Employ Due Diligence When Selecting Your Homeowners Insurance

by David Wolf

When purchasing a new home, unless the homeowner pays cash for it, he or she will be required to obtain a homeowners insurance policy. All banks and mortgage companies will require proof of the purchase of a homeowners insurance policy before finalizing the mortgage. This ensures that they will not lose their investment in the event of a fire or other catastrophic event, since they mortgage holder will be the primary beneficiary of the policy.

Selecting a seasoned insurance broker is rather significant, we recommend that you select your local Orlando Homeowners Insurance agent, who will provide you with the benefit of their broad experience with homeowners insurance policies. There are a plethora of homeowners insurance providers to select from, making it difficult to determine which one is best suited for your needs.

Many mortgage companies will suggest a homeowners insurance company that they frequently work with, but this does not mean you are required to use that insurance company. Before accepting the first quote that you get, it is wise to solicit quotes from at least three different insurance companies. With the advent of web based insurance provider quotes, this can be quickly accomplished by visiting each provider's web site and entering in the requested data needed to get an accurate quote. They will return a quote along with a description of coverage, and you can compare the quotes from several different insurance companies.

The first thing you should consider when determining which insurance company to use, is whether they offer special discounts. Depending on the provider, you may discover discounts for fire resistant building materials, fire security systems,senior citizen. multi policy discounts and many others. Be certain you check with your local. Be sure to ask your orlando homeowners insurance agent about any multi-policy discounts you may be eligible for.

Your personal credit history and your history of insurance claims in the past will have an impact on the insurance premium you will have to pay. Insurers are cautious about selling policies to customers that have a less than stellar credit history or a history of filing numerous insurance claims. Of course those customers with a questionable history will be required to pay much higher rates.

Most basic homeowners insurance policies will cover the house for a total replacement cost as well as the possessions of the home for a total replacement cost. Because of this, insurance agents will be asking in depth questions about the home you are about to purchase such as square footage, the age of appliances, the air conditioning and heating units, the age of the plumbing and electrical system, and even the style of flooring, counter tops and cabinets. Many insurance companies will include in a quote special needs perils such as flooding, hurricane or earthquake insurance. Nevertheless, if you know you live in a high risk area for any of these particular risks it is best to ask if those are covered under the basic policy. You don't want purchase an insurance policy and realize later that you are not fully covered to the satisfaction of your mortgage company. This could prevent you from receiving your mortgage, or at the very least, cause a delay in obtaining your mortgage until you can obtain the necessary coverage. The same can be said for special possessions like computer equipment and jewelry or furs. Frequently a separate policy or a clause in the policy is needed to insure any special possessions for their replacement cost, so be certain to inquire with the insurance provider regarding these items.

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Five Unconventional Thoughts About Home Insurance

by Sharon Stenning

Movies often dramatically portray elaborate thefts from large museums of immensely valuable artifacts, but those grandiose representations aren't the only circumstances in which thefts occur. Most often, things within an average house are the target of thieves. Home insurance is the only way to replace stolen possessions, which makes it invaluable for millions of people who have coverage. These five unconventional thoughts are beneficial to keep in mind:

So Many Choices

Consumers hugely benefit from the magnitude of companies that compete in this industry. With so many companies clamoring for attention, that means each one must specialize to find its voice in the marketplace. While firms will always battle each other to create the lowest prices, competition also drives up customer service and product innovation. A buyer would do well to shop around.

A reputable, efficient Internet site can be invaluable in getting various price quotes at once. Just a few clicks of the button in the right direction of cyberspace could save money, hassle and time. Independent insurance brokers can also produce numerous competing offers from different companies. Of course, making phone calls to various companies to talk to their representatives will always be the most direct way to gain accurate information.

Getting Coverage That Matches Needs

Since banks require that financed homes get insurance, many times the level of coverage an individual purchases depends on the bank's requirements. Naturally, most consumers want to economize and buy the least expensive policy, but that isn't always the best route. Many times the least expensive policy wouldn't fully finance, for example, new construction of a flooded house. The most expensive policy with the highest coverage often isn't necessary either, depending on the value of the assets being protected.

Many Insurers Offer Discounts For Bundling

Some companies, such as All State and Geico, give discounts for getting both your auto and homeowner's policy with them, as opposed to buying each policy from a different company. Many times providers will discount the rate on your rental property and vacation home, too.

