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Posts Tagged ‘Insurance’

Will Obtaining Insruance Quotes Affect your Credit Score?

Will Obtaining Insruance Quotes Affect your Credit Score?

Anyone that has recently shopped around for home or auto or home insurance quotes may realize that most insurance companies will now check your credit score along with your driving record and other insurance history. In turn, the better your credit score the more likely you will be offered a more affordable rate quote.  Therefore the question has been asked: although your credit score may affect your insurance rate, will shopping for insurance quotes affect your credit score?

The short answer is “no”. Shopping for multiple insurance quotes will not affect your credit score. When it comes to credit checks, we must differentiate between two types of inquiries: “hard pulls” and “soft pulls.” A hard pull refers to credit inquiries for actually acquiring credit, such as from a credit card company or a lender. A soft pull is an inquiry that will review your credit score only, will not lower your score and often is not even recorded on your credit report. Insurance companies generally do not look at your actual credit report. Instead, it receives your credit score or your insurance score from one or more of the three major national credit repositories — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. “An insurance score is going to be less concerned with your propensity to take on new credit and more interested in how long you’ve been managing credit,” says Craig Watts, a FICO spokesman. “Insurance scores focus on issues of stability.” Therefore, this is what most insurance companies will focus on.

The bottom line on this issue is as follows: Insurance companies and agents that see a potential client with a high credit score will consider you a low-risk client, someone who promptly pays their bills on time and is responsible. They will then be able to offer you more affordable insurance quotes. The best thing you can do if you have good or bad credit is to shop around for insurance quotes and narrow your choice down by the reputation of the insurance company (and staff) and premium and coverage quoted. As a starting point please visit Staten Island Insurance for a free insurance quote.

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GPSAuto accidents are the number one killer of teens. Teens account for approximately 14% of all motor vehicle accident deaths. 5,288 teens died in motor vehicle accidents in 2005 in the United States. Unfortunately, car crashes are the leading cause of death among teens, accounting for more than one-third of all deaths of 16 to 18 year-olds.

Once they get behind the wheel, they think they can control their car at any speed and tend to push the limits. The problem is that inexperience and immaturity contribute to their reckless behavior and unfortunately, the results can be disastrous.

Naturally, the question arises as to how can I ensure that my teen drives safely. Recently, in New York State, we have begun to see an increase in sales for GPS monitoring systems. Constant and direct supervision or monitoring with a GPS tracking system for at least the first year of driving can significantly reduce teen driver auto accidents and give parents some much needed peace of mind. In the past year, a number of companies have come out with tracking systems that can help parents monitor their new teen drivers. While we believe that education is the most important component of safe teen driving, there are also some situations where parents might want to have some monitoring capability. Here are some guidelines if you are considering a teen monitoring system:

1. Make sure you understand how the system works and that it will work with your model and year of car.
2. Check the total fees. They might include an installation fee as well as a monthly fee.
3. Find out if there is a minimum time limit for a contract.
4. Find out what data will be monitored and transmitted to you: speed, location, etc
5. How does the system notify you of your teen’s location.
While GPS is a technology with a proven track record, the ultimate impact it can have on teen driving safety is still being explored. But one thing is clear–with millions of Americans nationwide focused on helping teenagers drive more safely, GPS tracking services will play a significant role.  To find out more ways you can help your teen driver’s saftey, contact your insurance agent.

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Hurricane-Proof Your Home

 
As we edge closer to another hurricane season in the New York/Long Island area, preparing your house for disaster should be a priority.

 

Whether your home is old or new, it may not be able to withstand hurricane force winds.  To protect your home, the American Red Cross recommends that you focus in on three particular areas of your home: the roof, the windows and the doors (including a garage door if you have one).

 

 

Hurricane Roof Damage

Hurricane Roof Damage

 Window Protection:

 Unprotected windows are very vulnerable to wind damage and damage from wind blown debris therefore it is critical that you protect them. The easiest and most effective way to protect them is with storm shutters. Steel is the best and the most expensive. Aluminum and plywood shutters are also available.    

  

 

These are readily obtainable from many building supply stores, including Home Depot and Lowes.  If you live in a hurricane or storm-prone area, you may want to also think about installing impact resistant windows according to the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. These windows are designed to withstand flying debris. Also be aware that taping your windows will not protect them and is not effective.

 

Storm-Proof the Roof:
Another vulnerable area of your home is the roof. During a hurricane, the wind can actually get underneath the roof shingle and peel it off the roof.  The Federal Alliance for Safe Home recommends you go to your local building supply store and get premium flooring adhesive. Apply with a caulking gun to the underside of your roofwhere the roof and the support beams meet. Be sure to look for an adhesive that has been tested and has a strong rating.

 

Hurricane Damage to Garage Door

Hurricane Damage to Garage Door

Even the best methods of roof and window protection is not enough if you don’t also protect your doors (including your garage door). The garage door is potentially the largest and weakest opening of your home to a hurricane. According to the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes about 80% of residential hurricane wind damage starts with wind entry through garage doors, making this a critical area to reinforce.  However, many garage doors are made of lightweight materials that make it vulnerable to hurricane damage. A qualified inspector can determine if both the door and the track system can resist high winds and, if necessary, help replace them with a stronger system.  
 
Pay special attention to any sliding glass doors that you may have, as they are more vulnerable to wind damage than most other doors. When building a home or replacing a door, you should consider impact resistant door systems. As a temporary measure, you can cover the entire patio door with plywood.
 
Finally, periodically review your home insurance policy with your agent and make sure you are properly covered BEFORE disaster strikes.

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