Floirda Insurance Home, Auto, Business, Health Insurance blogs

29Sep/120

FR44 Florida Auto Insurance Facts For DUI Drivers

By Clifford J Schimek

 

Required liability limits are 100,000 of bodily injury for each person with 300,000 available per accident and 50,000 of property damage per accident. A total combined single limit, i.e. for bodily injury and property damage, of 350,000 also satisfies the requirement. These amounts are ten times what the State considers as being financially responsible for drivers without a DUI.

FR44 Policy Types:

In addition to a standard car insurance policy the FR44 can be filed with a non-owner policy or a motorcycle policy. In Florida these two policy types exclude Personal Injury Protection coverage which can be very expensive and is required on every any standard car insurance contract. The non-owner policy is only available to drivers who do not own or have regular access to a vehicle. The motorcycle insurance policy is the least restrictive and usually the least expensive of any type requiring the FR44 filing.

Florida FR44 Companies:

Companies respond differently to applicants requiring FR44 filings. Available through independent agents are Progressive and Foremost which qualifies most drivers but do not offer payment plans. Mercury and Infinity which are more restrictive with driving history but will offer monthly billing and Travelers which declines DUI drivers. Other companies include, Allstate accommodating current clients only, Geico requiring payment in full, and the largest company in Florida, unlike a good neighbor, declines DUI drivers altogether. These well-known companies demonstrate the variety of responses you may encounter from any provider.

FR44 Insurance Cost:

The filing (submission) fee for the FR44 form is 15.00 dollars. Other insurance related costs for the DUI driver are significantly more. Additional liability coverage, removal of safe driver discounts, and placement into a less favorable tier (category) with higher premium (rates) can be expected.

Form Completion:

Insured person information required is name, address, driver license number, and birth date. Insured company information required is name, NAIC code, policy number, FR44 case number, and certification effective date. Additional information indicates which type of two policies is selected. An owner's policy with year, make model and VIN of all vehicles registered and insured. Or an operator's policy applicable to any vehicle not registered or titled to the listed person. Authorized representative signature and date prepared completes form.

FR44 Filing:

The completed form is filed (submitted) to Florida's Bureau of Financial Responsibility. After June 30, 2009 all insurance companies must report FR44 filings to the state electronically. The DMV does not accept Proof of FR44 insurance from DUI drivers. Companies are required to notify the bureau when FR44 insurance policy are canceled, terminated, or lapses for any reason.

Miscellaneous Facts:

The actual name of the form is the Florida Uniform Financial Responsibility Certificate FR-44. Florida statute 324.023 addresses the FR44 and is applicable after October 1, 2007. Compliance period is for three years. There are no driving restrictions associated with the FR44 filing. Non compliance results in license and vehicle registration suspension. FR44 filing must be on a Florida auto insurance policy. There can not be more than one FR44 or FR44 and SR22 on the same driver.

29Sep/120

Florida Auto Insurance – State Required Cover

By

Florida auto insurance minimum cover required by law is one of the low ones, especially if you compare them with those of states like Alabama, Alaska etc. If you intend to drive legally in Florida, you should know what these state required minimum coverages are.

First, the state requires a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection. Unlike the minimum requirements in other states, this cover covers you in an accident without regard to who was at fault. Medical expenses, lost wages and some other related expenses are taken care of by this cover. There is also a $5000 death benefit should the need arise.

Next is the $10,000 minimum required in Property Damage Liability Cover. This cover however, takes care of damages done to other people's properties as a result of an accident caused by you. Some of the items regarded as property include telephone poles, fences amongst other things.

A person could easily get these covers and feel they have done all they should. This is far from wrong because in many cases this minimum cover is not sufficient to handle the liability that arises from an accident. Even if it does, remember that any damage to your own property would not be covered. You need more cover both for yourself and to save you the possibility of losing your savings, future wages, home etc to huge liabilities you were not insured against.

Talk to your insurance agent about getting more cover. There are options like Collision, Comprehensive and more.

