5 Ways To Offset The Cost Of Homeowners Insurance

Owning a home means planning on various types of expenses. One of those expenses is the payment each month for homeowners insurance. Homeowners will pay for their homeowners insurance by sending payment to their agent, directly to the insurance company, or having their mortgage company make the payment when it is due. If your cost for homeowners insurance is increasing, then a few tips are available that can help lower or offset the annual cost.

Shop Around

Many insurance companies operate in every state and may offer homeowners insurance. The best thing to do when searching for a new insurance company is to find an independent insurance agent. They are typically licensed with many insurance companies. Many use specific software that gives them a list of companies and their rates for a homeowner’s insurance policy. Homeowners can then the policies to see if any will provide the necessary savings. Make sure to compare policies every few years to see if there is another company that is offering a better price for a policy.

High-Deductible

Consumers can save up to ten percent or more on the cost of homeowners insurance by choosing a high deductible. The deductible is an amount that is deducted from the insurance payout whenever a claim is made by an insured. This means a higher deductible will be less the insurance company will pay out for a claim. This is why policies with higher deductibles cost less than policies with lower deductible. If an existing customer with a $500 deductible raises it to $1500 or more, then the savings will be significant when the premium is calculated.

Add Security Features

Insurance companies offer discounts when a home has certain security features. A basic discount can be provided when doors have a deadbolt lock. Another discount will be provided when a home has at least one smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector. A home that also has a fire extinguisher on hand is also eligible for a discount. There are simple things that will lower the cost of homeowners insurance if they are not currently applied to a policy. Review the declarations page of the policy for your home and see if these discounts apply.

Combine Policies

A substantial discount is provided to customers of an insurance company when they have their house and car insured. If a home and car is insured by the same company, then a multi-policy discount can be applied to lower the cost of both policies. Insurance companies typically offer a discount that will be in a range between 10 and 20 percent.

Calculate Coverage

Insurance agents often use software that estimates the amount of insurance for a homeowner. If there is no need to have a high amount of coverage for personal property, then a lower value decreases the total cost. However, a homeowner should add up the value of items in a home such as furniture and all types of electronics to calculate a basic value.

Contact a local agent or view policy options online to see if other options are available.

Author Bio: Thomas Jay is a content writer at InsuranceLand.org. Thomas lives in beautiful Orlando, Florida with his wife a two kids. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys blogging on a variety of topics.

4 Unexpected Factors That Can Raise Insurance Premiums

If you are looking to buy insurance, it’s important to know going in whether you can expect higher rates than other people. Here are some of the factors that may increase your insurance rate.

Untreated Sleep Apnea

If you have untreated sleep apnea, your insurance rates are going to be higher. That’s because sleep apnea puts you at risk for numerous other serious health conditions, including psychological problems and cardiovascular illness. Once treated, though, sleep apnea risks decline significantly, and so may your insurance rates.

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“Sleep apnea treatment can be very effective,” according to Dr. Mark Dunayer of B&D Dental Excellence near Rockland, New York. “And now it’s even more convenient than ever, with oral appliance therapy available for many people, instead of the cumbersome CPAP machine we used to use.”

Your Job

You may think your work is none of their business, but the insurance company sees it differently. They will charge you higher rates if you work in an industry where you are exposed to toxic chemicals or have a high risk of injury or death.

The occupations with the highest risk of nonfatal injury, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Police officers
  • Truck drivers
  • Janitors and cleaners
  • Nursing aides and orderlies
  • Laborers

These professions alone accounted for 20% of illnesses requiring days off work. Most injuries occur when people have 1-5 years experience, so if you’ve been working at your job for a longer period, you may see a discount (unless you work in a job where chemical exposure effects increase with time).

Your Marital Status

Married people tend to live longer and be healthier. Married people are at lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and other major illnesses. This means they tend to get lower insurance rates. If you get married, you may see a drop in insurance rates, although men tend to see a larger drop, because they get a bigger health boost for being married. Research shows these benefits mostly accrue to couples that are “happily” married, though your insurance company isn’t likely to put that fine a point on it.

For some of these conditions, pets have also been shown to lower your risk, but they’re unlikely to lower your insurance rates.

