Why Do I Need Condo Insurance

Frequently, condominium owners believe that once their mortgage is paid off they no longer need coverage for their unit. This confusion stems from a misunderstanding of what the condominium association’s master insurance policy covers. For the sake of argument, assume that the master condo association policy covers all units so if there is a fire your unit will be rebuilt. This is an all inclusive policy and only covers perils such as fires in the entire building. Individual unit owners are not covered for loss of personal property nor are they covered for personal liability. So, discontinuing coverage when your mortgage is paid still leaves you liable to replace your personal property on your own and assume financial risk should someone be injured while inside your unit.

What Condo Insurance Covers

Condominium insurance policies cover three things:

  1. Personal Liability
  2. Personal Property Replacement
  3. Replacement Dwelling

Personal Liability

Personal liability insurance protects you financially if your actions cause harm to someone else. Imagine you have a party in your condo unit. A friend has brought a date to your party. During the party the date trips on a chair leg and tumbles down the stairs. Because of the injury the date incurs medical bills and also loses time from work. You receive a letter from an attorney demanding that you pay $100 thousand dollars to cover medical costs incurred and anticipated as well as lost wages. If your condo insurance includes a personal liability limit of $100 thousand you are fully protected. Without the policy you will have to hire an attorney to defend you or negotiate a settlement that you will pay from your own pocket.

Personal Property

Personal property coverage protects you in case of fire or theft. It pays you to replace items such as appliances, clothing, furniture and art and jewelry within certain limits. Be careful when purchasing this insurance, replacement cost is different than cash value. Replacement cost allows you to buy a new dryer if yours was destroyed in a fire, cash value is the depreciated value of your dryer and will not be enough to replace it – you always want replacement value to keep you well covered.

Condo Dwelling Insurance

If your condominium association does not provide unit coverage then you need dwelling insurance. Say you have a grease fire in your kitchen and the kitchen cabinets are destroyed. Fire is a covered peril and this insurance will pay to have new cabinets installed and even to repaint your kitchen.

All three perils can be combined into a single policy. The coverage is relatively inexpensive and the peace of mind tor being protected cannot be valued.

How do You Know if a Property You are Looking to Purchase has been Foreclosed on?

Property is cheap these days, with many bargains to be had due to the many home buyers who had sub-prime mortgages but were then unable to pay their monthly payments. If you’re not sure whether or not the home you want to purchase has been foreclosed on, there are several ways in which you can find out.

Typically, the advertisements in newspapers and fliers will note whether or not the home has been foreclosed upon, but sometimes the information is not disclosed publicly. You can go to the agent who is selling the house to inquire about more information. If you can’t get in contact with them, try asking a real estate agent whom you know as they know how to check the public records in order to find that information easily and quickly.

You can also go to your county’s courthouse and check for a Lis Penden which is the Latin term used for a pending law suit, or foreclosure. The information should be in the land records office and information may be available on their website. Information of the foreclosure will also be listed in the local newspaper, so you can go to your library, if that’s easier than a trip to the courthouse, and ask the staff for the easiest way in which you can search their newspaper archives. And since most newspapers put a lot of their information on the web, you might even be able to find it online. You can also see if the home shows up in the short sale listings as a short sale is just one step before a foreclosure.

There are also websites that can inform you whether or not the home you are looking at is in going to be, in the process of or already been foreclosed on. Not all of these sites cover the whole United States, and some charge a fee, so you may have to check a couple of sites in order to get the most complete information.

If you do determine that the house you want to buy is a foreclosure, do make sure to inspect it thoroughly, especially if it’s been vacant for any length of time. If no one’s living in it, there could be damages caused by improper maintenance during that the vacancy. However, if you can get your hands on a good foreclosure, you’re likely getting a great deal!

Who Is Liable if a Neighbor’s Dead Tree Fell on Your Property?

When a dead tree falls on your property, you likely will clean it up and deal with any damage on your own. But, what if it is not your tree? What if, instead, it is your neighbor’s tree that fell? Perhaps he or she did not take care of it. In that situation, you may be wondering what to do about the damage to your property. Your home or car could have been struck. Your fence may be flat. What insurance is going to pay for this? Who is liable?

