- Go online and search for insurance companies that offer homeowners insurance. You will find several that are located in your state.
- Decide what kind of coverage you are looking for. The replacement costs for your home and its contents work as decisive factors in assessing this.
- Get contact numbers for the different companies. Talk to your local agents and seek their advice on the type of policy you should buy to get maximum coverage. Ask for the cheapest insurance quotes available for such a policy.
- Compare the policy coverage based on your home location. For example, if you live in an earthquake or flood-prone area, your homeowners insurance should provide that coverage. The premium for that specific type of incident will likely be somewhat expensive.
- Examine the coverage based on the quality and type of your home’s construction. For example, if you live in a stone and brick home in Florida you may want to consider buying a cheaper policy as the likelihood of damage from forest fires, floods or tornados is less.
- Evaluate the policy based on the age of your building. If your home is newly built, you will require lesser coverage since things such as heating and ventilation should be of better quality compared to an older property.
- Play with the deductibles. There is a good possibility of reducing your premium by allowing an increase in the deductibles. Be sure to ask for any discounts that an insurance provider might offer.
Get Health Insurance to Cover Chiropractic Care
- Find out what is covered by your health insurance plan. Check to see if your chiropractic care team is listed among their approved providers for those services.
- Determine if your insurance carrier is an HMO (Healthcare Management Organization) or PPO. HMOs will generally only cover practitioners who are on their approved list. PPOs tend to pay for any chiropractic service, usually up to 80 percent of fees charged by providers not on their preferred list, as well as a prearranged fee to the provider if they are preferred.
- Get your chiropractor’s office team to help you find alternatives to your health insurance if you can’t get coverage for your visits. Many practitioners have special financing plans available.
- Look for more information about insurance coverage and rights of the insured online at the Insurance.com Web site (see Resources below).
After an individual dies, the executor of his estate must handle many items until the estate is distributed. One issue that often comes up is what to do with the homeowners insurance while the house is in probate. Most insurance companies do not like the house to be left vacant for an extended period of time.
- The executor basically handles everything in regard to the individual’s estate until it is finalized. During this period, the executor may need to call the homeowners insurance company and change the name of the policy over to the estate. The executor may also need to add his own name to the homeowner’s insurance policy during this process.
Insurance Company Grace Period
- Most insurance companies do not like to leave houses vacant for extended periods of time. This tends to lead to vandalism, theft and other losses that the insurance company could be responsible for. Because of this, the insurance company may be reluctant to allow the home to stay vacant. In most cases, the insurance company will provide a grace period of 60 days to 90 days in which the house can sit vacant before the policy is dropped.
Transition to New Owner
- Typically, when an individual dies, all of his assets are distributed to his beneficiaries by the executor. The homeowner has the opportunity to pass the house on to a loved one. Once this happens, the beneficiary will then have to take out a homeowners insurance policy on the house. Because of this, the house typically does not have to remain unoccupied for very long. Even if the beneficiary plans on selling the house, he will need to take out a policy under his own name.
- When a homeowner passes away, you may want to check with his homeowners insurance company about coverage riders. In some cases, the homeowner may have a type of mortgage life insurance attached to the policy. With this type of coverage, the insurance company will pay the mortgage when the homeowner dies. This takes the burden of the mortgage off of the family members and basically provides them with a paid-off house to use.
- A car insurance policy will cover damages to another person’s property and physical injuries, if either or both were caused by the insured driver. Some policies will also pay for repairs to the insured driver’s vehicle, whether he caused them or something or someone else, such as an uninsured driver or a hailstorm, caused them. A young male driver should determine what type and how much insurance he will need. He should then shop around with several agencies to find the best deal.
- Comprehensive car insurance is the most inclusive type. That also makes it the most expensive. If you are trying to save money, you should probably look at other types, unless you are financing your car. If so, full coverage will be required. Fire and theft insurance covers less than comprehensive. It will pay you if your car is stolen or damaged by fire, though. This type costs less than full coverage, but third-party insurance is the most affordable. This basic type of insurance covers only damage caused by the insured party to another vehicle or person.
- A clean driving record equals a lower insurance premium. Strive to keep yours free of speeding tickets and other citations. If you do receive a ticket, find out if you have the option of taking a defensive driving course to avoid having points added to your license. More points mean a higher payment. In addition, if you are currently a student, the higher your grade average is, the lower your premium might be. Ask insurance companies how these qualities will get you cheaper insurance.
- Choosing the right car will also help you get the cheapest insurance. As a rule, the less expensive a car is, the cheaper the insurance will be. Domestic vehicles usually help you garner a lower rate, as do slower ones. Six cylinders cost less to cover than eight, and four cylinders will be cheaper than six. Forget about a hot sports car or sporty SUV. If your goal is affordable insurance, a four-door or minivan will be your best bet.
- When shopping around for car insurance, ask questions. Find out about every discount available to see if you qualify for any. By limiting the amount of driving you do, you can substantially lower your rates. Finally, set a higher deductible. You will pay more out of pocket if you are involved in an accident, but you will pay less up front. Besides, by continuing to drive safely in your sensible car, your likelihood of having any accidents will greatly decrease!
- Insurance provides people and companies with protection against major financial losses due to damage or loss of property. In exchange for a periodic payment or premium, individuals and companies are guaranteed to be compensated or reimbursed under the terms of the insurance policy. Insurance is a part of daily life. Car insurance and homeowner’s insurance are two of the most common forms of insurance. Health insurance and workmen’s compensation are also well-known types of insurance. While insurance is a part of most people’s lives, not everyone understands how it works.
How Insurance Works
- There are always risks in life such as fire, theft or earthquake. Many people hope to avoid the financial consequences of replacing personal property that is lost or damaged. Insurance is a way to protect your personal finances from undue burdens. Insurance is really a form of risk management in which the risk is transferred to the insurance company in exchange for payments or premiums. When a person purchases insurance, he gets an insurance policy which is a legally binding contract. This policy describes in detail all the rights, responsibilities and obligations of both the insured and the insurance company. If a person suffers losses covered in the policy, he files a claim. A claim is a detailed account of what is lost or damaged and its value. The amount of money a person is reimbursed is based on the amount of the policy. If the policy is for $5,000 that is the maximum amount the insured person can get.
When individuals or companies purchase insurance policies, all the money from the premium is combined into what is called the insurance pool. Insurance companies use statistics to predict what percentage of insured people or businesses will actually suffer a loss and file a claim. The statistics also help to determine the amount of the premium. Other factors such as credit scores and previous claims are also taken into consideration. Because the vast majority of insured people do not suffer losses or only small losses, the insurance companies make a huge profit which enables them to pay out the occasional huge claim.
Types of Insurance Available
- There seem to be insurance policies available for any situation. Anything that has a potential risk of loss or damage can be insured. One policy can cover several areas of risk such as a homeowner’s policy dealing with fire, theft and liability. Some of the more common kinds of insurance are renter’s, life, disability, liability, travel and pet insurance. Companies have political risk insurance if they do business in politically unstable countries. Crime insurance protects against theft or embezzlement. Property insurance protects against loss of boats, planes, and farm crops. Boiler insurance is for machinery and equipment. Credit insurance provides protection for loans if the borrower should die, becomes disabled or lose his job. There is insurance to protect against natural disasters such as flood, windstorm, earthquake and volcano. Nuclear accident insurance is also available as is kidnap and ransom insurance and terrorism insurance. In considering any of these types of insurance you have to assess your situation and determine what is best for you, your family and your business.
- Search around, don’t automatically assume the largest companies will have the best rates. In fact, they spend a significant amount of money on advertising, which is paid for by you, their customer. Don’t be afraid to visit sites of lesser known insurance companies, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at their rates. Lot’s of lesser known insurance companies will give you a lower online insurance quote, you just have to find them.
- Take a defensive driving course. 5 hours of your time could equal 10% off your premiums. It’s a good idea to take one of these every few years anyway as it will reduce your insurance rates and remove points from your license. A win – win situation for you. A little known fact is the motorcycle safety course also gives a discount on your auto insurance premiums. Make sure the insurance company knows you have the completion certificate, that way you’ll get cheaper online auto insurance quotes.
- Buy a auto with inherent lower insurance rates. Don’t buy a Ferrari for a new 18 year old driver. Go with a safer auto, your rates will be much cheaper when you apply for an online insurance quote.
- Instead of taking a low deductable. Take a $1000 deductable and just put $1000 in a savings account. Not only will your rates be lower, but your money will earn interest in the bank. Another win – win situation.
- Don’t automatically assume that adding a second vehicle to your existing policy will give you lower rates. Always get an online insurance quote listing both vehicles from another auto insurance company.
- If your state allows insurance companies to check your credit rating as part of their quote then do everything you can to clean it up before you ask for an online auto insurance quote.
- To apply, you must meet the minimum qualifications and be licensed in your state of residence. Contact the Department of Insurance to confirm that your license is in good standing.
- Visit the Progressive website to apply online. Click the “Apply” tab and follow the instructions. To begin, confirm eligibility and complete the online questionnaire (allow 10 minutes to complete the questionnaire).
- Have your Errors & Omissions (E & O) policy ($300,000 minimum aggregate is required) and agency production report information ready. Contact the licensing department at (877) 776-2436 and follow the prompts, choosing option 3, then option 2, to speak with a licensing representative.
