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Insurance Tips for Beginners

What Is Earth Movement Coverage And Do You Need It?

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Is Earth Movement Coverage And Do You Need It?

You buy home insurance so that if something happens to your home, the insurance company will pay to rebuild it. While it sounds pretty simple, did you know that your home insurance policy may not cover every mishap that could destroy your home? One of the most commonly excluded perils is earth movements. Here’s what you need to know about earth movements and how to make sure you’re properly insured. What is an Earth Movement? An earth movement isn’t special legal language. It follows its name literally. If the ground on which your home was built moves, it’s considered an earth movement. This includes shaking during earthquakes, sinking from sinkholes, sliding off of a cliff or into a riverbank, and other shifts. Are Earth Movements Standard Coverage? Earth movements are generally excluded in whole or in part. Depending on the region and insurance company, all movements of the earth may not be covered, or only specific movements may be excluded. For example, California insurers might not cover earthquakes in the general policy, and Florida insurers might exclude sinkholes. To know what coverage you have, look for either the general term earth movement or for specifically named mishaps in both the inclusions and exclusions lists. Why Are Earth Movements Not Covered? Insurance is based on risk minimization. The insurance company wants to make sure it can pay out all claims while still paying its employees and shareholders. Depending on the area, earth movements may add a lot of risk to the typical policy. The risk of earth movements also varies greatly even within the same state. Rather than increasing insurance premiums for everyone to match this risk, insurance companies exclude earth movements from the general policy and offer separate coverage at a premium that accounts for the risk. Do You Need Earth Movement Coverage? Because of the added cost, many homeowners might think about going without earth movement coverage. There are a few things you need to consider. First, if you have a mortgage, you may be required to carry earth movement coverage. The bank can require insurance to protect its investment while you repay your loan. Second, an earth movement will usually cause major damage to your home. Even if the risk of an earth movement is low, would you be able to cover the cost to rebuild? To learn more about making sure your home is adequately insured, contact Hope & Harder Insurance Brokers or a similar...

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3 Easy Things Everyone Can Do To Save Money On Their Auto Insurance

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Easy Things Everyone Can Do To Save Money On Their Auto Insurance

If you own a car or have a driver’s license it is important that you carry an auto insurance policy on yourself and your vehicle. This will help to protect you if you get in an auto accident while you are driving your car, or even someone else’s like a friend’s or a rental. However just because you have to carry auto insurance doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank to get it. Here are some simple things that you can do to keep the costs low on your auto insurance while still getting great coverage. 1. Alter Your Deductible One of the easiest things you can do to save money on your auto insurance is to raise your deductible. The higher the deductible the less you will pay in monthly insurance premiums. For example, if you simply raise your deductible a couple hundred dollars you could save that and more over time with your premiums. This is generally a good idea for anyone who has a good driving record and who hasn’t gotten in an accident for years. When you consider how often you will actually access your policy there is a good chance that you won’t need to use your insurance and you can save money over time. Then if you do get in an accident you can make up the difference with your deductible. 2. Carpool More Another simple way to save money on your insurance is to drive your car less. When you sign up for insurance they will ask you how often you drive your car and how many miles you put on the car each year. The more you drive your car the more likely you are to get in an accident. Thus, people who drive more usually have higher premiums. Thus, if you can take public transportation or carpool more you can save money on your insurance, and protect your car. 3. Factor In Deprecation Of The Car Lastly, don’t forget to factor in the depreciation of the car. When you first insure your car they will take into account how many miles it has, the year and the condition that it is in. Over time your car will depreciate in value, however your insurance company may not decrease your cost of insurance. This is why it is important to re-evaluate your policy every couple years to make sure that you are not paying the same price on your older car that you were when it was new. By doing these simple things you can save money on your auto insurance. Contact an insurance broker, like those at Tailor Made Insurance Services Ltd Sherwood Park or other locations, for more tips and...

