Emergency Insurance: It Could Save Your Livelihood

How to Get Your Car Replaced Fast After It’s Damaged By a Natural Disaster

Posted by on 7:27 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Get Your Car Replaced Fast After It’s Damaged By a Natural Disaster

The steps you take after a natural disaster strikes and totals your car determine how soon the auto insurer settles your claim. In addition to following your insurer’s procedure for making claims, other tips that can speed up the process. Here are four such tips. Document Your Case The first tip is to document your case so well that everybody can easily see what happened to your car. Your insurer is likely to be swamped with claim applications after a natural disaster. Between undocumented cases (that are difficult to prove) and well-documented ones, which ones do you think the company is likely to act on first? Documenting your loss is as simple as taking pictures of the damaged car. Take several pictures from different angles as immediately after the damage occurs as possible. Include the engine, the trunk, and the interior of the car. Do this before cleaning up the car. Submit any recent pictures of the car before it was damaged for comparison purposes. Don’t Delay Your Claim The next tip is to submit your claim as soon as possible. This is because your insurer will be acting on the claims as they receive them. Therefore, provided you have submitted all the necessary paperwork, the faster you submit your claim, the faster it is likely to be acted upon. Keep Records Store all the documents and correspondence related to your claim; it’s also advisable to document your interactions with the insurer. For example, if you receive a call from the insurer, get the name of the person talking to you and note the time of the call. Insurance adjusters and other staff of the insurance company are human; it is not unheard of for a paper or two to go missing. If that happens, you need to have a copy (or the original document) of the missing document so that your claim processing isn’t halted. Be Proactive Badgering the adjuster with questions and complaints isn’t helpful, but you also shouldn’t be too laid back if you want your claim to be settled fast. This advice is especially useful if there is a problem with the claim process, such as if the adjuster’s offer is too low and the negotiations have hit a snag. Don’t “wait” for the adjuster to change their mind; talk to their supervisor or the claim’s manager to help you unlock the deadlock. Shop wisely after the receiving your settlement check. Local dealers hike prices if they expect a surge of customers. You can even delay your car purchase a bit if you don’t have a pressing need for a...

read more

Why Extra Pounds Shouldn’t (But May) Raise Insurance Rates

Posted by on 10:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Extra Pounds Shouldn’t (But May) Raise Insurance Rates

If you’re over a healthy BMI, you may see higher insurance rates. The companies shouldn’t increase them, but you’re viewed as a higher risk. Here’s a look at why insurance rates put your premiums up for being overweight, but really why they shouldn’t. Show Poor Health Being overweight, even by a tiny bit, shows that you’re more at risk of a poorer quality of health. Insurance companies think you will die sooner due to complications linked to obesity and will increase your premiums to counter this risk. Obesity leads to a higher risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. It’s not just life insurance costs that can increase, either. You’re more at risk of developing a critical illness, too, meaning that policy will likely be more expensive. Just being overweight doesn’t necessarily mean that you will put your life at risk. This is why premiums shouldn’t go up, but insurance companies look at the statistics and not at individual cases. An Incentive for Smaller People Rather than being a tax or expense for those who are larger, some people view the extra premiums as an incentive for smaller people. The insurance companies know that those who weigh less are less likely to develop health conditions that risk their lives. Their lower premiums encourage you to lose the weight, so you get to save money. In some cases, you could save $600 per year. However, there are downsides for those who go too low on the BMI scale. Those who don’t weigh enough put themselves at risk of other health diseases and death, so insurance companies will penalize them for that. Higher Medical Bills in Life Remember, it’s not just life insurance costs that increase. Your health insurance premiums will likely increase, too. They shouldn’t, but the companies have the view that you are more likely to need medical help. This is because those who are overweight or obese are more likely to have conditions like Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. The more you weigh, the more your premiums will go up by, too. The BMI range is used to take weight and height into account. Those with a BMI over 25 are overweight, and those over 30 are obese. Someone with a BMI of 30 is likely to pay 25% more in health insurance premiums than someone with a BMI of 25 because of the risk. There’s no proof that you will need more medical attention or that you are likely to die. You may be overweight but extremely healthy. However, insurance companies operate on risk. While being overweight shouldn’t automatically lead to higher insurance premiums, it usually does.  For more information, contact local professionals like Sunset Insurance...

read more

Help! What Happens When You Are Involved In A Car Accident, And You Don’t Have Insurance?

