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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.

The More You Know

Insurance can be one of the most confusing items in your life – but it shouldn’t be. If you know what questions to ask and can find someone to give you the right answers, you will find all the clarity you need. Here are some things we think you should know or ask in regards to various types of insurance:

What type of insurance do I need?
Once I have guaranteed replacement coverage for my home, do I need anything else?
If I have a home office/business, do I need any special insurance?
Does homeowner’s insurance cover me if, say, someone slips on my front steps, breaks a leg and sues me?
How do I decide the amount of coverage I want or need?
How much or how little is covered?
Should I just let the bank pick my policy?
How do I know if an item needs additional coverage?
Are all accidents in my home covered?
What discounts do I get if I have added safety features?
Is coverage for legal assistance included?
Is car insurance an absolute must?
What about life insurance?
How can I figure out how much life insurance I need?
Can I control the cost of coverage?
Does health insurance help if I’m sick or injured and laid up for a while?

There are so many other questions and items to consider for all of the various insurance you may need. We can answer all of those questions for you and give you the knowledge and control to enable you to make the most informed decisions.

The More You Know
The More You Know

American Dream

How would you describe the American Dream?

By definition, it is the ideal that every citizen of the United States should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative. The terms was originally coined in 1931 by writer and historian James Truslow in Epic of America. He wrote:
“The American Dream is that dream of a l and in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”

There are so many opportunities available to you for your own American Dream. Is what you have now what you dreamed it would be?
Regardless of the path you chose or are currently choosing in pursuit of your personal American Dream, you want to make sure you include insurance coverage and protection. For example, a big part of many people’s dream is to become a homeowner. You pinch pennies, tighten the budget, and save-save-save – finally you buy a home!!

Immediately – Get Homeowners Insurance! Homeowner’s insurance is a specific type of property insurance that protects your home against damages or to your possessions in the home. It also provides liability coverage against accidents in the home or on your property. So, if your buddy drinks a little too much, trips over your dog, and falls down the stairs – you are protected! However, ‘acts of god,’ war, aliens, earthquakes, floods, zombies, and many others are not covered and you may have to seek different policies for some of those items. You can’t just pick any homeowners policy. There are seven forms of homeowners insurance that offer various levels of protection depending on your needs. The best way to choose your level of coverage is to work with you insurance agent. They can evaluate your needs as a homeowner and recommend the best level of coverage.

There is so much more of your dream to protect than just your home. Evaluate where you are – where you are going – where you want to be – and get that insurance so your American Dream stays protected!

American Dream
American Dream

Homeowners Insurance

What is Homeowners Insurance?
Homeowners Insurance provides you with the coverage in case of a disaster. In the event of a disaster your homeowners insurance will provide you with financial protection. A homeowners insurance policy insures the home in which you live along with the possessions you keep in it.

Home Insurance is a Package Policy
Homeowners insurance is purchased in a package policy. A package policy means that it covers both damage to your property and your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage you or a member of your household cause to other people. Homeowners insurance also covers damage caused by household pets.

A homeowner’s insurance policy covers most disasters, however there are some exceptions such as floods, earthquakes and poor maintenance (Also known as wear and tear). If you want coverage for floods or earthquakes, you will have to purchase separate policies. However, maintenance related problems are the homeowner’s responsibility to take care of. In fact, keeping up with the maintenance of your home will help to reduce the likelihood of a loss in the future. A good example of this is the replacement of a roof that is showing signs of wear.

Overall it is very important to have homeowners insurance coverage that suits your specific needs. You never know when a loss is going to occur and you are going to need the money to fix it. Take Hurricane Katrina for example; there were many of people that were without homes because they didn’t have flood insurance. That is why it is very important that you get the proper coverage.

Remember that st andard homeowner’s policies do not cover flooding so you will have to purchase that separate through your homeowner’s insurance agent. Discuss all of the possible exposures with your agent, broker, or insurance company.

Replacement Cost
Replacement cost coverage is available for the structure of your home; This allows you to repair the home to the state that it was before the damage took place. Actual cash value coverage is replacement cost less depreciation. The older your possessions are, the less you will recover from the homeowners insurance company.

Renters Insurance
Not only is insurance coverage available for homeowners it is also available for the people who rent apartments or houses. If you rent a house and you have a renters insurance policy, you will be covered in the event of a loss. The coverage for a renter is relatively inexpensive and will cover your property, your liability, and loss of use of the home due to a covered loss.

Coverage Types
The st andard homeowner’s insurance policy includes four different types of coverage.
1) The coverage for the structure of your home is offered by the homeowner’s insurance company. This means that they will repair or rebuild your home in the event of a covered loss.
2) The coverage for your personal belongings that you have in your home is also covered by the homeowner’s insurance company. This means in the event of a claim that is covered by your insurance policy, your personal belongings will be able to be replaced. Note: It is a good idea to carry replacement cost coverage for your contents. This way, your items are not depreciated if there is a loss. With replacement cost coverage, your property can be replaced with items of like kind and quality.
3) Liability protection covers you in case of a law suit against bodily injury or property damage that you are your family members caused to another party.
4) Additional living expenses if you are temporarily unable to live in your home because of an insured disaster.