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Do You Have Enough Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage? Two Factors Not To Forget

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Do You Have Enough Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage? Two Factors Not To Forget

When many people shop for a new homeowner’s insurance policy, they spend a great deal of focus on ensuring they have enough coverage based on the value of their home and the value of their personal belongings. These aren’t the only values you need to assess. Coverage limits for additional living expenses and personal liability are also important to ensuring you have adequate coverage. Additional Living Expenses Should your home sustain significant damage, there is a great chance you won’t be able to stay in it for some time. Have you considered the additional expenses that come along with temporary accommodations? If you can’t live in your home while repairs are being made, you will still be required to pay the mortgage and cover the cost for your temporary living arrangements, which can be challenging for most. Don’t overlook this added expense, as it’s not included with every policy. For those policies that extend this coverage, the value of this component is generally based on a percentage of the value of the home, such as 25%. For instance, a $250,000 home would have a temporary living expenses limit of $62,500. Instead of value, some companies offer unlimited expenses reimbursement, but only for a specific period of time, such as 3 months. Personal Liability Limits Make certain the policy has a sufficient personal liability limit for your needs. Personal liability protects you in the event someone is injured on your property, you cause harm or damage to someone else or their property, or a pet in your home injures someone else. Many policies come with a low-level limit that you can build on. Don’t assume that the minimum coverage amount is all you need. Take a policy with only $100,000 in liability coverage, for instance. This might seem like a lot of money, but if the homeowner has a pool and a guest is injured in their pool, resulting in long-term medical care and rehabilitation costs, the associated bills could quickly and easily exceed $100,000. Any leftover expenses would be the responsibility of the homeowner. Before assuming the standard liability limits are sufficient, make sure you are taking a realistic assessment of your financial abilities and needs. To ensure you have sufficient coverage for your home, consider working with a broker. A broker can assist you with analyzing your needs to determine adequate coverage amounts, while also pairing you with the right policy. Contact a company like Horizon Insurance Brokers Limited to get...

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Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Homeowner’s Policy For Your Newly Purchased Home

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Homeowner’s Policy For Your Newly Purchased Home

When you purchase a new home, before you choose a paint color, landscape design or anything else – make sure you are purchasing a homeowner’s insurance policy, but not just any policy. The policy you choose should be perfectly tailored for your own needs and the needs of the home. Without the right policy, you leave yourself vulnerable to expensive out of pocket costs. When choosing a new policy for your new home, there are a number of factors you want to consider to make sure you are choosing a policy wisely. Here are just two of them. Claims History First, request a copy of a claims history report for the home. The claim history report offers a host of valuable information. There are a number of third-party companies that maintain these claim databases. Reviewing this report will highlight any past claims submitted for the property, such as for fire, flood, theft or even lightning strikes. Why is this information important? This report is important because it can give you a better idea of what type of coverage you need. Take a home that has an extensive claims history for flooding, even though the property isn’t located in a flood zone. The new homeowner hadn’t considered a flood insurance add-on. After reviewing this report, they’ve changed their mind. Without this report, the new homeowner would not have known the potential for flooding. Without the coverage, they would have been under-insured and left to pay for damage on their own. Make sure you are reviewing the report first. Policy Value If this is not your first home purchase, don’t simply roll-over your existing cover limits from your last home and think you will be protected. This type of mistake can be costly because it can leave you with too little or too much coverage. Determining how much coverage is necessary  is a two-part process. Phase one involves the property. If the house were to be destroyed today, how much would it cost to rebuild it with similar materials and the same design? This cost is not to be confused with purchase price of the home as these figures can be very different for a number of reasons. The second phase is the cost of your belongings. If you were to lose everything, how much would it cost to replace everything? These two figures will offer a starting point for the value of your policy. If you’re looking for a new insurance policy, an insurance broker can assist you. A broker can use their vast knowledge about homeowner’s insurance policies, as well as their relationships with a number of insurance companies, to find the right policy for...