- Submit to a fingerprint and background check.
- Provide a business location (this cannot be a home address) and show proof of Internet service.
The very real threat of hurricanes makes adequate homeowners insurance a must in Florida. Homeowners insurance can pay for the repair or renovation of your house (Meredith Home Improvements can help with this) if it is damaged by a hurricane, tornado or other natural disaster. Homeowners insurance also offers protection for other types of damages, such as theft of personal items after a break-in or repairs needed after a tree falls into your roof.
- Compare rates from the Shop And Compare homeowner’s insurance website produced by the state of Florida. The site isn’t detailed enough to tell you exactly how much you would pay for homeowners insurance, but it can offer a general idea about pricing from the various insurance companies licensed to sell in Florida.
- Select an insurance company. Seek referrals from real estate agents, bankers, friends, and others. Confirm, if necessary, that the company is authorized to sell homeowners’ insurance in Florida by searching for the company’s name in the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation database.
- Choose your level of coverage. Consult with your mortgage company for guidance on how much insurance to buy relative to what you owe on the house. Calculate how much you would need to pay off the balance and purchase a new home if necessary. Florida endured brutal back-to-back hurricane seasons in 2004 and 2005, with tens of billions of dollars in insured damages caused by eight hurricanes and four tropical storms, according to the state of Florida website. As a result homeowners shopping for insurance are presented with a sliding scale of options, each offering a different level of protection. For example, some policies offer discounts for homes built to minimize damage from storms. Such homes may feature hurricane shutters or storm-proof windows.
- Contact a licensed agent and purchase the insurance.
- Insure the house as a second home. Keep furniture in the home and visit regularly, even if only as a vacation home. Install an alarm system for fire, smoke and break-ins. Winterize the home to protect it from burst pipes caused by freezing temperatures.
- Rent the home out. Purchase a landlord policy, which is more expensive than regular homeowner’s insurance but less costly than vacant home insurance. Up the liability limits for improved asset protection, as renters are sometimes less likely to care for the home as well as a homeowner.
- Install a caretaker in the home. Giving someone free accommodations in return for maintenance is less costly than purchasing a vacant home policy. Plus the home is less likely to suffer from vandalism or perils such as water leakage or burst pipes.
- Purchase a vacant home exclusion on your regular homeowner’s policy. Not all insurance carriers offer this, but it is often one way to maintain vandalism coverage on the home without the threat of cancellation.
- Sell the home, if feasible, within the 30- to 60-day vacancy period allowable on most regular homeowner policies. Check your policy particulars to see how long your home can be vacant before you have to purchase a vacant-home policy.
- Call the phone number for your local Progressive insurance office. If you deal with a local representative, you may have the agent’s business card with your proof of insurance card. If you hit the deer after hours and the nearest office is closed, call 800-PROGRESSIVE, which has agents available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Explain the situation to the agent. The agent will ask you several questions that are required for your accident/insurance report. Answer each question honestly. You must identify the accident location, where you were going, the time of the incident, the direction from which the deer approached, whether you consumed alcohol prior to the incident and your approximate rate of speed at impact. The agent will also ask whether you contacted the police and if your vehicle required a tow. A deer collision will not raise your insurance rate, but you will be required to pay your deductible to have the vehicle repaired.
- Choose a nearby repair shop approved by Progressive. The agent can give you a list of approved repair locations.
- Take photos of the damage for your records. With insurance claims, it is wise to have photos of the damage in the event of a problem with the repair.
- Take your vehicle, either by driving it or having it towed, to the approved repair shop. The shop manager will give you an approximate amount of time for the repair. Depending on your insurance plan, Progressive may book a rental vehicle for you while your car is being repaired.
- Return to the shop when the work is done and inspect it to ensure the damage has been repaired thoroughly. If there are any problems with the work, contact your Progressive agent and explain the situation.
- Visit http://www.insureme.com/home-insurance-quotes.html Type in your zip code. Then pick the home insurance type that you need: homeowners, condo, town home, landlord, or renter. For the site walkthrough, I clicked on homeowner. This brings up another page in which you plug in the year the home was built, the number of stories, property type, and exterior walls. Next, garage, basement, home security system, and roof type. Plug in the square footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms (full and half), fireplaces, decks. There is also an area of potential discounts on this page: deadbolts, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, manned fire station within 5 miles, and nearby fire hydrant. The next page is for add-ons such as hot tub or central air as well as a list of dogs. Check if you own any of them (such as Rottweiler or Pitbull). Next it asks about your current home insurance coverage and the estimated replacement cost of the house, not the house and the land. Then it asks what kind of deductible and liability coverage you would like to have. Finally, it asks for your date of birth and the address of the home to be insured. It then asks for past insurance claims and any valuable items that you would like to have insured. It acts for you to rate your credit (excellent, good, some problems or major problems). It then shows a review of the information that you provided. Plug in you name, phone number, and email and you’re done.
- There is fine print to keep in mind when using this site: “By clicking Continue and seeking a quote request, I authorize and agree that up to eight insurance companies or their agents and InsureMe partners may contact me using this information or to obtain additional information needed to provide quotes where permitted by law. Insurance companies or their agents that receive a quote request from InsureMe may confirm my information through the use of a consumer report, which may include my credit score and driving record. I authorize and instruct InsureMe and its partners to obtain a consumer report. I acknowledge that I have read and understand all of the InsureMe Terms and Conditions and agree to be bound by them.”
- Another website to use: http://www.homeownerswiz.com/ This site requires a great deal less information. This may seem better but the first website might be more accurate with its quotes. This site needs to know the type of house, square feet, number of bedrooms and baths, year built, alarm, construction, electric system, purchase price of the house, claims, and your name, address, phone, email, birth date, and gender.
- http://cheap-insurance-rates.com/home/ The nice part about this website is that you fill out all the information on the same page. One page and then you’re on your way to finding the best home insurance policy for you.
- Some insurance companies that are more famous for their car insurance, such as Allstate and State Farm also offer home insurance. Most cases, if you insure both your car and house under the same company, you will receive a discount rate. Might as well shop around for the best car insurance quote if you are going this route. See my link under resources for finding free car insurance quotes online.
- It is important to buy home insurance. Your home is the most important investment you will ever make. Why wouldn’t you want to find the best home insurance policy to protect that investment?
- Consumers today are worried about their finances. They see that unemployment is still high–it reached more than 10 percent in October 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics–and worry for their own jobs. As an insurance salesman, no matter what product you are selling, you can’t ignore this.
You have to convince consumers that not only do they need what you are selling, but that it will help them through the country’s economic hard times.
If you sell homeowners insurance, you might inform your potential clients about how a policy can save them significant money if they are robbed or if a tree falls on their home. If you sell auto insurance, you can explain to them that they’ll be in far less serious financial trouble if they have a good auto insurance policy should they get into a serious traffic accident.
And if you sell health insurance, make sure to inform potential clients about how financially devastating a serious injury or illness can be when patients don’t have adequate health insurance.
Remember, more consumers are only spending money on absolute necessities these days. It’s your job to convince these consumers that your insurance is one of these necessities.
Save Them Money
- Consumers are looking for bargains. You can help them by offering them discounts on your insurance policies. If you work for a major insurance company, you probably can offer several different discounts. Make sure to highlight these for your potential customers.
For instance, if you’re selling auto insurance, make sure to highlight the discounts you can provide to drivers with good driving records or to those who commute to work each day on the train while leaving their cars in their garages. And don’t forget to mention the discount you can provide to drivers who have equipped their cars with security systems.
If you’re selling life insurance, make sure to emphasize that you can provide discounts if the potential customer is a non-smoker. If you’re trying to move homeowners insurance, tell customers that you can cut their monthly premiums if they purchase home security systems.
And don’t forget that your customers can receive discounts if they take out more than one type of insurance–say life insurance and auto insurance–with you and your insurance company.
These discounts might convince otherwise leery customers that your insurance policy is a good buy.
Make It Easy On Them
- Consumers have always been busy. They’re juggling more than ever, especially because so many are working harder for less money. This means that they want their financial transactions to be easier than ever.
As an insurance agent, it’s your job to get in touch with your clients when they might need to update their insurance coverage. When your customers call you, you must get back to them quickly. You must provide them with a multitude of ways to contact you, including email. In fact, many customers prefer talking to their financial professionals strictly through email. They don’t have time to make a phone call.
If you want to sell more insurance policies, you must adapt to the changing world of business. Speed, added value and discounts are all musts today. If you ignore this, you run the risk of seeing your yearly revenues dry up.
Living in Two States
- If you live or work in two states, you may have to buy a separate policy in each state, depending on the state’s minimum insurance coverage laws. For example, some states may require you to have a higher amount of property damage or bodily injury coverage than others. If you plan to spend a significant amount of time in more than one state, contact your insurance agent to determine whether you need to purchase two separate policies.
- If a teenage driver or other member of your household does not own a vehicle, he may be able to get non-owners’ insurance. Non-owners’ insurance is a secondary type of insurance on a vehicle, in which a driver who does not own the vehicle is covered by a separate policy if the primary policy on the vehicle does not cover him. For example, if your teen drives his best friend’s car and gets into an accident, her non-owner insurance covers her if the owner’s insurance does not cover drivers who do not live in the household. You cannot purchase non-owners’ insurance on vehicles owned by other members of the driver’s household. For example, you cannot purchase non-owners’ insurance on your vehicle to cover your son while he is driving.
