How to Get Affordable Home Insurance Quotes

From 2004 to 2006, about 35 percent of American households saw their homeowners insurance rates increase, sometimes by as much as 40 percent. Here's how to get affordable home insurance quotes from top companies.

Buy Only as Much Insurance as You Need

You need to buy enough insurance so that you can replace your home and your personal possessions if necessary. You do not need to insure the land your home sits on.

To help you figure out how much insurance to buy, talk to a local builder or real estate agent to find out how much it would cost to rebuild your home. You should also inventory your personal possessions so you know how much they would cost to replace.

Raise Your Deductible

Your deductible is the amount you pay towards any insurance claims before the insurance company starts paying. Setting your deductible as high as possible offers two advantages:

* Your premium is lower – often by as much as 40 percent.

* You handle smaller claims yourself instead of submitting multiple small claims, which can increase your premium.

Look for Discounts

You can lower your insurance even more by getting all the discounts you're eligible for. Common home insurance discounts include:

* Non-smokers discount

* Discounts for safety features such as smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, alarm systems, fire extinguishers, and deadbolts

* Senior citizen discount

* Auto / home discount for having your auto and home insurance with the same company

Be sure to ask your insurance professional if there are any other discounts you qualify for.

Shop Around

Insurance rates can vary dramatically from one company to another, so you can save a lot of money just by shopping around and making sure you're getting the best rate. The easiest way to shop for rates is to go to an insurance comparison website where you'll spend just a few minutes typing in your insurance information to get quotes from multiple companies.

On the best insurance comparison websites you can even talk with insurance experts online about more ways to make your homeowners insurance more affordable (see link below).

Source by Brian Stevens

Giving Life Insurance to Charity

Do you always try to do what you can to help others? If a big part of your life work is to help charities you believe in, you may be interested to know a big part of your lasting nationality after you are gone could be giving to those same charities. You can leave a life insurance policy to the charity of your choice.

Getting Your House In Order

Before you make this type of consideration, you need to make sure your personal house is in order. Have you considered what will happen when you die? Have you asked your family for a full funeral? You need to make sure that you leave behind enough money for them to carry out your final wishes, no matter how big or small.

Also, if you have family members who are dependent on you, how are they going to take care of themselves when you are gone? For many people this is the exact reason they have a life insurance policy in the first place – to take care of their family if they were to pass away. Make sure that goal has been reached before considering repositioning your life insurance policy.

But what if you have managed to make a good name for yourself and have plenty of money to take care of your obligations. Or what if you have no one who is dependent on you anymore and no need for all that money in the life insurance policy? Why not do some good with it.

Helping Others

Once you have made sure your obligations are met, you can use your life insurance policy to help out a charity that you believe in. The process is easy enough. You just need to call the life insurance company and make sure that the benefactor is changed to the charity you would like to help. This is often what happens when the policy was written out to a spouse who has already passed away and there is no one else in the family that the policy holder wants to give money to.

If you do not have a policy yet, mention what you want to do when you are looking around for insurance policy quotes. Most insurance companies know this process and even may have a special person that works on cases like yours so they can walk you through the process and can make it easier for all of you.

Source by Stephen Sikes

Bundle Your Commercial Insurance For Better Value

The small business owner in Ireland has many things to deal with apart from the actual day to day running of their business. Whether you are a corner shop or a manufacturing plant, insurance is one of the key considerations to be watched very carefully because of the massive negative implications for the business if things go wrong and inadequate or no insurance cover is in place.

To solve the problem of whether you have all bases covered in relation to the many risks that are in any given business, your broker should be able to assemble a bundled package for you. The broker should evaluate your critical areas of risk. The obvious ones are public and employer liability, property and contents insurance. These should be simple exercises to calculate your needs, but even they are fraught with the danger of not, for example, covering enough of part time staff in a retail business.

The less obvious ones, such as cover for lack of trading because of damage or cover for payment of rent while recovering from flood or fire damage, need to be included in any decent policy. When filling out a proposal form, ensure you do it with your broker as they will have more experience of the possible risks you might overlook. Always be as accurate as possible in your valuations – err on the high side if necessary. However, in the event of a claim you will only get the exact value as calculated by a claims assessor. If you under-insure, you will be subject to what is known as "average settlement", a ratio of what you have claimed in relation to the value you stated on your proposal form.

