Home Insurance And The Law

Anyone who owns a car will know that it is illegal to take it out on the road without insurance. Logically, therefore, it would make sense if every homeowner were legally obliged to purchase home insurance. However, this is not the case. Homeowners are simply advised to take a policy but it is not a legal requirement. You may also not realise that your home and contents insurance documents are actually a legally binding agreement between yourself and the home insurance company. There are therefore many legal implications associated with home and contents insurance. Just a few of them are listed below.

1) Your mortgage and home and contents insurance If, like the majority of home buyers, you have had to take a mortgage out in order to pay for your home then it is likely that your lender will stipulate that you have to take home and contents insurance or else forfeit the mortgage. They can legally do this because they are technically protecting their investment. Your home insurance company may even be linked to your mortgage lender.

2) Fraud If you defraud your home insurance company by falsely claiming on your home and contents insurance then you are liable to be prosecuted. False claims cost home insurance companies millions of dollars every year and thus they are beginning to crack down on any false claims and are likely to push for legal action to be taken against you.

3) Applications for home and contents insurance The one thing you must always remember from the start is to answer all questions that your home insurance company asks you completely honestly. Many homeowners have lied on their applications in the past and have later had their insurance revoked as a result. Again, this is a form of fraud, but has more serious implications for you than simply jail time. If your house is burgled, for example, and the home insurance company comes out to inspect the damage then they will discover that you dont have the deadbolts on the doors that you claimed to have. You will forfeit any pay out and may just face prosecutions, thus causing you to lose your property and possessions as well as your freedom. That may sound a bit extreme, but you can see the trouble that one lie can get you into with home and contents insurance. So telling the truth may raise your premiums slightly, but they may work out far better in the long run.

Of course, this list is not an exhaustive list of the laws and regulations associated with home and contents insurance. Your home insurance company will be able to fully inform you of the all the laws that actually apply to you. However, they are the basic laws you should know before applying for home and contents insurance. The law may only actually come into question for you if you lie. If you remain honest then you will get along just fine.

ome Insurance That Works

Considering this in mind, you have to find ways of making appreciable savings. To make things easier for you we will try to highlight some of these ways. While comparing your free home insurance quotes, you should try to find out the number of discounts allotted to you by the policy. This obviously means the relation between the discounts and the amount of saving you could make is directly proportional. The more the discounts, the more will be your chances to make a considerable amount of savings.

Before you go ahead with insuring your home, the first step should be to evaluate the insurability of the home. This figure will be determined on the basis of the age of the home, age and condition of the electrical fittings, plumbing and heating systems, the building material used for the roof, location of the home, and the number of insurance claims on the home that may have been filed in the previous few years. For instance, a home that is situated in an area where the fire station is not quickly accessible and there is no fire hydrant available near the home, it may result in a higher premium costs for the home insurance. So these factors will determine the estimated cost of your insurance.

Three different Florida home insurance policy packages exist to define the exact coverage levels for certain threats. Broad form (HO-2) insurance will cover vandalism, fire or lightning, hail and windstorm explosion, and other perils that are naturally occurring. Special form (HO-3) is the most popular type of home insurance and covers the property against every threat that is not excluded specifically by the documentation. Modified Coverage Form (HO-8) is a narrower insurance policy limited to riot or civil commotion, vehicle damage, aircraft, theft, and certain natural disasters.

In addition to providing Accidental Damage and All Risks Worldwide cover for your contents, fine art, antiques and personal possessions, a high net worth policy can be tailored to meet your individual insurance requirements, in keeping with your lifestyle. The policy will offer generous single article limits and many add-ons such as identity fraud, legal expenses and worldwide travel insurance.

As with any insurance before \”signing on the dotted line\”, it is useful to obtain several quotes from different insurers so that you can make a comparison in cover, and choose the right policy for you.

Such as medical insurance protection for you personally you people, home insurance just isn’t some thing to take into account lightly. Lacking the proper homeowners insurance plan in place may have several severe repercussions. The particular worst which leads to an individual losing the residence completely leaving your family no place in order to obsess with and in an economic destroy. Property owners Insurance policy insurance coverage handles which and helps prevent the actual most detrimental (deluge, fireplace, theft, earthquake, tornado) coming from occurring inside case of your disaster. In the event you comprehend which property owners insurance policy defense is vital after that obtaining less expensive home insurance can be your pursuing stage.

These are the various factors that are use by your insurance company to generate a home insurance quote. This quote will provide you with a cost perspective on how much it will cost to insurance your home. It is wise to get at least three different quotes so that you can compare and contrast the cost of the coverage that is offered by different insurance companies. This is the best way for you to assure that you will get the most cost effective home insurance quote.

Where does this leave you as a Florida home insurance consumer?

Just when we think we’ve seen it all, the financial crisis brings new surprises each day. This weeks drama featured General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler executives landing in Washington on corporate jets looking for their share of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.

