Home Insurance Protecting Your Biggest Asset

Home insurance is a must if you own your home, but what do you need to know prior to purchasing insurance? Some of the most important factors are as follows: replacement value of your home, your \”risk\” rating, whether or not you are located in a flood plain and types of discounts you may be eligible for.

Your home should be insured for the amount of replacement value, but how do you know what that amount is? A builder should be able to assist you. For a small fee, they can go through the house and provide an estimate. Make sure the builder takes into consideration any special moldings, plaster wall treatments, stone work for fireplaces, etc when he is making the final estimate. Otherwise, the costs will be figured using a modern, low cost alternative.

Your insurance premium is based on \”risk factors\” that include such things as your occupation, cost to build in the area, where your house is located, what you own, and how you live. Do you have a family dog? What breed is it? Does your house have a pool? Do you have a trampoline or hot tub? Is your house located in a storm zone or a high crime area? Certain materials can reduce your premium such as stone or brick in high storm areas, but the cost of these materials directly affect your premium since your insurance will be used to rebuild your house in the event of a claim. These factors are all considered when determining your premium.

Your basic home insurance policy doesn’t necessarily cover all claim situations. For instance, if you live in a flood plain, you will need an additional policy to cover floods because most home insurance policies do not cover flooding. Another example would be additional policies required for earthquakes in California or hurricanes in Florida (although most policies in Florida contain a separate rider for hurricanes at a higher deductible).

Many home insurance policies offer discounts toward the premiums for various home upgrades. For example, in areas that are prone to windstorms, discounts are offered for storm shutters, reinforcing your roof, or other improvements to your home to help withstand storm damage. Discounts are also offered for burglar alarms, smoke detectors, and installing dead-bolts. Larger discounts are offered for monitored sprinkler systems, fire alarms, and burglar systems. Some states even offer discounts for citizens over the age of 55 and for policy holders that have remained loyal for at least 6 years. Be careful though because the amount of the discount may not be enough to offset a better price from a different company.

Make sure when the time comes to purchase a new house that you consider the cost of the home insurance. Shop around and compare prices. Also, check out the company that you are going to use. Determine the time that the company takes to pay claims and the overall stability of the company. No bargain price is a bargain if the company isn’t stable enough to pay your claims. Do your homework and you can get very affordable home insurance.

Home Insurance For People With Disabilities

Insurance is something that we get to help us prepare for the future. Due to the number of insurance policies and insurance companies that are present, people often feel confused about what to get. Sometimes, we might go through accidents that could change our life. There are times that we have to change our environment to cope up with our disabilities. Luckily for us, the technology of today has made it possible for us to gather equipment and tools that will medically help us even if we are just at home.

Customizing our home might be expensive, especially if you need to change a lot about your home. Having Columbus Ohio insurance may be able to help us with our problem. They can help you with the charges that you have to pay because of the changes you have to make in your home. One of the common things that you would have in your home is a wheelchair. Although there are places in your home where your wheelchair can go to without much effort, there are still other parts that are not readily accessible to people with wheelchairs. To change this, you need to install ramps or lifts to make your home friendlier to the wheelchair users.

Some of the changes in your home could be covered by the ColumbusOhio insurance companieswhile others may not be covered. It is important that you inform the different companies of the changes you made in your home. The insurance companies could cover what your home is previously made of. Some of them may not cover these specific changes especially if you did not report it to them. The insurance companies need to see what changes you have made and they could decide if they will still cover this with your previous home insurance. Some insurance companies will ask you for an additional fee for the changes you made.

To be able to make sure that they cover any loss or damage in your home, you have to make a detailed list of the items that you have in your home. You have to make an estimate of the items so that they could also estimate the replacement cost. Some people could also use pictures in addition to the list of the items that they have. A wheelchair is expensive and loss or damage to it would also be expensive for the insurance companies to replace.

Your home is not the only thing that needs to be insured. Your caretakers should also be insured and there are some professionals that you could hire that already have their insurance. When a care taker experiences an accident in your home, they could sue you. It is important that they also have insurance so that their accident is covered. The next thing that you have to do is to know whose insurance is going to cover the accident. The different insurance companies have different policies regarding these accidents. You should clearly inform yourself about the different policies that your insurance company has so that you know when you are covered and when you are not.

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.