Home Insurance

How To Lower Monthly Home Insurance Premiums With Regular Maintenance 

Posted in Financial Tips, Home Insurance by wpengine Friday, December 10th, 2010- Comments Off on How To Lower Monthly Home Insurance Premiums With Regular Maintenance 

The rate charged for insurance premiums on a homeowner’s policy is dependent on various factors, including the amount of regular maintenance the insured home has apparently received. The simple fact of the matter is that the more an insurance provider sees a policyholder caring for their home with regular acts of maintenance, the more assured they are that their level of risk is minimized. Minimal risk is their goal.

Regularly taking care of routine home maintenance items can play a role in determining the cost of your homeowner’s insurance coverage. Homeowner’s insurance is not designed to cover normal wear and tear in a home and certain items, if not handled in a timely fashion, could end up causing big problems. A leaky pipe is a good example.

If you have a leaky plumbing part or pipe that needs repair and it’s put off until finally something ruptures and a great deal of water damage is suffered this could be ruled as an uncovered claim by some insurance adjusters. Often, homeowners will raise the amount of their deductible in order to save money on their homeowner’s insurance premiums. In some cases, the amount of money required to fix a leaky pipe will be less than the policy’s deductible amount paid toward a claim for water damage suffered as a result of the water damage caused by said leaky pipe left unattended.

In addition to the deductible amount required in the example cited above, it should also be noted that making claims against your homeowner’s policy is also likely to cause future insurance premiums to be higher. Many insurance companies are willing to give a discount to long-term customers who have never made a claim against their policies.

Another area that is somewhat related to regular maintenance on a home and that can significantly reduce insurance premiums is the installation and regular maintenance of various alarm systems. Although it may seem obvious, some people don’t realize how much less risky it is for an insurance company to insure a house that has working alarms installed. This includes fire alarms, heat alarms, burglar alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and even flood alarms.

The big advantage of having working alarms, in the eyes of the insurance provider, is the factor of early warning. If a fire occurs in the insured house, for example, and a monitoring company is able to receive a signal and immediately dispatch the proper emergency response team, the situation may be handled with a minimum of property loss. For this reason, an insurance company is likely to give a discount in insurance premiums to a home with such early warning security measures.

How To Find Affordable Insurance Rates For New Home Purchases

Posted in Financial Tips, Home Insurance by wpengine Friday, December 10th, 2010- Comments Off on How To Find Affordable Insurance Rates For New Home Purchases

New home purchases can be quite stressful and the number of details vying for your attention may seem endless. If it’s your first time, it can be all the more difficult because you’re in uncharted waters, so to speak, and you’re trying your best to avoid costly mistakes. Getting the best insurance rates doesn’t have to present another challenge and, in fact, is simpler than it’s ever been.

First, anyone buying a new home knows that homeowners insurance will almost certainly be required. The exception would be if you own the home outright without any portion being financed. If someone is lending you money to buy a house, you can be sure that they are going to want to have their financial interests in your property covered in the event of some type of disaster such as a fire.

For those fortunate enough to be able to acquire a new house without the use of financing, it should be safe to say that they’re smart enough to realize that, without insurance, their total investment would be at risk. Not only will a simple homeowners policy protect you in the event of structure loss, but the contents should also be protected for loss from theft or fire damage.

If you do a quick online search for insurance rates on new home purchases, you’ll notice an interesting thing. This market is huge. Imagine typing in a simple phrase like, “new home insurance,” and receiving 180,000,000 website addresses to consider. It’s almost incomprehensible.

Unlike automobile insurance, however, the top 10 or 20 sites on the homeowner’s insurance list are not predominantly big-name companies. Insurance companies have spent so many millions on television advertising in the past that their slogans have become household phrases. Think, “Own a piece of the Rock,” or, “You’re in Good Hands.” All these household-name companies are in the forefront of auto and life insurance sales on the Internet but in the homeowners insurance category, only the good hands people make it into the top 20 on the largest search engine.

What you’ll find instead are lots of insurance comparison companies doing business online. By using one of them, you can let somebody else do most of the work for you. You simply fill out one short data form and then let them search for companies and policies to best suit your needs. They’ll return a list of multiple providers and multiple price quotes to those requesting a free insurance quote. Your job becomes much easier and you might even get a call from a friendly agent offering you a great deal.