In a shameless display of arrogance and entitlement, leaders of what used to be \”best in class\” companies begged for billions of dollars with their tin cups outstretched in front of the US Congress. Before the Big Three ever arrived in Washington, billions had already been committed to AIG and some of the largest financial institutions in the country.

During this financial meltdown we’re seeing something we never expected to see in our lives – broken promises from major corporations and government institutions on an unprecedented scale. We’ve reached a point where even large companies and large states like Florida can’t meet their obligations using the bond markets.

If you are a Florida home insurance consumer, your biggest asset is now at risk during the financial crisis – your Florida home.

Can you name a more sacred promise than the one a home insurance company makes to you when it takes your money and agrees to insure your home?

When you buy homeowners insurance in Florida the insurance company is promising you fast and fair payment of your claim. Florida insurance companies buy reinsurance to help them make good on this promise to you. Reinsurance is backup coverage that insurance companies buy to help protect themselves from big losses above certain levels.

The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund was formed as a way to help stabilize the Florida home insurance market after Hurricane Andrew caused billions in damage to Florida in 1992. By offering reinsurance at affordable rates, the fund helped to make homeowners insurance available and affordable for many years.

That all changed after the Florida hurricanes of 2004 and 2005 when Florida home insurance became overpriced and hard to find again.

The Florida legislature responded to the Florida home insurance crisis by voting in 2007 to expand the reinsurance sold by the Cat Fund by $12 billion – raising its total risk to a total of $28 billion. Florida home insurance companies were required to purchase this additional reinsurance from the state and to pass along the savings realized on reinsurance to home owners.

As a Florida homeowner, you didn’t get the rate reductions that this law was supposed to provide. Your rate cuts never came close to the 24% predicted when the legislation passed. And to make things worse, the Florida Cat Fund took on an additional $12 billion in risk.

Now the Florida Catastrophe Fund has told us that the frozen bond markets won’t be an acceptable source to raise the cash it needs to meet its commitments to the insurance companies after a major Florida hurricane. It recently estimated that it could pay out $13 billion over the next twelve months – That’s $15 billion less than the $28 billion it is on the hook to pay!

Where does this leave you as a Florida home insurance consumer?

You didn’t get the rate relief you expected and your state took on financial obligations that it has no hope of paying.

You are at risk if Florida experiences a major hurricane in the next year. Once the losses of your Florida home insurance company exceed certain levels, your company will ask the Florida Cat Fund to reimburse them in order to pay your claim. Since the Florida Cat Fund is short on cash, you might have a long delay in getting your claim paid.

The promise to pay your Florida home insurance claim has never been more at risk than it is today.

Now that you know that the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund will not meet its obligations, let’s examine the National Catastrophe Fund idea that Florida has been bring up in Washington for years. This National Cat fund would offer an additional layer of loss protection above and beyond the obligations of the Florida Cat Fund.

In theory a National Cat Fund would be funded by setting aside a portion of insurance premiums paid by policyholders in the states participating in the fund. A National Cat Fund would be a separate fund that would earn interest and grow during the years when there aren’t any claims.

Supporters claim that no taxpayer money would be needed to sustain a National Cat Fund. History tells us there would be storms so large that federal tax dollars would have to be used to cover major losses.

And everyone knows that the federal government can’t keep its funds separate. Just ask someone in Washington to show you the billions that are supposed to be in the Social Security Trust Fund. You won’t be shown any cash – just a drawer full of T-Bills and IOU’s.

Now that the Big Three Auto makers and other shameless Fortune 500 companies have beaten Florida to the punch in Washington, it is very unlikely that a National Hurricane Catastrophe Fund will pass anytime soon. Even President Elect Obama will shy away from any additional federal obligations as he faces all of the red ink in Washington today. So don’t look to the federal government to help keep the promise that was made to pay your Florida home insurance claim.

Finally, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation has consistently reported that it doesn’t have anywhere near the money it needs to pay out the almost half a trillion dollars in hurricane exposure it after a major Florida hurricane.

A large hurricane would mean that Citizens can’t pay even its primary obligations – those that it must pay even before losses reach levels where Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund reinsurance kicks in. And as a policyholder with Citizens, you are subject to paying higher special assessments after a major Florida hurricane than policyholders who have private homeowners insurance – special charges tacked on to your annual insurance bill.

In this new brave world where even governments can’t keep their promises here are some steps you should take as a Florida home insurance consumer right now:

Get a Florida wind inspection done and harden your home as much as possible.

Stay out of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation if you can.

Find a home insurance company that is strong financially and one that has spread its risk across both Florida and other states. Fewer policyholders will mean faster payment of your claim.

Call in your insurance claim on the same day the Florida hurricane damages your home. This will make it more likely that you will get paid before your insurance company looks to the Florida Cat fund for reimbursement.

Last but not least. The fact that the Florida Cat Fund is short on money has not been lost on Florida home insurance companies. They are being charged for reinsurance by an entity that has publicly stated that it can’t meet its obligations. That means insurance companies are not getting what they paid for.

