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Archive for October, 2008

1. I don’t need renters insurance because my landlord is covered. The fact is that the landlords policy will cover the landlord’s structural damage to the building (or house) itself, not the personal items of the tenants.

2. It’s out of my price range. Is $10 or $20 per month too much? In most cases you can get coverage for your possessions for as little as $120 for the entire year.

3. My stuff really isn’t worth much. You might be surprised at how quickly all those books, CDs, and kitchen appliances add up. According to www.statefarm.com, most people own more than $20,000 worth of property. Additionally, although your personal items may be older, many policies will cover you for replacement cost of your items-meaning that the insurance company will replace your covered items at today’s prices, not the depreciated value of the items.

4. I’m in a great building and I’m not worried about security. Many policies will extend beyond on premises theft and hazards. if a suitcase or camera is stolen while vacationing, you will likely be covered. The same is true with regard to items stolen out of your car. You will also likely be covered if someone slips and falls in your apartment, which could be a huge financial burden without the proper coverage in place.

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Many financial experts consider life insurance to be the cornerstone of sound financial planning. It can be an important tool in the following situations:

Father Giving Daughter Piggyback Ride

1. Replace income for dependents
If people depend on your income, life insurance can replace that income for them if you die. The most commonly recognized case of this is parents with young children.

2. Pay final expenses
Life insurance can pay your funeral and burial costs, probate and other estate administration costs, debts and medical expenses not covered by health insurance.

3. Create an inheritance for your heirs
Even if you have no other assets to pass to your heirs, you can create an inheritance by buying a life insurance policy and naming them as beneficiaries.

4. Pay federal “death” taxes and state “death” taxes
Life insurance benefits can pay estate taxes so that your heirs will not have to liquidate other assets or take a smaller inheritance. Changes in the federal “death” tax rules between now and January 1, 2011 will likely lessen the impact of this tax on some people, but some states are offsetting those federal decreases with increases in their state-level “death” taxes.

Mother and Daughter

5. Make significant charitable contributions
By making a charity the beneficiary of your life insurance, you can make a much larger contribution than if you donated the cash equivalent of the policy’s premiums.

6. Create a source of savings
Some types of life insurance create a cash value that, if not paid out as a death benefit, can be borrowed or withdrawn on the owner’s request. Since most people make paying their life insurance policy premiums a high priority, buying a cash-value type policy can create a kind of “forced” savings plan. Furthermore, the interest credited is tax deferred (and tax exempt if the money is paid as a death claim).

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Does my home insurance policy cover all my valuable items?

 

A standard home insurance policy will include some coverage for your jewelry and other valuable items (such as watches or furs).  Under your home insurance policy, these will be covered if destroyed by causes that are covered in your policy.  Usually this includes fires, windstorms, vandalism, and theft.

 

The problem you will run into is that there are limitations in the standard policy as to how much you can claim for certain items.  Because of this, the insurer won’t be able to pay out more than what is specified in the policy.  This usually applies for jewelry.  Because jewelry is can be stolen easily, standard  policies usually only cover up to $1500 per item.

 manhattan with the twin towers

How do I ensure my valuable items are properly covered?

 

If you want to make sure the value of your jewelry is covered, there are 2 ways you can increase insurance coverage:

 

  1. You can raise the limit of liability on your current home insurance or renter’s insurance policy. This is usually the cheapest option.  The only problem is that there might be a limit on the amount you can claim on one specific item.  You might only be able to claim $2500 on one item of jewelry when the limit of the policy for all items is $5000.
  2. Purchasing personal article policies (sometimes referred to as floaters or riders) and “scheduling” each item.  Floaters are policies that cover specific items that have a high $ value. This is basically way of listing specific valuable items on your policy. The schedule would include a description of each item that is covered and how much it is worth.  According to this article , a State Farm Insurance spokesman said that 70% of floaters are bought to cover jewelry.  This option is more expensive but it protects the items under broader circumstances.  For example, a home insurance policy would not cover the loss of your ring if you left it in a hotel room or lost it swimming in the ocean.  These situations can be covered under a floater policy.  Before you get these items covered, it is essential to get them professionally appraised to determine their true value.

 

 

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Insurance is a highly competitive business and the price you pay for your home insurance can vary by hundreds of dollars, depending on the insurance company you buy your policy from. Companies offer several types of discounts, but they don’t offer the same discount or the same amount of discount in all states. For this reason, you should ask your insurance agent about any discounts available to you. Here are some things to consider when buying home insurance.

1. Raise your deductible.
Deductibles are the amount of money you have to pay toward a loss before your insurance company starts to pay according to the terms of your policy. Deductibles on homeowners policies typically start at $500. By increasing your deductible to $1000 or greater, you could save a significant amount of money.

2. Buy your home and auto insurance policies from the same insurer.
Some companies that sell homeowners, auto and life insurance, such as State Farm Insurance, will take 5 to 15 percent off your premium if you buy two or more policies from them.

