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Homeowners insurance in California

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Homeowners insurance in California

Will my homeowners insurance policy be non-renewed?

The California Department of Insurance provides insurance companies with the ability to review risks and exposures each year to ensure they conform to their current underwriting guidelines. In 2018 alone, there were over 8,527 fires that destroyed over 1,893,913 acres. There is a possibility that due to these losses, your homeowner insurance policy may be non-renewed by your carrier, if it no longer meets the eligibility guidelines they file with the state and have approved by the Department of Insurance.

Will the premium I am paying on my homeowner insurance policy increase?

Premiums are determined based on various factors including the size of your home, year built, the amount of insurance you have, the location of your home, your loss history, as well as the overall claims exposure and paid losses your insurance company has had.  As of May 2019, insurance claims paid out due to the 2018 wildfires exceeded $12,000,000,000.  Based on the catastrophic nature of these losses and claims paid, you should expect the rate you pay for your homeowner insurance to increase.

What is a non-admitted insurance company?

A non-admitted insurance company is an insurance company that has not filed its rates and underwriting guidelines with the California Department of Insurance and therefore is not licensed to provide insurance products in the state. Note that not licensed does not mean unregulated and such insurers can nevertheless write coverage through excess and surplus lines brokers licensed in the state. They must meet certain criteria to become an approved non-admitted market in the state and be allowed to offer policies.  You may see a list of insurance companies that are approved by checking on the Department of Insurance’s List of Approved Surplus Lines Insurers (LASLI) list. 

What does the California FAIR Plan Association cover?

The California FAIR Plan is an insurance association comprised of all insurers authorized to transact basic property insurance in California. It was established under Insurance Code statute Section 10091 in August of 1968 to offer coverage to high-risk homeowners who have trouble obtaining coverage through another insurer.  It has no public funding or taxpayers’ monies and is not a state agency.  Arguably, it is stronger than any single insurer since it has the financial backing of all admitted insurance companies writing property insurance in California.  Some of the coverage that is available from FAIR plan is fire, lightning, smoke, and internal explosion. Optional coverage may also be purchased when available for windstorm or hail, explosion, riot, aircraft, vehicles and v andalism or malicious mischief.  Most notable omissions from a FAIR Plan policy include but are not limited to liability insurance, workers comp coverage, water damage coverage and theft of property.

What is a DIC insurance policy?

When discussing an insurance policy in California, a DIC policy st ands for Difference in Conditions.  It is an endorsement or amendment to a st andard or preferred homeowners insurance policy that removes the peril of fire from the covered causes of loss list.  A DIC policy is purchased in conjunction with a fire policy from the California FAIR Plan Association in order to add in the liability, workers comp, water damage and theft coverage.  The two policies go h and in h and to provide coverage for consumers who are unable to secure a st andard homeowner policy in the marketplace.

Flood Preparation

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States and can happen anywhere at any time.  It may happen with only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop. While it can happen without notice, there are some areas that are more prone to flooding.  The physical damage caused by flooding depends on the speed and level of the water, the duration, terrain, and environment.  It can cause fatalities and serious injuries, wreck transportation routes, cause power outages may be disrupted, contaminate drinking water, and collapse homes and buildings. Even a few inches can cause thous ands of dollars in damage.

There are steps you can take to prepare for flooding and to minimize your losses.

 

Safeguard your possessions and start by creating a personal flood file in a waterproof deposit box or container. Be sure to include:

A copy of your insurance policies

A household inventory for insurance purposes

Copies of all important documents, including finance records or receipts of major purchases

 

Prepare your house by making sure you always have battery operated back-up to all electronic items, keep your home and gutter clear of debris, raise all electrical components, move all valuables to a safe place.

 

Most importantly, you want to develop a family emergency plan.  Always create a kit to include water, canned food, first aid, blankets, a radio, and a flashlight. Be aware of all emergency contact numbers, plan an evacuation route, and be sure to have a plan for your pets as well.

While you are at it- -update that flood insurance policy!

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Home Owners Insurance Rates – Get Low Rates And Save Money

Wouldn’t you love to know how insurance companies come up with your home insurance rates? Maybe you wouldn’t after you underst and what all is involved. The whole concept of insurance started as a benevolent community partnership. Life insurance was the pioneer. When a member of the community passed away the friends and neighbors of that community would drop some money in a hat to help the deceased family give their loved one a proper burial. All insurance is based on the combined giving of local communities. The communities are bigger today and the hat has now become the insurance company. Home insurance rates are calculated by fiduciaries. These folks will add up all of the premiums remitted to the insurance company from a community and will compare it with the number of claims paid from that particular community. These geographical areas are called territories by most insurance companies. When the claims are less and the cost to recover a claim is stable then your rates will be lower. When claims are high and the cost to rebuild and recover is high then your rates will be higher. That is the simplified explanation of how home insurance rates are derived. There are investment factors and many other variables that raise and lower rates also.