A bundled package, or commercial combined insurance policy, as it is sometimes known, offers either one policy or a multiple of policies presented to you as an umbrella schedule by your broker. The reason for the multiple policies is that one underwriter might be more competitive than another in covering certain types of risk and as the brokers job is to get you the best possible deal in your interests, they should search the market for the best combined package. In fact, be wary of the broker who provides you with a quote for everything you need from the one underwriter – it may suggest that they are tied to a particular underwriter for better commission or are just too lazy to research the market on your behalf.

Before you renew your policy, it is worth imagining the worst case scenario for an event which would close your business and ensure that all possible liabilities are covered.

Source by Seamus Maguire

6 Simple Tips to Get a Cheaper Car Insurance Rate

We are all being hit with these little economic struggles. While things will get better, they always do, this can be a good time because it makes us take a closer look at our financial records than we may have if things were going great and the money was flowing in. So along with the cable bill or the cell phone bill, trying to get a cheap rate when it comes to your car insurance should be on that list or things you may have to try and lower to save you a few bucks. Here 6 tips that may help you get cheaper car insurance:

# 1. Get a copy of your credit report
Wrong or not, some of these companies look at these reports to see if you pay your bills on time or not. Whether or not it is the right, it's a reality. Make sure you have no blemishes on your credit report.

# 2. Skip the collision coverage …. if you dare
No, seriously, if you have a car that is really old or does not have a very expensive replacement cost then you can go with out it. You could use the money you would save to buy a new car.

# 3. Shop around
Duh. Not to state the obvious, but with the internet there is really no excuse you can not spend an hour or two getting different quotes or making a couple of phone calls.

# 4. High Deductible
A lot of people do not like to do this, but you can gamble a little bit and go with more out of pocket if you were to get into an accident. It can kind of be like gambling, but might be worth looking into.

# 5. Low Mileage Discounts
Some companies will actually give discount if you do not drive that much. So if you live close to work or just do not really drive that often, ask your provider if they offer some kind of discount. You may be pleasantly surprised.

# 6. Ask
Things change. Rates change. They are not going to call you. You need to call them.

These are all simple things, but if you just take a little bit of time to peruse a few of them you might have a few more bucks at the end of the year.

Source by Bill Sheers

4 Things to Stop Paying Extra For Auto Insurance Right Now!

You have heard the commercials. They tell you that you are paying too much for your car insurance. I think we get bombarded with those commercials so much that we never really do anything about it. I love the Gieco cavemen, but it never makes me call my insurance guy and get a new quote. I think I should though. They truly are a lot of ways to save on your insurance rates. I'm probably paying more than I have to and you most likely are too. Here are some ways to cut down that rate.

# 1 Ask for discounts

You never know. Most of us have heard of the multi policy discount or the 'I do not drive a lot' discount, but there are usually many more. If you are a Veteran you may get a discount or even a member of different groups can sometimes get a little extra discount. Ask. It will not hurt and you might just qualify for one of these hidden gems.

# 2 Keep your record clean.

Do not get tickets, plain and simple. If you already have some, start now to get the record cleaned up. It can save you anywhere between 15% -25%. That's huge and worth following the law.

# 3 How much do you want to spend if you get into an accident?

You have to have a certain amount of coverage that will cover the other person if you get into a wreck, but you can lower your own coverage if you want, especially if you own the car outright. But be careful. You could end up paying big bucks out of pocket if you are under insured. A good rule of thumb is that that is your car is pretty old you may what to take the chance.

# 4 Get anti-theft devices

These things like Lo-Jack and other security systems will absolutely give you a discount with your insurer, maybe even as much as 20%. It's worth looking into. Not to mention the fact that your car will not get ripped off and hike up your rates. Win-Win.

Think about implementing a few of these things. You will not be sorry and if you did just two of these things I think it's safe to say you would save some kind of money.

Source by Bill Sheers

Getting the Right Home Contents Insurance

You spend a lot of time, money and effort on your home contents but sometimes very little on protecting them. Buying the wrong home contents insurance policy could cause a lot of heartache and financial spend in the future if you do not have adequate protection.

So, first of all, what is home contents insurance?