- In some states, drivers who have been convicted of a DUI must carry high-risk insurance for several years after their conviction. Drivers who do not comply with this requirement risk losing their license until they comply. If someone in your household has a DUI conviction, he may be excluded from your insurance policy due to the conviction. The DUI offender’s insurance covers him if he drives your vehicle, while your insurance does not.
- Purchasing more than one policy on the same vehicle can be more expensive than adding a driver to your existing policy. Many insurance companies require you to add all licensed drivers in the household onto your policy, so you may be insuring your spouse or child twice if he maintains a separate policy. If you wish to maintain separate policies, you should use the same insurance company so that you can get a discount for having multiple policies with the same company.
- Switch to automatic debit from your checking account if you are a Bank of America customer. GEICO knocks 3% off your premium.
- Take 5 minutes to check to see if you are a member of a Partnering Organization. GEICO has over 275 groups, which they offer discounts to members. Look at the resource section for the link with complete listings.
- Note if you are a member of the military. This includes active duty, retired, reserves, and the National Guard. You’ll get 15% off.
- Let your customer service agent know you use seatbelts, if this discount isn’t applied yet.
- Tell GEICO about any changes in where you park your car. Going from street parking to a garage can lower your premiums.
- Take a defensive driving course. If you are over 50, GEICO can take off 5-10% from what you pay.
- Sign into Geico.com and review what other discounts are offered online. Many times it is according to what state you live in.
- Insurance companies typically teach new hires how to work with clients and how the agencies do business. Often they assign a new agent to work alongside an experienced salesperson as a shadow. Some insurance companies offer formal classes or online instruction for new personnel.
Internships and co-ops are available for college students and graduates at some insurance companies. The idea is that if these work out well, the companies will then hire the interns as permanent employees.
Meeting Licensing Requirements
- In most states, you must complete a specific course of study before taking licensing exams. In some states, you take different classes depending on the type of insurance you wish to sell. For example, Georgia requires taking a class on property or accident insurance, while in Pennsylvania, agents must complete 24 hours of general insurance study to become licensed.
You typically must fulfill additional state requirements, such as a background check and fee payment, before passing exams to receive your license.
The College Advantage
- A college degree or college coursework, while not mandatory, can improve your prospects for advancement. Classes in business, economics, sales and public speaking are helpful, and provide the skills you’ll need for management jobs.
Some colleges offer an insurance major within the business department, including classes in liability and property insurance. Classes in the major may also cover risk management, pension planning, policy coverage, pricing and workers’ compensation.
Continuing Education and Certifications
- Insurance companies typically encourage sales agents to continue their education. For example, companies may provide instruction on new products, coaching on sales methods and Web seminars. Most states also require continuing education for licensing. Qualifying topics may include ethics, consumer protections and insurance policies.
Optional certifications are available from the American College of Financial Services and The Institutes. The classes required for these certifications may count as continuing education to renew your license.
Some insurance agents take additional licensing exams to sell securities. These exams are available from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA.
Desirable Personal Characteristics
- An outgoing personality, self-confidence and sales skills are essential for a career as an insurance agent. You need the ability to take initiative to contact customers “cold” and convince them to purchase policies. You must be a careful listener to meet customers’ needs, and an able communicator to explain the advantages of different types of policies. Deciding what policy is right for each customer also requires analytical skills.
Prospects and Pay
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 10 percent increase in jobs for insurance agents between 2012 and 2022 — about the same as the expected 11 percent increase for all jobs. The BLS notes that additional positions will open up because some agents quit when they can’t meet their earnings expectations.
Many agents receive at least part of their pay as commissions or bonuses. Agents’ wages averaged $63,730 annually in 2014, according to the BLS.
The BLS expects the best prospects for insurance agents with superior sales skills who are licensed to sell both insurance and financial products. Fluency in a second language is also a plus.
- Temporary car insurance, also known as short-term car insurance, is a car insurance policy that lasts for less than the standard 6-month or 12-month term of an insurance policy. Temporary car insurance is an attractive option for drivers who know they are only going to be driving their car for a very short period of time. It can also be used to provide coverage for individuals who are not covered on an existing policy, such as a friend, neighbor or family member.
- Temporary car insurance policies are available both as comprehensive or liability coverage premiums, and they are usually priced much higher than a standard annual policy. Most temporary insurance policies offer coverage in 2-week or 4-week segments and must be renewed within a few days of the end of the coverage period. Insurance companies that offer temporary car insurance include Geico Insurance, Progressive Auto Insurance, State Farm Insurance and American Family Insurance.
- Some states penalize heavily for drivers who have a lapse in insurance and reprimand those who are caught driving without any insurance coverage at all; temporary car insurance prevents this from happening. Parents can purchase temporary car insurance for their children who may be using the family car for a short period of time. Business associates may purchase temporary car insurance when they are using someone else’s car for an extended business trip. A driver may purchase temporary car insurance to drive a new car purchase home and have not decided what type of coverage they want; in this case, they will have some time to shop around for the best insurance rates or package while still having some type of coverage.
- Temporary car insurance is not designed to be used as a substitute for a long-term insurance policy; this type of insurance provides all of the benefits of regular car insurance so that there is no lapse in coverage. Some insurance providers offer discounted temporary car insurance programs for current customers, especially for those who are traveling out of state or overseas and plan to drive another vehicle for a short period of time.
- Temporary car insurance is not cheaper than a standard policy, and it may end up costing you a lot more than an annual policy if you keep renewing your temporary policy. This type of insurance is most suitable for drivers who want don’t want to take any risks associated with driving without car insurance, or simply want to “buy” time while shopping for the best insurance package or rate.
- First, know the basics about Florida Auto Insurance…
Knowing the basic requirements of Florida auto insurance is crucial. You do not want to buy more than you need or choose the wrong type of policy. Auto insurance in Florida requires 10,000 in PIP and PDL auto insurance at all times.
The resource section below has a link to an additional Ehow article on the required insurance in Florida.
- Next, do an online comparison to find cheap auto insurance in Florida…
Once you have basic knowledge on what type of company you are looking for you should do an online comparison of cheap auto insurance options in Florida. Think of using a site like Progressive that will allow you to enter your information once and still give you a comparison of several companies. Many times insurance companies will offer better rates online because they know you can easily compare other offers. Once you have narrowed down your selection move on to the next step for additional savings.
- Then, look for employee or membership discounts on auto insurance in Florida…
Now that you have the names of a few auto insurance companies in Florida that fit your budget you can look for additional discounts. Do an online search using the insurance company name and the search term member discounts. You will find there may be some organization discounts. If you are a member of an organization you can take advantage of this. Check with your employer to see if they have a group rate or discount with any of the companies on your list. If you don’t find any contact the auto insurance company directly and ask what discounts they offer. You may find that you are eligible for a discount you were not aware of. This will help make you auto insurance cheaper than expected.
- Last, save more on auto insurance in Florida by earning rewards on payments…
You can use a reward debit card as visa to make your auto insurance payments. Using a debit rewards program will not cost you more because there is not interest or fees involved. This necessary expense will earn you cash back or rewards each time you make a payment. The type of rewards will depend on your debit card reward program.
- Charge your healthcare expenses to your health insurance policy. Your insurance is the primary coverage for you. Your spouse’s health insurance coverage is primary for your spouse. However, if your insurance coverage is through Medicaid or VA, and your spouse has health insurance coverage through an employer, then your spouse’s policy is primary for you as well.
- Determine whose birthday comes first when you have two married people with dependents. The child’s doctor will bill the primary health insurance provider of the parent whose birthday falls first in a calendar year. For example, one parent’s birthday is January 21, and the other parent’s birthday is October 14. The January 21 birthday is the primary coverage.
- Bill health care costs to the custodial parent’s insurance policy first, when parents are divorced or legally separated. This is a general rule unless court documents specify which parent has primary responsibility for health insurance coverage.
- Consider which parent has insurance under a current employer if one is retired. Consider which person has been with the same employer the longest when both birthdays fall on the same day. Coverage under a current employer is primary over COBRA insurance coverage. Otherwise, the coverage that started first is the primary insurance coverage when birthdays are the same.
- Send insurance claims to group health providers first. Group insurance coverage is primary over individual plans, Medicaid, and VA coverage.
Coverage for Your Home
- Your home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make. Be sure your homeowner’s insurance covers it in its entirety. Homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood or earthquake damage. If you live in a high-risk area, consider purchasing separate insurance. A typical homeowner’s policy, which is based on a form HO-3, will protect from damage from fire, hail, explosion, riot, aircraft, vehicles, smoke, falling objects, snow, sleet, wind and theft. Make sure to purchase a guaranteed replacement cost policy, which offers more protection for your assets and home than an actual cash value policy. For example, if your home is destroyed and your policy is for $100,000 but your home costs $125,000 to rebuild, without the guaranteed replacement coverage you would be required to pay the additional $25,000.
Coverage for Your Assets
- Homeowner’s insurance also covers your personal belongings. In a typical policy, the insurance company may allow up to 40 percent of the total policy to account for your personal assets. There may be a max amount, such as $2,000, of what the insurance company will pay per item. Make sure you have adequate protection for high dollar items, such as collectibles, electronics, jewelry, fur coats or expensive clothing. The insurance company may require an appraisal. Take pictures or videos of your home and keep records of your home inventory. Your policy may also cover landscaping. If the amount of your assets decreases over time, be sure to adjust your policy so you aren’t paying more for items that have lost their value.