Your Zip Code

Where you live also affects your life insurance rates. People who live in certain places tend to be at higher risk for serious injury or death. There may be many different factors for this, including the climate, the presence of infectious diseases where you live, environmental pollution such as air pollution or contaminated groundwater, crime rates, and car accident risks. Sometimes, insurance rates will be higher based on the general area of the country, but they may also be higher for certain neighborhoods or towns.

The Good News for You

On the plus side, all of these conditions are rated differently by different insurance companies, which means that you may be able to get a better rate by competitive shopping. Talk to several insurance companies and see how the rate varies. You may be able to find a great bargain.

 

Author Bio: Thanks to Dr. Mark Dunayer of B&D Excellence Dentistry in West Nyack, New York, for his contribution to this article.

5 Tricks To Cut The Cost Of Your Home Insurance

Home insurance helps to protect your property against unexpected events. Having the right home insurance policy can offer home owners peace of mind and a practical way to safeguard against future problems. The cost of your home insurance policy will depend on a number of factors, including the size, location and value of your home. However, there are several things you can do to help reduce the cost of your insurance policy. Here are 5 tricks to cut the cost of your home insurance.

1. Fit secure locks to all windows and external doors

Fitting secure locks to all of your windows and external doors could cut the cost of your home insurance by up to 5%. All locks must come from an industry-approved manufacturer, with the highest-rated locking systems bringing the largest savings on your insurance policy. All locks must also be fitted by an appropriate installer. Remember to keep your doors and windows locked, particularly when you are away from home, as leaving entry points unlocked could invalidate any claims you make to your insurer.

2. Fit a burglar alarm

Fitting a burglar alarm to your property could save up to 7% on the cost of your home insurance. The savings you can make will depend on the type of alarm system you choose. The more you pay for your alarm system, the more savings you are likely to make on your home insurance. However, even the most basic burglar alarm can cut your insurance costs by a significant amount. Burglar alarms must be fitted by a qualified installer. Annual maintenance checks are also necessary to prove that the system is in good working order.

3. Increase the excess on your insurance policy

All insurance policies require you to pay an excess when you make a claim against your policy. Many home owners choose policies with a low excess, but this often works out more expensive. The higher the excess you are prepared to pay, the lower your insurance premiums are likely to be. Ask your home insurance provider for details on the benefits of increasing your excess.

4. Inform your insurer about any extra security measures

If you use any additional security measures to protect your valuables, home or property, tell your insurer as soon as possible, as it could reduce the cost of your home insurance. Fitting a safe to protect expensive items, locking internal doors to rooms containing valuable objects and setting up a home monitoring system can all cut the cost of your insurance. Other factors that lower the risk of damage to your property, such as being a non-smoker, may also bring a reduction in your insurance premiums.

5. Think carefully before making a claim

Having a clean insurance history with no previous claims could cut the cost of your home insurance by as much as 20%. Before making a claim against your insurance, weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of making the claim. If you only need a small amount of money to replace a damaged possession, it may be better to pay for the item yourself, rather than make a claim on your insurance, as this will protect your no claims bonus.

 

The buildings and contents insurance average cost varies depending on the company you go with and the cover you need.  Laura Ginn advises against skimping on your policy as you want to ensure you are fully covered should anything unfortunate happen.

Are You Buying Too Much Car Insurance?

You always want to make sure that you have enough auto insurance to handle any misfortune that comes your way. There are several different additions and incidents that you can add to your insurance plan, and it’s important that you know what all of them are. Bear in mind that it’s possible for you to actually have too much insurance and insurance that you don’t really need. While you want to be prepared for everything, you may be throwing away money by being over-prepared.

Hike the Deductible 

One well-known method for paying less for your auto insurance is to increase the deductible on your collision coverage and decrease the coverage you have for liability. Even though this seems as though it makes a lot of sense when dealing with insurance companies, it sometimes isn’t even worth you taking the risk. There are some types of coverage that are mandatory and others that are simply optional. Collision and liability are necessary, but the amount that everyone pays isn’t necessarily the amount that you should pay.