Was Negligence a Factor?

In most situations, your insurance policy will provide coverage for this type of incident for the damage to your property. However, if you can prove your neighbor was negligent in caring for the dead or dying tree, it could easily become their insurance company’s problem. Homeowners are responsible for acting reasonably in caring for their trees and other property.

What to Do

If a tree falls on your property, it is a good idea to call your insurance company to discuss the options. In fact, your insurance provider may handle any negligent claims on your behalf (so they do not have to pay for the costs in the long term.) However, if you believe your neighbors were in fact negligent in caring for their property, you may want to file a policy report about the incident right away. This works as a form of documentation to back up your claims.

Keep in mind that if a tree falls on your house or other property and it was an act of nature, there’s simply no control over this. Your insurance company, though, will likely provide coverage for damage as well as cleanup costs related to the incident.

Dealing with Your Neighbor’s Insurance

If there is a claim of negligence, you may need to file the claim with your neighbor’s insurance company. If this is the case, be sure to include all losses including costs related to repairs, cleanup and replacement of any lost valuables. If there is any dispute in the situation, you may have to go to court over the matter. However, in most cases, this is not necessary.

Liability in a dead tree falling on your property is likely a simple claim to file with your insurance company. If you are working with an independent agent, he or she will help you to file the claim or give you advice on making a claim with your neighbor’s insurance if necessary.

Information You Need Before Getting Home Insurance Quotes

Shopping for new home insurance is a big purchase — rates in the U.S., after all, average $800 per year. It makes sense that homeowners would want to compare information on home insurance rates from various insurers to be sure to get the most affordable premiums. But before you start asking for home insurance quotes, there is some information you need to obtain first.

Location

Home insurers always require the same locational information about your home. This includes the physical address of the property, as well as whether the home is located in a potentially hazardous area, such as an area prone to hurricanes. Furthermore, you should be prepared to provide insurers with the distance between your home and the nearest fire department and fire hydrant. These factors make a big difference in how quickly firefighters would be capable of extinguishing a flame.

Construction

Your home’s construction components weigh heavily on the amount you will pay in premiums. Insurers will want to know what your home and roof are made of, as well as what type of foundation you have. You may also have to provide information about whether your home has a garage, a porch or a breezeway. Be sure to take note of whether your electricity uses a circuit breaker or fuse box, and let your insurer know how your home is heated. Gas and electric heating, for instance, get preferred rates over wood stoves and kerosene heaters.

Details

Other details can impact your rates too. For example, the presence of deadbolts, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and alarm systems can all lower the chances that you will have to make a large claim. You will also need to provide square footage information, the year your home was constructed, and the home’s purchase price or appraised value.

What are the Insurance Related Closing Costs when Buying a House?

When buying a house you need to consider all of the expenses that go along with the closing. In addition to the realtor’s commission, there will be insurance related closing costs. Not only will there be an expense for title insurance and possibly private mortgage insurance, you will need to find a homeowners insurance policy to protect your new property from damage.

Before you buy a home, if you are borrowing money from a lender, you will need to have homeowners insurance in place. This type of policy will protect your property from theft, fire, flood and other disasters. You will also need to determine how much coverage you need for your situation. If you have a garage or a pool, you will want to make sure your house insurance reflects this. If you are installing high end upgrades into the home, such as hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and flat screen televisions, your policy will need to take this into consideration also. When buying a home, you are not only insuring the personal property inside the house, you are also insuring the building and considering how much it would cost to replace or rebuild the home in the event of a disaster.

There are several types of insurance related closing costs when buying a house. You will want to compare quotes online for the best rates for the coverage you need and make sure the insurance is in place before you close on the home. The last thing you want is for such a large investment to be destroyed and have no way to recoup your loses. Although you do not expect disasters to happen, they can occur without warning. Check out the rates with several companies for affordable house insurance before making a final decision.