- A standard homeowner’s insurance policy may include about $100,000 in liability insurance. Liability protects you and your family in the event that your neighbor hurts herself in your home, or your dog destroys your neighbor’s yard. Owning pets, a swimming pool or a home-based business may put you at a higher risk for lawsuits. Consider purchasing more liability.
Reducing Your Premium
- Homes located near a fire hydrant or fire station may nab better insurance rates. In addition, having a smoke alarm, security system, fire retardant roofing and deadbolt locks in your home may further reduce your premium. Increasing your deductible from $500 to $1,000 will lower your premium. You may be able to further reduce your premium by purchasing your auto and homeowners insurance policy from one company.
- An exclusion is a provision in your insurance policy that eliminates coverage for a specific individual or for certain risks. An insurance company has the right to exclude any driver that does not meet the company’s underwriting guidelines. On the other hand, you have the right to request that the insurance company exclude certain drivers from coverage, such as teen drivers, roommates or your spouse.
- You may exclude a spouse from your auto insurance if you do not want him covered or your policy, Your insurance company may also require that you exclude your spouse for underwriting reasons. Your insurance company require an exclusion if your does not meet underwriting criteria related to driving and claims history. The company does this if they have no rating criteria for your spouse’s record. Rather than not charging enough premium or canceling the entire policy, the company will exclude your spouse from the policy. If your spouse does not have a valid driver’s license or has a disability or illness and cannot drive, he will be excluded from the policy.
Advantages and Drawbacks
- Excluding your spouse may have some advantages. For instance, if your spouse has a bad driving record that would cause your insurance premium to dramatically increase, it may be less expensive to exclude your spouse from your policy and allow him to obtain his own policy.
A drawback to excluding your spouse is the fact that he will not have coverage while driving your car. If your spouse will drive your car even once, he should be included on your policy to avoid legal complications if an accident occurs. If you are excluding your spouse for reasons other than driving record, it may cause your premium to increase with some insurance companies. Many companies offer discounts to couples if both partners are insured on the same policy.
- Both you and your spouse can be in legal trouble if your excluded spouse is involved in an accident while operating the vehicle. The insurance company will not cover property damage or medical expenses that result from the accident. If your spouse is liable for the accident, she responsible for paying all expenses including court costs and monetary awards that result from a lawsuit. Further, your insurance company may accuse you of misrepresentation or fraud for not including your spouse on the policy although your spouse has regular access to and drives your vehicle.
Benefits of Overlap Car Insurance
- Overlapping your car insurance, especially when switching insurance companies, ensures that your vehicle is covered throughout the process. A lapse of your policy can mean no coverage in the event of an accident or claim. An error can cause a lack of insurance coverage if dates are input wrong or there is confusion on the part of the agent.
Downfalls of Car Insurance Overlap
- If your car insurance overlaps for too long, it will be expensive to pay for two policies covering the same vehicle. Also, if your insurance overlaps and you experience a loss at that time, the two insurance companies may disagree about which one pays the claim.
How Long Car Insurance Should Overlap
- Car insurance should overlap for a day or two at the most. This will lessen the problems should there be a claim on the overlapping days. To avoid dual policies, have one end at midnight on one day and the other begin at that time.
Who Pays a Claim on Insurance Overlap Days?
- If you need to make a claim during the days that your insurance overlaps, your new insurance company likely will pay the claim, according to the Auto Insurance Select website.
- Write a list of all the cars in your rental fleet. Include model, make, year and license plate number, as well as minor or major damage to any vehicles.
- Make copies of documents such as a business license, tax returns and registration for each of your vehicles. Insurance companies will need you to verify all information with proof.
- Call insurance companies to request a quote for your rental car business. Most insurance companies provide small business insurance services. If you have a very large rental fleet with many employees, it may be harder to find insurance.
- Compare offered rates and coverage.
- Select an insurance company and set up a policy to sell temporary insurance to rental car clients. Rental car companies typically offer a number of add-on insurance options to renters, such as personal liability or collision insurance. Most rental car companies charge $10 to $30 a day for these options. Work with your insurance specialist to create this system.
Principle of Indemnity
- All lines of insurance follow the principle of indemnity. This states that the purpose of an insurance policy is to restore the insured person or business to its financial condition before the loss occurred without causing a financial gain. This is why most insurance settlements are not taxed by the federal government; the IRS only taxes financial gains. When two or more insurance policies exist on the same person or property, the principle of indemnification still applies.
- Because you cannot profit from an insurance claim regardless of how many policies exist, most people do not buy more than one policy per item being insured. The exception is with health insurance, when people commonly have two or more companies insuring them. That is because health insurance benefits vary widely from one company to another, and are sometimes available from the government. As a result, having more than one policy increases the chances your entire medical claim will be covered.
- It is not illegal to buy more than one insurance policy for your home, but doing so is unlikely to increase the amount you collect in a settlement. Insurers report claims to the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. If you report the same claim to two insurers, they will discover the multiple claims and coordinate their efforts to determine which company pays primary benefits and which pays secondary. Because homeowner’s insurance is a standard package policy, the second policy is unlikely to offer benefits beyond those covered by the first policy.
- If you don’t mind paying the additional premiums for a second policy, you may see some benefits when you file a claim. Some insurers limit or exclude certain causes of loss, such as mold damage, or limit the benefits on certain items, such as jewelry. A second policy from a different insurer may cover some of these limitations and exclusions. However, it is also possible you can endorse your first policy to cover these things by paying additional premiums to remove the exclusions.
- You need enough house insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding your home at current market prices. As a start, check with a local builder or your real estate agent to find the average building cost per square foot for the area in which you live. Multiply this cost by the total square footage of your home. For example, if an average building cost is $200 per square foot and your home is 1,800 square feet, a rough estimate of the cost to rebuild your home is $360,000. Factors to consider that may increase this amount include the quality of construction materials, customization or home-remodeling projects that increase the value of your home, as well as additional structures on your property, such as a garage or shed.
- Before you can determine the amount of insurance to include for personal possessions, conduct a complete home inventory. In addition to photographs and a detailed list of all the items of value in your home, include receipts for major purchases and appraisals for antiques or items, such as jewelry, art or collectibles whose value may be subject to interpretation. According to the Insurance Information Institute, most policies cover personal possessions at 50 to 70 percent of the amount of insurance you place on the structure of your home. For example, if you insure your home for $360,000, insurance for your personal possessions will be $180,000 to $252,000. If the value of your personal possessions exceeds this, consider purchasing a rider to cover the additional amount.
- If the damage to your home is extensive, or if your insurance company declares your home a total loss, coverage for living expenses can be a lifesaver. Most insurance companies cover standard expenses, such as lodging and meals, at about 20 percent of the amount of insurance you place on the structure of your home. If you insure your home for $360,000, the amount of living-expense insurance on your policy will be about $72,000. Because coverage rates vary widely between individual companies, this is one area you should thoroughly investigate.
- A standard house-insurance policy usually includes about $100,000 of liability insurance to cover claims from property damage that you, a member of your family or your pet causes to other people. This is a minimal amount of insurance, so to better protect your assets, the Insurance Information Institute recommends increasing this level of insurance to between $300,000 and $500,000.
- In addition to choosing the right amount of house insurance, it is important to select the right type. House insurance types range from an HO-1, the most basic, to a guaranteed replacement, HO-8 policy. Although you should talk to your insurance agent to make sure your plan suits your needs, SmartMoney.com recommends starting no lower than an HO-3 policy, as this type provides protections from all perils, such as natural disasters, falling objects and damage relating to faulty plumbing or electrical work, unless the policy specifically excludes them.
- The National Association of Insurance Commissioners maintains information about each state’s requirements; click on your target state on its Map of NAIC States & Jurisdictions to go directly to the insurance commission Web page in your state. Once there, look for information on property and casualty insurance licensing.
States will vary in the amount of pre-license training you’ll need to obtain. In Oregon, for example, you’ll need to complete 20 credit hours of coursework, while in Louisiana you’ll do 40 hours for property and casualty providers. Coursework will cover the auto insurance laws in your state, the general principles of insurance, and other basics for selling insurance to clients. Each state will have a list of approved online and classroom schools; choose one that works best for your budget and projected time frame.
- Once you’ve completed your training and passed the exam given by the training program, visit the website of the National Insurance Producer Registry to register and pay for the property and casualty “producer” pre-licensing exam, covering topics you learned in your training program. If you pass the exam, you’ll need to submit a set of your fingerprints to the state insurance commission before receiving your license for that state.
While you can initiate this process on your own in hopes of landing a job, the other way to start is to apply for a job at an auto insurance company. Companies may want you to have a sales background, and some will help guide you through the training and exams before you begin work.
- Rectify the reason for cancellation, if possible. If your policy was cancelled for non payment, then pay the outstanding amount owed to have the policy reinstated. If it was cancelled for underwriting reasons, such as too many moving violations or too many accidents, take a safe-driver class to help reduce the risk. Your auto insurance history follows you and becomes the basis for underwriting your future auto insurance policies.