If you are worried about the high cost of auto insurance, then you can try to get a more affordable auto insurance cover by getting and comparing quick auto insurance quotes. Auto insurance quotes help you find the best rates available. In addition to this, you can also get discounts from you insurer which would further reduce your rates. These discounts are available when you take some actions or when you have achieved somethings. For example, get a good credit score and your rate would be affected. Improve your driving by taking a course in defensive driving and also earn a discount. There a lot more discounts available for you to reduce your rates with. To know more about discounts, talk with your insurance agent.

Every driver in Florida has access to a wealth of information if they just call the Florida Department of Financial Services at 800-342-2762. Take your auto insurance seriously.

29Sep/120

Florida Home Insurance Bill Vetoed by Governor Charlie Crist

By Moises Reyes

Florida Property Insurance Bill Generates Controversy amongst Insurance Industry

Florida Governor Charlie Crist's decision to veto an omnibus property insurance bill, SB 2044, has generated a considerable level of controversy after he was urged to sign it by homeowners insurance industry trade organizations, executives, and even Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty. Despite the recommendations of those who backed the bill, Gov. Crist, who has left the Republican Party to run as an independent for the U.S. Senate, expressed concern over potential Florida home insurance rate hikes that may have resulted from the bill. In his veto message, Gov Crist stated, "I am most concerned about the expansion of the current expedited rate filing procedure for property insurers that makes it easier to increase Floridians' premiums."

Although the bill was indeed expected to increase home owners insurance rates, supporters of the bill assert that the increased rates and reduced claims costs that the bill entailed were imperative to avoid massive financial risk associated with the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season and ensure future stability in the Florida homeowner insurance market. According to a statement issued by the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), for example, "without the bill, we continue to confront the problem of a huge and growing financial risk that Floridians face from the next storm." Others, such as current Florida Senate President Jeff Atwater, have taken a more personal approach to expressing outrage over Gov. Crist's actions: "He yet again has found a way to mischaracterize the substance of legislation to advance his own political career," said Sen. Atwater.

Most of the rationale for the   rel=nofollow [http://www.secureinsurancequotes.com/florida/]Florida homeowners insurance industry's overwhelming support for the bill has derived from recent increases in costs that have troubled property insurers. These costs have largely been a result of rising non-catastrophe and sinkhole claims, as well as claims from Hurricane Wilma that claims adjustors are now reopening. Among the industry officials disappointed with Gov. Crist's veto is the Florida Property & Casualty Association, an organization of insurance companies and consultants, who said that   rel=nofollow [http://www.flsenate.gov/session/index.cfm?Mode=Bills&Submenu=1&BI_Mode=ViewBillInfo&Billnum=2044&Year=2010]SB 2044 would have made Florida home owners insurance more accessible and affordable to consumers as a result of decreased claims and fraud abuse. The group issued a statement, saying, "Unfortunately, it was erroneously portrayed by critics as a bill that would have raised rates without regulatory oversight. Nothing could be further from the truth. The veto of this bill will ultimately saddle all insurers with continued escalating losses resulting in less availability and higher rates."

Despite the urgings of the insurance industry, Gov. Crist viewed the bill as more detrimental than beneficial, explaining that "During these very difficult economic times, Florida's consumers should not have to be concerned with an additional premium increase to their policy."

27Sep/120

Check Up on Your Home Insurance

By Pat Mertz Esswein

The national average premium for homeowners insurance will increase by 5% in 2012, according to forecasts by the Insurance Information Institute. That follows an increase of nearly 4% in 2011, and it will bring the average annual premium to an all-time high of $1,000. At the same time, home insurers are adding exclusions and requiring higher premiums to cover certain risks, such as mold and water damage. Meanwhile, the housing bust and recession have pushed the median home price down 35% since the market’s peak. But the cost to rebuild a home after a total loss has increased by 40% since 2004—7% in 2011 alone—thanks to rising building-material and fuel prices. So you could find yourself paying more for less coverage. Worse, you may not have enough insurance to cover the full cost of rebuilding your home and replacing its contents in the event of a fire, a tornado or some other major disaster.

