Category Archives: Daily Musings

How Insurance Helps Protect Against Weather Damage

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House insurance is a valuable investment. It can seem as though this type of purchase isn’t one that you need to make. After all, you do not file claims very often. In some cases, it is possible to reduce the risks your home faces on a day to day basis. You can take care to ensure it is safe from theft and that your belongings are secure. Yet, there are other situations where this just isn’t possible.

How Can Home Insurance Protect Against Weather Events?

One such event is the weather. Weather is unpredictable and, in nearly every situation, it is impossible to avoid the negative outcome that it brings. This is when home insurance becomes so important. Imagine the following situations.

A tree is struck by lightning, falling and hitting a home. The cost of the damage to the roof or other structures is often covered by home insurance.
That same tree is sitting in the yard and needs to be removed by a professional. Insurance can cover those costs.
A home is damaged when lightning strikes it, causing a fire to start. Home insurance can help in this situation as well.
Weather damage from a windstorm can tear through a home, damaging windows and the roof. Home insurance can help to ensure the home is safe and protected.
Hail damage strikes a home’s outbuilding or garage, damaging the siding or the windows. Many home insurance plans can also cover this type of loss, protecting the homeowner.
Weather-related damage can be significant or minor. Yet, making those repairs to make sure the home remains safe and well protected are often expensive. Without proper insurance, homeowners will need to pay for the damage themselves. This includes small marks on the siding to large fires that destroy the structure. With the right type of insurance coverage, though, the cleanup and restoration work can be helped by the insurer, up to the amount of coverage the policy offers.

Homeowners should take the time to ensure they have home insurance, but also make sure that they have enough coverage. Many policies have limitations and exclusions, or types of storm damage not covered. With the right level of protection and a sound understanding of what can be expected from any home insurance plan, property owners can feel better about their financial security whenever a storm rolls into the area.

4 Safety Tips for Driving with Children: Reduce the Distraction and Keep Everyone Safe

There is nothing like a drive out into the country, to a local park, or just to a friend’s house with the entire family. Yet, as a parent, you know that every time you step into a vehicle with your child, you are putting them into a potentially dangerous situation. Most of the time, parents are very careful drivers, doing everything they can to protect their children. Yet, having a safe car and a high-quality auto insurance policy is not enough. These tips can help you to keep your kids safe on the road.

#1: Keep them busy

Allow your children to bring a few toys with them to keep them busy. The less distracted you are behind the wheel, the more protected your children will be. Your goal is to ensure that 100 percent of your attention is on the road in front of you.

#2: Always use proper seat belts and car seats

Check your local laws to learn what the rules are for safety belts and car seats. However, realize that, until your child is the size of an adult, the belts and fastenings in a vehicle will not fit them properly. For that reason, you may want to keep them in a seat or adjust their belt to ensure they are protected.

#3: Keep your eyes on the road

Parents may find themselves interested in what their son or daughter is doing. This may seem like a great time to have a long conversation. However, even when you are engaging your child in conversation, you are distracted from the road in front of you.

#4: When there’s a problem, pull over

You want to get where you need to be quickly, but driving with a baby that is crying or two children who are arguing is not easy to do. Don’t do it. Pull to the side of the road and try to find a solution instead of just pushing through it. This takes the stress off you and gives you a bit of peace of mind at the same time.

When there is an accident, your auto insurance is here to protect you financially. However, there is no doubt that protecting your child before such an accident occurs is more important. With a few safe driving tips like these, you can reduce those risks significantly.

Choosing Property Coverage: Determining the Value of Your Assets

Homeowners need property insurance coverage for their home. Many factors play a role in determining which policy is best for your specific property. When you work with your insurer, ask key questions about what the policy covers and what it does not. One key question of concern relates to the amount of coverage the policy offers. Is it enough protection for your belongings?

How Much Do You Own?

A quick look around your home can show you just how many assets you own. If a fire occurred at your home, imagine what the damage could be. The structure is only one element. You would also lose the contents of your home including your personal belongings. The insurance policy you select should cover all of these items by providing a coverage limit that’s high enough.

To determine if you have enough property coverage, obtain an appraisal of your home and contents. It is important, at the very least, to estimate the value of your belongings yourself. A few key things to consider includes the following.