- Seek a new auto insurance company if you cannot reinstate your current policy. The cancellation may make it difficult to find a standard auto insurance company willing to insure your car. Depending on the reason for your prior cancellation, you might have to seek coverage from the Assigned Risk Pool. The Assigned Risk Pool is a collection of insurance companies mandated by the state to provide insurance for hard-to-insure drivers.
- Visit your state’s Department of Insurance to find the listing of Assigned Risk Insurance Companies in your area if you cannot secure coverage elsewhere. These are companies mandated by your state to provide coverage for hard-to-insure drivers. Select a company from that list and apply for coverage. Whether your replacement coverage comes from another company or the Assigned Risk Pool, expect to pay a higher premium.
- Complete the application thoroughly and honestly. As mentioned earlier, your auto insurance history follows you, and it’s easy for an underwriter to determine if you are stretching the truth on your application. Lying on an insurance application gives the insurance company the right to void your coverage. In fact, if an insurance company pays a claim and later learns you lied on the application, it may be able to void your policy and you may be required to reimburse the company for claims paid. Voided coverage can potentially be worse than having a cancelled policy.
- Contact insurance providers in your area to obtain insurance quotes. Many insurance companies may not even ask if you have a valid driver’s license.
- Explain to insurance companies, if asked, why you’re without a driver’s license. If it’s because you’re under suspension or revocation for no auto insurance, then the provider will likely give you 30 to 45 days to get your license back or the policy will expire.
- Pass the driver’s exam if you’re just reaching the legal driving age. If that is the case, most insurance companies will cover you with a driver’s permit and then require proof of your license when you pass the test.
- Take proof of insurance to the court if you’re under license suspension or revocation for no insurance, and the court will reinstate your driving privileges. Be aware that you may have to pay a fine as well.
- Show the insurance company proof that your license is now valid so that you can keep your insurance policy active.
Giving Your Information
- Keep your insurance information in an easy to access and identify place in your car, such as a colored envelope in your glove box. Do not keep it with all your other automotive papers. You don’t want to shuffle through three years of oil change receipts during an already stressful situation.
- Show the other party the card provided by your insurance company. Most companies provide cards you can give away to keep. If not, let the other party write down the pertinent information.
- Show the other party your photo identification to confirm that you are who you say you are, then ask to see their ID.
- Instruct the other party to call your insurance company if they have any concerns. Do not give out your phone number or contact information unless instructed to do so by a law enforcement officer.
Getting Their Information
- Ask to see the other party’s insurance information and photo identification.
- Check the photo identification against the name on the insurance paperwork. If it doesn’t match, ask for an explanation.
- Check the insurance information against the vehicle’s model, make, color and license plate. If it doesn’t match, ask for an explanation if you feel comfortable doing so. If not, simply note what you observe and report it to the police.
- Take note of the policy number, insurance company name, insurance company phone number, vehicle license plate and policy holder’s name. Like your company, the other party’s insurer might provide all pertinent information on a card for you to keep. If not, write it down.
- Agree on the date, time and location of the accident. Write this information down.
- Send an e-mail to your insurer indicating that you want to cancel your current policy. Make sure to indicate in the e-mail a follow-up call will be needed from a customer service representative.
- Look online at your insurer’s website and see if they have a form or some other option to cancel an insurance policy. Insurers such as Progressive and Esurance will only have a customer support number listed for an insured to call to cancel a policy.
- Leave a comment when making an online payment for the policy. Many insurers have a section available to leave a comment when making a payment online. If a response is not received within a week make a follow-up call to your insurance company.
- See if your insurer has an option on their website to send a comment directly to customer support if you cannot log onto the site. Include in the cancellation request no more than a name and a telephone number to contact.
- Contact your insurer’s customer support through an online chat option if one is available from their website. A customer service representative may require a customer to call the company to confirm any cancellation request.
- Residents of Spain will have their vehicle almost surely have their vehicle registered in Spain, the easiest way for a resident to find cheap car insurance in Spain is either an online search tool (be sure and specify Spain) or an independent insurance representative. It must be a Spanish agency if your car is registered in Spain. That might seem complicated but it is the law. An online search car insurance search tool will give you the rates and comparative coverage amounts for each company. Simply type in “car insurance Spain comparison” you should come up with several companies offering to compare rates with others. Be aware some companies will not insure high performance vehicles and you will need to include the information on your vehicle type with your insurance application.
- The people who are most likely to have the hardest time getting cheap car insurance in Spain are the tourist, and expatriate. For those who have brought their vehicle that is registered in another country particularly the UK, there are a couple of steps you should follow to be sure you are insured at the cheapest rate possible. Insurance rates in Spain are some of the lowest rates in Europe, however it is the law in Spain that only Spain registered cars can be insured by a Spanish insurance company. European insurance companies in general issue an automatic green card so you are covered in other European countries. Not so with the UK, which limit the period of time they will extend a green card, x number of days in a year. Before your visit, a UK resident with a UK registered car will want to contact their insurer and if their coverage can remain in effect in Spain and for how long.
- You can also find car insurance in Spain through a European based insurance company with a branch in Spain. This is permitted by law there. You might want to be aware though, the rates are often anything but cheap if you must choose this option.
- The final alternative is for expatriates or persons on extended visits from the UK with a British registered car, usually if you spend over 6 months in Spain you may be required to take out a special European insurance policy or insure your vehicle through a British car insurance company with a branch in Spain. How easy it is to find cheap car insurance in Spain will depend upon where your vehicle is registered and the policies in force by your current insurer.
According to Geico, if you already have full coverage on your personal vehicle — including comprehensive, collision and liability coverage — your insurance policy will normally extend to any rental that has a value close to that of your personal vehicle. This type of coverage will even cover you if the rental is considered a total loss in the event of an accident. There is a thin line between being covered and being under-insured, however. Before you turn down coverage at the rental desk, give your insurance agent a call to make sure you understand exactly what is covered when you rent a car, and what isn’t. If your personal policy doesn’t cover everything, you’ll want to purchase whichever coverage your current policy is lacking at the rental desk.
Rental Insurance Options
Rental companies offer a handful of different coverage options. There is the waiver of damage, which covers all or part of the cost for any damage or theft of your rental – assuming you’ve complied with the terms of your rental contract. Supplemental liability coverage covers you – often up to $1 million – if you’re sued by the other parties in an accident. Personal accident coverage covers medical bills and death for the driver and passengers of your rental care. Personal property insurance covers personal items in the event that someone breaks into the vehicle.
- If you decline insurance coverage from the rental company, and your current policy doesn’t cover you, you will be considered an uninsured driver in the event of an accident. You will be liable for all medical bills and auto repairs, along with any other judgments against you if you don’t have coverage.
Credit Card Insurance?
According to eSurance.com, it is possible that you have at least some coverage from the bank that issued the credit card you use to rent a car. Most major credit card companies include at least collision coverage if you use their credit cards to pay for your rental car. Some companies even offer additional coverage that you can purchase that may be cheaper than what the rental company offers. Contact the customer service department at the number listed on the back of your credit card and ask about coverage options.
Your current health insurance may also provide coverage for you, your passengers and anyone else that may be injured in an at-fault accident. Go over your health insurance policy and compare the limits to your state required minimums. Even if your health insurance covers you in a rental car, you might need to purchase the supplemental liability insurance.
- r insurance that fits your budget if you know where to look.
1. Your first step should be getting all your ducks in a row, in other words get your license numbers, dates of any moving violations, and make sure you have this information for all the drivers you will want to be covered under your policy. The fewer strikes you have against your clean driving record, the less expensive your car insurance in Canada is going to be, but you must have the information so the agent or or insurance quote tool can provide you will accurate quotes.
- How much do you know about insurance, especially insurance in your province? Do you know what the minimum amount of 3rd party liability insurance is that you are required by your province to carry? If the answer is no, it is important you speak to a car insurance agent. They are not always the best source for cheap car insurance in Canada but they can provide you with a quote for the company they represent and they will keep you legal. In Canada everyone is required to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance and the amount varies with your province.
- Canadians are not the only group who might be looking for cheap car insurance in Canada. For instance, all drivers including visitors are required to carry the minimum amount of liability insurance. Americans who are just driving across the border can probably just check with their current insurance company and be sure they are covered and that their coverage meets the minimum liability coverage. Rental cars are almost always covered and you can be sure though they are not perhaps the number 1 source of cheap car insurance in Canada they will keep you legal to drive. Others should ensure they know the minimum amount of coverage required in Canada as well since liability while driving is taken very seriously there.
- If you know how much minimum coverage you need in your province (from 50,000 – 200,000) you can use the comparison method with no problems or fear of having less coverage than you need. The sources for these comparisons vary with what you are comfortable with. An independent insurance representative may provide you with just the cheap car insurance coverage you need in Canada. If you are more digitally oriented you can go online and use one of the Canadian car insurance comparison tools. You will find several listed in your search engine, just make sure you specify Canada Unfortunately, American or Italian insurance policies probably won’t work for you. The tools will give you policies, exclusions, and of course just how cheap this car insurance is for Canadians you won’t have the benefit of sitting across from a Canadian insurance representative and asking questions.
- Start by contacting your former insurance agent. If he was an independent representative who sold products for several companies, he may still have file containing details about your former insurance company. Ask the agent to search his computerized files as well. Advise him of any characteristics that may have differentiated your from the average customer. For instance, tell him if you had young drivers on your policy or if you had moving violations. The agent may have worked closely with one or two companies that fit your needs at the time. These details will help him to remember the company with which he would have placed your business.
