Monday, November 29, 2010

Purchasing Business Insurance

It's hard to start on a business. However, it proves even harder when you are already on operation. There are so many matters that need to be considered and most of all, you need to go with the trend, compete in the market and think of innovative ideas to sell your products. But the most important thing that you have to face during a business venture are the risks that may come your way. You may ask yourself, is your business that firm already? Is it strong enough to withstand the fluctuating economy or is it flexible to meet the demands of the changing times? If you are not really sure on these things, then you better get is insured as much as possible.

There are many types of business insurance and an entrepreneur must take advantage of it as long as he is on his own business. There are ample reasons too on why business insurance is an important tool on keeping your business alive and well protected. Often it is your own state government that determines insurance requirements for businesses. This is the reason why you must be aware on the requirement required by your own state. Most of the time owners of business are made to for workers' compensation insurance, unemployment insurance, and state disability insurance. In other cases, they will also tell you insure specific business activities done by your business. Example of this is when you have a car that you use for the delivery of your goods- that too needs to be insured. Furthermore, if you have lenders and investors, there are added requirements that you must have like business interruption, fire, flood and other protective insurance policies.

There are generally five types of business insurance. They are grouped according to their own features and coverage. The first one is the General Liability Insurance. In this type of business insurance, business owners are covered with the privilege of avoiding legal hassles due to accident, injuries and claims of negligence. It also covers conditions like property damage, medical expenses, and settlement bonds. Aside from that, the business payments can be protected from issues like slander and libel.

The second type is the Product Liability Insurance. This is great for businesses that are into manufacturing, wholesaling and distributing. It would protect the business due to factory defect or bodily harm.

The third type on the other hand is the Professional Liability Insurance. This is ideal for businesses that offer services rather than goods. The coverage in this insurance protects the business against errors, malpractice and negligence in the provision of services to the customers.

Commercial Property Insurance is the fourth type of business insurance. This covers practically everything that the business may experience due to conditions like fire, smoke, wind and hail storms. Civil disobedience and vandalism are also covered in this policy.

A Home-Based Business Insurance is the last type. Homeowners' insurance policies do not only cover home-based business losses as what others often believe. You can actually add riders to the insurance to accommodate coverage on property loss too.

When choosing the best business insurance, do not forget to evaluate your business first so that you can get the points that may align the needs of your business. Share the idea to your business partners too so you can also decide on the appropriate insurance to protect your business.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Boiler Insurance

Modern plumbing may be an amazing thing that we take for granted, but that doesn't mean that things don't go wrong, or even that they only go wrong rarely. In fact, at this time of year when people go to switch their central heating back on after nearly half a year of not being operated, there's that constant chance that something will go wrong. Whether it's a burst pipe, broken timer or pump or blocked radiator, your central heating system will one day fail, and you won't be able to fix the problem yourself.

Obviously, the typical solution it to call out a plumber, but this is can be a very expensive home call, with prices rising up to £300 for a problem with a typical boiler repair job in London. Instead, getting boiler insurance can be a much wiser choice, with the typical price for cover costing around £200 a year, including a single yearly check-up of the system which can prevent future breakdowns.

Of course,boiler insurance like all forms of insurance is simply an exercise in risk. The money you 'save' is only going to work for you if your boiler does actually break down, so whether or not you need boiler insurance is going to be a personal decision based on how likely it is for your boiler to breakdown, the current state and age of your central heating system and how much you value your piece of mind when it comes to household problems and emergencies.

You also may not need boiler insurance at all. Most people who rent properties are not responsible for the heating system or the boiler, which means responsibility falls on the landlord or estate agent to make and pay for repairs. This isn't always the case though, so make sure you find out exactly who is responsible for the boiler before considering getting everything insured.
There are a number of different boiler providers in the UK. The biggest is Homeserve, which currently serves around three million customers with different types of heating and plumbing policies. These policies range from the most basic which only cover specific problems with the boiler to all-round central heating cover which can even extend to covering things like electrical wiring. Cover like this is usually unnecessary for most home owners.