 

Use your annual renewal notice or any improvements to your home as cues to touch base with your agent or insurer. Recheck how much insurance you really need and comparison-shop, taking advantage of opportunities to save. You can use the same tactics if you’re buying a new policy.

Check your limits

“In the aftermath of a total loss, every homeowner says, ‘My insurer told me I was fully insured,’ ” says Amy Bach, executive director of United Policyholders, a consumer advocacy group. “I’ve heard it a thousand times from people who have found themselves short—sometimes by hundreds of thousands of dollars.” She urges homeowners not to blindly trust that their home insurer has all the bases covered.

The first step in getting adequate coverage is to establish your policy’s dwelling limit. Your target number is the full-replacement cost of your home and its possessions. The dwelling limit bears no relation to your property’s market value (if you were to sell it), its appraised value (for mortgage financing) or its assessed tax value. And don’t mistake the cost of new construction for the cost to rebuild, which is more expensive because of factors such as debris removal and higher demand for materials and labor after a catastrophe. Bach says it generally costs $200 to $250 per square foot to rebuild the average home today. But if you live in a unique or historic home, in a high-end community, or in a hard-to-reach location, the cost could run $400 per square foot.

You can get a pretty good idea of what it would cost to rebuild your home by using an online calculator, available at sites such as HMFacts.com ($7) and AccuCoverage.com ($8). Both will ask you about the structural components, features and amenities of your home and, using databases of local labor and material costs, estimate your total cost to rebuild.

Your insurer or agent will probably help you determine the dwelling limit, using much the same script as the online tools do. Although you can answer many questions about your home over the phone, nothing substitutes for an on-site visit. Site visits are a routine practice for many independent agents, who represent more than one insurer, and for representatives of high-end insurers, such as Chubb and Fireman’s Fund.

The dwelling limit also determines your policy’s other coverages—typically 10% of the dwelling limit for other structures on your property, 50% for contents and 20% for loss of use of your home (additional living expenses when you can’t live in your home).

Take stock of your stuff

The amount of coverage built into your policy for the possessions in your home (as a percentage of the dwelling limit) may be inadequate to replace them. And although your policy may cover expensive items, such as jewelry and furs, it may limit the payout to $1,000 to $2,000. (Other items that may be capped include silverware, computer equipment, art, antiques, stamps, coins and guns.)

Create a home inventory to ensure that you have the right amount and type of coverage. In addition, an inventory will make filing a claim smoother, establish verifiable value for your things after a disaster, and make it easier to prove your losses for tax purposes. The Insurance Information Institute’s home-inventory app (at KnowYourStuff.org) and the app from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners make saving that information a snap. Be sure to include serial numbers, photos or a video, and receipts or appraisals.

Once you know what you have and how much it will cost to replace, you can add coverage with a scheduled personal property endorsement (or personal article floater), which typically costs about $20 per $1,000 of property value annually (although it varies by item and location).

Update your inventory periodi­cally to cover new purchases and gifts, and get updated appraisals of your valuables so that you can adjust your coverage. For example, gold jewelry inherited from Mom could be worth almost three times what it was worth five years ago.

Cover the gaps

It’s a good idea to purchase guaranteed replacement coverage, meaning the insurer will pay whatever it costs to rebuild your home with materials of like kind and quality, without deducting for wear and tear. Avoid actual cash value coverage, which pays the depreciated value of your home’s components and could leave you short of the funds necessary to fully repair or rebuild your home.

Most insurers build a fudge factor of 25% to 50% into the dwelling limit. Lacking that, you need to buy extended replacement coverage, a bargain at about $25 to $30 annually for an extra $200,000 of coverage, says Bach.

You might be tempted to save money by reducing your dwelling limit and picking up the balance with extended coverage. Two caveats here: First, you’ll reduce coverage of your contents as a percentage of the dwelling limit. Second, in the event of a total loss, your policy’s current dwelling limit must equal at least 80% of the cost to rebuild or you won’t get the benefit of any extended coverage to make up the difference.

