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Protect Yourself With Disability Insurance
When it comes to selecting the insurance policies you need to protect yourself and your family from unforeseen events, you have probably covered all of the basics. Auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, life insurance. Many people never look beyond these main three. There is one particular policy, however, that is often overlooked and that could prevent you from losing everything in the event that you are unable to work. Disability insurance is one of the policies that everyone should carry, but in many cases it is overlooked.
You Really Do Need It
Many people balk at the cost of paying for disability insurance, especially when they are already paying premiums on so many other policies, most of which are not optional. It is easy to let something like disability go. However, becoming disabled is a very real risk that each of us faces every day. Accidents, injuries, illness—there are many things that could leave you unable to work and thus without an income.
Disability insurance is designed to protect you in the event of any sort of disabling event that puts you in the position of being unable to bring in your regular salary. You may have some coverage with your employee benefits, but in most cases it isn’t really enough to pay your living expenses and take care of yourself and your family. A disability insurance policy will make certain you have the money to continue paying the bills and living your chosen life in spite of a disability.
More Than A Good Idea
Most people will acknowledge that having disability insurance is a good idea, and yet many of them still won’t take out a policy. Much like health insurance, disability insurance is one of those policies everyone wishes they had when it is too late. You can’t get coverage once you are already disabled. Sadly, this is the time when many people realize just how important it really is.
Disability insurance should be considered just as important as those top three: auto, home, and life. It truly is a must-have insurance policy that will make an incredible difference should the day come when you need to use it
Talk to your insurance agent about disability insurance. He will help you determine how much you need and what type of policy is right for you; it is well worth it for your peace of mind.
(Mortgage Disability) How Much Coverage Do You Need To Protect Your Home
Taking out a mortgage disability policy is a smart way to ensure you will be able to pay your mortgage and keep your home if you become disabled. No matter how much you may have put aside in savings, if you face a long-term absence from work you may find it difficult to pay your mortgage for the duration. Having an insurance policy in place to pay your mortgage is an important part of your comprehensive insurance package.
Choosing Mortgage Disability
Obviously, the most important thing to consider when you choose mortgage disability coverage is the monthly payment you make on your mortgage. You need to take out a policy that can cover the entire monthly payment, otherwise you will need to make up the difference. Be sure to review your policy regularly to make sure it remains accurate, as a refinance or change in your mortgage loan could change the amount you pay every month.
The other important factor to look at is the length of time you will need coverage. While most mortgage disability policies are intended for a longterm situation, there are a wide variety of policies and a great range in the length of time for which the coverage is provided.
If You Have Other Coverage
You may have a policy that provides you with a certain amount of money to pay for living expenses, such as a disability policy that is a part of your employment benefit package. In this case, you might need a mortgage disability policy to fill the gaps and cover you specifically for that purpose, leaving the other coverage to pay for utilities and other expenses.
Don’t assume that the coverage you have is enough to pay for your mortgage as well as all other living expenses. Take the time to do the math. Once you know how much coverage you already have, you will know what you need from a mortgage disability policy. Of course, it’s always a good idea to have more coverage than you think you need, so consider increasing benefits wherever possible.
Your insurance agent can walk you through the process of selecting a mortgage disability policy to match the rest of your insurance package. Creating a comprehensive disability plan that covers all your bases should be the primary goal; be sure you have the right combination of policies to protect you in case of a long-term illness or injury.
Home-Based Businesses – Including Your Business In Your Home Insurance
If you have a home-based business or you frequently work from home, having b
oth your office space and the business itself insured is an essential part of your overhead as an entrepreneur or business person. One option that you may be considering is including your business as part of your home insurance. While it may save you money in keeping your business investments and capital protected, it may not be enough in some cases. So is home insurance the right choice for your home-based business? Here are a few things to consider before shopping around for a separate business insurance policy.
What Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover?
The coverage you receive from your homeowner’s insurance will depend on your policy, but in general it protects your home in case of damage or loss from a number of causes, and will usually include both the property itself and the contents. Before deciding whether you need separate business insurance for your home-based business you will want to take a close look at your existing homeowner’s insurance policy. If your contents are not covered, or the contents of your home office are not included in the policy, you will need to either extend your existing coverage or get a separate policy to include items such as your computer and office furniture. Depending on the type of home business you run, however, this may not be enough to keep your business fully covered.