How New Homes Are Built With Environmentally Friendly Components

Posted in Financial Tips, Home Insurance by wpengine Saturday, November 6th, 2010- Comments Off on How New Homes Are Built With Environmentally Friendly Components

Some new homes are being built to be greener. The environmentally friendly components used in the construction are normally energy and water efficient, come from sustainable sources, have less toxins and reduce waste. These components are becoming more easily available, and new products are on the market every year.

One of the first decisions in building a green home is the size of the home. Smaller homes use less energy to build and less energy is used to maintain the home. Less water is also used in a house with fewer bathrooms and a smaller kitchen. Also, fewer materials are used in the construction of the home.

Energy efficiency in new homes is achieved through using insulating windows and wall insulation and installing heating and air systems that use less energy. Passive energy efficiency includes choosing the right site and positioning of the home so that it uses natural light and protects the home from extreme weather. Passive solar heating is also achieved by having masonry walls that absorb the heat of the sun during the day and emit it at night to keep the home warm.

Water efficiency is improved by using low flow toilet and showers. A gray water system also reuses the water from bathing and washing to flush toilets or water a garden. Rain water can also be captured from the gutter system of the home and then used for landscaping. The landscaping should be made up of drought tolerant plants that are indigenous to the region. The proper planning of the landscape can save enormous amounts of water over the years.

Sustainable building materials are used in environmentally friendly home construction. These materials may be recycled or come from woods that are easy to re-grow such as bamboo. Fiber cement siding is a one of the environmentally friendly components that can be used on the outside of the home. No trees have to be cut down to manufacture it. It holds up well to the elements and keeps out the heat to keep the house cooler. Using local natural materials reduces the amount energy needed to manufacture and transport them to the home site.

Environmentally friendly components can also minimize toxins in a home. Materials with fewer chemicals create better indoor air quality, less allergic reactions and better health. Builders of environmentally friendly homes will use fewer manufactured kinds of wood such as plywood because these materials are made with chemicals. Organic carpets, toxin-free paints and natural flooring can all provide a healthier environment.

Environmentally friendly new homes are more in demand than ever. They are not only friendlier to the planet but to the people who live in them.

How Title Disputes Can Affect New Home Buyers And Agents

Posted in Financial Tips, Home Insurance by wpengine Saturday, November 6th, 2010- Comments Off on How Title Disputes Can Affect New Home Buyers And Agents

Title disputes can cause many problems for both new home buyers and their agents. Title disputes can occur when there are liens on a home. There are also concerns with zoning, falsified documents, and unpaid taxes. All of these problems have recently become a high risk due to the number of foreclosures on the market.

The process of buying a foreclosure includes an agent. It can be a long, difficult process and agents are in charge, which can cause problems for them and their clients. Agents are the only ones who can put a formal bid on a property.

Without title insurance, title disputes can affect home buyers because they can lose considerable money. They also may not be able to get the home they wanted if there are too many disputes. Title disputes are common in foreclosures. People who find themselves in financial trouble may make a claim against the title to get some money to avoid foreclosure. Often, however, this method does not work, but the claim remains on the property.

Other things that can cause title disputes are liens against a property or questions about the validity of documents associated with the home. There are several types of liens including equitable liens, general liens, judgment liens, and involuntary liens. Equitable liens are liens used to pay off a debt. For instance, a home may get a lien against it if the previous owners used it as collateral for a loan. General liens come from court judgments, IRS taxes, and probate actions. Involuntarily liens on a home arise from non-compliance with state statutes.

Certain situations lend themselves more to title disputes than others. A home that was involved in a divorce settlement may have general liens against them due to court orders. Title disputes can also become a problem if a home has changed hands several times. There may be times that a title signature is in question. If the signature is in question, that title then goes under suspicion of being falsified. Without a proper title, homebuyers and agents cannot complete a purchase. Agents for sellers will not be able to sell the home if the title's validity is in question.

Title disputes can cause considerable problems both for new home buyers and their agents. They can be costly. This is especially true if the home buyer does not purchase title insurance. Title disputes are common in foreclosures. This is true because in an effort to avoid foreclosures a home owner may put a claim against the title. They can also arise out of a suspicious title signature, out of court orders based on a divorce settlement, or when a home owner fails to pay taxes.