However, it's vital that you find out exactly what your policy does cover, as there are a large number of things that can go wrong with a heating system and there's nothing worse than paying into a monthly policy only for something to go wrong outside of your cover and having to pay out again just to get it fixed. Also make sure that you aren't double insuring various items - some things covered as extras by boiler insurance companies may already be covered in your home insurance policy.

The website is one which has accurate and impartial advice and information on many aspects of the world of energy consumption and contracts. For those in search of energy prices you will be able to see up to date gas and electricity prices. The fact that the advice is impartial is very important if one is to trust that advice to base decisions on.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Watch Out For That DEER! If I Hit One, Is It Covered?

Well, it's here. Deer Season. Opening Day for Bow Season was October 1st here in Michigan. With Deer season comes a lot of Deer/Vehicle Accidents. During my time working in the insurance industry I was surprised at how many people didn't know that this was covered under Comprehensive Coverage on your insurance policy.

What is Comprehensive Coverage?

Comprehensive coverage also called "Comp" gives you coverage for some specific things. Some companies will call it "Other than Collision" on your policy too. This type of coverage gives you coverage for things like the following:

  • Fire
  • Theft or Vandalism
  • Glass (like stone chips or cracks in your windshield)
  • Animal Collision (like hitting a deer or other animal)
  • Acts of God (Like hail damage or a tree fallen on your vehicle)

Do I Need A Police Report To File A Claim?

At the company that I worked for the answer to this question was No. You did not need a Police Report, but you should always try to get one. It just proves your claim. Police Reports are Free and it just helps to validate your claim. You do not need to have one to file the claim, but I would recommend you get one anytime there is an accident involving your vehicle or damage done to your car. If the damage was caused by an Act of God like hail damage or storm damage then obviously a police report is not needed. A Police Report also helps the claim to go faster and smoother. A police report is usually time stamped and lists all parties involved if know. Just an all around good thing to have, even if you just hit a deer.

What Do I Need To Do If I Hit A Deer?

First off you should call the police. If it happens in the early morning then just call 911, they will usually send someone out to you. This way you can get a police report done and out of the way. You do not need to get a copy of the police report to file the claim. The Insurance will get this for you. Usually you do not get a copy of it, but if you want one the agent or adjuster can get one for you.

Second, you should call your insurance company. Most of them have 24hr claims service now. Even, if your not sure if you want to enter a claim yet, you should still call them to at least report the incident. Some people might not want to enter the claim right away because of their deductible amount. If you have a $500 or $1,000 deductible, the amount of damage could be less than the deductible thus, you would not want to enter a claim on your policy.

Third, if you think your going to enter a claim, you will want to get an estimate of the damage done. Again, most insurance companies have programs to help you with this. Service First Programs or other things in place where you can go to a specific repair facility that works with the insurance company. At the company I worked for it was a Service First Provider Program. They electronically sent all the pictures, and estimate to the insurance company for you. It speeds up the process and takes you out of doing the extra work.

If I Enter A Claim, Will My Rates Go Up?

Anytime that you enter a claim on your policy you run the risk of your premium increasing. Typically with a "Comp" or Comprehensive Claim, they do not effect your policy as much as a collision claim. You might see an increase but usually it takes more than one to see an increase when it's a Comp claim. My Advice on this is, if your damage is close to your deductible amount then don't enter the claim. Pay it out of pocket. Then you don't have to worry about the premium increasing at all. There are others out there that will say, well that's what I pay for Insurance for, and that's fine.... just don't complain if your rates go up because this is the 3rd claim you have had in a year.

Insurance is there for you when you need it most. Sometimes people use it for the small petty things, when they should be using it for the big stuff. The purpose of insurance is to make you whole again or put you back to where you were before your loss. If you totaled out your 1990 vehicle after you hit a deer, they are not going to buy you a brand new 2010 vehicle. The purpose of Insurance is not to make you Rich, or better off than you were prior to your loss. It's to make you Whole Again.

