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Protecting What’s Valuable

When you look down, so you see a beautiful, sparkling diamond on your finger? Perhaps there is an amazing piece of jewelry hanging around your neck? Maye you have heirloom earring that always catch everyone’s attention? How about one-of-a kind fur coat, silver serving utensils, or unique patterned china?

Maybe your most prized possessions differ from that list, but regardless of what they are, they need to be insured. I am sure you would be devastated to lose any of those items, but knowing you have at least some protection will provide you with HUGE piece of mind.

Don’t just consider getting valuable items insurance – actually get it!

Okay – you might be thinking to yourself that you already have homeowner’s insurance and/or renters insurance. That is great and you should have those policies, but often times even those policies have limits on coverage – especially if there is theft.  A major dispute can erupt between you and the insurance company if your home gets damaged and the property inside, including the valuables, aren’t properly documented and inventoried.  While you can’t replace one-of-a-kind items, there is still opportunity for you to receive some sort of financial payout for the valuables lost.

This type of insurance offers additional protection for your most valuable possessions – diamond rings, fin art, collections, and more. The coverage provides the protection you need if there is loss through theft, accident or natural disaster. There is usually some type of coverage for such items offered for personal property under the typical homeowner’s policy.  However, that inclusion to the basic policy may not cover some types of loss that may be important to you. Most homeowner’s policies set dollar limits on the amount of protection offered.  It is optional to you to get add-on coverage to the homeowners and expanded protection for special property.

You can get Floater Insurance – A type of insurance that covers property that is easily movable and provides additional coverage over what normal insurance policies do not. This can cover anything from jewelry to expensive equipment.  You can also look at getting Blanket Insurance which is a single policy on an insured property that covers more than one type of property at the same location, the same kind of property at more than one location, or two or more kinds or property at two or more locations.

If you still feel like your valuable items aren’t protected enough, then you need to seriously speak to your insurance agent (SUSMAN!) about getting a specific policy for those items.

Protect Your Valuables
Protect Your Valuables

Computer Insurance

Investing in a personal computer is not less an amount. It is next only to investing in a house or a car. So, it’s not unwise an idea to insure your computer and its allied accessories like peripherals and software. However, how much coverage you get for what accessory depends on individual market offer. There are several threats your computer might face. Such as virus attack, data corruption, system crashing down, peripheral malfunctioning and many more. Thus, it is important for you to protect your investment by proper insurance coverage. There are certain aspects of computer insurance you must know.

Coverage under homeowner or renter’s policy

In most of the cases if you have homeowner or renter’s policy your home accessories and assets are also covered in that and so is your computer. It is covered against all the threats and disasters listed in the policy. Thus, if your computer gets stolen or gutted in fire you can claim for the damages. However, your computer gets covered only for the amount listed in your policy.

Replacement cost and actual cash value

Though replacement cost is 10 percent more expensive as compared to Actual cash value, keeping in mind that things depreciate fast, this is a very wise move. The reimbursement you get on replacement cost is the same as the current cost of your computer and not the petty depreciated cost you would get with actual cash value policy.

Coverage for Laptop and portable computer

Laptop and portable computers are considered personal possessions away from home under the homeowners or renter’s policy. Thus, they are also covered under this policy. However, there is a dollar limit on personal possession that are stolen or damaged away from home.

Computers don’t only get covered under the homeowners or renter’s policy. A number of insurance companies offer individual insurance policies for computers as well. It is important to remember that when you buy a computer insurance policy you must retain the receipt of the policy as well as that of the computer and its peripherals very carefully.

Computer insurance is vital for students, business professionals, small business owners, schools, home users with heavy usage and many more people who use computers for their critical applications. Computer insurance does not cover certain items such as maintenance costs, electrical or mechanical breakdown, wear and tear, fraud and dishonesty, consequential loss, and loss or damage caused by sonic bangs. However, they are well covered under the warranty/extended warranty of the equipment.

Cheap Home Owner Insurance – Self Insure And Save Money

The whole concept of insurance revolves around protecting the assets of an individual from financial loss due to an unpredictable event. The reason that we purchase insurance is to protect ourselves from financial disasters. We rely upon the insurance company to take on the risk in exchange for the premiums that we pay. The average consumer spends very little time thinking about insurance purchases. The insurance professional is expected to do most of the thinking for us and advise us on what is best.

There is a simple principle that can be applied to almost all of your property and casualty insurance purchases that will save you premium dollars. Self insuring is that principle. The smart insurance shopper eventually grasps the concept of self insurance. The whole idea around self insurance is using deductible options and eliminating unnecessary coverage. The days of the $100 Collision deductible on auto insurance is fading fast and it should. The higher deductible saves you in premium dollars. That is what we call self insuring. When you change your deductible from $100 to $500 you are taking on the risk for the first $500 of physical damage. You can do the same on the homeowner’s policy. You will lower your premium and still be covered for any major loss.