What Type of Insurance Does a Home Business Need?
One of the biggest considerations in deciding if you will need separate business insurance for your home-based business is whether the issue of liability will ever come up. If clients enter your home for any reason or you have frequent business-related deliveries to your home, your homeowner’s insurance will not cover any injuries these people may receive on your property. Also, if you have any employees, even if they work only a few hours here or there, you will need insurance to cover them.
If you run a home-based business your best choice in keeping both your home and your business covered is to talk with an insurance professional and discuss your particular situation. Your business is your livelihood and your property is your home; ensuring that they are both covered should anything
happen is important to both you and your family.
Buying Home Insurance For Your Condo
As a homeowner, obtaining a good home insurance policy that protects your home and family is one of the essential costs related to purchasing a home. But if you own a condo there may be some additional considerations in selecting a home insurance policy that is right for you. Here is a breakdown of the kind of coverage you need as a condo owner, and some tips on finding the right policy.
Since the actual property ownership of condos includes both private and shared property, condo insurance must cover both. In the case of share property, the major concern is liability insurance that will cover any damage that may be caused by your negligence or an accident that would damage shared property or the property of another condo owner.
Condo Association Coverage
Another issue to consider is whether your Condo Association has blanket coverage that will protect you from damages that may be caused by other condo owners who do not have liability insurance, or have limited coverage. Since condo owners pay fees that include a number of shared costs, such as property maintenance and some utilities, insurance should be offered by your Condo Association to protect you in these cases. If yours does not, you may want to check out ways to include it. In most cases this type of shared coverage will cost each owner less than individual liability insurance and will keep all condo owners protected.
Living in a gated community or secured building, as most condo complexes are, may give you a false sense of security. If your condo insurance does not cover your unit’s contents from theft and other damage you could be leaving a huge gap in your coverage. Also, if you own valuable items such as jewellery or antiques your content coverage may not protect the full value of these items and a rider may be necessary.
A qualified insurance agent can give you all the information you’ll need to keep your condo protected, and keep you protected from liability.
Your homeowner’s insurance protects you from what are known as perils— the things that might cause damage or loss. A good homeowner’s insurance policy is set up to provide coverage for the most likely perils that affect homeowners, such as fire, theft, and vandalism. However, there are some perils that are specifically excluded from the average homeowner’s insurance policy, and depending on where you live, these exclusions could be serious.
Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not provide coverage for damage caused by an earthquake. If you live in an area where earthquakes are common and a serious earthquake is a real risk, you should consider taking out a separate earthquake insurance policy. Your homeowner’s insurance agent can point you in the right direction.
Flood And Water Damage
Water damage is a tricky area when it comes to homeowner’s insurance. Some types are covered, while others are not. The most commonly excluded type of water damage is from a flood. This usually means a natural flood, from rain or rising water. For anyone who lives near a river or other body of water where flooding is a possibility, flood insurance is a good idea.
Water damage that is caused by negligence is also usually excluded. If you knew your pipes were leaking and did nothing to repair them, the resulting water damage will likely be excluded and not covered. On the other hand, if a pipe suddenly bursts with no forewarning, your homeowner’s insurance should kick in and take care of the damage. It’s best to verify these grey areas with your insurance company or agent.
Many insurance companies do not provide coverage for mold, because it is considered to be the result of negligence. This is another grey area where some types of mold may be covered and others may not. Again, this is a good one to discuss with your insurance company.
Homeowner’s insurance is there to get you back to normal after a loss or damage. It doesn’t provide you with free maintenance on your home! Any damage to your home caused by your failure to properly maintain it will not be covered by homeowner’s. Thus, roof repair for wind damage is covered, but a roof that has simply gotten old will not be. If that were the case, homeowner’s insurance would be very expensive indeed, with everyone getting repairs done to their home every time something wore out!
It’s important to know what your policy covers and doesn’t cover, so that you are not stuck paying big bills for a catastrophic event. Ask your agent or read your policy, and obtain extra coverage when you can.
When your homeowners insurance company calculated the cost to replace your home in the event of a claim, they based it on the available knowledge they were given regarding your home. Things like the square footage, the type of construction, the materials used inside and out, as well as any special features of the home were all included in the calculation. What many homeowners forget is that updates to your home need to be reflected in the replacement cost on your homeowners insurance policy. Here are some key times when you should give your homeowners insurance company a call to provide updated information.