So, to answer my above question. Yes, if you hit a deer and you carry Comprehensive Coverage on your vehicle then it will be a covered loss, subject to your deductible that you have chosen. I personally tell people to always have a lower comprehensive deductible than an collision deductible. If you have a claim, it's usually because you hit a deer or have a stone chip or crack in your windshield.

Check with your Agent about quoting a lower deductible. Typically there is not much difference in premium to drop from a $500 down to a $100 or even Zero Deductible on Comp. That's what I carry. After, the 3rd deer hit of the season, it's nice to have a $0 deductible!

So Good Luck to all of the Deer Hunters out there this Deer Season! I hope you get rid of them, before the rest of us HIT them!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How to Prepare an Auto Accident Claim

Processing an auto accident claim can be time consuming so it is necessary to come prepared at all times. Since accidents are inevitable, it is always wise that you carry around the necessary documents from your insurance provider. This will make the process a lot smoother. In other words, always carry with you proof of insurance. You would never know when you may need it.

You will need to carry ID cards or even just the declaration's page of your policy which will state your name, the effective dates of your policy, and the different kinds of coverage you have. You will need these documents as proof of insurance when you get into an auto accident or when you violate one of the many traffic rules. They should contain the necessary information, including your insurance provider's contact details. Having the necessary documents ready will speed up the process of an auto accident claim.

An adequate insurance coverage should entitle you to an auto accident claim. Wouldn't you feel more at ease driving around knowing that you don't have to worry about incurring car damages? No matter how you try to drive safely at all times, you cannot guarantee that you would be free from any kind of accident. There are a lot of reckless drivers around that could put you in an unfortunate situation. So buckle up, drive safely, and make sure that you have adequate insurance coverage.

In the event that you get involved in an auto accident, you should calm yourself down. Panicking would just worsen the situation. The first thing you should do is to call a policeman as soon as you can and tell him to come to the scene of the accident. He would then make an incident report for your auto accident claim. He should also provide assistance in calling for medical assistance should someone need it. It would also be wise to get the plate number of the other vehicle, just in case he/she decides to not face the consequences and drive off.

It is imperative that you exchange necessary information such as your insurance providers and your names as well as your contact information. These will help in your auto accident claim. Determining the party at fault would be the role of the police officer.

Call your insurance provider as soon as you are able to. Most insurance companies provide round the clock assistance. You should contact the claims department and look for a claims adjuster that can help you. Make sure that you take note of his name and discuss the accident with him as accurately as possible. This person would also know the necessary steps you should taking when processing an auto accident claim.

However, if you have sustained injuries during the accident go to the hospital immediately and inform the attending physician of every detail regarding the accident as well as the pain you are suffering. Check your insurance coverage to see if you are entitled to a personal injury protection coverage. This would cover your medical expenses should you need any medical assistance. The report from the medical staff would be the basis for whether or not you will be able to file a legitimate auto accident claim.

If the insurance company is giving you a hard time on processing your auto accident claim, you can always consult a lawyer who specializes in automobile insurances. He/she will provide you further assistance to hasten the process. Never hesitate to ask questions and read all the necessary details in your insurance policy so that you will be aware as to what extent your insurance provider will give you coverage.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Auto Injury Attorneys

Just like there are attorneys and lawyers for crime, tax and corporations, so too are there lawyers for people who have been injured in an automobile accident and want to get compensation for their injuries. They are called auto injury attorneys.

How can auto injury attorneys help? 
After you are back on your feet again, and your injury has been treated, you can try to get compensation for medical costs. This will come from the insurance policy of the party responsible for the accident. However if the party at fault doesn't have insurance or there is some issue with making the claim, then you can seek out and hire auto injury attorneys.

Auto attorneys can help you navigate through the legal world of your auto injury case, which is wrought with jargon and technicalities that boggle the mind of an average person. If you, like most people, have a problem with understanding legalese, your attorney can be a huge help.

Auto injury attorneys will be able to lead you through all the paperwork, formalities and steps involved in taking a failed auto injury insurance case to court. The legal world is very treacherous. A single misplaced document, a simple missed appointment, or an unintentionally skipped step can cause real grief when it comes to physical injury settlements. Your attorney will help avoid any mistakes.