- Call the corporate offices of the insurance company with which you think you had coverage. Tell the company representative your name and address. Then, advise her that you are researching your prior insurance history and would like her to search for old policies that may have belonged to you.
- Look through your personal files for insurance papers, expired insurance cards and claims reports. Look through your old vehicle titles and registrations for old insurance paperwork that may be stored there. Check the glove compartment of your vehicle for old insurance cards that may be inside.
- Review your old credit card statements for charges initiated by insurance companies. Ask your bank to review your payment history. Any electronic check transactions, automated debits or credit card charges processed by your old insurance company would appear in your banking history. Contact any insurance companies whose names may appear on your statements. Have those companies search for your information in their computer systems.
- Contact the department of motor vehicles or appropriate agency to ask if it has information on the name of your insurance company in prior months or years. The compliance office at the agency may have recorded the name of your former insurance company as many states monitor the insurance habits of licensed drivers.
- If you have a lien on the vehicle you insure, contact the lien holder. There is a strong likelihood that the bank will have information on file about who your current and prior insurance companies are as they have insurable interest in the property as well. They often monitor this information as a condition of your loan agreement.
- Visit the websites of national online car insurance companies. These companies are highly competitive in attempts to offer the cheapest car insurance rates in the industry.
- Type in your zip code and select “Auto” in the drop down for the type of insurance. Click the “Get a quote,” “Start quote” or “Go” button. Fill in all the information requested on each website about you, your car, its safety features such as anti-lock brakes and air bags, driving history and level of coverage desired to get an auto insurance quote.
- Compare insurance quotes from the companies to see which ones offer the cheapest car insurance. Click the “Contact” button for the toll-free company phone number if it’s not listed on the home page. Call insurance companies to ask representatives about bundling renters insurance with an auto policy for cheap insurance quotes.
- Contact insurance companies that provide SR-22 bonds in your state. Some national companies, such as Progressive and The General, provide SR-22 bonds. Locally based insurance companies often provide SR-22 bonds as well. Search for local companies online.
- Ask for quotes and compare the pricing. Not all insurance companies charge the same amount for SR-22 bonds, so shop around. Select the insurance company with the cheapest price.
- Fill out the necessary forms. The insurance company provides you with all necessary paperwork. If the insurance company is local, make an appointment and visit a representative in person. Take all necessary documents with you, which includes your Social Security card and proof that your license suspension has expired. If the insurance company is not within driving distance, ask to have the forms mailed to you. Mail the forms back to the insurance company, being sure to include copies of the necessary documents.
- Accept the SR-22 bond certificate. If the insurance company is local, accept it in person. If the insurance company isn’t within driving distance, ask that they mail it to you.
- Take the SR-22 bond certificate to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Provide the staff with your SR-22 bond certificate, Social Security card and proof from the court that your driver’s license and driving privileges are reinstated. If your license was physically taken away by the court, get a new license at this time.
- Inspect the home. Hire a licensed home inspector to determine the condition of the home. Insurers will factor the wear and tear on the home to set a premium. The condition of roof, decks, porches, and electrical wiring help insurers determine the premium. New homeowners may receive up to 15 percent discount on their insurance if their home is in good condition.
- Determine the type of construction. Homes made with less expensive materials may damage easier in poor weather conditions. Conversely, homes made of durable materials like brick are more weather resistant. Insurers factor in the types of building materials to help determine insurance costs.
- Review safety features. Insurance companies may discount up to five percent of the homeowner’s policy if the home has safety features. These features may include alarm systems, window locks, deadbolts, and smoke detectors. Homes close to fire departments also may contribute to a deduction when calculating insurance premiums.
- Consider the number of smokers in the home as smoking increases the potential of fire in a home. Homeowners and residents who don’t smoke may factor up to a five percent discount in the insurance premium.
- Determine if the home is in a high-risk area. Homes that are in flood zones, hurricane zones, or other disaster situations may create higher premiums. Supplemental government catastrophic policies may be expensive and although they may cost more, your policy premiums will be partly determined by your home location.
- Factor in theft insurance or personal liability coverage. Review the fine print of the insurance policy as having theft and liability insurance may increase your policy cost. Although these extra items may benefit the homeowner, insurance costs will play a role in calculating house insurance.
- Determine the deductible. Insurance policies will factor deductibles regarding insurance premiums. A deductible is the amount the homeowner pays before the insurance benefits kick in. When the homeowner pays a higher deductible it will also lower the policy premiums.
- Factor in multiple policies. Insurance rates may also be lowered if the homeowner has multiple types of coverage with the insurance company, including auto, boat or life policies. The homeowner may discount these policies depending on how long the policy holder has been with the company.
- Check for senior citizen discounts. Some insurance companies determine age when deciding a policy. If the homeowner is age 55 or retired, there may be a policy discount. Insurance companies may discount up to 10 percent based on the seniors being home more to maintain homes and respond to fire or disasters.
- Consider a group policy. When a homeowner takes part of a group plan, they may get a better discount because there is a bigger pool of money to underwrite home replacement or repair. Alumni associations and employers may offer group insurance plans. These group policies factor in to lower insurance costs.
- Contact the DMV to find out about any outstanding violations you might have on your driving record and straighten them out. Order a free credit report from a company like Experian.com to make sure it’s clean.
- Find out how much coverage you’re required to carry according to your state’s department of insurance and determine which types of coverage you’ll need. This requires balancing how much you can afford to pay with how much you can afford to lose. You should carry enough liability to cover your assets if you cause a very expensive accident; otherwise the claimant might go after your house and possessions.
- Shop around for quotes based on what you’ve determined you need, instead of asking agencies what they think you need. Independent insurance agents and Web sites like esurance.com, Insweb.com and AllQuotesInsurance.com will compare rates for you. Are you willing to pay more for a well-known company?
- See what you can get discounts for. Here are some of the things you may already have that can save you money: air bags, antilock brakes, automatic seat belts, antitheft devices, safe driving record, safe car, age, marital status and multiple insured vehicles.
- Ask the carrier if filing a claim raises premiums, and under which circumstances it cancels insurance.
- Research prospective insurers. To learn how the company’s service is regarded, talk to other customers and repair shops who have worked with the insurer. Check out the company’s rating with your state’s department of insurance, the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) and national consumer surveys. The company should be in good standing so you can collect when there’s a claim.
- Read your policy before signing. Make sure it includes the coverage you’re requesting and no surprise clauses. Avoid arbitration clauses that keep you from suing your insurer if it doesn’t pay a claim by asking the insurer to delete it from the contract or going to another insurer.
- Keep the policy in a safe place, and keep proof of insurance in the car with your registration.
- Binders can be written for any type of insurance, including property, life and health. Regardless of the coverage type, all insurance binders should clearly specify the names of the insured and insurer, the scope and amount of insurance (i.e., what’s covered and for how much), and the time frame of the coverage commitment. Insurance binders are often issued for an initial 30-day period to provide enough time for the formal policy to be completed and made available to the policyholder.
Changing Homeowners Insurance
- Read your existing policy to determine whether your policy is fully earned. If so, and you have not paid the premium for the entire policy term upfront, you will owe the premium for the remainder of the policy term, whether you cancel it or not. This can help you decide whether you want to cancel now or wait until the policy expires.
- Shop for quotes, online, through websites such as Answer Financial (link in “Resources” section), or call an independent insurance agent in your area to obtain quotes from their carriers.
- Choose a new company that will best meet your coverage needs and homeowners insurance budget. Set an effective date for the next day, if you want to switch immediately, or set the new policy to begin on the day immediately following the expiration of the current policy.
- Notify your current insurance company that you wish to cancel your policy, as soon as coverage is in place with your new insurer. Call your agent, and send official notice in writing to the agent and the insurance company. Request a refund of paid premium, if this applies to your policy, or ask that they notify you about any amount remaining due on the old policy.
- Complete any paperwork and underwriting requirements requested by your new insurance company to ensure that your policy will be in force.
- Do you know how a car insurance claim works? If not, you are like thousands of people. Although people pay premiums to their auto insurance companies, many really don’t know what happens if they actually have to use it. The good news is that car insurance claims are pretty straightforward. They have three parts: the submission of a claim, the investigation and the payment. Most claims are processed and paid in 30 days.
- The first part of any claim is the submission process. Normally, it includes a call to your insurance company and the submission of a claims report. A claims report includes the details of an accident, driver’s license and contact information of each driver, the description and license plates of each car and miscellaneous information such as the police report. With this information, a clerical person sets up a claim, assigns a claim number and a claims adjuster to it for handling. In general, the complete submission of a claim takes less than 24 hours.
- The second part of a claim is the investigation. After a claims adjuster gets the initial report of a claim, he tries to verify the details and determine who is at fault. This normally includes the review of vehicle impacts and photos, police reports and statements from each driver. The claims adjuster then uses all of this information to determine if any motor vehicle laws were broken and who caused the accident. It is a process that can take a few days or a few years depending on how complicated the accident was.
- The last part of a claim is payment. Once a claims adjuster determines who is at fault for an accident, payments are in order. Car payments will be paid based on estimates completed by a professional auto shop or an auto appraiser. Checks are normally two-party and include the name of the vehicle owner and repair shop. Unless there is a bodily injury claim or rental, the issuance of payment ends the claim’s process. It is then closed without further follow-up by anyone.