There can be more to a home insurance policy and there are limitations for certain types of property. It is best to discuss these options with a representative at the time your are applying for coverage.

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.

Getting A Homeowners Insurance Quote In Arizona

When looking for homeowners insurance in the state of Arizona there are a few things you should keep in mind:

How much to buy: Keeping in mind that the purpose of insurance is to transfer risk, you need to adequately protect your assets in the event of a catastrophic loss. You should insure your home for its proper value for maximum protection. Your house is a major investment, don’t scrimp on protecting it. Additionally, your mortgage company may have a set of insurance requirements you must adhere to.

Coverages: Know the difference between All Risk and Named Peril coverage. All risk is broader and will cover all risks subject to policy exclusions. On the other h and, Named Perils will cover only the perils named (i.e., fire, lightening, windstorm). All risk may cost a little more, but it’s worth it to protect your home.

Valuation: To protect our investment, replacement cost coverage pays the amount it will take to replace your home with the same kind and/or quality. Actual Cash value depreciates the purchase price of your home. ACV premiums may be cheaper, but replacement cost will return your home to it’s pre-loss value.

Rates: Rates are affect by factors such as:

· Type of construction: frame houses usually cost more than brick houses to insure.

· Age of house: Newer homes may qualify for discounts that older homes may not be privy to.

· Fire Protection: How far is your house from a fire hydrant or a fire department? The availability of water in the event of a fire is also taken into consideration when determining rate.

· Deductible: The higher the deductible you can withst and, the more of a premium discount you’ll enjoy

If you would like more information, or if you have a complaint you may contact the Arizona Department of Insurance

Consumers Affairs Division
2910 North 44th Street
Suite 210
Phoenix, Arizona 85018-7256

Get Your Self The Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Now- The Next Storm Is On Its Way

Last year had turned disastrous for Florida. The whole world was deeply saddened with the aftermath of Katrina and prayed for the victims.

But prayers are not enough; you must show some result-oriented work. To cope with the natural calamities you should make your home insured by purchasing the cheapest homeowners insurance.

Cost of homeowners insurance can range from 500 USD per year to 2000 USD. The amount of homeowners insurance, you receive after filing a claim depends on the value of reconstruction of your home, interior property, jewelry, electronics, furniture and clothing.

Some insurance companies work in cooperation with the security companies and are ready to provide you discount if you choose their associated security company for the security of your home.

Home insurance companies also offer you discount if you install surveillance cameras or motion sensors in home.

Installing fire resistant doors and carbon monoxide detectors can also help in getting a discount of $50 per year. But the main thing is you have to know which company is providing discount because not all companies offer such discounts.

The final method to get a home insurance discount benefit is to belong to a group of a club. If you are a senior citizen means elder than 62 years then you can receive a senior citizen discount.

Many home insurance companies offer discount if you buy two or more insurance policies from the same company.

More than 35% of fire disasters are due to smoking habits. If all your family members are non-smokers then home insurance company can offer you discount.

It is important that you also browse the net to find the cheapest home insurance policy in your locality. By doing a little bit of research work you can find the cheapest best homeowners insurance. Don’t forget to consult a professional if you are not confident.

Florida Homeowners Insurance Coverage

2005 marked a record year for hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, with weather reporters resorting to using the Greek Alphabet to come up with names for hurricanes and tropical storms headed towards the United States. Unfortunately a few of these hurricanes, including Dennis, Katrina and Wilma causes major destruction on both the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico sides of Florida.

Because Florida is right in the midst of hurricane alley for nearly half the year, finding affordable Homeowners insurance coverage is nearly impossible for most homeowners and sustaining and repaying those Homeowners insurance policies is just as impossible for the actual insurance companies.

For quite some time, in the 1980s and 1990s, many Florida residences were covered by the state run insurance company, called the Residential Joint Underwriting Association. Only recently have large private Homeowners insurance companies, like Allstate, begun taking on homeowners insurance policies in sections of Florida, along the coastlines and in the southern part of the state, where hurricanes are more likely to occur.

Whether going through the state run RJU association or going through a private home insurance agency, there is no question that Homeowners insurance will be extremely expensive anywhere near the coast in Florida. The same home in Ohio may cost three times less to insure than it would on the coast of Florida, simply because of all the added coverage for hurricane season.

Since most basic insurance policies only cover certain natural disasters that could occur anywhere in the country, most often hurricane damage is not included in this policy. For that reason, Florida homeowners have to go about purchasing extra hurricane insurance to make sure their home will be covered in case hit by one of these ocean storms.