Bodily Injury Liability

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo by gareth1953

Most states require that you have bodily injury liability coverage, which pays a sum of money to the driver of any other automobiles and their passengers if you were to get in an accident. The main thing you’ll want to keep in mind when deciding on how much you should pay for bodily injury liability is that you want to protect yourself against a lawsuit. Even if you’re a careful driver and the accident isn’t your fault you can still be sued. One way to determine how much you should pay is to think about what assets there are in your life that you need to protect. For example, if you make $30,000 a year and your rent is $50,000 a year, then $100,000 should be enough for bodily injury liability.

Property Damage Liability

For property damage liability, most states require that you have at least $5,000. Bear in mind that this won’t be enough if you hit a driver with an expensive luxury car. It’s recommended that you have at least $50,000 for your vehicle, but you might want to get as much as $100,000 in coverage just to be on the safe side. 

Personal Injury Coverage

Personal injury coverage is something that you can more or less do without, especially if you already have separate disability, health and life insurance. Make sure that you check your other policies first before doing away with personal injury coverage all together. Chances are you’ll be adequately covered.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

When it comes to uninsured and underinsured coverage, you should ask yourself, what protection do I need? Ideally, you should have at least $100,000 worth of coverage since there are so many drivers who either don’t have auto insurance coverage or don’t have enough to take care of them in the event of a serious automobile accident. Even if you have medical insurance that amount could come in handy.

Look for cheap auto insurance online and combine it with the kind of insurance coverage that you truly need and the amount that you truly need it for in order to save the most on car insurance while still getting the very best policy for you and your automobile.

Author Bio: Dorian Travers is a writer and blogger and likes to keep his readers informed on subjects where life meets money.

PPI Reclaims – What’s the Fuss About?

Whether you’re a TV watcher or a radio listener, you’ll have noticed that the media has been awash in recent times with a commotion concerning mis sold insurance. PPI, or Payment Protection Insurance, purports to indemnify the recipients of finance in case they are unable to meet their repayment obligations. Typically, the insurance is intended to cover consumers who are made redundant, who are suddenly unable to work due to long-term sickness, or who suffer an accident and become disabled. It’s easy to see why this backup could be a good idea for many borrowers – the extra peace of mind provided would be valuable. However, millions of people are currently making PPI reclaims, as their policy had been mis sold to them.

 

‘Mis Sold’? What Does That Mean?

 

Unfortunately for many borrowers, providers of PPI (including the high street banks we are all familiar with) have been misleading their customers. In 2011, the High Court ordered financial institutions to repay PPI premiums where the insurance was bought by loan recipients who had been misled as to its nature or purpose. It turns out that banks had either lied or neglected to mention to their customer a number of key facts – meaning that some people who bought the insurance were manipulated into making an uninformed purchase, and that others simply never needed the insurance in the first place. PPI reclaims exist so that affected borrowers can recover the loss that they suffered at the hands of the banks.

 

Which Groups of People are Entitled to Make PPI Reclaims?

 

Insurance
Insurance (Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn)

 

If you want to know whether or not you’re entitled to compensation from your loan provider, you’ll have to check your policy documentation and cast your mind back to the time when you bought it. Were you told that taking out PPI would mean that your loan application was more likely to be accepted, or that the insurance was compulsory? Were you consulted about purchasing PPI, or did your bank simply ‘assume’ and charge you for it without first receiving your consent? When you took out the policy, were you unemployed, self-employed, or retired? If any of the above sets of facts applies to you, then you could be one of the millions of consumers making PPI reclaims.

 

How Much Will I Receive?

 

The amount of compensation available varies from case to case, with the average being in the region of £2750. This certainly makes PPI reclaims attractive, especially during a time when households and businesses all over the country are feeling the financial squeeze of the recession. If you’re interested in finding out how much you could stand to receive, you’ll need to check your policy. Borrowers should also note that if they paid with a series of installments, with interest payable on top, then these interest payments can also be claimed back. Furthermore, it should be borne in mind that it doesn’t matter whether or not you’ve already finished paying off your loan – anyone who was mis sold a policy can claim.

 

Peter Gouldsworthy is a former solicitor who practiced commercial and financial law for over 30 years. Now retired, he enjoys blogging about contemporary legal issues.

