Heading off to College
School will be starting soon, and we will be saying our goodbyes to our college bound teens. This is an exciting time in their lives, and for many, the first real life lesson of living away from home. Parents may question, Do they have everything they need? How are they going to get all that stuff to college? and What if something happens to it while it is away? Well to ease your mind a bit, if you have homeowners insurance, Most policies provide coverage for property away from premises at a limit of 10% of the Dwelling Limit. (For example – If your Home is insured for Replacement Cost of $100,000 then your Property Away from premises is covered up to $10,000 for the same perils offered by your Home Policy). Check with your Agent to verify your current coverage. As for getting all that stuff to college, don’t worry – remember college packing is an art.
Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value
RC v/s ACV
Your homeowners policy does not provide coverage for all potential catastrophes that could damage or destroy your home. Earthquake and flood are two “perils” for which there is no coverage. (You can get coverage for earthquake and flood damage in a separate policy or as an endorsement to your homeowners coverage.) Also, there is no coverage for damage caused by water that seeps into your home from the ground. You do have coverage for losses related to fire, smoke, lightning, wind storms, hail, explosions, vandalism and theft.
There are different ways to insure your home, both the structure and your personal property. Let’s take the structure first. There are two types of coverage: replacement cost and actual cash value. Replacement cost is better for you, the homeowner. Under replacement cost coverage, the insurance will cover the cost of replacing the part of the structure that is damaged, up to a maximum dollar amount. Under actual cash value, the insurance will cover the cost of replacing the damaged structure minus an allowance for depreciation. If you have an older home, that allowance could be quite significant. Unless your policy specifically says it provides replacement cost coverage, the coverage is for actual cash value.
So how much insurance should you have? Basically, unless you want to pay some of the costs yourself, you should insure your home for what it would cost to rebuild it if your residence were destroyed. How do you find this out? Your insurance agent can have an answer for you in no time. If you don’t have an insurance agent — and you should — you can contact your local builders association. In the home construction world, building costs are calculated on a square foot basis. As such, to determine the cost to rebuild your home, take the square footage of your house and multiply by the average per square foot building rate in your area.
Your possessions are also insured on a replacement cost or actual cash value basis. Again, unless specified otherwise, the coverage in your policy is actual cash value. Homeowners policies also have limits on coverage for such items as jewelry, fine art and computer equipment. Read your policy and see what these limits are. For example, the standard policy will provide a maximum of $1,000 coverage for your jewelry if it is lost or stolen. If you have lots of jewelry, fine art or computer equipment, you should consider purchasing a special personal property endorsement or “floater” that provides the coverage you need.
Speaking of need, you need to take written and visual (still pictures or video) inventories of everything you own in your home and in other buildings on the property. Include all furniture (indoor and outdoor), appliances, stereos, computers and other electronic equipment, hobby materials and recreational equipment, china, silverware, kitchen equipment, linens, jewelry and clothing. For the major items (computers, televisions, stereo systems, etc.), write down the serial number, make or model number, purchase price, present value and date of purchase of each item. If you have the receipts for the items, attach them to the inventory. Make at least two copies of the inventory and store one of those copies offsite — a safe deposit box is a good place. Store the pictures or video of the inventory offsite as well. For a free copy of an inventory list contact our agency.
Insurance Insider Reveals Little-Known Secrets
10 Ways You Can Save $
on Your Homeowners Insurance — And Provide Better Protection for Yourself and the People You Love!
Your home is probably your most valuable asset. It is also a huge risk for you financially. What if something happens to it? A fire? A flood? Vandalism? What if someone visiting you slips, falls and suffers a serious injury? And sues you? An accident like that could put a dent — or worse — in your financial security.
For most people, insurance is a mystery. They know they need to have insurance for their homes (mortgage lenders require it), but they don’t understand the coverage provided by the policy. And they don’t know which insurance companies offer the best — the best! — prices. Because they don’t understand the product, many people think insurance is a rip-off, and it is — if you pay too much or buy coverage you don’t need
All homeowners insurance is not created equal. In fact, almost none of it is. There are thousands of different products out there, from hundreds of insurance companies. How do you find the insurance and the insurance company that are best for you? You read this special report and tap into my vast knowledge of the products and the companies that offer them.
I am an insurance “insider.” I know what kind of insurance fits your needs. And I know what insurance companies sell this kind of insurance at the best — lowest! — price. Because I’ve specialized in the insurance needs of homeowners and their families, I have decided to dedicate myself to solving for you some of the mysteries of homeowners insurance.
10 Ways to Save $
Now that you know the basics of a homeowners insurance policy, here are 10 ways you can pay less. In many cases, you can get the same level of coverage for fewer dollars.
- One Insurer, Multiple Policies — Do you have an automobile insurance policy? If so, is it with the same insurance company that provides your homeowners insurance? If the answer’s no, you’re paying too much — for both policies. Almost every insurance company that sells homeowners insurance wants its policyholders to also buy auto insurance from that company. These insurers offer so-called multi-policy discounts. Usually, these discounts are at least 10% — and some insurers apply the discounts to both the auto and the homeowners/renters policy.
- Raise Your Deductible — The deductible is the amount you pay before insurance kicks in if you have a claim. For example, if you have a $250 deductible and you file a claim for $1,000 in damage to your home, you pay the first $250 and your insurer pays the balance, $750. The higher the deductible you choose, the more you pay. Also, though, the higher deductible, the less you have to pay for your policy. Depending on the insurance company, you can save between 12% and 37% if you have a deductible of $500 to $5,000.
- For the rest of the top 10 ways contact us for a free special report. We would be thrilled to share.
Would you like fries with that?
We have all heard the familiar up sell at fast food counters, “would you like fries with that?” Whether you intended to get fries or not, the real drive behind the question is revenue for the added item. Today many companies are “bundling products” for competitive reasons and in most cases, the decision has great advantages to the consumer. When it comes to personal insurance in Florida, finding a company that bundles home and auto coverage in one policy is challenging. With many of the larger insurers limiting capacity for homeowner insurance policies, homeowners are forced to find coverage with carriers that may not offer auto insurance. The advantage can be lower premiums, but the disadvantage can mean two different carriers protecting your Home and Auto.
For the family that still prefers One Company, One policy, and One contact, we at Gilliland Insurance Group have an option for you, AAA Insurance. AAA Insurance offers the first and only combined home and auto insurance policy whose forms and rates have been approved by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. Call us for a complimentary quote.