Also, look for protection against a higher cost to rebuild due to inflation (inflation-guard endorsement) or upgraded building codes (ordinance or law endorsement).

A number of insurers have switched from the broader and more desirable all risks coverage (covering everything except those things expressly excluded) to the more narrowly defined named perils policy, which should cost less but may not. Request an all-risks policy, and if an insurer doesn’t offer it, look elsewhere. Review your policy’s exclusions for risks such as wind, water, earthquakes, sinkholes and flooding, and buy supplemental coverage. Flood insurance is never included in standard homeowners policies. You’ll need to get coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program (get quotes and information about flood risks for your property at www.floodsmart.gov).

Sewage backup is often excluded from homeowners insurance policies unless you get a special rider, which can often add $10,000 to $20,000 in coverage for about $50 per year. In fact, that’s one of the most common insurance gaps people discover during storm season and one of the easiest to fill. Last August, as Hurricane Irene moved up the East Coast, Steve Weisbart, chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute, was glad that he, unlike many of his neighbors, had coverage in case his sewers and drains backed up. As local sump pumps emptied water from basements into the overwhelmed sewer system, the sewage backed up into homes through toilets and drains. Weisbart collected on a $10,000 claim.

Your homeowners insurance also covers personal liability and medical payments to others. The typical policy provides $300,000 of liability coverage, which will protect you if someone is injured on your property. You can increase your coverage to $500,000 for about $25 more a year. Consider increasing your liability coverage to $1 million with an umbrella policy.

Get the best deal

When they decide whether to cover you, insurers consider factors such as the age, materials, condition and replacement cost of your home, the risk associated with your location, your claims history (the type and number of claims that you’ve filed or that your home has experienced), and your credit score.

Comparison shopping is easier if you work with an independent agent who represents many insurers (to find one, visit Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America). You’ll pay a commission (typically 10% to 15% of the annual premium), but it may be worth it for the guidance, and the agent should explain why one insurer or policy will better meet your needs than another. You can also get quotes from a direct-market company, such as Geico or USAA. And it’s worth checking out State Farm and Allstate, which sell through their own agents.

For specific advice about homeowners insurance in your state, visit the Web site of your state’s department of insurance, which may provide worksheets for comparison shopping. Before you buy a policy, check prospective insurers’ ratings for financial strength (at www.ambest.com) and complaint records. Also, keep a record of your communications, as well as the insurer’s assurances of coverage should there be any question of your coverage after a disaster (for more on making a claim, see How to Get Insurance Companies to Pay Your Claims).


27Sep/120

How Working From Home Can Affect Your Home Insurance

By Dave Faulkner

 

Home insurance is an absolute must for anyone who owns his or her own home. It can effectively afford you a degree of protection should anything ever happen to your home and its contents. However, if you work from home or have your own home-based business then you need a little something extra - home business insurance.

Regular home insurance does not cover you for business equipment either in or outside of the home because it is for commercial rather than personal use. However, you are unlikely to need full business insurance because the scale of the business is contained within your own home and thus will not suit your needs. Home business insurance should fit your needs, but there is key information that you need to know before exploring your policy options.

There are several elements that are included in home business insurance or business home owners insurance but not in regular home insurance. For example, you won't only need to cover your own equipment; you will also need to provide cover for any items belonging to others that may be kept on your premises. This element will cover you throughout the duration of your policy in case of loss theft or damage. Business home owners insurances policies also usually offer you the option of selecting personal liability cover as well. That is designed to protect you should any of the individuals that visit your house for meeting and appointments have an accident and decide to sue. This is definitely not covered in home insurance but, because of the suing culture that we live in, is a must if you have people related to your business over on a regular basis.

Home business insurance or business home owners insurance tends to cover over and above the items listed below:

1.    It effectively increases the limit that you can claim as far more personal property is actually covered under home business insurance. In short, the amount you can claim per year will significantly increase.