 

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5 Secret Ways To Save Money On Home Insurance The Companies Won’t Tell You About

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Insurance (Credit: C. S. Penn)

When you get your home insured you might be paying a lot of money. That can definitely hurt your wage packet at the end of the month. Did you try to get a discount? Maybe you installed a smoke detector so they would look more favorably at your application. If you really pushed the boat out you could have installed a security system. That’s really going to scare away the intruders. How could it not save you money?

Those are all great and I commend you for trying to save money, but they don’t do much. They aren’t going to make your insurance company turn around and give you a massive 20% discount which can really help you out. The insurance companies will usually have hidden credits. Sneaky little ways you can save money if only you’d known about them. Well now you can, because we can go over some easy ways to guarantee you save some money on home insurance.

Do you live in a gated community?

Home insurance companies love this. Because there’s an extra layer of protection intruders have to get through, they know it’s much more unlikely that any burglaries will happen. This is great news if you live somewhere behind closed gates. It’s not much use if you don’t. You don’t usually get much gated communities in the bad parts of town, so you should definitely point this out to the insurance company for a discount.

Re-wire your home

If your home is old it will most likely have lots of old wiring. Maybe it’s never been updated. This poses a serious problem for you, because there is a much greater risk of fire and your insurance premium will reflect this. The only way to get around it is by having your home re-wired. Don’t touch anything yourself unless you are a qualified electrician, or you probably won’t get any insurance. Electrical fires are common, so be safe and save money.

Secure your roof

Your roof will take an absolute beating from the bad weather. Once something happens to it your roof it is compromised. It will definitely add a lot onto your monthly premium. There are lots of impact-resistant roof materials coming out these days. If you have it installed on your house there’s less chance of the roof being damaged which can lead to all sorts of problems inside the home. You might find your insurance company will offer you a discount if you give your roof a nice hard shell.

Don’t claim any money

Your insurance company will pay out any money with gritted teeth. Even though they may tell you they love helping people, they really don’t. Their job is to make money; not spend it. That’s why you will get a discount if you have not claimed over a number of years. For this reason you should refrain from making a claim unless anything serious has happened. If you had a window broken it might save you much more money over the long run if you were to pay a few hundred dollars and have it fixed yourself.

Newer is better

If you were to try and insure a brand new car you’d expect to pay more money than if you insured an older model. The new car has a much greater chance of being stolen. But it’s completely reversed when we’re talking about homes. If you have just renovated the house it’s obvious less things will go wrong. Pipes have less chance of springing a leak. Microwaves have less chance of exploding. The newer your home, the less money you will pay.

Nickel Keat provides remarkable financial suggetions. He recommends Singapore Insurance from DirectAsia for those who seek reliable and efficient travel insurance.

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Car Insurance: Increasing Your Deductible Is Not Always The Best Solution!

If you are wondering how you will finance your car insurance premiums when your cost of living increases, there is hope in varying your deductible upwards. The car insurance deductible is the amount or percentage you pay in case of an accident, before your insurer releases any money. The following are the reasons that support the argument for an increase in your deductible.

1.       When you have a high deductible, you file fewer claims

High deductibles work psychologically to prevent you from having many claims to your insurer. This happens because, the higher the number of your claims, the more money you will pay out of your pocket. Remember, the insurer waits for you to honor your part of the deductible for them to match it. Thus, it is only viable for a person with a very careful driving practice, to raise their deductibles.

Insurers love it when you raise your deductible because they know they will have fewer claims. Their business hinges on predicting the number of claims one is likely to make, and matching that with the premium charged on the person.

2.       The increase in premium may not be worth the increase in deductibles

When you are choosing the option of deductibles as a way of reducing your premium, you could also be exposing yourself to a higher payment risk, in case you have to make a claim within the year. For example, you can save $300 in your premium annually after increasing your deductibles by $400. The $300 dollars in savings appears to be worth it.

Nonetheless, if you have to make a claim, then you will be paying $400 out of your pocket. The extra $100 will come from your wallet. Moreover, you may not already have the $300 you saved in that year as cash. It is advisable to hold the cash saved in premiums as another form of emergency fund.

The saving on premiums prompted by a raise in your deductibles is not always instant. They may also not remotely match the increase in your deductible. For example, after calculation, you may find that you need to remain claim-fee for even a decade for you to recoup the increased risk you take.