You will save a ton of money in the long run. You don’t have enough claims over a lifetime to warrant having a low deductible. You are paying the insurance company money for services they may never perform. You will save thousands of dollars by keeping your deductibles $500 or higher.

There are a lot of optional coverage’s in auto and homeowners insurance that you may want to eliminate to save money. Most states have tort options. Tort is your right to sue. Full tort verses limited tort can sometimes be a difference of 20% in your auto insurance premium. Rental reimbursement and towing benefits are added onto auto insurance all the time. You may want to self insure for these and save premium dollars as well.

The insurance purchase can be easier and more affordable if you can grasp the mindset of self insuring. Your agent will welcome your thinking on this because most agents think self insurance is best for their customers.

Did The Ground Just Move?

I will begin this article by saying that I am originally from Texas. Texas is quite different in culture than California. We do have insurance there though. I will get to that later, I hope. I have had the privilege to travel quite extensively, and as far as the United States is concerned, I have spent more time in California than I have in any other state. I love California. In fact, my favorite City in America (outside of my hometown of Houston) is San Francisco. Sorry, I know all of my friends in Los Angeles are going, “What?” I love the Bay Area. The climate is unbelievable and the culture is simply amazing.

Don’t worry, although my mind tends to wonder, I am going somewhere with this. There is one problem I have with California; the ground moves. For those of you that are native Californians, you are going, “Yeah, and?” It is crazy; I just said that the ground moves and you are sitting there like, “What’s the big deal?” I can’t believe its just be me. There has to be someone else out there that thinks there is something serious wrong with the ground moving. See, we have earthquakes in Texas. I know that shocks some of you, but we do. The difference is that they are so small that we don’t even know that they have occurred until we receive word on the news.

In California, no one has to alert you of your earthquakes. Everyone knows when an earthquake is occurring in California. The ground moves and cracks open. Buildings and structures collapse. There are power outages, and a whole lot more. With the damage that can be caused by earth quakes, the need for insurance is evident. One thing about natural disasters is that they don’t have socioeconomic or cultural preferences. Everyone in the impact zone of an earthquake will be affected. Those in Malibu, Beverly Hills and Pacific Palisades will be impacted in the same way as those in Compton and South Central Los Angeles.

We don’t need earthquake insurance in Texas, but we definitely need flood insurance. Houston is notorious for flooding. Any city where a couple hours of rain can produce flooding so bad that people are literally jet skiing on the express way has serious issues. Yes, we have hurricane season and the occasional tornado (a good old fashion storm shelter normally does the trick), but we don’t have to deal with the ground moving. Where in the world do you hide when the ground is moving? I’ve been told to stand in doorways because that is the strongest part of the structure. Maybe you did not hear me; the ground is moving. I tell you the ground is moving and you tell me to stand in the doorway; really?

How can people in California be so laid back when there could be an earthquake at any morning? In Texas, we at least have storm watches and warnings. As far as I know, there are no earthquake warnings. It just happens. Well, thank God for property insurance. By the way, you guys have got to come up with a better response to an earthquake than stand in the doorway.

My Bank Makes Me Buy Homeowner’s Insurance

I just acquired ownership of a new house and the bank told me I had to buy homeowner’s insurance on the house. Homeowner’s insurance is expensive, and I just do not need more expenses. This house cost me enough. Where does all this end? I stood up to the bank and refused to bow to their stupid rules and buy expensive homeowner’s insurance.

Do you know what that darn mortgage company did? They went forward and put hazard coverage on my house, and I have to pay it. They gave me some stupid story that there are no guarantees that my house will not be destroyed in a weather related incident or by a fire at some point and they want to protect their interest and be able to get their money back in the event the house is destroyed. They did not even insure my possessions.

This drove me to examine homeowner’s insurance and what I found was it was a lot less expensive, so they forced me to buy a private policy because theirs was too expensive. My house and possessions are now covered. If someone is injured on my property and I am sued, I am protected. If my house becomes destroyed, I am covered. If I lose my job, my payments are paid for me.

I guess I made a big mistake by not buying homeowner’s insurance in the beginning. Do not make my mistake. Buy your homeowner’s insurance today.

Why I Love Homeowners Insurance

Most of us are insurance to death and hate insurance. However, I am one that loves my homeowners insurance and so does my mortgage corporation. My mortgage company will not let me have my home if I do not have protection on my house. This is the only way they are going to get their Almighty Dollar back that I loaned from them if some unfortunate circumstance destroys my house.