2.    Some home insurance policies don't cover personal property away from home but business home owners insurance does, and effectively increases the amount of cover you have if it does happen to be covered under your home insurance.

3.    If you have home business insurance then any credit card coverage on that policy will cover your business card as well as your personal one. Home insurance policies only cover personal cards.

4.    There is a specific amount of cover in place for property that is in your home but does not belong to you.

5.    Your business accounts are also covered. There will be a limit put on the amount payable, but should your accounts be destroyed then you won't actually lose out.

6.    The personal liability coverage, as mentioned above, covers personal injury, any products produced and incidental contractual ability.

25Sep/120

How to Get Cheap Mobile Home Insurance in Florida

By Brian Stevens

Because hurricanes, floods, fires, and burglaries are on the rise in Florida, mobile home insurance is no longer a luxury, it's a necessity. Here's how to get cheap mobile home insurance in Florida.

Mobile Home Insurance

Standard mobile home insurance includes the following coverages:

Structure coverage - This pays to replace or repair your mobile home, and other structures like a detached garage, when they've been damaged or destroyed by fire, plumbing leaks, vandalism, or storms. Standard policies do not cover damage caused by floods, so you'll need to purchase extra insurance if you want flood coverage.

Personal property coverage - This pays to replace your personal property - electronics, clothing, furniture, bicycles, sports equipment, tools, etc. - when they've been damaged or destroyed by fire, plumbing leaks, vandalism, or storms. Standard policies limit the amount of coverage for expensive items like jewelry, furs, collections, and antiques, so you'll need to get additional insurance for these.

Additional living expense coverage - This pays your additional living expenses when your mobile home is uninhabitable and is being repaired. This coverage pays your hotels bills, restaurant bills, and other additional expenses.

Libility coverage - This pays for medical claims, property damage expenses, and legal fees if you or your family injure another person or damage their property.

Trip collision coverage - This pays to repair or replace your mobile home when it's been damaged when you move it to a new location.

Emergency removal coverage - This pays to move your mobile home when it's being threatened by an approaching fire, hurricane, or other perils.

Loss assessment coverage - This pays your share of losses assessed by your association.

How to Get Cheap Florida Mobile Home Insurance

The cost for mobile home insurance can vary by hundreds of dollars from one company to another, so the first thing you should do is get quotes from different companies see which company has the cheapest rate. The best place to do this is at an insurance comparison website where you can get multiple quotes by filling out a simple questionnaire with information about your mobile home and the amount of insurance you want.

 

25Sep/120

Is Florida Home Insurance Too Late to Get in Line For a Washington Bailout?

Is Florida Home Insurance Too Late to Get in Line For a Washington Bailout?
By Michael Letcher 

The financial crisis brings more shocking news every day. This week was no different as executives from General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler landed in Washington with their corporate jets to ask for their share of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.

In a shameless display of arrogance and entitlement, leaders of what used to be "best in class" companies begged for billions of dollars with their tin cups outstretched in front of the US Congress.  Before the Big Three ever arrived in Washington, billions had already been committed to AIG and some of the largest financial institutions in the country.

During this financial meltdown we're seeing something we never expected to see in our lives - broken promises from major corporations and government entities on a scale never considered possible. We've reached a point where even large companies and large states like Florida can't meet their obligations using the bond markets.

If you are a Florida home insurance consumer, your biggest asset is now at risk during the financial crisis - your Florida home.

Can you name a more sacred promise than the one a home insurance company makes to you when it takes your money and agrees to insure your home?

When you buy homeowners insurance in Florida the insurance company is promising you fast and fair payment of your claim. Florida insurance companies buy reinsurance to help them make good on this promise to you. Reinsurance is backup coverage that insurance companies buy to help protect themselves from big losses above certain levels.

The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund was formed as a way to help stabilize the Florida home insurance market after Hurricane Andrew caused billions in damage to Florida in 1992. By offering reinsurance at affordable rates, the fund helped to make homeowners insurance available and affordable for many years.