What is the cost to rebuild your home? Your home insurance policy should not be based on the resale value of the property, but rather on the actual cost to rebuild it. Rebuilding can be significantly more expensive than the current market value.
What are your belongings worth? Consider your clothing, appliances, home furnishings, and other valuables. Estimate a value of these items. While you do so, create a home inventory. Use photos or a list to write down a description of the item and an estimated worth. Add this up to determine if your property insurance offers enough contents insurance to protect you.
What high-end valuables do you own? Most home insurance policies have a per-item limit. If you have very expensive items, such as jewelry, antiques, expensive electronics, or other very valuable items, it is important to have a special insurance rider on your policy to cover the value of these items.
To have the property amount of insurance for your home and belongings, you need to take a closer look at your property’s value. Estimating these values can help you to make sure your policy offers comprehensive protection to you. Work closely with your insurance agent to ensure you have proper coverage at the best value possible. Don’t put your finances at risk because you don’t have enough coverage.

The Most Common House Insurance Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to buying house insurance, you likely have numerous options to choose from and the goal of finding the least expensive policy you can. That in itself would be a big mistake. The right home insurance policy for you needs to address all of the risks your property faces and, perhaps most importantly, it needs to focus on providing you with peace of mind. What are the most common mistakes people make when buying house insurance?

#1: Not Having Enough Coverage

Underinsuring a home is a very common and very risky matter. If you do not have a high level of coverage in place, even if you have an active policy when a storm hits, you could be losing out. Do not take out just enough insurance to cover the amount of your mortgage. Most mortgages are only for 80 to 90 per cent of the property’s value, leaving you to foot that remaining 20 per cent yourself out-of-pocket for losses.

#2: Believing You Have Flood Insurance

A secondary risk that’s quite common is assuming you have flood insurance. The average home insurance policy does not cover floods. If you live near an area that may flood, such as a high-risk zone, you likely don’t have insurance if you only have a standard house insurance policy. However, should a flood occur, your home could sustain significant damage. What can you do? Purchase a rider or additional flood insurance policy that shores up any weakness in your current policy to minimise risks and costs.

#3: You Haven’t Found All of the Savings Available to You

You could be missing out on key home insurance discounts if you have not asked for them. Many people do not realise just how many discount opportunities are available for items such as home security systems, installing deadbolt locks on the home, installing a monitored home security system, having a fence around your property, and even just living in a safe city. If you have yet to do so, request that your insurer take a closer look at the potential savings opportunities available to you and adjust your policy (or secure a new one) to keep your costs.

Are you making these mistakes with home insurance? The good news is you can search for a new policy and secure a lower cost offering or update your existing policy for more affordability.

Are Your Electronics Protected Through Property Insurance?

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The investment in household insurance is one of the best decisions you can make. Many times, people believe the biggest benefit from this type of property insurance is the protection it provides to the structure of your home. It does provide protection from fires and vandalism, of course. However, it also offers protection for many of the valuables you have within your home. As a new homeowner, it is important to remember what types of coverage you have and what it protects.

Home Electronics and High-Value Items

Many homeowners invest in electronics especially if they’ve purchased their first home. From televisions to computer equipment, you may spend a significant amount of money right from the time you move in. Add to this your home’s appliances and other types of electronics or high valued items and you may be putting a lot of money into your new home. Your property insurance needs to protect all of that value.

Before you agree to a property insurance policy, review it. Be sure that the amount of coverage selected (whether you select the basic policy or a higher level of coverage) needs to be enough to cover all of the contents of your home. Contents insurance will cover your home for a variety of factors. However, there is a limit to this level of protection. Your policy needs to cover the value of all electronics and other content in your home to be fully protected.

Electronics are protected in most cases. Some insurance policies will specifically require a list of the types of equipment or electronics you have as well as information verifying their value, such as a receipt from the purchase of the item. Adding the items specifically to your policy can help to make sure you have protection to cover the value from an incident. This may include theft, vandalism, fires, flooding, and other risks covered by your property insurance.

While you may not think about the value of each piece of clothing or furniture you have, it is important to consider the value of your electronics in comparison to the value of your property and contents insurance coverage. If necessary, it may be beneficial to add additional protection to your policy to safeguard these high valued items. Talk to your insurance agent about the right level of coverage for your specific needs in contents and property insurance.

Is Third Party Motor Insurance Enough?

As a vehicle owner, it is up to you to select the right type of motor insurance for your needs. Each situation is unique. In some cases, the investment in third party motor is enough. For most owners, though, this is not enough protection to keep your investment safe should an incident occur. As you consider your options in car insurance, factor in who is at risk and why you need to upgrade to a comprehensive policy.

What Does Third Party Motor Insurance Cover?