How much will my attorney cost me? 
Each attorney will cost you a different amount, based on how qualified they are, how much experience they have, and how complex your case is.

The first meeting is usually free. It is the time taken to assess your case, for you to answer some detailed questions and for the lawyer to decide whether or not you have a case and whether they are willing to take it on. The first meeting is when you will need to sign the contract stating that they will represent you and what fee they will take.

One of the most popular payment methods is the contingency method. Here the lawyer will get paid a certain percentage of the settlement that you get if you win your case. Other times you will pay a fixed fee. All this will be agreed when you sign your contract.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Insuring Against Damage to Your Vehicle

In this article, I tell you how to manage the risks of damage to your vehicle - risks such as fire, theft, collision, vandalism, glass breakage, and so on. Here are just a few examples of how to use non-insurance strategies to reduce risks:
  • Carry an onboard fire extinguisher to reduce the risk of a serious fire.
  • Always lock your car and install a burglar alarm to reduce the risk of theft.
  • Park in a locked garage at home and always park in well-lit, non isolated areas when away from home to reduce both theft and vandalism risks.
  • Keep a safe distance behind the vehicle ahead of you to reduce the risks of both glass breakage and collisions.
You can use the retaining strategy by either choosing higher deductibles or not buying damage insurance at all and paying all claims out of your own pocket.
Insurance for vehicle damage is usually offered in two parts:
  • Collision: Covers damage from colliding with another object (for example, a vehicle, post, or curb), regardless of fault
  • Comprehensive (also known as other than collision): Covers most other kinds of accidental damage to the vehicle, such as fire, theft, vandalism, glass breakage, hitting a deer, wind, or hail.
Both of these coverages are subject to a front-end copayment on your part, called a deductible. When buying either or both of these coverages, assume as much risk as you can afford, financially and emotionally (see the nearby sidebar, "Deductible psychology"), through higher deductibles - or don't purchase these coverages at all.
A couple of things to keep in mind here:
  • Make sure that the insurance company gives you enough of a price discount for taking the additional risk.
  • If you're on a tight budget but still need higher liability insurance limits to protect future assets or income (like if you're a student in medical school), it may make sense to carry higher deductibles even if the money to cover them isn't currently available. The savings will often pay for most or all of the cost of the additional liability coverage you need. Incredibly, the savings for raising your collision coverage deductible by just $250 (from $250 to $500) is often enough to pay for an extra $200,000 of liability insurance. No matter how tight things are, coming up with another $250 to fix dents is far easier than coming up with $200,000 to cover lawsuits!
If your driving record has deteriorated and your premiums are in danger of rising significantly with one more claim, I recommend very high deductibles, such as $1,000. In all likelihood you won't file a small claim - and risk higher rates - so why pay for something you're not going to use anyway?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wedding Insurance? Forget It, The Odds Are Almost In Your Favour

You don't really need wedding insurance at all, because there is a little known statistic which insurance companies tend to keep to themselves. The truth is that last year there were over a quarter of a million weddings in the UK, and out of those, how many weddings in the UK had something go so horribly wrong that the couple in question needed to rely upon their wedding insurance policy to help them out?

What the insurance companies won't tell you is that almost half of the weddings which took place last year, that's around 125,000, went so smoothly that there was absolutely no need to worry about wedding insurance.

That's right, on average only half of the weddings in the UK last year would have needed to rely their insurance policy (if they had one), meaning that the reality is that when it comes to your wedding, you have at least a 50% chance of having nothing to worry about.

So if you are having your wedding, and someone you know is having their wedding, the probability exists that you will have nothing to worry about at all, and that the 50% of the weddings that will require some form of insurance will be your friend's, not yours.

After all, it's your wedding, your special day, and you've only invited friends and family who you get on with. What could possibly go wrong at your wedding? Almost certainly the 125,000 weddings last year which experienced some form of disaster that ended up with possibly the insurance company having to pay out were almost certainly doomed from the very start.