I have charged too many possessions to risk having them destroyed in a fire or by an act of God before I get my charge cards paid off.

Little did we know that when we bought our home we had some shady characters as neighbors? I am glad that our home protects us from break-ins and theft.

The zone we bought our home in is also in an area that is frequented by weather calamities, like a tornado and flood zone. There are no worries for us because we have a flood and wind endorsement on our homeowner’s policy.

One neighbor we have brags about all the lawsuits he has won. A slip and fall accident by him on our property would not be good news. Our homeowner’s protects us from injuries on our property.

I love my homeowner’s insurance. It gives me peace of mind and security for all mishaps.

Considering the Cost of Home Insurance Before You Buy

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The National Association of Realtors and the Insurance Information Institute strongly recommend that homebuyers obtain information on a home’s condition through reports such as "CLUE" and "A+." These reports provide a history of home loss history reports for the previous five years and help determine the amount of your home insurance premiums once the property is purchased. In other words, the projected cost of insuring your new home in Toluca Lake should be a key factor in choosing which property to buy, not just a final detail to be taken care of before closing.

All parties are said to win with loss reports. The seller is helped to demonstrate full disclosure, the buyer knows the property history and estimated insurance costs and insurance companies are helped to manage costs and keep rates stable.

Get a proposal and more information here.

Is My Computer Covered By My Homeowner’s Insurance?

The required response to this question in order to obtain a license to sell insurance in most US states is, “Maybe.” The second required insurance agent phrase now follows. “It depends…”

I can, however, give you one absolute answer hardly tarnished by any hint of equivocation. And that is “No! Your computer will not be covered by your homeowners’ insurance when you find those pictures of your husband’s ex-girlfriend in that unmarked folder and opt to toss the entire system through the second-story window of your shared study. (The window probably won’t be covered either). Your computer also won’t be covered if it floats in a flood or if an errant piece of Sputnik targets it as it sits on your desk, either.

You might have a claim, though; had you reported that your neighbor’s dog attacked the system.

Here’s when the “insurance speak” begins. It depends. It depends on your coverage, how your computer is damaged or missing, how old the computer is, how much it cost, maybe how much it would cost to replace, whether your policy contains a replacement cost endorsement, who wrote your policy and how much of a deductible you chose when you purchased your policy.

But you aren’t the first person to ask this question. Indeed, according to a May 22nd report 2012 for 2011 claims, Enservio, reported that electronics comprised the second most expensive contents-loss category with a 13 percent Replacement Cost Value (RCV) as determined by the dollar value percent of total claims. Approximately 65 percent of the electronic claims were for loss by theft and claims including this category rose by 15 percent last year. Way back in 2002, when personal computers weighed as much as Vintage VW Bugs, thieves stole over half-a-million computers. The main concern with desktop computers now is identity theft, not theft of the plastic housing. With the advent of portable laptops, the number lost or stolen is so huge isn’t even estimated.

Here are the nuts and bolts: if your computer is covered, it is probably only covered to a limit of perhaps $1,500. This is adequate for most of us. If it requires more than this, you should probably speak to your agent to determine if additional coverage is necessary. Also, unless you purchased a replacement cost endorsement, your claims adjustor will deduct the use and wear of however many years ago you purchased the laptop or desktop. Assuming you bought a scaled down MacBook Pro laptop three years ago, your computer might be currently valued at $500 — not even counting the software updates. But there’s one more thing: you chose that $500 deductible way back when you first purchased your policy. You know, so you could save money. So, your insurance company owes you $0.

Before you throw your arms up and say, “See? Nothing is ever covered!” consider an alternative. For less than a cup of coffee a day, you might have purchased a replacement cost endorsement back when you bought the policy. Depending upon the company and your claims history, you might have purchased a smaller deductible too. If the lowest model MacBook Pro is now $2000 and you purchased a replacement cost endorsement with a $250 deductible, you now get a replacement laptop valued at two grand for the cost of your deductible.

Finally, consider this alternative: call you agent now to find out these details. Don’t wait until a thief makes the call necessary.

Finding the Best Homeowner’s Insurance

Buying homeowners insurance can be confusing. If you are in the market to protect your home and possessions, you may want to do some research before committing to a policy or one specific insurance company. Ask questions and find an agent you trust that works with a company that has a good reputation for keeping their clients happy.