Why Shop for Better Home Insurance Rates?

1. Comparing is Easy – It’s not difficult to get a homeowner’s insurance rate. Make sure that you have your declarations page so that you get the apples to apples quote.

2. Comparing is Smart – The worst thing that you can discover is that you have good rates with your present company.

3. Comparing is Leverage – If you like your present insurance company and your agent then a comparison quote from another company will make them work that much harder to keep your business.

There is no better buy in the insurance market than the home insurance policy. Shopping online for rates is one of the easiest methods for comparing rates. Take the time. You will learn a lot the first time shopping online.

Home Owners Insurance Online – The Internet Proves To Be The Cheapest Source For Insurance

Shopping for home insurance online is easy. There are a ton of websites that make it so easy to enter the proper information in order to give you an accurate quote. The home policy has less required information than the auto policy. Auto insurance depends so much on extensive driver and vehicle information. The homeowner policy depends on some basic information. The most important calculation is the actual square footage of your home. When you shop online they will want this information.

Insurance companies need this because they use various calculators to determine building costs per square footage. The online quote has a questionnaire that needs completed that will ask you some other valuable information that helps determine the replacement value of your home. Air conditioning and fireplaces increase property replacement values. The size of your deck or patio is also considered when determining the insurance amount. There are questions about your garage location. Finished basements increase the replacement value and the online quote will often ask you the percentage of your basement that is finished.

Prior insurance is important when shopping for insurance coverage for a home that you have been residing in for a while. You will be asked about your present insurance. Having insurance is a must when comparison shopping because it is stability and credit factor that will make the risk more acceptable for the insurance company. If you want personal items insured on a rider of some kind then you will most likely need proof of their value. Jewelry riders require recent appraisals and or receipts to prove their worth.

The online quote process may reveal something about your present coverage that you were unaware of. You may find that after you complete a replacement cost estimator with several companies that your home is either under insured or over insured. This is one of the great benefits of shopping online. It enables you to do some of your own research. Shop for homeowner’s insurance online. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Home Owner’s Insurance Policy – Learn More And Save Money

We buy insurance all of our life. We sometimes do it indiscriminately. There are times when people will buy a home and the homeowner’s insurance policy is just something that is needed to make the closing run smooth. The home policy protects the largest asset that most of us will ever purchase and so it makes sense to learn the basics. The Homeowner’s policy has multiple benefits and features and is probably the best and most affordable policy that we will ever purchase. There is clearly a misconception about what homeowner’s insurance covers and what it does not cover. The homeowner’s policy protects us our home against perils. Perils are unforeseen events like fire or explosions. The home policy does not cover maintenance problems. This is where the misunderst anding begins. Deterioration or poor craftsmanship buy a tradesman is not covered under the homeowner’s policy. That kind of blanket coverage would make the homeowner’s policy unaffordable.

The homeowner insurance policy is very comprehensive. It protects all of your personal property along with the dwelling. Most policies are written on a replacement cost basis. That means that in the event of a total loss that your home and all of its contents will be replaced with like kind and quality of materials. Shopping for a homeowner’s policy is so much easier. Make sure that you have your current declarations page. You can either go online or contact a local agent. It is better to combine an auto and home quote to get the multi-policy discounts available.

There are a lot of additional riders that you can purchase on a homeowner’s policy. If you have items like jewelry, fine arts, and collectibles then you can schedule them with an all risk type of coverage. There are a lot of new endorsed benefits like identity theft and home day care coverage. The homeowner insurance policy is one of the most important insurance purchases you will ever make. Don’t sell yourself short. Explore all the possibilities when covering your assets. Use higher deductibles to lower the overall premium so that you can cover some of your most valued assets with scheduled riders.