Disasters and problems happen to other people. That's what newspapers, magazines and the news are all for - reading about the disastrous experiences of other people.

So with the insurance companies staying ominously quiet about the fact that only half of the weddings in the UK actually had to rely on the insurance company getting them through one disaster or another, you might as well stop worrying about your wedding, and stop worrying about wedding insurance.

It's also worth remembering that a wedding insurance policy could easily cost £20, and that's almost the price of another bottle of wine on the table your reception. £20 could go a long way towards making your wedding extra special, and so it's hardly worth worrying about wasting a couple of tenners protecting your wedding, when 125,000 of them went perfectly smoothly last year without any need for insurance.

So if you have been wondering whether or not to take out an insurance policy for your wedding, take these statistics to heart and realise that you have at least a 50-50 chance of not needing an insurance policy at all.

Of course, if you're still a little uncertain about the whole idea, and you're prepared to throw away £20 or so protecting your £20,000 wedding, then by all means take out a wedding insurance policy. You may simply feel that the 50-50 chance of needing to rely on a wedding insurance policy is good enough for you, in which case you may find it of interest to look around at the many wedding insurance policies currently available.

Monday, November 15, 2010

How To Find The Best Auto Insurance Quotes Online

The best thing to do, before you even set out to look at the prices of the different policies out there, is to make sure that you are learning about the different types of plans. You want to make sure that you are getting enough coverage - but not too much of it. This way, you will be legally and financially covered in the event of an accident, but you will not have to worry about wasting too much money on a policy that is more than you need.

Once you have discovered the right policy for your needs, you are going to want to then comparison shop. This is the only way to make sure that you are getting the policy for the best rate possible. There are a few ways to obtain some auto insurance quotes. However, if you are not searching for quotes online, you are wasting some time. Shopping online is by far the best way to get as many quotes back in the smallest amount of time.

You can check out each company individually, but that still takes some time. A good approach would be to use a site that will allow you to obtain auto insurance quotes from a few different companies at the same time. This is probably the best way to compare the similarities and the differences between the two.

Once you get the online quotes, you are going to want to make sure that you are contacting the insurance companies directly in order to get the exact quote. Until the company really takes a good look at your driving history and possibly your credit, you will not know the exact amount. However, such online auto insurance quotes can give you a good idea of which companies are most likely going to give you the best deal.

As you can see, there are a few things that you have to do in order to get the best insurance rate out there. The sooner you get started looking for auto insurance quotes, the sooner you will have your new policy in place. So what are you waiting for? The best rates for you are out there. In fact, they are just a few clicks away.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Insurance You Don't Need

New insurance companies are popping up all the time and judging by the amount of advertising they buy they are lush with money. So how do you avoid buying share holders of insurance companies a new Ferrari with money you could have spent on your child's education? There are four easy steps to ensuring that you are not paying more than you should be for your insurance policies.

Set a date at the start of every year to review your insurance policies. Insurance companies are quick to increase premiums, but never reduce them willingly even though they know that there clients are overpaying. Every year the value of your vehicle decreases and should you have an accident and need to replace it, your insurance company will pay out for the current value of the vehicle and not the value assigned when you took out the policy. The catch is that even though the value of the vehicle decreases, your premium stays the same unless you prompt your insurer to adjust it. Your own circumstances might also change over time which could result in you paying too much. For example, you may have sold an expensive household item that was originally included in your home insurance policy. You need to annually review the items in your possession, assess there value and adjust your insurance accordingly.

If you have opted for an insurance package or have been offered one by your insurer, be sure to read the fine print. Packages are often aimed at specific groups of people like for example a women's only package. These types of packages can be tempting because the marketing message of the package relates well to the target audience. If you are a woman and you are not insurance savvy, then an insurance package that says "For women" is an appealing choice. However, the problem with packages is that they often include cover for items or risk that you do not need. If you are tempted by a package then carefully go over the items listed on it before signing.

By assessing your risk adequately you can avoid paying for cover that you do not need. If your home is in an area that is free of floods then there is no need to have cover for this type of risk included in your policy. Sit down and make a list of risks that you are susceptible to and make another list of risks for which you are currently covered. If you are paying for unneeded cover then adjust your policy and reduce your premiums.