Home contents insurance covers your personal belongings in the home from clothes and books to CDs and saucepans. In fact, if you turned your house upside down and look it, all the stuff that fell out would be classed as 'contents'. Everything else (fitted wardrobes, fitted kitchen, the walls etc) would need to be insured under buildings cover.

By having a home contents insurance policy in place you are ensuring that, if the worst were to happen and you were to lose everything in your home, you would be able to at least replace your contents with the money from your insurance policy. The majority of contents insurance policies cover your personal items from damage such as fire, theft, vandalism, storm and damage caused by flooding.

Getting the right sum insured

The first decision you have to make when looking for home contents insurance is how much cover you need. This is known as the 'sum insured' and this is the amount you would receive back if you lost everything. Therefore, to make sure that you have an adequate sum insured, you need to make an inventory of all your personal belongings. Do not forget the large items such as sofas or beds as well as the smaller ones (DVD's, CD's, cutlery etc) and those items hidden out of sight in the wardrobes and drawers.

Failing to get the right sum insured could see you being under insured. This means that in the event of a claim, you may not get all the money needed to replace all your marriages.

What the cover entails

Making sure you have the right protection is imperative and the internet is a great place to compare what is and what is not covered in the various policies you are considering.

One of the many things you need to look for is whether the policy would pay for any loss or damage on a new for old basis or whether depreciation would be taken into account. For instance, if your living room carpet was damaged and had to be replaced, if you had new for old cover then you would get sufficient payment to replace the carpet with a new one.

If depreciation was taken into account, then you would get an amount that was equivalent to what the carpet would be worth today, allowing for wear and tear.

Check to see if the contents of your garden are included. Some providers will cover the cost of plants in the garden and hanging baskets for instance.

Another thing to look for within the cover is whether your freezer contents would be covered. This means that if you lost all the contents of your freezer the insurance policy would pay out for you to fill it back up again. Also make sure 'big ticket' items are covered such as a laptop or engagement ring and take into consideration any items regularly taken away from home such as a bike.

Lastly, make sure your home is secure. When buying your home contents insurance be aware that insurers often reward homeowners who make their property safe. For example, if you have an alarm system or belong to a Neighborhood Watch Scheme, you could get a discount on your cover. Plus, a more secure home means you'll be less at risk of theft.

Source by Liz Willder

Life Insurance Is So Important For All Families

Life insurance is so important for all families to have, especially those with young children. It should be a natural thing to do to make provision for your family in case something unforeseen had to happen to you. You will have peace of mind once you have purchased a policy and you know that you have done your duty towards your family.

It is so easy to check the insurance companies online and read all the information about these policies. You can get a quote online within minutes of waiting and then apply for the policy as well. This can all be done without leaving your chair. When the policy is issued to you within a short while it will be valid as soon as you receive it.

Life insurance is a necessity for all families with young children. This is to protect your children against financial catastrophe in case the unforeseen happened to you and they were left without the main bread winner to provide for them. This could alter their lifestyles completely. The policy serves as a financial umbrella over them.

Getting an insurance policy is something that has to be done if you are in a position where people depend on you. Whether it is your family or a business partner this financial covering will give you peace of mind as you do not know what the future holds.

Once you are satisfied with this you can apply for the policy online as well. Once you have received it and you are not fully satisfied you are given thirty one days to return it and your premium will be reimbursed. You can then start all over again selecting another policy. The only problem with buying insurance online is that you may only purchase insurance up to a certain value. Anything over this value you will have to purchase from a broker.

Source by Lee Van

Seller Disclosure Nightmare – How To Avoid Getting Sued

There's a new Washington Supreme Court case that changes the way buyers and sellers will negotiate. The case is Alejandre v. Bull. This case addresses the hottest issue right now in the State of Washington for Realtors, buyers and sellers. It involves the issue of negligent misrepresentation by a seller and what remedy a buyer will have. Negligent misrepresentation includes both intentional and unintentional misrepresentation. This is especially hot, because the brand new Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) Form 21, which is the Purchase and Sale Agreement used in all of Washington effective October 15, 2007, includes a check mark to include or not include a remedy for the buyer to sue the seller for misrepresentation. For purposes of this discussion, think unintentional and innocent misrepresentations.