Sometimes, after a cost and benefit analysis, one finds it is appropriate to pay the current premium rates.

3.       There could be other options available that are less risky and have instant benefits

Insurance policy has a lot of information hidden in their fine print. You must always find out what your car insurance covers. Often the cover extends beyond the basic limits agreed upon during the purchase of the policy. For example, the fine print could indicate that you are to receive credit for having safety and recovery features in your car. Thus, if you have a GPS system, you could qualify for a discount in your premiums. The GPS allows your car to be traceable when it is stolen. Therefore, before jumping for an increase in deductibles on your car insurance, make sure you have exploited all other options.

Hi, I am Kat Edwards and I write guest blogs on car maintenance tips. I choose Car Insurance Hero for my car which provides me with perfect guide to car insurance comparison.

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9 Tips to Be Sure Your Life Insurance Policy Pays Out

Believe it or not, life insurance benefits go unclaimed every year. Although precise figures are an understandably well-kept secret within the insurance industry, official estimates run into the millions of dollars.

The Insurance Industry Institute (“III”) is a world-renowned insurance industry analyst. In a 2007 interview, spokesman Dr. Steven Weisbart stated that III fields hundreds of annual calls from concerned parties seeking information about how to verify and locate life insurance benefits.

Prevention is Key

Even the best life insurance companies have a bad record of notifying beneficiaries when they may be eligible for benefits. It’s easy to prevent, however. It is the beneficiary’s responsibility to claim his or her benefits. Keeping that in mind, policyholders can avoid the following pitfalls so their policies don’t end up with unclaimed benefits.

Keep the Insurance Company Informed of Changes

Policyholders should promptly notify their carriers if they move or change mailing addresses. The same principle is equally applicable to electronic communications media such as fax or cellular phone numbers, and e-mail addresses.

Don’t Think the Insurance Company Will Seek out Beneficiaries

Insurance companies often have more than one division. Most companies pay annuities and therefore track deaths to be sure they are not paying out to someone who has passed away. Unfortunately, that division rarely shares information with the life insurance division. Do not assume the insurance company will contact beneficiaries. Be sure to record the name and contact data of your group or individual life insurer so that your attorney, personal representative, or beneficiaries can easily access the information in the event of your death.

Be Clear about Beneficiaries

Be careful to clearly designate your beneficiaries. Words like “my spouse” and “my children” are inadequate. Decades can pass from the time you designate beneficiaries and the time you pass away. List each individual’s name, current address, and Social Security number instead.

Inform Beneficiaries of the Coverage

Sadly, beneficiaries are often unaware that coverage even exists. Others have vague knowledge of coverage but do not know of their personal benefit entitlement. Reduce all policy details to writing and store them in a foolproof location like a safe, bank vault, or attorney’s files.

Life Insurance Companies Can Go out of Business

Like other corporations, life insurers frequently merge, change identities, or relocate. Such events often make it difficult or impossible for beneficiaries to initiate a claim. When you record the policy information for your heirs, be careful to note any parent companies or potential alternate commercial identities of your insurer.

What Survivors Can Do

Check all Documents

Search safety deposit boxes, address books, and canceled checks of the deceased. Such documents or repositories might contain insurance agents’ or carriers’ names.

Ask the Estate Administrator 

Many times, the person appointed to administer the estate is another grieving relative. They may not be thinking about life insurance when sorting out the deceased’s affairs. Ask about possible life insurance coverage. The adminstrator will be grateful if a policy is found that also benefits him or her.

Public Records

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) maintains a unified life insurance company locator service to assist potentially underserved life insurance beneficiaries. Logon to NAIC to find out if you have an orphaned policy.

Private Search Providers

Several fee-based private services contact insurers on loved ones’ behalf to learn of available life insurance proceeds. Industry trade association MIB Group, Inc. maintains a database of more than 140 million representative inquiries of previously issued life insurance applications and boasts a 28 percent overall success rate. Its current fee is $75 USD per search. It’s recommended you start with NAIC and only pay for such a service if you really have to.

TermLifeInsuranceNews.com offers tips, information and advice to help consumers make smart decisions about life insurance.

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