Finally, get a professional to help you if you are unsure of your insurance needs. A financial advisor or insurance broker can help you assess your needs. They can also source quotes from a variety of insurers for you to compare and explain confusing insurance jargon. Some insurance policies contain tricky clauses could leave you without cover. A broker will be able to point out these types of clauses and advise you on how to maintain your eligibility for cover should you need to claim.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Are Life And Health Insurance Worth Spending Extra Money On?

Life and health insurance is something that everybody needs. Life can throw many bad things your way that will require coverage. Not having it will be a big mistake for anyone.

That is why you need to understand why life insurance and health insurance is so imperative. Below are the reasons that these two types of insurance are definitely worth the money

1. Unexpected things happen - Life is full of unexpected things happening. You never know when or if something will happen to you and being prepared is essential. The life insurance will protect and help your family if something happens to you.

The health insurance will protect all of you from a lot of problems you don't need. Don't ever assume that nothing will happen to you because this is a big mistake. Making this mistake can cost you everything, literally.

2. Prevents financial ruin - Life insurance will prevent financial ruin for your family. The health insurance will prevent everyone from this very real problem.

You don't want to face financial ruin at any time in your life. You most especially don't want to cause this with your family. This insurance will protect both of you from having to deal with this.

3. Coverage for you - If you should die unexpectedly, the life insurance is going to help your family. You will use health insurance all the time for every day medical coverage.

The time that this insurance will really be worth the money is if you end up with a health condition. For example, if you are told you have cancer, without coverage, you could very easily end up broke.

With the insurance you will get the health care needed without having to go broke to achieve it. Just be sure when you purchase coverage that you get the one that is right for you.

4. Medical expenses are cheaper - There are many times that you may need medical help at some time in your life. Having coverage will make your expenses cheaper. This is something that anyone can benefit from.

Medical problems can happen at any time, so be sure you are prepared. Don't assume you won't ever need it because this can be very costly for you in one way or another.

Now that you can see why life and health insurance are essential, you need to both now. The sooner you have these two types of insurance, the sooner you will be prepared for anything. Don't wait until coverage is needed because by then it will be too late to get it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Top 10 Private Health Insurance Companies

There are hundreds of different private health insurance companies operating across the country and they vary from state to state. So a list of the top 10 private insurance companies in the nation may not include the name of an insurer available in your neck of the woods.

The easiest way to learn about health insurance companies in your area is to compare health insurance quotes at a site like

You can always check an individual insurance companies’ ratings with an independent agency like the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA.)

U.S. News & World Report teamed up with the NCQA to compile a list of the best health insurance companies in the country.

Here are the ten private health insurance companies that topped their list:

1. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HMO/POS)
Maine, Massachusetts

2. Tufts Associated Health Maintenance Organization (HMO/POS)
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island

3. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England (HMO/POS)
New Hampshire

4. Grand Valley Health Plan (HMO)

5. Geisinger Health Plan (HMO/POS)

6. Health New England (HMO/POS)
Connecticut, Massachusetts

7. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield - Connecticut (HMO/POS)

8. Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin (HMO)

9. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts (HMO/POS)

10. CIGNA HealthCare of New Hampshire (HMO/POS)
New Hampshire

JD Power and Associates rates companies by region. Here is their 2008 list of the top private health insurance companies across the U.S.:

Arizona-Utah Region
BlueCross BlueShield of Arizona

California Region
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of California

Colorado Region
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado

East South Central Region
BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama

Florida Region
BlueCross BlueShield of Florida

Heartland Region
Wellmark BlueCross BlueShield of Iowa

Illinois-Indiana Region
BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois

Michigan Region
Health Alliance Plan of Michigan

Minnesota-Wisconsin Region

New England Region
Anthem BlueCross BlueShield of Connecticut

New York-New Jersey Region
United Healthcare (New Jersey/New York)

Northwest Region
Group Health Cooperative

Ohio Region
Humana of Ohio

Pennsylvania-Delaware Region
Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield - Ranked the highest score in the country

South Atlantic Region
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia

Texas Region
Humana of Texas

Virginia-Maryland Region
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Seniors' Quick Guide to Condo Insurance

If you've bought a condominium, do you still need homeowners insurance? Yes! You need specialized condo insurance to protect your home from what your condo association doesn't.