The actual language is, " Disclosures in Form 17: Buyer will ___; will not ___ have a remedy for Seller's negligence errors, inaccuracies, or omissions in Form 17. " Form 17 is Washington's Seller Disclosure Statement required since January 1, 1995.

Some have mistaken what this is all about, which is indicated by a response you will hear today by many in and out of the real estate business, "Well, seller's should not be allowed to lie." Another response is, "If the seller is not lying, what's the problem?" That's NOT what this is about. Those kinds of statements miss the whole point. Of course, seller's should not lie. If the Alejandre case and the new language in the Form 21 was just about catching liars, we would all be rejoicing.

This new line 9 in the Purchase and Sale Agreement casts a very large net, and will capture honest and completely innocent sellers who never lied and had no way of knowing about a hidden defect or problem inside their septic, or inside a wall, or under their foundation, and so on. You get the point. But this new language gives them the right to sue, and maybe win a huge sentence against an honest and completely innocent seller.

This will be a contentious negotiating item between buyers and sellers, thank you very much lawyers and the NWMLS. (I'm a retired real estate attorney, but I would not have included this new remedy in Form 21.) There is a lot of misunderstanding and confusion about what this case means and how to handle the new Purchase and Sale Agreement. Realtors are challenged on how to explain this new option to buyers and to sellers.

Now a seller has to agree in writing with a buyer that he can be sued not only for breach of contract, but also "in tort" for unintentional misrepresentation. A seller may not actually have been inside his septic tank, and he may not actually know if there is a latent defect. Now, if the seller agreements to allow the buyer to sue him for any defects, even those he did not know about in his septic system (or elsewhere), he can be taken to court and everyone can pay the attorney's $ 30,000 to $ 70,000. What fun!

My guess is that sellers will NOT agree to this (why would they?), So we will simply go back to the contract without this additional remedy for the buyer. The other amazing conviction of all this (as if it was not predictable) is that sellers are going to make sure they do not commit themselves to a "yes" or "no" on the Form 17 Seller's Disclosure Statement if there is any possibility they may be sued. The safe answer may simply be an innocent "Do not Know," which oddly enough will actually help a seller from being held liable for misrepresentation at trial. I know this to be true, because I have litigated these kinds of cases.

While the Alejandre ruling did not create new law (it cited state precedent in many cases going back to 1987), and while the Alejandre ruling did not require any change in our forms, the MLS and their lawyers felt it necessary to add this new provision to the state wide Purchase & Sale form. This effect will gut the State Legislature's intent in creating the disclosure law, because of how this will work out in practice at the negotiating table with buyers and sellers across the state. As Realtors, we are not in a law school class room discussing the law as professors discuss it.

Here's my prediction of how this will work out on the street:

  1. Sellers will fudge on Form 17 statements, marking "Do not Know" whenever they can to protect themselves; Egypt
  2. Sellers will simply require the buyer to waive the form 17 or they will not sell the property to that buyer; Egypt
  3. Sellers will refuse to agree to a buyer's demand to check line 9 on the P & S giving the buyer the right to sue for unintentional misrepresentation; Egypt
  4. Sellers will do both 1 and 3 above.

How's that for consumer protection! You've got to hand it to the lawyers for destroying consumer protection in such a creative way. On top of that, they have confused the heck out of Realtors, buyers and sellers, and everyone in between. Even the lawyers across the state are in a frenzy writing each other legal memorandums.

Who has the toughest job in all of this? I'll tell you who: the Realtor. How does a Realtor explain any of this to his buyer or to his seller? If a Realtor does not say something about the Form 17 and line 9 on the Purchase and Sale Agreement, the client will not know where to start. If the Realtor explains in detail what this is about and gives the client advice, he or she is practicing law without a license, and will be a great target for a lawsuit. (The real target is the broker's errors and omissions insurance company, since insurance companies gladly write big settlement checks all week long in Seattle to avoid going to trial at any cost).

For sellers and buyers, what can I say, except see your attorney. As for Realtors. . . I wish all you Realtors good luck in coming up with a script that will keep you out of jail. (Oops! I am a Realtor! Eghad!)