3. Consider these Factors when buying a Home
Consider how much insuring it will cost. Because a new home’s electrical, heating and plumbing systems and overall structure are likely to be in better shape than those of an older house, insurers may offer you a discount if your house is new. Check its construction, too. Brick, because of its resistance to wind damage is better in the East; frame, because of its resistance to earthquake damage, better in the West. Choosing wisely could cut your premium by 5 to 15 percent. Avoiding areas that are prone to floods can save you money because you may not need a flood insurance policy. Home insurance does not cover flood-related damage. If you do buy a house in a flood-prone area, you’ll have to buy a flood insurance policy, too.

And is your house close to a hydrant or fire station? The closer your house is to firefighters and their equipment, the lower your premium will be.

4. Insure your house, not the land.
The land under you house isn’t at risk from theft, windstorm, fire and other perils covered in your homeowners policy. So don’t include its value in deciding how much home insurance to buy. If you do, you’ll pay a higher premium than you should.

5. Compare the limits in your policy and the value of your possessions at least once a year.
You want your policy to cover any major purchases or additions to your home. But you don’t want to spend money for coverage you don’t need. Check over your policy and make sure your home insurance policy and your personal articles policy are covering items that you actually still own, i.e.., watch, ring, fur coat.

6. Look for private insurance first and always ask questions.
If you live in a high-risk area — say, one that is especially vulnerable to coastal storms, and have been buying your home insurance through a government/state plan, you should check with an insurance agent. You may find that there are steps you can take that would allow you to buy insurance at a lower price in the private market.

If you have questions about insurance for any of your possessions, be sure to ask your agent when you’re shopping around for a policy. For example, if you have a small business in your home, be sure to discuss coverage for that business. Most home insurance policies cover business equipment/property in the home but only for a small amount and they offer no business liability insurance.

Although you want to lower your home insurance cost, you also want to make certain you have all the coverage you need. So don’t be afraid to ask questions, before you have a loss.

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You may not realize it, but the insurance rates you pay for your car can vary dramatically depending on the insurance company,  the coverage you request and the kind of car you drive. Listed below are a number of things you can do right now to lower your insurance costs.

 

1. Ask for Higher Deductibles.

Deductibles represent the amount of money you pay before you make a claim. By requesting higher deductibles on collision and comprehensive (fire and theft) coverage, you can lower your costs substantially. For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 or $1000 could reduce your collision and comprehensive cost by 15% to 30%.
2. Drop Collision and/or Comprehensive Coverage’s on Older Cars.
It may not be cost effective to have collision or comprehensive coverage on cars worth less than $1,000 because any claim you make would not substantially exceed annual cost and deductible amounts. You can go to many online sources to check the value of your car. 

3. Buy a “Low Profile” Car.
Before you buy new or used car, check into insurance costs. Cars that are expensive to repair, or that are a favorite target for thieves, have higher insurance costs.

 

4. Take Advantage of Low Mileage Discounts.
Some companies, such as
State Farm Insurance, offer discounts to motorists who drive fewer than a predetermined number of miles a year. 

 

5. Consider Insurance Cost When Making a Move.  

Costs tend to be lowest in rural communities and highest in center cities where there is more traffic congestion. 

 

 

6. Find out about Automatic Seat Belt or Air Bag Discounts.
You may be able to take advantage of discounts on some coverage if you have automatic seat belts and/or air bags. 

 

7. Ask about Anti-lock Brakes.

Anti-lock brakes improve steering control and stability when a car is brought to a stop, thus reducing accidents. Some states, including Florida, New Jersey and New York, require insurers to give discounts for cars equipped with the brakes and some insurers have a nationwide discount in place. 

 

8. Inquire about Other Discounts.
Some insurers, such as State Farm, offer discounts for more than one car, no accidents in three years, drivers over a certain age, driver training courses, anti-theft devices, and good grades for students. 

 

If you live in the state of New York and have more questions about insurance coverage, contact Long Island Insurance for more info.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A lot of young drivers these days are trying to find out how they can lower their car insurance payments.  Here are a couple suggestions:

 

  1. Take an accident prevention course – see http://www.nysdmv.com/pirp.htm for list of course providers. This will reduce 10% from your base insurance rate.
  2. See if you can get a multi-policy discount – at companies like Long Island Insurance (www.insurancelongisland.net) it is actually cheaper if you have more than one type of insurance.  For example, if you just have car insurance and your premium is $153/month, you could actually be paying $151/month to get both car insurance and renters insurance.  This is because the discount you will get on the auto policy may be more than the actual cost of the renters insurance in certain areas, making the overall payment cheaper.
  3. Vegas or Bust
  4. See if you can get a student discount – Good grades pay off in a lot of areas – getting scholarships, getting more money out of your parents, and yes, lowering your insurance costs.  If you don’t already get a discount for being a student, call your agent and see if you qualify for one.
  5. Take 10 minutes to fill in an online quote – you’ll never know if you could be paying less by insuring with another company until you check to see what’s out there.  A lot of companies have online quote forms on their websites that will take about 10 minutes to fill out.  By doing this, you’re making them do all the work to try and beat the rate you’re currently paying.  You can start by filling out our Car Insurance Quote form. 

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According to this website the bodily injury liability limit is $25,000, the maximum per accident is $50,000 and the total coverage per accident for property damage is 10,000.

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