Seniors' Quick Guide to Condo Insurance

So you've taken the next big step after retirement. You let the over-sized family house go and downsized to a neat little condominium just perfect for two. No more huge house to clean and repair, no lawns to mow, no snow to shovel. And no more homeowners insurance.
Wrong! It's an understandable mistake that far too many new co-op and condo owners make. They think their condo association insurance covers any losses to their new home. It's not until they have a kitchen fire, the bathroom floods or a visitor slips and cracks their head on the kitchen counter that they find out they're not covered for these kinds of losses. And by then it's too late. They have a huge financial bill on their hands.

Here's What you Need to Know About Condo Insurance

Although there's some variance from state to state with condo insurance requirements, most associations are only responsible for insuring the main structure of the buildings and covering against liability losses in common areas like lobbies, pools, and parking areas. Their responsibility usually ends at the exterior walls of your unit.

Covering everything inside those walls is your responsibility, so you still need homeowners insurance. There may even be a requirement in your association's by-laws that you have it. And if you bought your condo with a mortgage, your bank or other lender will require condo insurance to protect their investment.

Condo Insurance Advice for Seniors:

1. Read the "Declarations" portion and by-laws of your condo association documents to determine what's covered by their insurance—and what's not. It will usually cover all common areas, like the roof and elevators, the boilers, walkways and garage.
2. Determine how much it would cost to repair or replace everything within the exterior walls of your unit—new drywall, wiring, plumbing, lighting fixtures, cabinetry, paint, carpets and drapes, etc.
3. Determine the value of your personal possessions—your clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, kitchenware, everything not attached to the condo unit. If you have expensive items like jewelry, paintings, furs and heirlooms, list their value separately, since you'll need a separate "floater" policy to cover their replacement.
4. Decide how much liability coverage you need. This will cover accidents to anyone inside your unit, but it will also protect you from having to pay out large sums when your dog destroys a common area, your bathtub spills over and damages the ceiling of your downstairs neighbor, or your grandson puts a baseball through the lobby window.
5. Armed with these numbers, talk to your insurance agent. Or compare quotes from several companies online at a site like to find the insurance coverage you need. That way, you'll find the best rates on condo insurance.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Top 10 Tricks for Cheaper Teen Car Insurance

Being added to your parent's policy without wrecking their wallet is a challenge – but there are ten ways you can cut down the cost on your teen car insurance rates.
teen car insurance, top 10 teen, auto insurance

1. Stick to a Classic Ride When Looking for Teen Car Insurance

  • Used cars are cheaper to insure than new ones so if you’re buying, hit up the used car lot.

2. Safe Over Sporty

  • Skip the sexy, sporty model when factoring in your teen car insurance. You may think its lame now – but it’s the best way to save cash. Think of it this way… what good is a sexy car if you can’t afford to put gas in it?
  • There are plenty of cars that combine coolness and safety, so skip the sexy sporty model and choose sensibly. Check out the Independent Insurance Institute’s site for ideas on the best car to keep you from wrecking the budget (Insurance Information Institute's Overall Crash Worthiness Evaluations of Midsized Moderately Priced Cars)

3. Get Assigned to a Specific Car

  • If you’re going to be driving one of your parents’ cars, ask insurance companies if they’ll let your parents assign you to a specific one.
  • Pick mom’s Volkswagen over dad’s Lexus. Luxury cars are more expensive to insure.

4. Take a Driving Course

  • Lots of insurance companies offer discounts to teens who take (and pass!) an approved driver’s ed course.

5. Getting Good Grades Will Help With Your Teen Car Insurance Rates

  • Getting a B average (3.0 GPA) or higher will score you cheaper teen car insurance rates.