Read the full text of Alejandre v. Bull

Source by Chuck Marunde

Landlords Insurance – An Important Tool for Securing the Property

Property owners are always worried about the protection of their property which has been leased out. Their concern is not baseless as the property which has been renamed out can be damaged due to the negligent attitude of any tenant. However, one can cover all such losses by purchasing suitable landlords insurance. This insurance is meant for landlords who have rented out their property for earning some income. Most people confuse this coverage with home insurance. Home Insurance is also meant to protect the property but it is different from this cover. Home Insurance is for such property where the owner lives himself. The insurance for protecting landlord is used for property which is occupied by tenants. You can easily recover from any loss or damage made to the property if it is covered by suitable insurance coverage.

Before buying the 'landlords insurance', it is advised to check the types of policies available, which all is covered under them and the payment options.

The types of insurance that one will find are

Tenant content insurance

Tenant default

Loss of rent insurance

It is better to compare the quotes of different insurance providers before selecting one. Look for as many quotes as possible and speak to the insurance advisors so that you can understand all the factors which are important to be considered while working out the cost of the policy.

There are many ways of buying insurance. You can either visit the office of an insurance company or search online for quotes. Make sure to compare the type of coverage with the price while searching for a suitable policy. In general, a suitable policy covers the damage to the property caused by natural calamities or manmade causes. Usually, a typical 'landlords insurance policy' also provides liability coverage to the landlord in case the tenant is injured on the property.

The type of tenant is also a factor which is considered while fixing the price of the policy. So, it is important to think about it while renting out the property. It is possible to get a good deal for insurance if the tenant is responsible and has been in the property for a long time. One can also avail discount or a 'no claim bonus' if there have been no claims made in the recent past by the insured person. Another factor to be considered while fixing the price is the location of the property. Landlords insurance is usually expensive in big cities as compared to smaller towns because the cost of property in cities is higher, so the building cost component of the insurance is higher.

So, research and select the best policy to gain peace of mind.

Source by Harry S Chugh

Why Do You Need to Have an Adequate Car Insurance Coverage?

Nowadays, when you buy a car, you must also carry adequate insurance. You may be wondering why do you have to cover the extra cost of the insurance. Actually, the premium is affordable and you can get discount when you buy it online. It is common for people to get into accident every once in a while. Therefore, it is best to always equip yourself with adequate insurance coverage just to be on the safe side.

Driving a car without car insurance is illegal. If you get used, you may get a hefty fine. The premium of your car insurance policy must meet the minimum requirement of your state. Every state has different insurance requirements. Most of the states require you to have liability insurance. Some states like New York and Florida require drivers to have a personal injury protection.

Having an adequate car insurance can protect your finance in case you encounter an accident. If your car collide with someone else's car and you are at fault, you will have to pay an expensive damage fees. The damage fees will cover the other party's car damages along with the hospital or medical fees of the driver or passengers.

The damage fees often reach up to a few thousands dollars. You will be broke if you use the money from your savings to pay the damage fees. If you do not pay for the damages, the other party may sue you in the court. If you have an insurance policy, you just have to file a claim and they will refund the damage fees.

You may want to consider obtaining a comprehensive / collision car insurance as it not only protects the damages of the other party's car but also the damage you suffer as a result of the accident. Many people who drive on the highway do not carry enough car insurance. For this reason, if someone collide with your car and run away, you will at least can claim the damage fees from your insurance company.

Comprehensive / collision coverage provides coverage when you accidently hit an animal that is crossing the road. It covers damages on the broken windshield, hail damage, fire damage or collision that happened as a result of a storm. Your comprehensive insurance will also reimburse the compensation on a stolen vehicle that has gone missing for over 1 month.

It gives you coverage over any type of vandalism performed on your car, for example, someone uses a key to scrap the paint off your car. It offers coverage when your car is damaged due to high flooding water caused by a hurricane. It is your comprehensive coverage that will pay for the damages when your car is being smashed by a fallen tree.

The comprehensive coverage will protect your vehicle when it is parked in place. Your home insurance will not provide coverage when the garage collapse or other physical damages happen when it is parked.

When purchasing car insurance, you have to choose a deductible. The deductible is the amount that you have to pay upfront when you want to claim a compensation. Higher deductible reduce your annual premium cost but lower deductible can increase your annual premium cost.

Source by Zirkon Kalti