How to Save on Home Insurance

How to Save on Home Insurance?If you own a home, chances are you have homeowner’s insurance to protect the investment you’ve made in your property. Although home insurance is an important way to guard against major repair and replacement expenses, most homeowners wouldn’t mind a lower rate for their insurance premiums. Fortunately, there are ways for your to save on home insurance without sacrificing your coverage.

Do More to Protect Your Property

One of the most common discounts that insurers shell out to homeowners involves the additional safety measures taken to avoid insurance claims. For example, insurers may ask you if you have a monitored alarm system, which can equate to as much as a 20 percent discount in premiums. Other safety discounts may be available for a fence around your pool or extra fire alarms and extinguishers.

Raise Your Deductible

Your deductible is the amount of money you must pay out of your pocket before your insurance company will pay a penny for your claims. The higher your deductible is, the lower your premium will be. Depending on your policy and the amount of coverage you have, raising your deductible from $500 to one percent of your home’s property value could equate to hundreds of dollars per year in savings.

Purchase Multiple Policies

Unless you live in a pedestrian-friendly community, chances are that if you own a home, you also have a car to insure. Insurance companies like it when their customers purchase multiple insurance policies from them and are willing to dole out discounts for having both your home and auto insurance policies secured by the same provider. If you do not need auto insurance, ask your home insurer if multiple policy discounts are available for purchasing other types of insurance, such as life insurance or coverage for a recreational vehicle.

Compare Home Insurance Rates

Ultimately, the amount of money you pay for home insurance is directly correlated to the company you choose to be your provider. Every insurance company has a different formula for determining how much to charge each customer in premiums, and the company that is most affordable for a friend or family member may not necessarily offer the best rate to you. Be sure to shop around and compare home insurance rates from a private insurance broker who offers quotes for multiple companies. You’ll save time getting quotes from each company individually and you won’t feel pressured to purchase from any particlur one.

Learn the Insurance Laws for Your State

Learn the Insurance Laws for Your State.Should you believe that “insurance is insurance wherever I live,” think again.While the primary components usually apply to insurance in general, individual states pass their own laws and publish specific regulations. Assume nothing. Learn about your state’s insurance laws and retain an experienced, licensed agent to advise you.

Whether you need auto, home or business insurance, become familiar with your state regulations to ensure that you purchase the proper coverage. For example, most U.S. states require a specified minimum of liability coverage for auto insurance coverage. However, the minimum amount of coverage can vary from state-to-state. Also, the necessity for multiple liability protection, including property damage and uninsured motorist coverage, may also vary.

Once you learn the minimum coverage your state requires, spend some quiet time thinking about the assets you are protecting. For example, if your state requires minimum liability insurance of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident and $10,000 property damage, consider this coverage in light of your personal assets. Should you own a home worth $250,000, an $18,000 boat, personal property valued at $30,000, and bank savings, checking and investment accounts with total balances of $75,000, your state’s minimum coverage is not sufficient.

As the cost of vehicle repair and medical treatment skyrockets, most state minimum coverage limits are too low to protect you should a serious accident occur. Understand that people who are injured in auto accidents can successfully sue you for their damages in excess of your liability coverage limits.

You should use a similar approach to your home insurance. If possible, insure your home for “replacement value,” instead of a specific amount only. Should serious damage occur to your home, the cost to make quality repairs often exceeds the amount of the covered loss, typically the pro-rated amount of coverage minus depreciation. With replacement coverage, your insurer should cover the total cost to restore your home to its former condition.

Always shop for the best deal within the parameters of your state laws and the amount of assets you must protect. You can save time using an independent agent with an interactive website. Instead of trekking all over town talking to agents, a multi-carrier insurance agency can give you multiple quotes from major companies that have attractive rates in your state.

Will a Pool Make my Insurance Go Up

Will a Pool Make my Insurance Go UpHomeowners insurance is coverage that will protect not only the structure of your home, but also the contents and even out buildings and other structures. If you already have a pool on your property or if you are thinking about adding a swimming pool – this will probably raise the rate on your insurance.