It is important to take a look at your policy carefully to know what specifically is included or excluded. In most cases, this type of insurance policy will cover damage and injury that is brought on to another person. For example, if you are involved in an accident or collision, and your vehicle causes damage to another person’s vehicle or other property or they are hurt, this insurance can step in. It is specifically helpful for protecting other people’s property and well being in a situation where you may be responsible for those losses out of pocket.

Is This Really Enough Auto Insurance?

While third party motor insurance is an important type of coverage that you should not go without, it is not the only product available to you. It does not offer any protection to your vehicle. So, as in the above example, if you were involved in an accident that left damage, this policy would not help to pay for costs related to making repairs on your car.

A comprehensive auto insurance policy is often the better option. You’ll need both, liability protection from third party motor as well as property and collision protection for your own vehicle. This way, should the vehicle be damaged in an accident, burnt in a fire, or even stolen, this coverage can help you to recoup some of the losses you would otherwise have to pay on your own.

Most people need to have third party motor insurance because it keeps other drivers safe. However, it is also important to protect your investment with comprehensive auto insurance. Take a closer look at your current policy. Is it enough to protect your car from an accident? If you are unsure, consider a quote for a new policy that provides you with ample protection in a wide range of instances. It could help to minimize your losses otherwise.

3 Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes that Could Raise Your Auto Insurance Rates

All vehicle owners should have auto insurance. It provides protection when something goes wrong, such as an accident. Whether you make the mistake or your vehicle fails, these types of accidents can be very expensive and hard to overcome financially. However, if you maintain your vehicle properly and take key steps during and before you drive, chances are good you’ll reduce the likelihood of an incident happening. This could, in turn, reduce your auto insurance rates.

What Should You Do to Lower Auto Insurance Rates?

To keep your rates low, reduce the number of claims you file against your insurance. To do that, consider these three tips.

#1: Avoid distracted driving

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents as well as moving violations. If you are behind the wheel, it’s essential that you avoid distracted driving risks such as:

The use of a mobile phone
Changing the radio station
Looking at other people in the vehicle
Being involved in a heated conversation in the vehicle
Any other instance in which you are not able to focus on driving conditions
When this occurs, you reduce your ability to react fast enough, leading to a higher risk of an accident occurring.

#2: Check your vehicle before leaving

Before leaving any location, take a short walk around your vehicle. Look at the tires, windows, and overall condition of the vehicle. It also pays to check the lights to ensure they work properly. It is also important to consider how much fuel is in the vehicle. Doing this before you leave, ensures your vehicle is in the best working condition possible while on the road.

#3: Secure your vehicle

Finally, keep your vehicle safe both at home and on the road. Consider the installation of a security system on your vehicle. This can help to reduce the risk of theft. Just the presence of a security system often defers would-be thieves from tampering with your vehicle. And, simply, keep your vehicle locked at all times.

The fewer times you are involved in an accident or incident like those mentioned here, the fewer claims you will make to your auto insurance policy. The direct result of this is often times lower insurance rates. To save money on your auto insurance, don’t cut your policy back or reduce claim options. Instead, drive safer.

5 Advantages of Household Contents Insurance Coverage

You have worked hard to buy a home and fill it with the things important and even vital to your life. It is never easy even if you are rather wealthy or have a steady job to accomplish this. Yet, nearly all homeowners are at risk of loss from one or more of a variety of threats. Whether your home is flooded or a fire starts, having household contents insurance coverage can help to protect your investments. Consider these five reasons you need to maintain household contents insurance on your property.

Your Belongings Are Covered

The most important reason to select household contents insurance is because it ensures your belongings, such as home furnishings, appliances, and personal items, are protected. With this coverage, you may be able to replace items that are lost or damaged due to a covered incident.

The Members of Your Home Are Protected

Not only are your belongings protected as the homeowner, but so are those of those living with you. This may include your immediate family, in-laws, and parents. If the person lives within your residence and his or her items are lost due a covered incident, they are covered.

It Is Affordable

It is a common misconception that household contents insurance is too expensive. In most cases, the premium is quite affordable. More so, just one claim is likely to cover any investment you make. It is possible to find discounts on household contents insurance as well. Defraying your costs is possible, but forgoing this investment isn’t financially savvy.