You should expect Florida home insurance companies to try to buy more of their reinsurance in the private market and not from the State of Florida in 2009. And they will look to pass that cost through to you in the form of higher insurance rates. If they don’t get the rate increases they need, your Florida home insurance policy might be cancelled.

As the Florida home insurance crisis continues, it has never been more important for you to stay on top of the Florida home insurance market for private insurance. You never know when you might have to find a new Florida home insurance carrier.

What Your Auto Body Shop And Insurance Company Don’t Tell You!

Minor accidents resulting in small fender-benders often cost more than your insurance deductible to have repaired at a traditional auto body shop. If the accident is your fault, then be prepared to pay the deductible.
Auto insurance companies contract with auto body shops for a pre-negotiated rate for repairs. Some practices include requiring low hourly labor rates or forcing the body shop to pay for a rental car if they do not complete repairs timely. These practices often tempt the auto body shop to cut corners, using lower quality materials or neglecting to complete certain steps required for proper repair.
When will the repair work be completed? Quite often, not when promised. Auto body shops like to blame this on a delay in parts delivery when the truth is they took on more business than they could handle. Check out the shop you are using to see if there have been multiple complaints about repairs being completed on time.
Car rentals can be costly make sure your insurance company covers the type of rental car you need while yours in the shop. Your policy might limit you reimbursement on a small car when you need a minivan.
Some insurance companies prefer auto body shops that use generic or salvage replacement parts to save money. This is fine for some repairs, but original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts are always designed to match perfectly and in some cases may be safer. If you are in an accident and you are determined to be at fault then there could be wording in your insurance policy that requires you to use lower quality parts or pay the difference for OEM replacement parts. If you are not at fault, be sure to tell the shop to use only OEM parts.
Many foreign made cars require special equipment and a high degree of precision to perform repairs properly. If you drive a foreign car make sure the shop you choose is certified by the manufacturer to do the work. Your insurance company will not be likely to recommend these shops because they charge higher rates however, they should be willing to pay to repair your vehicle to its original condition.
Does your insurance company provide a parts and service warranty? If so, its useless! The auto body shops guarantee is the one that is important to you most body shops guarantee their work and the parts manufacturers guarantee the parts.
Insurance companies have negotiated so many discounts with auto body shops that in order for the shop to stay in business they do lower quality repair work. Check with the Better Business Bureau, Vehicle Information Services or other agencies that monitor the quality of work done by auto body shops to be sure you are getting good service.
Joaquin Hernandez owns Collision on Wheels, a mobile auto body shop in the Los Angeles area. He comes to you at your home or workplace to provide auto scratch and dent repair, auto painting, and collision repair. Work is done in one day or less and the charge is often less than your insurance deductible. Visit http://www.collisiononwheels.com to learn more.

The Affect A Dui Has On Your Auto Insurance

Okay so you were young and dumb and drank and drove home buzzed or stumbling down drunk instead of taking a cab and you got pulled over by the police. Now you are facing a possible DUI conviction that will affect every aspect of your life for a long time to come including your future auto insurance rates. Just how much does a DUI impact your auto insurance rates?

There is no good scenario regarding your insurances rates in the case of a DUI. Once you have a DUI on your DMV record that information will make its way to your insurance agent either when it’s time to renew your insurance or when they run a check on your record which they tend to do periodically for reasons just like this.

Once your agent finds your DUI conviction you will be deemed a high risk driver and your insurance company will either raise your current premium accordingly, as much as doubling or even tripling the premium in some cases, or they will cancel you completely.
Trying to find auto insurance when you have been canceled and you have a current DUI conviction that is on your DMV record is almost impossible and if you do find an agent to carry you, the rate will certainly be through the roof.

So what are your options? DUI laws and insurance coverage vary state by state but most states require a driver with a conviction to carry a SR-22 form that tells the DMV that you have liability insurance. This makes it pretty hard to hide a DUI conviction from the insurance company.

Only a handful of states don’t require a SR-22 including Delaware, Kentucky, New Mexico, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. In theory a driver in one of these states may be able to hide a DUI conviction from their auto insurance agent for years, especially if there are no other traffic citations or DUI convictions. Before you use this tactic, however, keep in mind that once your \”old\” DUI is discovered, your insurance company can take action and cancel you or raise your rates despite the passage of time. As tempting as it may be to hope it never comes to light, the odds are not in your favor and if your deception is unearthed it may be even more difficult to find auto coverage with someone else.

Your mother was right about one thing–everything does hurt less after enough time has passed. If you are able to afford the higher insurance premiums and you maintain a perfect driving record forever after, your high premiums will begin to subside with the passage of time. It may take a few years but eventually the sting of that DUI conviction will begin to subside and you will be able to fall back into lower premiums and be reclassified out of the high risk driver category.

So now that you know how painful a DUI conviction can be after the fact, drive smart, and don’t drink and drive.