Your home is your castle and your possessions represent not only your past, but your present as well. You have worked hard to be able to live in the fashion you have become accustomed to, so it is in your best interest to make sure things can be replaced if a tragedy or accident occurs. When buying a policy make sure you know what it will cover. Some policies may focus more on the replacement value of a house or specific possession instead of its actual cost. Knowing the difference between these two amounts will affect how much you will want to ensure the property for and how the much the premium for the policy will be. For example, a 2 story, 4 bedroom home may be valued at only $65,000, but to build the exact same home at today’s prices, the replacement value may exceed $100,000. It will be up to you what you decide to insure the property for. If you would replace your home with a smaller one that would cost less to build then insure the property for its actual value. If you want a house similar to what you have now, bit the bullet and insure for the replacement value.

Many homeowner policies cover a variety of things including roof and fire damage, theft and various forms of liability. Liability can be anything from your dog biting the mail man to you cat Skippy tripping the neighbor lady as she walked to the front door to trade the daily dose of gossip. Most insurance policies have liability clauses that cover all types of accidents that occur on your property.

A family’s possessions can also be replaced if an itemized list of valuables is included within the policy. The contents of the home that have considerable value, such jewelry and works of art, should be listed in great detail within the body of the policy.

One of the biggest areas of confusion when purchasing a homeowner’s policy is the phrase “Act of God”. Many policies claim that “acts of God” are not covered. This can include damage to due ice and wind or other natural disasters. In recent years, people have discovered that water damage caused by flooding can sometimes be a gray area when it comes to insurance. Most companies offer a “Flood Insurance” rider that is attached to the policy and covers several types of water damage.

Never buy insurance without reading the fine print. Know what you are signing up for and what a policy will cover. Making sure you have the answers to help you make an informed decision is the best way to cover your assets in this type of situation.

Understanding the Importance of Insurance

An unexpected occurrence, such as a death, disability, or other personal loss, is certainly not the type of event for which you can easily plan. Yet the financial ramifications can be staggering—not only to you, but to your family as well. Therefore, it is important to make a risk management plan part of your overall financial strategies.

Insurance, in all its varied forms, is quite simply a method for handling risk. In order to plan an effective insurance program, you need to consider the risks to which you and your family are exposed and how financial loss could affect you. For each risk exposure, the key elements to consider are the severity and frequency of loss.

All Risks Are Not Created Equal

Insurance is oftentimes required in certain situations: For example, some states require a driver to obtain auto insurance in order to receive or maintain a license, and some lending institutions will not approve a mortgage application if the potential owner does not also purchase homeowner’s insurance. In these situations, while a base level of coverage may be required, you, as the insured, still may have choices as to the amounts and levels of coverage purchased, according to your specific risk needs.

Some risks may be so negligible that you may decide to accept more responsibility for any potential loss. In insurance language, you “self-insure” for risks you choose to accept. For example, it is rarely cost-effective to carry a large amount of collision coverage on a ten-year-old automobile. Since collision coverage generally pays actual cash value, and since a ten-year-old car may have little current fair market value (FMV), it is common to self-insure a larger portion of collision coverage in such cases. In making this choice, you assume more responsibility for any accidental damage to the vehicle that you might cause.

In contrast, in other situations, the risk is so large (or the cost of self-insurance so great) that the best strategy is to try to avoid the risk entirely. You practice risk avoidance in daily life when you invoke the phrase “not worth the risk” to describe your decision not to participate in some events. In addition to required coverages, you may oftentimes customize insurance to protect against certain extras according to your needs. For example, it may be wise to purchase a policy rider for your homeowners policy if you own an antique art collection that is worth more than the value of more standard coverage.

Sometimes, for instance, risk can be reduced by taking extra measures to control the potential conditions that may lead to loss. Installing an automobile anti-theft device or a home security system may reduce the chances of burglary to your car or home.

Risk Transfer and Risk Sharing

Buying insurance is the process of transferring risk you cannot afford, or choose not to accept. Since you may be unable to afford to rebuild your home and replace all its contents in the event of fire, you may choose to transfer that risk to an insurer by purchasing the appropriate amount of homeowners insurance. However, even in situations of risk transfer, it is quite common to share some of the risk. For example, the deductible on an automobile or homeowners insurance policy is a form of risk sharing—you accept responsibility for a small portion of the risk while transferring the bulk of the risk to the insurer.

Taking a closer look at the different types of risks that are faced on a daily basis can help you answer questions such as the following: What is my risk level and how much of that risk can I afford to shoulder? What types of insurance, in addition to required coverage, might I need? And, how much coverage should I purchase? The fundamental rationale behind all forms of insurance is to determine what risks can be transferred on a cost-effective basis.

This article appears courtesy of Karl Susman.  Karl Susman is a representative of the New England Life Insurance Company. He focuses on meeting the individual insurance and financial services needs of people on the West Coast.  You can reach Karl at the office at (424) 785-4337. New England Life Insurance Company, 501 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

 

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