Posted by on 12:04 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Help! What Happens When You Are Involved In A Car Accident, And You Don’t Have Insurance?

You knew by law you need at least liability coverage in your auto insurance policy, but you chose to drive without it. The question is—what happens if you happen to be in an auto accident while driving without insurance. Truthfully, it depends on what state you live in and who caused the accident. If you make a habit of driving without insurance, it is certainly worth taking the time to learn more. Living in a No-Fault State In no-fault states, your own insurance will pay for some of your medical costs. If you don’t have insurance, you can still make a claim on the other party’s insurance. You will only get a limited payout, however, because the other party’s insurance company will expect your own company to pay for some of the costs. There is the option of filing a personal injury case against the other driver if they caused the accident. This may help you recover the lost wages and medical costs that you have to pay on your own because you don’t have insurance. Remember, the other driver can also make a claim on your insurance. This is regardless of actual fault or if the fault is unclear. When it comes to giving insurance details, you will need to admit that you don’t have any insurance and give your own details. However, the good news is the other person can’t name you as a defendant in a case, despite you not having insurance. Living in a Fault State When the accident was the fault of the other driver and you’re in a fault state, you’re in luck. The other driver will need to give you their details, and you can make a claim to recoup the full cost. If the accident was your fault or it is unclear, you will need to admit that you don’t have insurance. The police may be involved at this stage, depending on the severity of the accident. This could lead to you being arrested for driving without insurance. The other driver will need to file a claim under the “uninsured driver” portion of his/her policy. Not all drivers will have this part of a policy, so they’ll usually need to file a personal injury suit against you. If the driver does have the policy, the insurance company will likely come after you to recoup the costs. It is a legal offense to drive without any auto insurance. Make sure you have enough to cover the event of an accident, whether you’re in a fault or no-fault state. For more information about auto insurance coverage, contact an agency like Mid-Alliance Insurance Associates...

read more

Should You Buy Critical Illness Insurance?

Posted by on 7:32 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Should You Buy Critical Illness Insurance?

Have you been advised to get critical illness insurance? It may have been suggested by a friend or financial advisor, and now you’re wondering if it really is worth the money. Everyone wants to keep their monthly outgoings down, but there are certain areas not to scrimp. Is critical illness insurance something you should consider? Here are factors to think about to help you decide. Are You Self Employed? If something happens to you that means you can’t work, what are you going to do? When you’re self employed, you’re relying on remaining fit and healthy to support yourself and your family. If you can’t do that because of an illness and you didn’t have critical illness insurance, you run the risk of financial ruin. By having a policy, you can get a payout that covers medical expenses, mortgage payments and any other outgoings you have. Why is it so important when you’re self employed? Employed personnel may have policies through work or may be able to get other critical illness benefits. If you don’t, then you should consider critical illness insurance, too. What’s the Waiting List Like in Your Area? Look into the waiting lists for your local area for most common medical needs. This is especially the case when it comes to diseases like cancer or conditions like kidney failure. The waiting list in your area may be so long that the problem could grow significantly worse and your chance of recovery would drop. You may be able to have treatments elsewhere, but it could cost too much. Your critical illness insurance may pay out for something like this, so you don’t have to play a game of chance with your life. Does It Cover All Conditions? An insurance policy that barely covers any conditions isn’t worthwhile. You want something that doesn’t have too many restrictions, because you really don’t know the future. For example, some policies won’t just cover heart attacks. The insurance company may require you go through lots of extra testing that may be missed by doctors and then refuse your claim. Keep in mind that a previous illness or previously undiagnosed condition that you potentially knew about could also be grounds for the insurer not paying out. Do You Have Pre-Existing Conditions? Insurance companies aren’t usually going to pay out for pre-existing conditions. Anything that they can link to a pre-existing condition is also going to be included in barred conditions for a payout. Getting critical illness insurance isn’t necessarily worthwhile if you have pre-existing conditions that won’t be covered. Consider your current situation and health. What will happen if you do get ill? Would your family manage financially? Critical illness insurance could be one of the best financial decisions you could ever...

read more

How Much Should Your Deductible Be?

Posted by on 4:35 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Much Should Your Deductible Be?