6. Keep it in the Family

  • In most cases it’s cheaper to get added to your parents’ policy than it is to go out and get your own.
Exception to this rule: If both your parents own pimped out rides and their driving record isn’t so hot – you might be better off getting a used car with good safety ratings and getting your own policy.

7. Go for a Higher Deductible

  • Tell your parents to double check their deductibles (this is the amount of money they’ll be shelling out if you crash) and figure out if there’s room to raise it.
Warning: Using this method to save cash now on you teen car insurance could cost you if you get into a wreck. So if you go for this one, make sure you know what you’re doing before getting behind the wheel.

8. Don’t be a Statistic

  • According to the experts, 16 year olds are three times as likely to wind up in a crash than 19 year olds – and almost 6 times higher than 20-24 year olds. No wonder your parents are freaking out.
  • Stay off your cell phone, wear your seat belt, and ignore that stupid friend that dares you to run the red light for kicks.

9. Shop Around

  • Get off MySpace for a minute and check out some car insurance quotes. Not only will your parents be stoked to see you doing research – comparing prices will save you a ton of dough.

10. 6-Month Rule

  • Every six months, check in with your insurance company and update your policy information to make sure you are getting the best teen car insurance rates. Keeping a clean driving record after a certain amount of time could get you discounts. Graduating from High School could lower premiums too.
If you're ready to shop for a cheaper teen policy, compare car insurance quotes at InsWeb. You'll have the chance to talk to a few licensed, experienced auto agents who can make sure you have the right coverage for your family.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ten Ways to Save on Auto Insurance

#1 Shop Around to Save on Auto Insurance!
Always get at least three quotes before you commit to a specific company. Not all companies’ rates will be the same, and we’re talking hundreds of dollars so make sure you shop around to save on auto insurance!

#2 Get a quote BEFORE you Buy the New Car
The car you choose will have a huge impact on your insurance rate. Most people know the key to cutting costs is to stay away from the new, expensive and sporty models. Even similar practical and safe cars can look very different under the insurance companies’ “risk” microscope. So if you have a couple of cars in mind, use an online insurance comparison site like to compare free insurance quotes online for different models before you buy.

#3 Hike up the Deductible
This is the quickest and most surefire way to save on auto insurance costs. According to National Association of Insurance Carriers (NAIC), going from a $250 to a $1000 deductible can save you up to 40% on the collision portion of your policy.

#4 Don’t Over-Insure Older Cars
If you’re paying for comprehensive and collision coverage on an older car, you may be paying more for insurance than the car is actually worth.
The NAIC suggests the following formula to determine if you’re overpaying:
Combine the amount you’re paying for comprehensive and collision coverage and multiply that number by ten. If your car is worth less than that, cut cut cut. It could save you a bundle on auto insurance.

#5 Care About your Credit
Not paying your bills on time could cost you big time. Recent studies have shown a correlation between credit history and a driver’s level of risk to insurance companies. So it’s no surprise that bad credit could increase your car insurance rate by 50% (NAIC).

#6 Drive Less, Pay Less
A lot of insurance companies will give a discount to drivers who have a lower than average annual mileage. If you have a short commute, participate in a carpool or do anything else that translates into driving fewer miles, a discount may be in store for you.

#7 Ask About Group Insurance Discounts When Working on Auto Insurance Savings.
You could be part of an organization that gets discounts and not even know it! Members of certain organizations and professions (teachers, veterans, engineers) are often given group discounts. Give your company a call and ask for a list of the groups they offer discounts to and save save save!

#8 Special Discounts
Special safety features on your car, good grades on your young driver’s report card and even reaching senior citizen status could land you big time savings on auto insurance.

#9 Keep Cover
Even if it’s short, a lapse in your coverage could disqualify you from getting discounts. Don’t skip premium payments and if you're switching insurers, don’t cancel your old policy before the new one takes effect.

#10 Pay up Front
Breaking your premium into monthly installments can get expensive. Most carriers charge administrative fees to consumers who pay in installments. So when looking to save on auto insurance, pay in a lump sum.