Home Owner Insurance Company – Some Hints And Tips And A Couple Of Recommendations

The insurance market is very competitive. Insurance companies are trading policyholders every year. A lot of people are upset with their rates and so they begin to shop in the insurance company jungle. There are the familiar names and the not so familiar names. Insurance companies have a tremendous responsibility and their margin for profit is always under siege because of the cost of doing business. How does the average consumer evaluate a homeowner insurance company? The answer is that you can’t. That is somebody else’s job. Insurance for us is very personal. Insurance companies try to make it personal but sometimes that is impractical and impossible. The best way to choose an insurance company is to first determine how you want to do business. Do you like personal service and consultation? If you do then you need to purchase your insurance from an insurance agent. If you like the speed of online and telephone purchases then by all means use the cyber world and the 800 number insurance companies.

The insurance company to most people is the agent. The agent is their connection and representative. Most people will either love or hate their insurance company based on their experience with their agent. Companies still love to do business with agents. It’s hard to do business without an agent sometimes. They usually have a staff that assists them in servicing their policyholders. They are involved in the same community with their customers and so there is a bond between them. If you want to do business with an agent then compare home insurance companies that use agents. Ask around. Get a recommendation.

There are more and more folks that want to bypass the agent and do their business on line or with customer service representatives at call centers. If this is your preferable method then you need to compare insurance companies that operate strictly online or by telephone. There are rating guides available that will help you determine the financial strength of each company. The AM Best insurance resource guide is probably the best.

Home Inventory: Important Tips For Making One

Every home needs a home inventory updated at least once a year. Homeowners who live in hurricane stricken areas like Florida, coastal regions of Alabama or Louisiana and Texas are used to putting together a home inventory on a regular basis, but for those homeowners who live in the Midwest or in regions of the country without hurricane season abounding, they may think there is no need for a home inventory. This just is not the case!

No matter what part of the country you live in, a home inventory is a must have because fire, flood, and wind or tornado damage as well as theft or lost property can happen to anyone at any time. Not having your home inventoried can make the process of dealing with insurance agents an absolute nightmare, especially if you are trying to visualize from memory everything that was lost, damaged or stolen in your home while speaking to an insurance agent on the phone. The best bet for making sure your household goods are replaced to the fullest extent, is to keep some type of home inventory to help better replace these items.

There are several different ways to inventory the belongings in a home. Of course one of the easiest ways to inventory items is to get a notebook and pen and walk from room to room writing down anything that would or should be replaced in case of damage or loss. Inventorying items this way can be time consuming, but allows for everything in the room to be examined and approximate values to be determined, which should be included on an inventory list. The next step up from pen and paper would be to write the home inventory on a Microsoft excel spreadsheet or simply in a Microsoft Word file.

If the means are available for more hi-tech versions of inventorying home items, this is probably the best option. Simply turn the date and time stamp on the 35mm or digital camera and go from room to room taking pictures of each room, labeling the pictures with item information once the pictures have been developed.

Many homeowners also use video cameras to go around the house recording what each room looks like at a certain time and date. This is a great way to get a live action shot of what the material items look like at present and can easily be h anded over to an insurance company.

A few tips to keep in mind when creating an inventory is to always keep receipts for major purchases and store these with the home inventory. The more you can estimate for the Homeowners insurance company the price and date an item was paid for, the more likely a price near that cost will be given back for repayment. If possible, it is also best to write down where the item was purchased at, the model number and a manufacturer’s name.

As well, it is important to always note the date and time on the inventory, and this is why using a still or video camera is a great idea. Although the Homeowners insurance company is supposed to be on the side of the insured, they will be estimating costs at a minimum to save themselves money. So be smart about a home inventory, so that items will be replaced at full cost and in a timely manner.

Remember that it is not necessary to inventory items that would not be missed if they are lost or damaged, such as a paperback novel or a $10 pair of flip-flops, but if you are a book collector who has an extensive collection of antique books or a shoe collector who has hundreds of dollars worth of shoes, be sure to inventory these items.

Of course large items like furniture, artwork, appliances, electronics, large sports equipment, and large outdoor equipment should absolutely be inventoried. It is probably wise to also inventory or at least photograph clothes, home interior accessories, tool sets, kitchenware, and even workout equipment, but the major rule of thumb is to know the value of your own personal property to determine if it is worth adding to a home inventory list.

After the home inventory is created it should be placed somewhere other than the home. This could be stored at a family member or neighbor’s home, although the safest place for a home inventory list is in a safety deposit box or a fire and flood proof security box.

Home Insurance Rates – They Are Not Getting Any Cheaper

With more and more home insurance rates increasing dramatically, homeowners are wondering if the costs are even worth the coverage. The fact is that you should always keep homeowners insurance. Your home is likely your largest investment. Therefore, it is extremely important to make sure it stays insured. You would never drive around in your car without insurance, so don’t live in your home without insurance. Tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes are things that are rarely predicted with much warning, so home insurance is vital. To get better home insurance rates, consider these tips.