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Avoid A Fire And Home Insurance Claim By Making Your Home Kid-Safe

Posted by on Dec 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Avoid A Fire And Home Insurance Claim By Making Your Home Kid-Safe

While having home insurance is an especially beneficial thing to have as a homeowner, you do not want to file claims if they can be avoided. Not only can recovering after a home fire be stressful, it could also lead to your home insurance costs going up drastically. If you have a family with young children, it is a good idea to learn some helpful tips on how to reduce the risk of fires. Install a Gate Going into the Kitchen The kitchen is often the number one place where fires start, due to the stove being left on or electrical cords to appliances being frayed, so it is vital that you train your children to stay out of this space. If you have a toddler, all you need to do is install a gate to the entryway of the kitchen and make sure to supervise whenever any heating sources are on. Avoid Lighting Candles on Unstable Surfaces Candles are another risk for fires, especially since children can knock over candles on practically any surface. A great way to keep candles out of reach from your children is by mounting candle holders on the wall and at a height that they cannot reach. Invest in Electrical Outlet Covers Electrical outlets should be plugged with outlet covers since they could start a fire if anything pokes inside. Luckily, these outlet covers are quite affordable and you can get them in a variety of colors and transparencies so that they can be plugged in without any problems. Create a Reliable Barrier to Your Fireplace The fireplace is another place where fires can start if your children are playing nearby. To keep your children safe and to reduce the risk of a fire, make sure to add multiple barriers in the form of a glass screen and safety gate. Lock Up Cabinets with Fire Hazards Some items in your home could start a fire if they fall into the wrong hands. Matches, lighters, and even appliances such as a hair straightener or Christmas lights could start a fire, so it is recommended to keep these items locked in cabinets with a childproof latch or key. Protecting your home means considering all of the possible scenarios where you would need to file a home insurance claim and take preventive measures. By making your home as fire-proof as possible with your children in mind, you can feel at ease knowing that your family is safer. For more information, contact an insurance company like Hope & Harder Insurance...

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Four Things To Look For In A Good Insurance Agent

Posted by on Sep 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Things To Look For In A Good Insurance Agent

If you’re looking to add to your insurance portfolio, or if you’re starting out in business and need a good insurance partner, you may be overwhelmed by the number of insurance companies and agents from which to choose. Not every agent, or insurance company, is a good fit for every business or individual. Plus, though rare, as with any industry that deals with money, there are always a few “bad apples” that need to be avoided.  Questions to ask when looking for a good  insurance agent 1. Do they represent more than one insurance company? In general, an agent and/or company that represents more than one insurance company is in a better position to match you with the policy that’s best for your individual needs. They aren’t tied to just one line of insurance products. In addition, it’s a good idea to ask if they offer all of the insurance products you need, such as business liability insurance and/or disability insurance, so you only have to deal with one agent for all of your insurance needs. 2. How much experience do they have? All agents must be licensed (and, therefore, have the necessary training and expertise to pass the licensing exam.) However, hands-on experience can be invaluable when you have a claim that’s not being settled in a timely manner or when you need to add extra coverage quickly. 3. Do they have the technology you need? If paperless bills, 24/7 payment portals and online access to your insurance documents are important to you, you’ll want to make sure that your prospective agent offers these amenities. Not all agents, especially independent agents, offer all of the “bells and whistles.” 4. When are you available? Real life situations happen any time of the day or night, not just during regular business hours. If you have after hours questions or if you need to file a claim, will someone be available in the evening, on the weekend or on holidays to help you? 5. Are they willing to listen? The best agents take the time to get to know you, your family and your business before recommending any insurance products. They don’t just pigeonhole you into a prepackaged insurance plan. Finding the right insurance agent for you, your family, and your business doesn’t have to be a hassle. Contact a local provider, such as Northgate Insurance Centre, and ask about which lines they represent, learn about the amenities they offer and be sure to inquire about their...