One of the more confusing things about health insurance is the deductible. Policies often range from having a deductible that is several hundred dollars to those that are $5,000 or above. Those with a high deductible obviously have lower monthly premiums, but not everyone can get their hands on thousands of dollars when necessary. Your head may spin while you try to decide which type will serve you and your family better. Before you choose your next policy during the approaching open enrollment period, consider some of the benefits of each deductible type.  High Deductible Plans This policy type may save you a great deal of money, particularly if you and your family members are generally healthy. If you choose a high deductible, you may have to meet thousands in medical charges before your insurance pays anything. After you’ve met the deductible, you will still have to pay coinsurance, often around 20% of your bill. Experts warn that these high deductible plans work better when you also have a Health Savings Account. These accounts allow you to save pre-tax dollars that you can use to pay the deductible and coinsurance as well as other health expenses. If you can afford to absorb the deductible in an emergency, then one of these plans could be a good choice for you. Low Deductible Plans A few insurance plans actually have no deductible, although they are relatively rare. Many will require that you pay several hundred dollars before your coverage kicks in. These plans cost much more than the high deductible plans, but they offer you more security. If you do not have savings, then you will be better protected by a low deductible plan. Paying several hundred dollars more each month for insurance is a burden, but sometimes that is more manageable than thousands of dollars in medical expenses. If you have a chronic illness such as asthma, then the low deductible plan is definitely the way to go. If you require frequent medical care for any reason, a low deductible plan will work best for you.  High-deductible plans can save you a lot of money or leave you on the hook for huge medical bills. Before you decide on coverage, consider whether safety or savings is your biggest concern. If you are rarely ill and have an HSA or other savings account, you may gamble on a high-deductible plan. Otherwise, stick with the low or no deductible...

read more

How Getting Married Affects Your Insurance

Posted by on 10:41 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Getting Married Affects Your Insurance

Getting married is a wonderful, exciting life event. However, you may be so busy planning your special day that you forget about other changes that you need to make, especially changes to your insurance. What changes should you expect? Here is a guide on how your insurance may change after your big day. 1. Auto-insurance savings Many people don’t expect that aspects of their car insurance may change after they get married, but this can happen. Insurance companies may consider marital status when determining your premium, and being married can save you money on your car insurance premiums. Also, many auto-insurance companies offer discounts when you add another driver to your policy. 2. New or changing life-insurance policies When you get married, you make a promise to be responsible for your spouse. If you don’t already have life insurance, you should purchase a policy. You don’t want your spouse to have to pay for funeral costs and bills if you pass. If you already have life insurance, you should make sure the beneficiary is your spouse. You may also want to increase your policy so your cars, home, and other types of debt will be paid for. 3. Homeowner’s insurance purchase One of the most major purchases you make during your marriage will likely be your home. If you and your spouse would like to invest in your residence by buying rather than renting, a home may be high on your priority list after your wedding. If you buy a home, you will need homeowners insurance. Homeowner’s insurance covers you in the event of a fire, flood, or burglary. As a married couple, you will also be able to save money on premiums by combining your homeowner’s insurance with your auto and life-insurance policies. 4. Health-insurance premiums increase or decrease Marriage may affect your health-insurance premiums by causing them to increase or decrease. If you and your spouse were purchasing your own policies before the wedding, adding one of you to the other one’s policy may save you money on premiums. However, if one of you didn’t have insurance before or is a smoker or overweight, you or your spouse’s premiums may increase with the addition of another person to the policy. Talk with your insurance agent to learn how marriage will affect your premiums. These are the ways getting married may affect your insurance. Contact your insurance company or an agency like The Blondin Agency Inc – Nationwide Insurance to learn more about how marriage will affect you according to your specific...

read more

Responding To A Household Flood

Posted by on 2:45 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Responding To A Household Flood