Anytime you do things that will protect your home more, your home insurance rate will likely decrease. You don’t have to do anything drastic to get the decrease, but you do need to prove to your insurance company that your improvements are helping to protect your home better. One thing many people choose to do is install a home alarm system. Most home insurance companies will lower your rates if you have a working home alarm system. You can get one installed professionally, or visit your local home safety store for a do-it-yourself kit.

Another thing you can do is update your home’s structural components. For instance, if you live in a hurricane zone, you may want to consider adding a hurricane roof to your home. These safety roofs are designed to hold up much better during natural disasters. Your home insurance rates may decrease after adding something like this to your home.

If you are thinking of improving your home in order to get lower home insurance rates, you might want to contact your insurance company before you make any changes. Find out what improvements will allow your rate to decrease and focus on those changes. Your insurance company will be happy to work with you on planning the most appropriate changes. After all, they want to see your home stay in shape as much as you want to.

Home Insurance Rates

Insurance premiums are calculated according to several risk factors. These are the factors identified by the insurance company as most likely to have an impact on the insured against risk occurring. Insurance is a significant cost associated with the item insured and should not be rushed into. It is always a good idea to shop around for the best price available. Insurance premiums will vary considerably from insurer to insurer so do your homework.

Shopping Around

Look up the various insurance companies you are interested in and ask them for a quote. They can usually give you a rough estimate fairly quickly and even more exact quotes should also be possible if you provide more details and wait. You should also look up insurers online and get instant quotes from their website. This is a very fast and effective way of shopping around. You will get a good idea of what prices to expect. You can also experiment with the quotation websites to see what effect it makes to your premium price if you select different options. With all insurance policies you will have a number of options that affect the price of the policy. Therefore you should think about these options and if there are risks that you do not wish to cover then let the insurer know as your premium should become cheaper.

Doubling Up

You should also try to make sure you do not double insure. It is a principle of insurance that you cannot benefit from the insured event’s occurrence. So you cannot get paid twice even if you have two insurance policies. So if a risk is already covered by one policy, again let your insurer know so they can remove it from their calculation.

Location, Location, Location

Home insurance rates depend on factors such as address. If your home is located in an are of high crime, or an area that flood often, or is prone to earthquakes, hurricanes or other significant risks, this will be reflected in the policy price. The security you have installed will also affect the premium you must pay. If you have a sophisticated security system this will obviously make your home safer and this will reduce the risk. Similarly, fire alarm systems and sprinklers can decrease your premium. In some areas, flood prevention measures may be taken into account. The size and value of your home will be another important factor, as clearly a more expensive home will cost more if it is damaged.

Many home insurance policies will require you not to leave the home unoccupied, and if you are renting out the home, this will also affect the premium.

Home Insurance Rate – What To Look For When Shopping

Homeowner insurance premiums are on the rise. There was a time when the home policy was the best and least expensive of all the property and casualty insurances. The homeowner policy is under attack. There are many more exposures than ever before. Toxic mold has caused some real problems in some areas of the country and caused the premiums to rise dramatically. Some states exclude coverage for toxic mold entirely. Natural disasters have had an affect on rates. The recent barrage of hurricanes has caused supply shortages and these shortages increase the dem and and the price for repairs. These expenses are passed on to the policyholders eventually.

The rates are calculated by insurance company fiduciaries. They look at the cost of claims and the cost of doing business and compare it to the company revenue to come up with your rate. You have no control over how the companies derive their rates. They have to get approval from their state insurance departments before setting rates or increases. They cannot arbitrarily come up with a figure.

What Can You Do?

1.Underst and Your Policy – Make sure that you know what kind of policy that you have right now. If you are making your first purchase then you need to research the kind of policy that you want. Replacement cost or Actual Cash value are your two major choices. Replacement Cost policies replace your structure or contents with material of like kind or quality with no depreciation. The actual cash value policy settles your loss by taking the replacement cost and subtracting depreciation because of age or use.

2.Self Insure – The best way to purchase insurance is to self-insure by using the highest deductible that you can afford. Homeowner policies have a much lower frequency of claims as compared to auto insurance. Low deductibles no longer justify the higher premium.

Use your declarations page when you comparison shop and make sure that you receive all the discounts. Multi-policy, protective device discounts, and retirement discounts are available on almost all homeowner policies. Check our recommended insurers for rates.

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