It Covers Numerous Types of Incidents

Most of these home insurance policies offer coverage that’s comprehensive. You will need to check through the policy to ensure all risks are covered and to see what exclusions apply to your situation. However, most people will have contents insurance that will cover:

Oil leakage
Water damage
Most types of natural events
Malicious damage
Accidental demolition
There is no other way to protect your home from these risks. No matter how diligent you are in protecting your home from risks, such as keeping it secure and in good shape maintenance-wise, you simply cannot protect it from every instance. Household contents insurance, though, steps in to help you to meet the financial losses suffered if such an incident does occur.

You Have Peace of Mind

Consider what would happen if your home caught on fire. Your house insurance would likely cover the costs of rebuilding or making repairs to the structure. But, what about everything within your home? Your clothing, your electronics, your photos, and anything else you own would be costly to repair or replace. With this type of financial protection in place, you no longer have to worry about being able to protect your family and assets.

If you do not have a comprehensive household contents insurance policy in place, now is the time to do so. You will find it is one of the wisest financial investments to make. It can give you confidence to know all that you’ve worked for hard for is financially protected.

5 Tips for Selecting Home Insurance Customized to Your Space

Investing in home insurance is very important. It provides an opportunity for you to reduce the risk of loss when a fire, theft, or other unpreventable event takes place. Yet, to gain the most protection possible, it is essential to have a home insurance policy that reflects your specific needs. How can you do that? Consider these tips for customizing your policy.

#1: Be sure it represents your home’s value.

Select a policy that provides enough money to help you rebuild your home if it is a total loss. For example, if a fire occurs, you need to be able to rebuild the home. Rebuilding costs more than most expect. Your home insurance should represent your home’s rebuilding value not how much you paid for it.

#2: Notice all of your liability risks.

How can someone be hurt at your home? If you have a home with dangerous steps or an area that is particularly worrisome, be sure this is reflective in your policy. Your general liability insurance should be ample.

#3: Choose a plan that covers your expensive belongings.

A home insurance plan will cover your home’s contents. This includes your personal belongings. If you have high-valued items, though, you may need extra coverage. Inquire about adding an additional policy that covers any high-end electronics, jewelry, or other items that are more expensive to replace. This includes computer equipment, art collections, or precious family heirlooms.

#4: Consider the risk for floods and earthquakes.

Most standard home insurance plans do not provide financial coverage for these types of weather events. This may mean that you do not get any help should a flood or earthquake cause damage to your home. Depending on where you live, this could be a concern. Supplement your existing plan with a new one.

#5: Always ask for discounts.

Most homeowners can qualify for discounts. If you have smoke detectors in your home, that may help. The addition of a home security system can also help to reduce your costs. Ask which other discounts your insurance provider can offer.

Customize your home insurance to match your needs. Doing this will help you to save money. It also helps ensure that you always have access to the very best coverage available. When something happens, you get help overcoming the financial hardship that the event can cause. Update your policy frequently to match your needs.

Tips for Being a Safe Driver and Lowering Auto Insurance Rates

Driving today can be a risky experience. It may seem that vehicles are safer to operate, but the people behind the wheel tend to be just as focused on what is happening in the car, on their phone, or in their lives. That is, today, people are distracted. That makes for a dangerous situation every time you get behind the wheel. What can you do to become a safer driver? If you want to see your auto insurance rates drop, focus on being the safest driver in the area.

Tips for Safety Improvement

You can work to fix your vehicle to ensure it is safe. You can apply for discounts from your car insurance provider. However, the most important way to keep your insurance costs down is to be the safest driver you can be. A single accident can resort to a significant loss of money. Avoid those risks with these tips.

Never operate your vehicle when you are distracted. Pull over to hold a conversation or to take a call. The most common cause of accidents is a distracted driver.
Consider taking a safety driving course. Some courses not only teach you the basics of vehicle operation, but they also teach you how to be a diligent driver. A defensive driving course can help you to learn how to avoid accidents and other, high-risk drivers.
Remember that you are not alone. Just because you are working on becoming a safer driver doesn’t mean the other people on the road with you are. Pay attention to those around you. Notice when people are changing lanes or are no longer paying attention to the road.
Leave early. Don’t rush. Instead of rushing out the door, be sure you have plenty of time to make your trip. This can help you avoid rushing and causing an accident.
Drive when you are ready for the challenge. You have a lot to focus on. You need to have a clear mind. You also need to avoid alcohol before driving. Don’t forget that tired drivers are more likely to cause accidents as well.
Are you ready to be a driver that focuses on the road? Keeping your family safe is important. And, if you are able to avoid accidents and violations, you will also be considered a safe driver to your auto insurance provider. This may help you to reduce your costs.