One of the nightmares for a homeowner is coming home to find their house flooded. Whether it’s a broken water main or a disconnected dishwasher drain, you’ll need to be ready to respond quickly to minimize the personal items that are damaged. Here are some of the actions to include in your plan of attack should you find your home full of water. Safety First If there is any chance that the water is covering light switches or electrical outlets, do not step in the water or touch anything that is wet. There is a risk of electrocution if any electrical wires are wet. If the circuit panel for the house is in a dry area, switch off the master switch to cut off power to the entire house. If it is in a wet area, call an electrician to turn off the power safely for you. Determine the Flood Water Source How easily you can recover from a flood depends primarily on where the water came from. Professional water restoration specialists classify flood water in one of three ways. This will help you to decide what can be recovered from the flood. Category 1 water contains few microorganisms that could make you ill if you swallow it. An example is a broken fresh water supply line. Category 2 water contains more microorganisms and will likely make you sick if you drank the water. A broken dishwasher drain pipe falls in this category. Category 3 water contains high levels of contaminants and will probably make you quite ill if you drank it. A ruptured city sewer pipe discharges category 3 water. The more contaminants in the water, the harder it is to save a personal item soaked with it. Category 3 water-soaked items require extensive disinfecting to be safe again. Those items may not survive the process, so you may as well plan to discard them. Items damaged by category 1 and 2 flood water need some disinfecting, but will usually make it through the process. Get Personal Items Out of the Flood Water Some items become more difficult to recover the longer they stay submerged or soaked. For example, carpet left in flood water longer than 24 hours can develop mold. This will make them harder to save as they must be disinfected thoroughly to make sure they aren’t a health hazard to you and your family. Call Your Insurance Agent After your brief assessment of the situation, contact your insurance agent. They will have recommendations as to plumbers, electricians and water recovery specialists that can help. Before a flood occurs, it’s a good idea to have your insurance agent explain what your responsibility is and what responsibility the insurance company has in a flood. You may discover that you need additional coverage to be fully protected. It’s a good idea to have a plan in mind should you have a flood. Quick action will help you to save as many of your personal items from being damaged as possible. Go over the plan with your insurance agent to make sure you have all of the important areas covered....

read more

Does Auto Insurance Cover Tire Damage?

Posted by on 7:08 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Does Auto Insurance Cover Tire Damage?

Will your auto insurance come to your rescue if your tires get damaged? There isn’t a single answer to this question; it all depends on the nature of the damage and your auto insurance policy. Here are some of the situations in which your insurer may pay for tire damage:   Damage after Hitting Pothole Hitting a pothole can cause serious damage to your tires, including a puncture. Fortunately, that kind of tire damage is covered under collision insurance coverage. Collision coverage pays for car damage that occurs after hitting another car or object, such as a tree, rock, or pothole. Since collision coverage is optional, your insurer will only pay for pothole tire damage if you bought the coverage. Damage Due To Vandalism If the tire damage is caused by some wayward teenagers, then you will only be compensated if you have comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive insurance is also an optional coverage; it pays for damages caused by events that aren’t accidents. So when a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, damages your car, it is your comprehensive coverage that pays for it. Other damages that may be paid for by the coverage include fire, vandalism, and falling objects. Damaged Caused By Wear And Tear Car insurance is meant to pay for unexpected damages or losses, not normal wear and tear. Thus, you shouldn’t expect any compensation if the insurer determines that your tire damage is due to normal wear. For example, if you have been driving over rough roads for some time, your tires are likely to age and wear faster than motorists who use good roads. Unfortunately, your car insurance won’t pay for that kind of damage. Damage Caused By Tire Blowouts Tire blowouts are facts of life; every motorist experiences one sooner or later. Coverage for blowouts vary by insurer, but the general rule is that a blowout isn’t covered unless it results in further damage apart from the tires. For example, if you experience a blowout but manages to retain control of the car and doesn’t experience further damage, then your insurer isn’t likely to pay you anything. However, if you lose control of the car and hit another object, the subsequent damage may be covered, but not the damage to the tire. It’s best to clear up these things before buying car insurance so that you can add any rider or additional coverage if necessary. If you have experienced tire damage, and you don’t know whether it’s covered or not, scrutinize your policy or talk to your agent for clarity. In some situations, you may get compensation for tire damage even if it’s not from your insurer. For example, the manufacturer’s warranty may come to your rescue if it hasn’t expired.  ...

read more

Are You Covered? Typical Coverage Scenarios For Five Natural Phenomenon

Posted by on 8:06 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Are You Covered? Typical Coverage Scenarios For Five Natural Phenomenon