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Thinking About Purchasing An Exotic Pet In Canada? You May Want To Think Twice

Posted by on Aug 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Thinking About Purchasing An Exotic Pet In Canada? You May Want To Think Twice

Owning a home comes with a lot of privileges. When you own your own home, it may feel like you can essentially do whatever you want to your home and in your home, such as purchase an exotic pet. However, purchasing an exotic pet has far-reaching implications that you need to seriously consider before you bring one home. The Legality Of Owning An Exotic Pet In Canada The legality of owning an exotic pet in Canada is complicated. Basically, each town and city in Canada is allowed to create their own bylaws about what type of animals you are allowed to keep on your property and the conditions that you have to abide by.  You may be able to own an exotic pet in your hometown; however, if you ever move, there is a good chance that other towns and cities in your vicinity will not allow you to own an exotic pet within their city limits. Owning an exotic pet can really restrict where you can live and where you can take your pet.  The Insurance Implications Of Owning An Exotic Pet Even if you own your own home, there are still insurance implications that come along with owning an exotic pet. Many insurance companies will cancel your insurance policy once you inform them that you have purchased an exotic pet. You will have to shop around to find an insurance company that will consider giving you an insurance policy with an exotic pet in your home. Once you find an insurance company that is willing to provide you with coverage, be prepared to pay a lot more than you were before for your policy. Insurance companies see exotic pets as a large liability, and will pass on as much of that risk to you in the form of a higher premium.  Thinking about hiding your exotic pet from your insurance company? That may not be as sound of an idea as you think it is. If something happens to your home, even if it is not related to your exotic pet, and you have to file a claim, it could get denied once your insurance company discovers that you purchased an exotic pet without informing them. If your pet injuries someone and your insurance company didn’t even know they existed, there is a good chance your insurance company will deny your liability claim. If you really want to purchase an exotic pet, make sure that the city or town you live will allow you to own such a pet. Then, find a home insurance company that will provide you with homeowner’s insurance and make sure you can pay the high premiums that come with exotic pet...

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3 Signs You Should Insure Your Engagement Ring

Posted by on Jul 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Signs You Should Insure Your Engagement Ring

If your loved one has given you a beautiful ring to celebrate your engagement, the last thing that you are probably thinking about is losing it or having it stolen. Unfortunately, there is always the possibility that something could happen to your beautiful ring. Luckily, you can always secure insurance coverage to ensure that your ring is protected. These are a few signs that you should invest in this type of coverage.   1. Your Current Policy Doesn’t Cover It First of all, you should take a look at your current homeowners or renters insurance policy. There is a good chance that your ring can be covered by this type of coverage, but this is not necessarily the case. Some insurance policies include low limits on the amount that can be paid out for jewelry, so the full value of your ring might not be covered. Check your coverage and determine if there is even a need for a separate policy first. 2. Your Ring is Valuable Different couples have different ideas about how much should be spent on an engagement ring. No matter how much was spent on your ring, it’s probably important to you, but the sentimental value of your ring cannot be replaced with insurance. If your ring isn’t very valuable financially, you’ll probably find that it’s more expensive to insure than it’s worth. If your ring is worth several thousand dollars or more, however, you might find that it’s cost-effective to insure it. 3. There Aren’t Too Many Stipulations Check the policies that are being offered to you. If there are a lot of stipulations — such as if you have to have your ring re-appraised frequently, for example — then you might find that insuring your engagement ring is more costly than it is worth. Try to find a policy that has a reasonably low deductible and that does not have too many of these stipulations if you are interested in securing coverage. In some situations, it’s a good idea to insure your engagement ring. Don’t get caught up in the bling and beauty of your engagement ring; instead, look into insurance options. If you find a good option and find that these three things apply to you and your situation, it might be a good idea to buy this coverage. Then, if you happen to lose your engagement ring or if it is stolen, you will be able to buy a replacement without any worry. For further assistance, contact a local outlet, such as Meyer’s Insurance Ltd commercial...