A Major Renovation
Whether you give your kitchen an overhaul or redo the master bath, these are high value areas of your home, and your homeowners insurance company needs to know you have improved them. Give them a call and let them know what type of materials you used and what features you may have added, such as a jetted tub or granite countertops. This will ensure that if homeowners insurance policy ever has to pay to replace your house, you will get those updates back.
An Addition To Your Home
If you add square footage to your home via an addition, it’s important to let your homeowners insurance company know right away, as this has a large impact on your replacement cost. Remember that insurance will only cover permitted additions to your home, so be sure you have all the right permits on file and everything is up to code. Some additions, such as certain types of sunrooms, do not actually count toward the total square footage, so discuss the coverage for that type of addition with your insurance agent.
New Floors, New Windows
Anything you replace or upgrade should be reported to your homeowners insurance company. Whether you replace your carpet with hardwood floors, or install new windows, doors, or other features, all of these things are important to the reconstruction cost of your home.
If you aren’t sure if a certain upgrade or change has any bearing on your insurance, it’s always best to put in a call to your agent just to be on the safe side. You don’t want to make a claim down the road only to find out that the policy was outdated and you weren’t covered for the improvements you have made to your home. Although most policies do have some protection built in for this, the safest bet is to be sure you keep your policy up to date. It’s always worth a call to your agent or insurance company to let them know things have changed at your home.
You know that you need homeowner’s insurance to protect your home from
catastrophic events and other perils, but there are some little-known facts
about homeowner’s insurance that can save you a lot of money and stress if
you know how to use them. Take advantage of everything your
homeowner’s insurance has to offer with these common but not popularly
known coverage tricks.
Your Liability Is Transferable
If you are hosting an event away from your home such as a party, wedding,
or other gathering, you might be asked by the venue to provide liability
insurance so that they won’t be held responsible in the event of an injury or
loss on the premises. Most insurance companies will let you transfer the
liability coverage on your policy to another location for a one-time event. All
you have to do is call your insurance agent or company and request that
they issue proof of insurance to the venue in question. Remember that your
insurance company must know about the event in advance for the coverage
Your Personal Property Is Covered Anywhere
If your car is broken into and a large quantity of personal property is stolen,
your auto insurance probably has limited coverage for property in the
vehicle. But your homeowner’s insurance can pick up the slack. In fact,
your homeowner’s policy will cover all of your personal property anywhere in
the world. That means if your expensive camera is stolen while you are on
vacation, you are covered. If your bags are stolen at the airport, again,
homeowner’s will cover you. Everything that is covered under your
homeowner’s policy is covered anywhere you go. Just be sure you have a
floater on your policy for valuable items like jewelry.
You Are Covered If Sued
If someone sues you and you don’t believe you are at fault, your
homeowner’s insurance will help defend you in court. That is part of the
reason you have liability insurance! Whether or not the particular lawsuit is
one that homeowner’s insurance will cover must first be determined. If the
insurance company agrees that you were not negligent in the incident, they
will make sure you can fight it in court.
Your homeowner’s insurance does much more than protect your home. Be
sure you get the most out of those monthly premiums you pay by taking
advantage of all the perks of your policy.
The first time you see the value your homeowner’s insurance has placed on
your home, it might shock you a little. That’s because the number is
probably nowhere near what you paid for your home, or what it is worth on
the market. There is a very good reason for this, and it can be a little
confusing at first. Before you panic, take a look at how an insurance
company values your home.
Reconstruction Cost Only
Your homeowner’s insurance covers the actual physical building that is your
home, along with everything that is in it. The purpose of homeowner’s
insurance is to make sure that if the worst were to happen, your home would
be restored to the same level as before the incident. So, if your home were
to burn to the ground, homeowner’s insurance would pay to completely
rebuild the structure and replace everything inside it.
The value that is placed on your home is based on a complicated system of
calculations used to determine what it would cost to rebuild your home from
the ground up. Things like the price of building materials and cost of labor
are all taken into consideration. What isn’t included in this amount is the
value of your land.
Why Isn’t Land Included?