A law was recently passed in 2005 in Florida that requires plain language on insurance policies so that homeowners can easily underst and the terms of their policy without being confused by the heavy jargon. Before this, many Florida homeowners were left to fend for themselves or to apply for Federal or Florida aid because many did not realize that even hurricane insurance often does not include flood damage.

Of course this can be tricky to distinguish and this is where many homeowners found themselves at a loss. Even if the flooding is caused by a storm surge of rising water from the hurricane, this is not covered by the hurricane because it is not considered damage due to the high winds or rain of the storm, but is instead caused by the ocean waters rising.

If Florida homeowners are in an area that could be considered a storm surge area, usually even up to 25 feet from the ocean, then they need to consider also including flood insurance as a separate clause to their Homeowners insurance. Be sure to discuss with your insurance agent exactly what types of water damage are covered in the hurricane insurance policy and the flood policy to make sure you are covered from all angles when encountering a hurricane.

Currently legislation is in the works that will limit the amount of surcharges that Florida homeowners can be charged to help prevent price gouging because of the area that Floridians live in. If legislation is passed, this will help level out private and public insurance rates for Floridians, making it easier to acquire insurance from year to year even though they live in an extremely high risk area.

If you are a new resident of Florida and have moved to the state between the months of June and November, hurricane season, you may not be able to acquire hurricane insurance for the first season, as many insurance companies put a block on new hurricane insurance policies until after hurricane season is over.

This is to prevent those who may just acquire the insurance temporarily and then get rid of it after hurricane season is over. Before closing on the home, consider adding the current Homeowners policy into the contract on the home to ensure that you will be covered for the first season. If this is not possible, you may be able to find insurance to cover a hurricane but it could cost a pretty penny.

Florida Homeowners Insurance – Soon Or Else It Will Be Too Late

If you are living in an area like Florida where floods, hurricanes or tornados invade frequently, you have to prepare yourself to face the challenges. Life would be devastatingly tough if you are not prepared.

It is sure you cannot fight the forces of nature but you can protect yourself from economic devastation with homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance can be a blessing during natural calamities or in time of need.

Here are some tips to buy an affordable homeowners insurance in the Florida State:

Make a search: To find a reputed and affordable Florida homeowners insurance, you should shop around. You are recommended to contact all local brokers or insurance agents to know the different home insurance policies provided by them. Today, many home insurance companies have their own websites; you can browse the net and request for home insurance quote. After collecting the entire information make a comparative study to get the best deal. If you are not sure of the policies you can take help of a reliable agent.

Only home insurance comparison is not enough, you should perform a home insurance rate comparison as well. However, home insurance rates do not differ a lot but some companies do provide discounts. You can get a cheaper home insurance by using these discounts. Some home insurance companies offer discounts to senior citizens. If your age is more than 62 years then you can avail the discount offer. These discounts help you to save 10-15% per year.

Installing your home with modern equipments like burglar alarms, deck-bolt locks, home video camera, fire alarms, carbon monoxide detector and smoke detector can also fetch you a discount.

But do not over bargain homeowners insurance. Always remember that you are living in an area, which is prone to hurricane. Therefore always keep an eye on the various coverage offered by your local home insurance agents.

Finding The Best Arizona Home Insurance

To find a right home insurance is not an easy job. You should take certain steps to find better Homeowners Insurance. Here are some guidelines, which will help you in finding the best Arizona home insurance, if you are residing in or around Arizona.

1. Estimate the total reconstruction cost of your home. Here are some factors, which will decide the cost to rebuilt your home.

a. Local construction costs.
b. The style of the house (colonial, ranch)
c. The square footage of the structure.
d. The type of exterior wall construction.
e. Number of rooms in your house
f. Cost of masonry, frame or veneer.
g. The type of roof.

2. Shop Around

Get information about homeowners insurance from various sources like relatives, friends, phone book and Internet. Do a comparison of all the collected data. While comparing any two companies don’t consider the price alone. Look for other benefits as well.Choose an insurer who offers both excellent service and fair price. Choose a reputed company with excellent financial rating.

3. Buy more than one policy from the same insurer

If you buy homeowners insurance along with auto insurance from the same company then the company can take 10 to 12 percent off your premium.

4. Improve Your Home Security and Safety

Install burglar alarm, smoke detector or dead bolt lock. Some homeowners insurance companies are associated with security companies and if you install security device in your home they can deduct your premium by 20 to 22 percent.

5. Look For Private Insurance First

If you are residing in areas that are vulnerable to fire, costal storms or don’t buy a government insurance without making some study. It is better to check with a private company representative or insurance agent. Some times private insurance companies provide better options in low price.

You can even apply for online home insurance quotes. Since your home is located in Arizona, you can apply for Arizona homeowners insurance. Online application is faster and saves a lot of your time to finding the best home insurance.