureMe Terms and Conditions and agree to be bound by them.”
  3. Another website to use: http://www.homeownerswiz.com/ This site requires a great deal less information. This may seem better but the first website might be more accurate with its quotes. This site needs to know the type of house, square feet, number of bedrooms and baths, year built, alarm, construction, electric system, purchase price of the house, claims, and your name, address, phone, email, birth date, and gender.
  4. http://cheap-insurance-rates.com/home/ The nice part about this website is that you fill out all the information on the same page. One page and then you’re on your way to finding the best home insurance policy for you.
  5. Some insurance companies that are more famous for their car insurance, such as Allstate and State Farm also offer home insurance. Most cases, if you insure both your car and house under the same company, you will receive a discount rate. Might as well shop around for the best car insurance quote if you are going this route. See my link under resources for finding free car insurance quotes online.
  6. It is important to buy home insurance. Your home is the most important investment you will ever make. Why wouldn’t you want to find the best home insurance policy to protect that investment?