How Daily Maintenance Can Lower Your Home Insurance Premiums

Posted in Financial Tips, Home Insurance by wpengine Saturday, November 6th, 2010- Comments Off on How Daily Maintenance Can Lower Your Home Insurance Premiums

In order to get the most out of home insurance premiums, owners are wise to practice a regimen of daily maintenance on their homes. While home insurance is designed to cover events like fires, thefts, or electrical damage that cannot be reliably predicted, it will not cover items that homeowners should have taken care of themselves. In fact, if a home insurance claim can be proven to have a root cause of failure on the owner's part to conduct proper maintenance, the claim will likely be rejected. But it is not simply to avoid problems that homeowners should engage in daily maintenance; over time, proper daily maintenance may in fact result in a lowering of home insurance premiums.

It works in a few ways. First, home insurance companies are in the business of mitigating risk and maximizing profit. If a home or owner represents risk, they will face increases in premium rates for coverage based on the assumption that they will use their insurance more often. A homeowner that is diligent in daily maintenance can demonstrate to an insurance provider that he/she is not only reliable, but also rarely, if ever, makes claims on his/her insurance policy. Over time, the insurance company will often reward homeowners that maintain their properties with reduced insurance rates. A consistent record of home maintenance and standards keeping can help to slowly bring down the cost of a premium and reduce the amount that it will increase should a home insurance claim need to be filed.

In addition, daily maintenance of a home can help to limit the amount of coverage that a home requires, once again lowering the amount of premiums paid. If a homeowner is extremely knowledgeable about his/her own property and its problems, he/she can correct and predict many of the issues that may arise. In cases such as this, owners may be able to purchase only the minimum required coverage for the home, as they are able to mitigate most, if not all, of the damage that the home would ordinarily suffer. This knowledge of a home's ins and outs, in conjunction with regular maintenance, can help to keep home insurance premiums to a minimum.

Finally, regular and effective maintenance on a home can help to keep it not only problem-free, but also in need of fewer interactions with an insurance company. This in turn sets the homeowners in good stead, as they would then have an excellent standing with the insurance company and could deal with many problems before they become larger issues. Over time, daily maintenance can have payoffs for both the home and also the homeowner's insurance premiums.

How To Upgrade An Existing Home Insurance Policy

Posted in Financial Tips, Home Insurance by wpengine Friday, November 5th, 2010- Comments Off on How To Upgrade An Existing Home Insurance Policy

There might come a time when you would want to upgrade your existing home insurance policy. It could be because you are not happy with your current home insurance policy or you just remodeled your house and want a policy that provides better coverage so you are wanting to upgrade a policy. According to a recent survey, almost two-thirds of homes in the United States are under-insured and in the event of a disaster, this can lead to major problems.

After you have decided to upgrade your current home insurance policy, one of the first things to do is to go through your existing policy and list out the things that you like and dislike about the policy. You might come across many things that you had previously overlooked. You must then determine the type of coverage that you want when you upgrade your policy. This will be based on several factors such as, the structure and cost-replacement value of your home.

After you have decided on the type of coverage that you need, it's time to start searching for the ideal home insurance policy. You can do this by searching online or speaking to an insurance agent. If you seek the help of an agent, you will be able to have active discussions with the agent who will be able to give you fresh ideas and suggest better options. By searching online, you will be able to compare and get free home insurance quotes. By comparing home insurance quotes, you will be able to zero in on a policy that is within your budget and offers good benefits.

You should also find out about the cost of replacing your home and its contents in case of a disaster and upgrade your policy accordingly. It is a good idea to create a detailed listing of every single item in your home. Without proper coverage, in the event of a disaster such as a fire, flood or tornado, your home insurance policy may not provide enough funds to rebuild your home and replace the valuables.

You must also make sure that your new home insurance policy includes coverage for building upgrades or code changes. This ensures that your insurance policy will take care of the cost of any mandatory future building code upgrades.

It is a good idea to review your existing home insurance policy every three to five years. It is also important that you go through and review your annual home insurance-renewal notice. This will help you keep track of your current coverage and if you notice anything that you are not happy with, you will know that it is time to upgrade your existing home insurance policy.