Restricted Policies vs. Broad Coverage
- Restricted auto insurance policies only provide coverage when the vehicle is being driven by a party whose name appears on the policy. Broad coverage is more lenient, and will often offer coverage to the driver, his or her spouse and children, and any family members related by blood. Broad coverage may also extend to friends who operate the vehicle with the permission of the insured. Consult your policy jacket, which is the document accompanying your insurance policy that explains what is and isn’t covered. You should also review your policy declarations, which are the forms issued at each renewal that show the names of the covered drivers on your policy and the vehicles covered. You are strongly encouraged to contact your insurance company for details about who’s covered by your insurance policy as this will vary from company to company and from state to state.
Multiple Vehicles with Multiple Drivers
- Insurance companies commonly issue multi-vehicle policies that provide equal driving privileges for all of the drivers named on the policy. This means that a mother, father and teenage child would all be authorized to operate one another’s vehicles without restriction. Drivers should keep in mind that the coverage follows the vehicle, not the driver. This means that if a father’s Chevrolet has full coverage and his daughter’s Ford is covered with liability only, the father will only have liability while driving his daughter’s vehicle. (Liability coverage pays for the property damages and bodily injury incurred by others when you’re at fault in a covered accident. Full coverage pays for your vehicle and the vehicle owned by the other driver when a covered accident occurs.)
It is becoming increasingly uncommon for insurance companies to assign drivers to specific household vehicles, as they have found that this makes it very difficult to settle claims. By assigning vehicles, insurance companies acknowledge that they restrict the family’s options when emergencies arise.
Children Who Aren’t on the Policy
- It is important to remember that insurance rates are based on “risk,” or the likelihood that an accident involving someone on your policy will occur. That is why rates increase when teenage drivers are added to insurance policies. However, many companies extend coverage to the children of covered drivers whether they are on the policy or not. This is done in order to comply with industry-wide standards that typically provide coverage to a policy holder’s children.
Despite their standard practice of covering teen drivers who aren’t on the policy, most insurance companies still request that parents add their teen drivers to their insurance policies to ensure that they are collecting adequate premium for each driver. These companies may also reserve the right to deny claims if they believe a parent has concealed information about a teen driver in the household. To be sure that your teen driver’s claims will be covered, add them to your policy as soon as they are eligible to drive.
Spouses & Adult Family Members Who Aren’t on the Policy
- Many insurance companies use broad language in their insuring agreements stating that a covered driver, or the “insured,” under the policy includes drivers named on the policy and any family members related by blood. This could extend to your spouse or adult family members who live in the home. For this reason, your insurance agent may tell you that it is okay to lend your vehicle to adult family members who live in the home, even if they aren’t named on the policy. If an accident occurs while your spouse or family member is driving, your insurance company is likely to pay for damages unless a claims investigation reveals an extenuating circumstance. (Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to, vehicle operation during the commission of a crime.)
Friends Who Aren’t on the Policy
- Broad coverage offers coverage to friends who aren’t on the insurance policy as long as someone who is insured on the policy has granted them permission to drive. Restricted coverage would not provide coverage to a friend who borrows your vehicle, even if you give him permission to drive. If your friend has his own insurance policy, his coverage is likely to pay for any accidents that may occur while he is driving your vehicle.
Auto insurance is one of those monthly expenses we don’t think about often, but it costs most people an exorbitant amount of money. This can be especially true of drivers who fall into certain demographics that the insurance companies view as “risky.” For example, young males 16 to 21 years old are considered to be the worst drivers, in terms of accident frequency. Insurance companies don’t think of teenage girls in a much better light.
What that means, in terms of insurance, is that teen drivers are always going to be charged an absolute maximum for their insurance premiums. This is due to the fact that the insurer knows, statistically speaking, that the teen in question is much more likely to be involved in a costly accident than an older driver would be.
There are ways to get around these unpleasant facts about insuring your teenage driver. Actually, there are several different ways in which you can significantly lower your teen’s auto insurance premiums, or even reduce them to normal rates.
- Limit the value of the car. The premiums that your teen will be responsible for will be based directly on the value of the car that they’ll be driving. The more expensive the car, the more the insurance company will have to pay if it’s involved in an accident. Therefore, the more expensive the car is, the more the premiums will be. So, get your teen an inexpensive car to lower those costs.
- Let your teen drive a car that discourages recklessness. Whether it’s right or wrong, one ironclad fact about the auto insurance industry is that they base their prices on generalizations. And, generally speaking, teenagers who are driving a Ford Mustang are much more likely to drive recklessly, speed, and perform illegal traffic maneuvers, than teens who are driving a Ford Focus. The insurance companies know this, so auto premiums for teens who are driving sportier cars will be much higher than for those driving other kinds of vehicles.
- Try to insure the car yourself. If the insurance company doesn’t already know that there’s a teen driver in your household, don’t tell them! Telling your insurance company about your teen driver makes about as much sense as double parking and then telling the next police officer you see that you did so. Instead, simply try to insure the car yourself. This will cost a significantly lower amount of money than if you have your teen get their own insurance, and it will actually save you money on your own premiums because you’ll get a multi-vehicle discount. Likewise, keep in mind that if the insurance company knows you have a teenager in the household, whether they’re actually driving or not, your insurance premiums will definitely go up in price. So, if the insurance company doesn’t ask, then don’t tell.
- Look for a high-deductible insurance policy. You can save a lot of money on your teen driver’s insurance policy by choosing a plan with a high deductible. What this essentially means is that if they are involved in an accident then you’ll have to pay a higher dollar amount to contribute to the repairs necessary. Having such a policy will help to alleviate the major concern of the insurance company (that your teen driver will be in an accident and cost them a lot of money) and will allow you to greatly reduce your premiums.
- Shop around. This almost seems to go without saying. However, it’s very important that you don’t simply get one quote from an insurance company and then immediately choose to give them your business. Instead, shop around to other companies. If you think their service is overpriced or non-competitive with other rates you’ve been quoted, be honest with them. If you tell one insurance company that their rates aren’t competitive, they may try to offer you something in order to get your business.
- Most insurance agents are not paid a salary by the insurers they represent. Sometimes, they receive salaries for stated periods of time at the beginning of their relationship with an insurer to help start their businesses, but these are not typically permanent, according to AMPM Insure. Therefore, an agent’s primary source of compensation is policy commissions. When you buy a policy from an auto insurance agent, he receives a certain percentage of the total policy premium and the insurer keeps the rest.
New Business and Renewals
- Your auto insurance policy typically renews every six or 12 months, depending on your insurer. Each time the policy renews, your agent gets paid again. In this way, agents with large volumes of business often earn a lot of money, because older policies that renew pay commission in addition to that from new policies they sell. However, the agent may not receive the same commission percentage for renewals as she does for new business, so even if your premium remains the same upon renewal, your agent may earn different amounts of money over time.
Typical Commission Structure
- Most auto insurance agents receive somewhere between eight and 15 percent commission when they sell or renew policies, according to Insure.com. This percentage might be higher for independent agents, or those who represent many insurance companies. Captive agents, who represent only one insurer, typically have a fixed commission amount that is set by the contract they have with their parent company. If renewal commission amounts are different than those for new business, the renewals are typically lower.
- Insurers often offer their agents incentives and/or bonuses for selling certain volumes of products and meeting certain production goals. Also, independent agents might receive different commission percentages from different insurers they represent. This may pose an ethical dilemma for the agent, since the auto policy that pays the highest commission or the one that comes with the biggest bonus may not be the one that is right for you. Ask about commission structures and other forms of compensation if you are worried that your agent is not working in your best interest.
- Ask your insurance company representative if you qualify for premium discounts. You may get a cheap quote depending on your profession. For example, writers who work from home usually pay a low premium. They drive less and are not prone to hectic life schedules, since they work from home.
- Learn the art of lowering the quotes. If you choose a residence closer to your workplace, you will pay a lower premium. Moreover, if your home is located in a safe neighborhood (low crime rate), you qualify for a cheaper quote.
- Consider buying a multi-person policy. You can get coverage for more people under one policy. Put the names of family members under the name of the person who has the best driving record.
- Renew policies from the same insurance company. Often companies provide discounts on renewals. The moment you establish a driving record with a company, it knows you are likely to get a cheaper quote from other providers. This qualifies you for a lower quote. Moreover, if you had no claims during your previous terms, you qualify for such discounts.
- Take a defensive driver’s course. You will receive a certificate of defensive driving that you will have to submit to your company at the time of application. Taking this course lowers your premium substantially.
- Submit your report card if you are a young driver studying at an educational institution. If your report card is excellent, you are likely to receive a cheaper quote.
- Take advantage of being a senior citizen. You may qualify for senior discounts and get cheap insurance.
Are you looking for cheap car insurance for senior citizens? Finding discount car insurance for elderly drivers or senior drivers is a tedious task. You must do a lot of research in order to find the car insurance for senior citizens that takes into account your particular car insurance needs.
The price of car insurance for seniors or elderly is dependant on the person’s driving record, type of car, type of coverage and more.
- Find out about discount driving insurance rates for older drivers
Some car insurance companies offer discount car insurance for senior drivers. Be sure to ask your current car insurance company if they have cheap rates based on your age. You might be able to get a senior discount rate, especially if you have been with the same insurance for many years.