Even if your house were to burn completely to the ground, you would still
have your land. You don’t lose that, nor do you lose the value of the land.
In many cases, the land on which the home sits is more valuable than the
structure itself, especially in high in-demand areas. When calculating the
value of your home, you insurance company does not add in the cost of
purchasing the land, because you don’t need to pay for that again.
What About Market Value?
Homeowner’s insurance isn’t really concerned with market value, because so
much of it is wrapped up in things like the land, the location, and the state of
the real estate market. All your insurance company is worried about is what
it would cost to recreate your home exactly as it was in that same spot. So,
market value and reconstruction cost really have very little bearing on each
other, except for the connection between pricey areas and the cost of
building materials which can be correlated.
The bottom line is, as long as your insurance company has the most accurate
information about your home—square footage, building materials used, and
all the important features—they can calculate an accurate amount of
insurance coverage for you. This reconstruction cost usually also has an
extra allowance of about 25%, just in case the calculations are off. In almost
all cases, this is more than enough.
Most people love their home, but what makes it far more valuable than the
walls and roof are the things that fill it. Your personal property is special to
you, things that you have gathered over many years and selected to suit
your personal taste. Making certain you have enough coverage for these
things should be a top priority when it comes to homeowner’s insurance.
Here’s how to be sure your personal property is protected.
How Personal Property Coverage Is Determined
Most insurance companies use a percentage of the value of the home to
determine the amount of personal property coverage. When you see that
number, be sure to question it if you believe it’s too low. In some cases you
may need to provide some evidence for the extra coverage, but it’s worth the
hassle. If you were to lose everything in a fire, that is the maximum amount
you would receive to replace everything. And that really is everything, from
your toothbrush to your dining room table. So be sure to discuss that
number thoroughly with your agent!
Special Items Of Value
Whenever there is something of particular value in a home, such as artwork,
jewelry, or rugs, you may need to take out a special additional coverage
known as a floater. A floater adds a specific coverage to the policy that is
intended only for that particular item. It usually requires an appraisal of the
item as proof of value and comes with an extra premium amount. However,
if your diamond engagement ring is stolen from your home you will certainly
be glad you covered it properly, because most personal property coverage
has a per item limit on jewelry that probably won’t cover it.
When You Aren’t At Home
Many people don’t know this, but your homeowner’s insurance will actually
cover your personal property anywhere you go. That means that if your
things are stolen from your car, or even from your hotel room in Hawaii, you
can make a claim against your policy to recover the damage. You will, of
course, have to pay the deductible, so the amount of the stolen goods will
need to be enough to make the claim worthwhile.
Your homeowner’s insurance covers more than your house—it covers the
things that make it your home. Be sure you help your agent and insurance
company cover your things properly by keeping good records, taking out
floaters when needed, and ensuring you have the right amount of coverage
on your policy.
Buying Home Insurance For Your Condo
As a homeowner, obtaining a good home insurance policy that protects your
home and family is one of the essential costs related to purchasing a home.
But if you own a condo there may be some additional considerations in
selecting a home insurance policy that is right for you. Here is a breakdown
of the kind of coverage you need as a condo owner, and some tips on finding
the right policy.
Since the actual property ownership of condos includes both private and
shared property, condo insurance must cover both. In the case of shared
property, the major concern is liability insurance that will cover any damage
that may be caused by your negligence or an accident that would damage
shared property or the property of another condo owner.
Condo Association Coverage
Another issue to consider is whether your Condo Association has blanket
coverage that will protect you from damages that may be caused by other
condo owners who do not have liability insurance, or have limited coverage.
Since condo owners pay fees that include a number of shared costs, such as
property maintenance and some utilities, insurance should be offered by your
Condo Association to protect you in these cases. If yours does not, you may
want to check out ways to include it. In most cases this type of shared
coverage will cost each owner less than individual liability insurance and will
keep all condo owners protected.
Living in a gated community or secured building, as most condo complexes
are, may give you a false sense of security. If your condo insurance does not
cover your unit’s contents from theft and other damage you could be leaving
a huge gap in your coverage. Also, if you own valuable items such as
jewellery or antiques your content coverage may not protect the full value of
these items and a rider may be necessary.
A qualified insurance agent can give you all the information you’ll need to
keep your condo protected, and keep you protected from liability.