You may wonder why adding a pool to your backyard would increase your insurance premium. The main reason is that it adds an additional liability to your property. You may also need to add a fence around the pool and other security features to make sure no one is hurt accidentally. Even though the pool is on your property – there is a possiblity that neighborhood children or other invited guests may go into the pool area and get hurt.

Another reason a swimming pool will increase your homeowners insurance is the possiblity that you, your family, or your guest may be injured in the pool. Accidents happen all the time and as the homeowner you will be responsible for the medical payments of someone injured on your property. No matter how careful you are, or how close you watch your children, there is a chance that a tragedy could occur in or around your swimming pool.

If you still want to install the pool – make sure you talk to your insurance provider and find out ways to earn discounts on your premium. Usually, if you install special security measures, your insurance company will reduce the amount you will have to pay on your premium. Another way to save money is to shop around and find a provider with a better rate. You can work with an independent insurance agent who can compare multiple quotes for homeowners insurance and find you a rate you can live with. Before you make any decisions about adding a pool, or purchasing a policy from your current provider, let an agent compare prices and save you money.

Home Insurance Policy Review

Home  Insurance Policy reviewOne of the basic necessity required for everyone who stays in Arizona is getting their home insured. If you want to get best deals from your home insurance company, selecting the best policy and home insurance company is very important. To protect your personal property which includes valuables, furniture or theft no matter whether you are the tenant or the owner, you need to insure your home. Though your house is mortagaged, your lender expects your home to be insured.

If you have any confusion in reviewing your insurance, follow the points below to help yourself.

  • If you make any changes to the structure of the house, it would be better if you make changes in the dwelling coverge also.
  • To cover your assets like trampoline or swimming pool, increase your liability coverage.
  • Better opt for an additional endorsement coverage if you own precious items like furnitures, paintings and jewels.
  • You can be eligible for discounts if you have replaced old pipes to new ones and updated your old electrical system.
  • Take the help of your agents and check all the coverages, even if there are no changes in your personal belongings or home.

Points To Reduce Home Insurance Premium

  1. Getting your car and home insured with the same insurance company.
  2. By installing extinguishers and smoke detectors.
  3. By installing safety devices like alarms, sensor, dead-locks.
  4. See to that no one will smoke in your house.
  5. If the house is newly constructed, discounts will be available.
  6. Increase the deductible.
  7. To prevent any damage from ground water, install a sump and pump system.
  8. It is good to have a fence if you have swimming pool.
  9. If you do your payment in prior you can get discounts.

Making Your Home Safe

  • Making Home SafeDecision on Coverages: Be a judge and decide how much coverage is required for your dwelling instead of over insuring your home and loosing your money. If you do not insure with necessary and enough coverage then you may face huge financial crisis. Make a note of coverages that is required for your home, contents and personal property because these will effect your Georgia home insurance premium.
  • Deductibles: When you claim for insurance the amount which you will pay from your pocket will be deductible. For example if you have selected comprehensive deductible to be $100 and if you have undergone a loss of $250, then you will have to pay $100 from your pocket and remaining $150 will be payed by the insurance company. Select your deductibles wisely.
  • Discounts: To reduce your premium you need to select the discounts in a smart way. By obtaining discounts you can lessen your premium. Every home insurance company provides discount. Ask your agent in order to know how does your policy benefit you. By installing safety devices such as dead bolts, anti-theft alarms, burglar systems etc you not only protect your home but will also obtain discounts on it. If your house is located near to fire station, fire hydrant, even these factors will lessen your burden.
  • Packages: Each home insurance company offers different packages. All packages have wide variety of options while choosing your coverages. You need to select required coverages smartly. Along with basic coverages you have additional ones such as additional living expenses, personal liability, property damage and medical payments.
  • Shop for your insurance: You can get to know about home insurance from your State Department of Insurance. There are sources such as telephone directory, yellow pages, local agents and newspapers who will help you know about insurance.
  • A check on your insurance: If you get your home insurance then it is not the end. You need to study about the company and its policies once in a year. Keep checking about the coverage plans also.