- Don’t assume you will get a better rate by sticking with your same policy you’ve had for years
Once you check out your current car insurance company, make sure to check others. There might be a company that has very good rates on car insurance for senior citizens other than the car insurance company you are currently using. Though it is a pain to switch companies, it is well worth it if you see you can save money.
- Search the net or have someone younger do it for you
If the elderly person is not used to internet searching, have someone younger search the internet for them. The internet is a great place to find cheap car insurance for elderly. You can search many websites and compare senior rates between them.
- Take a senior citizen driving class
Find out from your car insurance company if you can take senior citizen driving classes to lower your insurance rates. Your insurance may approve certain driving courses designed especially for older drivers. Not only will these courses make you a better driver, but they can also lower your insurance rates.
- Find out if there are discounts for driving less
If you are not planning on driving much, you should find out if you can get discounted driving insurance based on this. You might be able to get a discount car insurance for senior citizens package if you drive less than a certain amount.
- Use a good driving record to your benefit
If you’ve always had a good driving record, that will be used for your benefit to lower rates. Car insurance companies will take into account that you have many years of driving experience and a good record throughout this time.
- Install safety features in your car
Installing features such as air bags or alarm systems in older cars can help lower insurance rates for seniors. The more safety features your car has installed, the more probability of lowering your rates.
- Consider whether or not you still need to drive
Before getting car insurance for seniors, consider whether or not you really need to drive at all. If you are retired and no longer going to work, maybe it doesn’t pay to drive. Maybe it pays to just sell your car and use cabs. Maybe it pays to just have someone else drive for you and take your name off the insurance policy. Just because you are not driving doesn’t mean you lose your independence. Carefully consider if driving is worth the expense.
Apply for Assistance
Contact the billing or patients’ account department to arrange financial help. Many hospitals offer charity care programs that can ease your bill. However, you must ask for this help, and follow the institution’s rules. Some hospitals require that you apply for Medicaid — which is for low-income people — before you can enter their program. Other facilities will ask for financial documents like bank statements, pay stubs and income tax returns to determine your discount, the MoneyUnder30.com website indicates.
Check Bills Closely
Scrutinize bills for errors, overcharges and above market rates. The Medical Billing Advocates of America estimates that eight in 10 bills contain mistakes. For example, make sure you aren’t charged for medications or tests that you never received. Look for billing code errors and duplicate charges. Also, visit sites like Vimo.com to see what hospitals in your area charge for comparable procedures and services. You can also use Medicare rates that the federal government sets in reimbursing senior citizens’ care as another benchmark. Either way, you need this information as the starting point in negotiating with the billing department.
Investigate Alternative Charities
Search online for nonprofit organizations that help uninsured patients. By typing in phrases like, “need help paying my hospital bill,” you should find a charity in your area to contact. For many example, many Catholic, Jewish, Lutheran and Methodist organizations offer programs to anyone, regardless of religion. You can also check directories like Guidestar.org, and click the relevant category. Another option is crowdfunding, or setting up a personal fundraising page on websites like GoFundMe.com. Depending on the site, donors can help by making credit card or PayPal, reports Forbes magazine.
Negotiate a Payment Plan
If you’re rejected for assistance, or don’t meet a program’s requirements, ask the patient accounts manager to set up an installment agreement. This option allows you to spread the cost over a longer time, at an affordable rate, without paying the additional interest charges of a conventional loan. You also get an opportunity to show good faith by making timely payments. As the MBAA’s summary suggests, this factor can help in convincing the hospital to write off the remaining portion, if you experience further financial difficulties.
Seek Government Assistance
Apply for any federal, state or local programs that could ease your out-of-pocket costs. One of the best-known is Medicare — for which you may still qualify, even if you’re an uninsured senior citizen who doesn’t meet its minimum age of 65. For example, the program is also available to people who require permanent kidney dialysis. Once enrolled, you can receive Part A hospital insurance — at no cost — or Part B, which requires a monthly premium, the U.S. Social Security Administration states. You can also consult the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration website to determine what programs exist in your area.
- Estimate the value of your home and belongings including the replacement value of your home, interior furnishings, jewelry, electronics and so forth.
- Go online and find out the variable cost of homeowners insurance. The annual premium can vary from $500 to $2,000, depending on the company and type of coverage. Those who are age 62 and over may benefit from reduced premium rates from some companies.
- Learn about the regulating authority responsible for insurance rates in the state where you live. The rates for homeowners insurance need approval from the insurance department of the state.
- Get quotes from different insurance companies. Most insurance companies have Web sites where you can request online quotes or talk to local agents and compare policies.
- Combine policies with the same provider if possible. For example, if you have an auto policy or plan to buy one, combining this with a homeowners policy will lower your premium rate.
- Inquire about business tie-ups and affiliations. Many insurance companies have tie-ups with home security system providers. If you buy and install a security system from a company’s associate list, you may qualify for discounts on installations as well as lower premium quote.
- Check into buying multiple policies from the same company for other family members’ homes if they are willing to do so. You could be eligible for even more discounts if offered.
- Check with several companies that underwrite both home and auto insurance (see the Resources section for links). Ask for quotes by phone or through online tools to compare car insurance and homeowner’s insurance rates.
- Ask your employer or college if they are part of a group with any auto and home insurance companies. Group discounts often give the best rates regardless of other companies’ discounts.
- Choose high-deductible rates for cheap insurance quotes. The deductible is the amount you pay for claims out-of-pocket before the insurance begins to pay for losses. The more you are willing to pay in deductibles, the less you have to pay in premiums.
- Call insurance providers to ask about multiple policy discounts. Most insurance companies will discount the cost of both policies for customers who buy car and house insurance.
- Inquire about any discount that may lower your premium cost. Homeowner rates are lowered by security systems, lighting, fire resistant construction and up-to-date plumbing and electrical equipment. A good driving record, anti-lock brakes, airbags and alarm systems help you get the cheapest car insurance rates.
- Sign on with the health insurance provided by your employer: it is likely to be the cheapest option you can find. Search for your own insurance if you’re self-employed, or if your company doesn’t offer it.
- Investigate coverage under COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1985) if you’ve recently left your employer. Through COBRA you can extend your coverage for 18 months beyond your separation date, though you have to pay the premium yourself.
- Find a health insurance broker to compare plans and costs for you. The National Association of Health Underwriters (nahu.org) can help find one in your area.
- Purchase a fee-for-service plan. The biggest plus is that you have complete control over which doctor you see and determine for yourself when you need to see a specialist. However, there is a significant out-of-pocket cost for this kind of care, the premiums are generally higher, and if your doctor charges more than what is considered customary, you may have to shell out additionally for that care as well.
- Sign up for a managed care plan where your insurance provider determines which doctors you can see. There are three basic kinds of managed care:
- Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) have a list of doctors to select from when choosing a physician who will be your first contact for health care. If you see doctors in your insurer’s network, you pay a low co-payment. However, if you see a physician not in the network, your co-pay is higher. You also generally don’t need prior approval to see a specialist–PPOs give you the most flexibility but cost more in monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
- Point-of-service (POS) networks are similar to PPOs, except that your primary care physician makes decisions about which specialists you can and can’t see. You can still see a physician outside the POS network, but face higher fees and more paperwork to do so.
- Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) are the most restrictive, yet least expensive managed care programs. Most require that you see a doctor in their network, but offer low or no copays in exchange. Many HMOs also require you to see your primary care physician before getting referred to a specialist.
- Find out if benefits are limited for preexisting conditions, or if you have to wait for a period of time before you’re fully covered. Other plans may completely exclude coverage of preexisting conditions.
- Compare the prescription drug coverage offered by various plans. Many plans have tiered benefit systems, and usually offer a preferred list of prescriptions that have a lower co-pay. Search for any medication you are taking on this list; drugs not on the list can have a co-pay that is twice as high. Also, see if any plans limit the amounts of new prescriptions or refills on a given drug.
- Check to make sure your regular doctors are on your plan’s preferred provider list. All plans provide a database of their provider list on their Web site. Go with a plan that lists most or all of your regular doctors. Be aware that most PPOs will pay up to 20 percent less for out-of-network doctors.
- Investigate what sorts of delays you may encounter with managed care. Some plans are notorious about keeping members waiting to see a doctor. Ask a doctor you intend to visit how long a typical wait is before you choose a plan.
- Shop around. Call several agents and compare policies and premiums.
- Look into other potential sources for health insurance. Alumni associations, professional groups, fraternal organizations and other associations often offer health coverage to their members.
Homeowner’s insurance protects your investment against disasters like flood, fire and windstorm. There are times when, though you own the home, you may want to change owner names on the home insurance policy. For example, if you’ve recently married or entered into a domestic partnership, and have changed the title on your home, you may want to add your spouse’s name to your insurance policy. Changing homeowner names on an insurance policy is usually a straightforward process.
- Decide whose names you want on the home insurance policy. The names on the insurance policy must usually match the names on the home title.
- Call your insurance company and ask to speak with a customer service representative about policy changes. Your insurance company will have specific rules that you need to abide by when making changes. For example, you may be required to fill out a specific form or have a document notarized.
- Follow your insurances company’s instructions. For example, send in the letter or the form that you are required to fill out. Changes are usually effective when your insurance company receives the documentation.