Your home’s primary purpose is to protect you from the elements. For the most part, they perform this task admirably. But occasionally, Mother Nature’s attacks can lead to costly damage. At times like these, it is important to understand the typical coverage characteristics of most homeowner’s insurance policies.   Each homeowner’s insurance policy is different, and you should always work closely with your insurance agent to ensure that you understand the specific details of your plan; but most common insurance policies treat different natural phenomena as follows: Floods Floods are rarely covered by standard home insurance policies; a separate policy (commonly known as an addendum or rider) must be obtained from the federal government to enjoy flood protection. In most cases, it is wise to consult flood hazard maps to determine the relative threat your home faces. Earthquakes Damage stemming from earthquakes, mudslides and sinkholes is typically not covered by homeowner’s insurance policies. However, geography plays an important role in this equation; policies written in California, for example, often include earthquake protection. Tree Failure Most homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for damage arising from anything falling from the sky, including trees and branches. However, you will usually have to pay your deductible unless the tree originated on your neighbor’s property, in which case your insurance company may sue your neighbor’s insurance company. Should your insurance company prevail, you may be reimbursed for your deductible. However, fallen trees that do not block access to driveways or damage your home (or any other building on your property) are generally not covered. For example, your policy may not pay for the repairs that result from a tree falling across your lawn or garden. Mold Mold – unless arising through the negligence of the homeowner or a natural flood – is often covered by homeowner’s insurance policies. Additionally, if the mold arises from your failure to take reasonable precautions, your policy may not cover the damages. For example, if a falling tree creates a hole in your roof, and you do not cover the hole with a tarp in a reasonable amount of time, you may find yourself paying to have the mold eradicated. Lightning Lightning is generally treated like most other threats that hail from the sky – most homeowner’s insurance policies cover not only damage caused by lightning, but also any fire damage that follows in its wake.  Most homeowner’s insurance policies even cover damage to trees caused by lightning, although some policies only provide coverage for trees located within close proximity to your home.  For more information, contact Kuresman Insurance or a similar...

read more

Fighting Rising Waters: 3 Ways To Keep Water Out When The Flood Waters Are Still Rising

Posted by on 6:02 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Fighting Rising Waters: 3 Ways To Keep Water Out When The Flood Waters Are Still Rising

When the waters of a flood start to rise and to come into your home, you want to be able to fight back. The only problem is that you may not have industrial sump pumps to keep the water out. There are some things that you can do to try to minimize the water that does get into your home. Here are some ways you can fight back against rising flood waters and reduce the water damage that it is inevitably going to cause to your home: 1.  Building Levees To Stop Rising Waters From Entering Your Home As flood waters rise, they may be getting close to your home but not gotten in yet. Before they do get in, you may want try to keep them out with a small levee, which can be made by piling sand bags, dirt or debris around low entrance areas. To prevent materials from washing away, cover them with plastic — rolls of plastic will work best but garbage bags will also work. 2. Find Any Available Hose To Use To Siphon Water Out Of Your Home One of the simplest ways to start getting the flood waters out of your home is to siphon it out, which can be done with any type of hose or pipe in your home. You can prime the hose to get suction by filling it with water at an outdoor faucet. Garden hoses work good for this, but if you have access to a wider hose, such as a pool vacuum hose, you will be able to remove a higher volume of water. 3. Use Any Small Pumps That Are Available To Start Pumping The Water Out Any type of small pumps that you can find can work for keeping flood waters out. If you have pumps for things like garden water features or a small pool filter, put them to work pumping the water out. Submersible pumps can also work really well to get water out. If you use indoor pumps, like those for an indoor fountain or fish tank, be careful not to completely submerge them in water to avoid electrical hazards. It is best to use a longer hose when possible. 4. Wet/Dry Vacuums To Start Sucking Up The Soggy Mess Caused By The Floods Wet/dry vacuums can be a great resource to clean up any type of mess around your home. During a flood, they can be used to get water out. You can even adapt the lid of the vacuum to fit a larger bucket to get water out of hard to get to places. When the waters subside, these vacuums can be an essential cleaning tool to help you clean up the mess. These are some of the ways you can fight the rising waters of an unfortunate flood. Once the waters recede, the cleaning process will begin. If you do not have flood insurance, you may want to contact an insurance agent, like United Insurance Agency Inc, to buy home insurance that includes coverage for flooding to protect you if the waters rise again....

read more