How to Locate Home Insurance Discounts Plans For Bulk Purchases

Posted in Financial Tips, Home Insurance by wpengine Friday, November 5th, 2010- Comments Off on How to Locate Home Insurance Discounts Plans For Bulk Purchases

Affordable home insurance is something every homeowner would like to find. A home insurance discount can be obtained through bulk purchases. Although a homeowner must do some research to find an insurance plan that offers such discounts, it could be worth the time and effort.

One way to get a home insurance discount is to purchase each type of insurance a homeowner has through one insurance company, or through bulk purchases. For example, an insurance company that has a client with automobile insurance may offer the client a discount for purchasing home insurance with their company as well. This discount is offered for any number of different types of insurance including health or life insurance.

There are many other ways to get a home insurance discount. Some companies offer discounts to homeowners with approved security systems and other security devices. Keeping a home secure from burglary and break-ins can help reduce your home insurance rates.

The same holds true for fire and smoke alarm systems and devices. This is especially valuable in older homes. If smoke detectors are installed and fire extinguishers are on hand, an insurance company may offer a discount.

If a home is old, insurance companies know from experience that they may pay for more repairs and maintenance. All homes need some repairs, but new homes are less likely to have major problems like plumbing or electrical issues. Therefore, some companies offer discounts for new homes in good condition.

The age of the home is not the only age that is significant when discussing discounts. Insurance companies expect less damage to a home if the owner is older. The age that a company starts offering a discount varies, but some companies will offer a discount to an existing policyholder at the age of 50.

The type of roof on a house can bring the homeowner a discount. Roofs that are noncombustible and impact-resistant can provide an opportunity to save on home insurance.

Homeowners with a claims-free history may receive a discount. Other companies offer discounts for those who have not had a claim within a certain number of years. In addition, some companies offer discounts to homeowners that have been insuring their homes with their company for a specified number of years.

Home insurance discounts vary between companies. Some offer a few of the discounts mentioned, some offer them all and others offer discounts not addressed here. It is important to discuss your home insurance needs with an agent to be sure you have the appropriate coverage.

Having home insurance helps give homeowners peace of mind. Finding affordable home insurance through discounts is one important way for individuals and families to enjoy their home.

How To Pick The Best Home Insurance Online Quote

Posted in Financial Tips, Home Insurance by wpengine Thursday, November 4th, 2010- Comments Off on How To Pick The Best Home Insurance Online Quote

The cheapest home insurance online quote is not necessarily the best deal for you and your family. You must first determine what your exact needs are and compare home insurance rates to get the best value. Moreover, with the right online tools, the right home insurance rate quote will be within your reach.

Before beginning your search, first think about the type of coverage you will need. What is it exactly that will you be insuring? How much are you willing to pay for it? The bottom line is that you only want to pay for the coverage that you truly need.

The most efficient way to get the best home insurance quote is to make a comparison between as many home insurance policies as you can. The simplest way to do this is to go online and use a free comparison site for home insurance. Here, you can compare one company's home insurance rate quote with another, instantly.

When choosing your home insurance policy, consider the many available features that you can have. You can have your home insurance policy cover defined events or accidental damage. If you reside in a location that is prone to extreme weather conditions such as storms and floods, be sure to have those events covered. A good home insurance policy should also cover theft, vandalism and other malicious acts.

How comprehensive do you want your home insurance policy to be? Do not be overwhelmed when offered a somewhat expensive home insurance rate quote. It may be due to additional features such as coverage for food spoilage, credit card theft, and loss of visitors' belongings. Your home insurance policy may even have indemnity coverage.

A good home insurance online quote may also reflect certain types of rewards and discounts offered by the insurer. There may be discounts for customers of a certain age, for those who have previously purchased policies from the company, and for those who belong to affiliated unions and groups.

Choose a home insurance quote from a company that offers flexible options for payment. If you feel an annual payment will be too difficult, a monthly payment option would be ideal.

Another factor you should look into is the process of making a claim. How easy or difficult is it? If you experience a certain loss, you will want to have an insurance company that is available 24/7 and one that can efficiently process your claim via a phone call, minus a hefty amount of paperwork.

While online, also look into the company's ratings. Check for customer service ratings and its financial reputation. With all of these online tools available, you will surely find the right home insurance quote.