That all changed after the Florida hurricanes of 2004 and 2005 when Florida home insurance became overpriced and hard to find again.

The Florida legislature responded to the Florida home insurance crisis by voting in 2007 to expand the reinsurance sold by the Cat Fund by $12 billion - raising its total risk to a total of $28 billion. Florida home insurance companies were required to purchase this additional reinsurance from the state and to pass along the savings realized on reinsurance to home owners.

As a Florida homeowner, you didn't get the rate reductions that this law was supposed to provide. You didn't get the 24% average rate reductions that were predicted when the legislation passed. And to make things worse, the Florida Cat Fund took on an additional $12 billion in risk.

Now the Florida Catastrophe Fund has told us that the frozen bond markets won't be an acceptable source to raise the cash it needs to meet its commitments to the insurance companies after a major Florida hurricane. It recently estimated that it could pay out $13 billion over the next twelve months - That's $15 billion less than the $28 billion it is on the hook to pay!

What does all of this mean to you as a Florida home insurance consumer?

You didn't get the rate relief you expected and your state took on financial obligations that it has no hope of paying.

You are at risk if Florida experiences a major hurricane in the next year. Once the losses of your Florida home insurance company exceed certain levels, your company will ask the Florida Cat Fund to reimburse them in order to pay your claim. Since the Florida Cat Fund is short on cash, you might have a long delay in getting your claim paid.

The promise to pay your Florida home insurance claim has never been more at risk than it is today.

Now that you know that the Florida Cat Fund can't meet its obligations, let's look at the idea of a National Hurricane Catastrophe Fund that some in Florida have been pushing in Washington for many years. This National Cat fund would offer an additional layer of loss protection above and beyond the obligations of the Florida Cat Fund.

The theory is that a National Catastrophe Fund would be funded in part by insurance premiums paid by policyholders in states that are part of the fund. A National Cat Fund would be a separate fund that would earn interest and grow during the years when there aren't any claims.

Supporters claim that no taxpayer money would be needed to sustain a National Cat Fund. History tells us there would be storms so large that federal tax dollars would have to be used to cover major losses.

And everyone knows that the federal government can't keep its funds separate. Just ask someone in Washington to show you the billions that are supposed to be in the Social Security Trust Fund. You won't be shown any cash - just a drawer full of T-Bills and IOU's.

Now that the Big Three Auto makers and other shameless Fortune 500 companies have beaten Florida to the punch in Washington, it is very unlikely that a National Hurricane Catastrophe Fund will pass anytime soon. Even President Elect Obama will shy away from any additional federal obligations as he faces all of the red ink in Washington today.  So don't look to the federal government to make good on the promise that was made to pay your Florida home insurance claim.

Finally, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation has consistently reported that it doesn't have anywhere near the money it needs to pay out the almost half a trillion dollars in hurricane exposure it after a major Florida hurricane.

A large hurricane would mean that Citizens can't pay even its primary obligations - those that it must pay even before losses reach levels where Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund reinsurance kicks in. And as a policyholder with Citizens, you are subject to paying higher special assessments after a major Florida hurricane than policyholders who have private homeowners insurance - special charges tacked on to your annual insurance bill.

In this new brave world where even governments can't keep their promises here are some steps you should take as a Florida home insurance consumer right now:

Get a Florida wind inspection done and harden your home as much as possible.

Avoid Citizens Insurance Florida if you can.

Find a home insurance company that is strong financially and one that has spread its risk across both Florida and other states. Fewer policyholders will mean faster payment of your claim.

Report your insurance claim the same day as the Florida hurricane. This will make it more likely that you will get paid before your insurance company looks to the Florida Cat fund for reimbursement.

Last but not least. The fact that the Florida Cat Fund is short on money has not been lost on Florida home insurance companies. They are being charged for reinsurance by an entity that has publicly stated that it can't meet its obligations. That means insurance companies are not getting what they paid for.