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What To Expect When Filing A Claim

Posted by on Jun 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Expect When Filing A Claim

Thanks to the culture of instant communication, the frantic and difficult process of filing a claim is a thing of the past. Nowadays you can access your home insurance declaration page online, find the claim number, chat with the claims department online, and even file the entire claim through a simplified form on the company’s website. But all of that is just the beginning, keep reading to find out what you can expect when filing a claim. Taking Preventative Measures – First and foremost, you’ll want to try and maintain a calm and collected frame of mind. You don’t want to be searching for your policy online when you’ve got a pipe burst and still haven’t turned off the water. Make sure that if there is anything you can do to prevent further damage (safely and within reason) you should do so. Gathering Your Information – Preparing before you contact your insurance company will help expedite the process. Typically, you’ll need your policy number, the date of the loss, a description of the damages, your absolute best contact information, and possibly your mortgage company’s contact information (though this should be on the policy already). You’ll also probably want a copy of your declarations page for yourself so you know what your coverage limits are and what your out-of-pocket deductible is. Your agent can also assist you in understanding any parts of your policy that you are unfamiliar with when you file the claim. Making the Call – Arguably the easiest part, making the phone call is a simple amalgamation of the points listed above. You’ll give the customer service representative your information so they can look into your policy, give them as much detail about the claim as possible, and they’ll send out a claims adjuster to assess the situation and cut you a check for loss of use if the home isn’t in livable condition. Meeting the Claims Adjuster – The claims adjuster will be the one who ultimately assesses the damage. In order to be prepared, the best thing you can do is make sure you have a home inventory that lists everything valuable to you. The amount you get for personal contents depends on whether or not you have replacement cost and if you have holdback on replacement cost. Using a Preferred Vendor – Nowadays most insurance companies partner with preferred vendors to help expedite the claims process. This means that the entire payment process is handled between these two companies so the only thing you’ll have to worry about is knowing when the claim has been settled. Remember, as long as you’re prepared for what’s to come, the process of making a claim is painless. So make sure you gather your policy information, think ahead and create a home inventory, and take control of the situation. Go to sites offering more information. ...

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3 Tips For Getting Good Health Insurance While Saving Money

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Choosing the right health insurance for you and/or your family may seem like an impossible feat. There are many people who wonder how they can get a good insurance plan for their needs without breaking the bank. Here are a couple tips for choosing the right insurance plan for you. 1. Be Realistic About Your Deductible If you are someone who doesn’t see the doctor very often, it might be cheaper for you to choose a plan that has a lower premium and a higher deductible. This is because if you don’t reach your deductible in a given year, since you just don’t use medical services often, then you could be paying a great deal more in your premiums than you need to. The people who shouldn’t have a larger deductible are those who have children who see the doctor often, are pregnant and expecting a baby, have serious medical issues, or who might need a hospitalization in a year. In this case, it would be better to reach your deducible quicker so that the insurance will kick in and help defray the costs. 2. Call Your Provider Before You Purchase Insurance As you are looking for an insurance plan, you should be calling your providers. Some of the plans that have a lower premium and seem to be the best options are not accepted by many providers. If you get one of these plans, you could be driving long distances to see a doctor who is in your network. Additionally, you should be sure that you have a hospital near by that will accept your insurance. If you need to call for an ambulance, you need to be sure that they can take you to a nearby hospital without worrying if your insurance will cover it. 3. Don’t Forget To Claim A Deduction On Your Taxes Many people fail to remember that you can actually deduct your health care expenses on your taxes. This means that even if you have paid a good deal of money over the year on premiums and on medical services, you can still claim it on your taxes. For this reason, you should keep great records of all of your payments and your procedures. You can save a good deal of money when it comes tax season. This will help to defray the cost of medical expenses throughout the year. By doing these simple things you can be sure to get the right insurance plan for you and save...

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