How Home Insurance Rates Have Impacted The Housing Industry

Posted in Financial Tips, Home Insurance by wpengine Thursday, November 4th, 2010- Comments Off on How Home Insurance Rates Have Impacted The Housing Industry

Home insurance rates are a piece of the puzzle that today's housing industry must consider as it begins emerging from the mortgage crises that have flattened the economy. It isn't as if insurance costs play an overly critical role in what's taking place in the housing market, but there are some issues that do appear in need of lenders and buyers attention.

Technology has made tremendous strides in helping exercise the home valuation process—but many challenges remain. There is evidence that shows current trends in housing markets and the construction industry have put many properties in danger of being underinsured, just the same as homeowners who reduced their insurance coverage in order to counter the recession's impact. This isn't good news. It creates a shaky situation because it puts many policyholders in danger of having to take on more risk if their property is destroyed by some catastrophic event.

One result of the more risk acceptance shouldered by policyholders is that rebuilding cost data and analytical methods – both invaluable aids – aren't brought fully into play. They were created to give policyholders vital information about potential risks and what to expect based on reliable insurance-to value estimates that can help protect their investments.

Rebuilding or selling a home during the past three years has been a difficult proposition. Property values have steadily fallen, but reconstruction costs have continued to rise. That spells uncertainty for insurance companies who must set homeowner policy rates at levels they anticipate will provide adequate coverage, while making a profit for the insurance industry. A nationwide study of the costs associated with rebuilding or rehabilitating properties rose 0.96 percent across the board in 2009.

Hurricanes have definitely had an impact on the housing industry. Home insurance rates along the Southeast corridor have increased substantially because of the economic consequences created by hurricanes in 2004 and 2005. Some insurance companies have even gone so far as to stop selling homeowner's insurance because the risk is too high. What's happening in this area cannot be good for its economic activity, nor does it encourage rebuilding at costs that can only be guessed at.

What's happening in the home insurance industry isn't making businesses and homeowners happy. Almost every day local media stories are told about how individuals have to pay premiums that can be four times as much as their original costs. It's a situation that most homeowners cannot avoid because their mortgage holders demand insurance be provided to protect their investment.

The bottom line for all these problems is that expensive homeowner's insurance could really blunt what has been a thriving housing industry.

How To Get Home Insurance Coverage For Corporate Housing Units

Posted in Financial Tips, Home Insurance by wpengine Thursday, November 4th, 2010- Comments Off on How To Get Home Insurance Coverage For Corporate Housing Units

Home insurance coverage is vital for all homeowners. This is true for owners of any type of housing, including corporate housing. Corporate housing has become widespread as businesses grow, and has become a growing source of income for those with available rental property. Insuring corporate housing is as important as insuring any other residence.

Corporate housing allows busy people who are away from home to leave work and have a place to relax that is a similar environment to their own home. Corporate housing is usually designed to house business personnel for a temporary period. Employees can be sent to help other branches of a business for weeks at a time or can be housed for an indefinite period while trying to find a new home when relocating for a job. Corporate housing fulfills various needs of all types of businesses.

Home insurance coverage should be purchased for corporate housing units. Since these units are rented, owners can purchase insurance just as they would for any rental property. Those seeking to secure home insurance coverage for their corporate housing units should use a qualified commercial insurance broker.

Certain aspects of corporate housing should be considered when purchasing home insurance. Coverage for appliances is important since these units are furnished. Beyond everyday wear, accidents happen, especially when a businessperson brings their family with them or for a visit. Children can be rough and appliances can be expensive.

Whether fabricated or natural, events take place that can cause an owner to lose this source of income. Fires, floods and storms can render rental property uninhabitable, and the tenant must vacate the property while repairs are being made. Repairing the damage as quickly is vital to restoring income, but the owner will need funds to pay for the repairs just at the time of the income loss. Insurance coverage to protect your rental income will bring security to owners in case of some type of event that causes the property to be closed down to tenants.

In the event that something happens to a tenant while occupying your property, it is important to have adequate liability coverage. In addition, no matter how many different ways an owner verifies the reliability of a potential tenant beforehand, there is no way to know whether a tenant has litigious tendencies. The best way to decrease an owner's risk of personal liability is adequate liability coverage.

A good place to start to find home insurance coverage for corporate housing is a reliable and knowledgeable commercial insurance broker. The appropriate coverage will help maximize the owner's income as well as providing the peace of mind that comes with having the right insurance coverage.