You should expect Florida home insurance companies to try to buy more of their reinsurance in the private market and not from the State of Florida in 2009. And they will look to pass that cost through to you in the form of higher insurance rates. If they don't get the rate increases they need, your Florida home insurance policy might be cancelled.

As the Florida home insurance crisis continues, it has never been more important for you to stay on top of the Florida home insurance market for private insurance. You never know when you might have to find a new Florida home insurance carrier.

 

20Sep/120

Florida Home Insurance Buyers BUNDLE and $ave

How to Select a Combined Home and Auto Insurance Online
By Elizabeth Newberry

When you purchase more than one kind of insurance policy from the same company, you're usually purchasing what's called a "multi-line policy." Some insurance companies may refer to this as a "combined policy." Regardless of the name, most insurance companies offer discounts for these kinds of multi-insurance purchases. This means you could save loads of money on premiums by purchasing more than one kind of insurance policy from a company with which you're already doing business. Cheaper and easier? It just makes sense.</p><p>If you already have a homeowner insurance policy, or an auto insurance policy, ask an agent or representative if your insurance company provides the opposite kind of insurance coverage, too (home or auto, whichever relates to your situation). Since purchasing both kinds of insurance coverage will most likely make you eligible for a discount, your insurance company undoubtedly has its own special procedures to get you signed up with a combined home and auto insurance policy.</p><p>If you don't already have either kind of insurance policy, what are you waiting for? While homeowner insurance isn't always required, auto insurance is required in all states. Get two birds with one stone by searching online for combined home and auto insurance. The process for shopping around for multi-line insurance isn't much different than shopping for only one kind of insurance.</p><p>Simply search for insurance companies that handle both auto insurance and home insurance. Follow the same steps as you normally would (check coverage and price, research financial rating and customer complaints, and talk with current customers), then set up an appointment with an agent with the company to discuss getting set up with combined home and auto insurance.</p><p>It's pretty easy to purchase auto insurance online; however, purchasing homeowner insurance isn't always so cut and dry. When you're ready to actually purchase combined home and auto insurance, it'd be in your best interest to speak with a live agent.

19Sep/120

Property Owners Are Not the Only Ones With an Insurable Interest

Usually when a person buys a home or business, it is assumed that the purchaser or owner has an insurable interest in the property. However, when it comes to property insurance, the insured doesn’t always have to be the owner of the property. In fact, there are many other persons or entities that may have an insurable interest on a specific property at one time.

When there are multiple owners, or mortgager and mortgagee, life tenant, or lessor and lessee, each party may purchase insurance on the property to protect their interests in the event of a loss. But without a specific agreement regarding interests on a specific insurance policy, each party can only recover under its own policy.1

In the event of a loss and multiple insurance policies held by different parties, each insured may only recover up to the value of its interest in the property, even if the amount of the insurance exceeds the insured’s interest. For example, if a mortgagee (lender) and a property owner both take out a policy on the full value of a property, in the event of a loss, the mortgagee is entitled to recover only the value of its interest.2

I am often asked if a mortgagee (lender) has an interest under the property owner’s insurance policy when a loss occurs. The simple answer is, although a mortgagee has an insurable interest, the mortgagee has no right to the benefits of the property owner’s policy payout unless the mortgagee is actually named as another insured, a co-insured, or "loss payee," which gives contractual rights to the mortgagee.3  Also, a lender has rights to an owner’s insurance policy if there is a separate contract in the purchase or lending agreement.

Many policyholders don’t read their policies, and many more do not pay attention to the specific details of their lending or purchasing agreements. When purchasing insurance, know who your insurance policy covers and whether your lender has rights under your insurance policy. Knowing such information will give you a better idea of how much insurance is needed and should be discussed with your broker or agent when the policy is purchased or renewed. When insurance proceeds from a loss are payable to your lender, there may be difficulties in rebuilding or figuring out how much money will be released right away to help you recover.

12Sep/120

Coming Soon

Keep posted for blogs that keep you informed and ready to make an insurance coverage purchase.