Different Costs And Risks In Different Locations

This might seem like an odd topic, but some areas are riskier than others. Insurers know this, and they charge much higher premiums in at-risk areas. For example, houses built on a flood plain or on a steep hillside are very vulnerable to damage and destruction. The higher premiums are not the only thing to consider, especially when compared to the safety of one's family and possessions. Choosing the safer place to live, which includes crime as well, will go a long way to save on costs and unnecessary trouble.

It Might Be Worth It For Renters

Renters often do not buy coverage for lack of disposable income, but other times many do not know about its advantages. The pricing is very affordable in many instances, and if one's auto provider offers a discount for purchasing both, sometimes the savings alone can pay for the renter's policy. Theft is so common in apartment communities by virtue of the closeness of the neighbors, many renters would gain from the policy. On the other hand, buying another policy doesn't make much sense, for instance, for a 19-year-old that just moved out of his parents' house with no valuables.

Adequate home coverage greatly aides the stability and financial position of an astute steward.

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Want to find out more about Home Insurance, then visit our site on how to choose the best Home Insurance for your needs.

Fire Insurance Claims - Tips To Help You Through The Disaster

By Joe Brennan

Almost everyone who has suffered damages to their property as a result of a fire insurance claim makes costly mistakes during and after the settlement... And, here it is; Most policyholders simply rely on their insurance company to evaluate the entire claim. This can be the most costly mistake anyone could ever make in their entire life.

As if it's not devastating enough to see your belongings and property consumed by a fire, but then relying on someone else - without knowing their credentials - to value your belongings and property, provide the proper costs to repair or replace, and simply trust that they've done this all correctly without missing anything... Has To Be I N S A N E ! Yet, homeowners and business owners allow such things to happen all across the nation, each and every day. For the majority of people it's simple human nature to count their "change" after ordering fast-food or to diligently scan their dinner bill and be certain that the waitress didn't charge for any items they didn't order. We've all done these exact things. Time and time again we will go out of our way to count and penny-pinch of our chump change. Yet, when it comes to the tens of thousands and even the hundreds of thousands of dollars we've lost from a fire insurance claim, we rely on an insurance company representative without scanning, reviewing or keeping track.

No one else comes close to knowing your property like you do. With all that is needed to properly prepare and configure the damages associated with a fire insurance claim, almost in all instances, items are missed and forgotten during the claims process. Especially if this is completed by someone other than you. The insurance adjusters don't know all there is to know about your building, your personal property, or the quality of your contents ( clothing, furniture, etc. ) like you do. How could another person possibly be as accurate as you when calculating such items? Further, simply because the insurance adjuster visits the property for an inspection, in no way shape or form means that they are a professional contractor, builder, or qualified and certified in fire and water damage restoration and evaluation.

With the review of thousands of closed claims, we have found that in most cases, both insurance companies and policyholders unknowingly miss damages that are hidden from the naked eye. In almost all instances; it is a good idea to have a professional review your fire damage claim. Preferably a fire insurance claims appraiser, consultant, or fire consulting firm.

Policyholders often believe that when the insurance company sends them a check and they deposit the money in their bank account - the claim is closed. This couldn't be further from the truth. The fact is; that in most states a policyholder has 3-years to make a claim and even ADD to an existing claim. So, a review of your claim to see if you have been properly compensated can occur, during the claims process or even after the claim has been settled. You can also obtain more money from your claim - even if it has been torn down and demolished.

Yes, even if your claim has been settled and you have deposited the checks, or your building has been torn down and demolished, you can still obtain more insurance proceeds if the damages were not assessed properly. In many cases, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of more dollars. Even when a policyholder believes they have received a fair settlement... they usually have not.

It's up to YOU, the policyholder, to do your part to protect yourself. Here are tips to help individuals with fire insurance claims. There are helpful tips for policyholders in the middle of their claim - as well as help for those with claims that are closed.

1. During Claim -

1. Document The Building Damages: Take time yourself to inspect and document the damages to your property. Take pictures and measurements of all rooms in your home or building. Take an overview picture of the room and then some close-up pics of the ceilings, walls, windows, doors, floors, etc. of that room. Photograph your way around the building and each room to your left (clock wise). Be sure to take an overview picture before entering the next room. Be it, a room, closet, or hall. This will allow for an easier way to organize what pictures belong to what rooms. An example would be; Take overview picture of the master bedroom, then work your way from the ceiling to the floor. Take an overview picture of the ceiling and then zoom in for close-up damages on the ceiling. Continue by taking an overview picture of each wall, followed by close-up pictures of damage on walls. Continue this same process with the doors, windows, and floors. Just before you enter the next bedroom, hall or closet, the very first picture will be an overview, and so on. (No pictures or close-ups of any clothing, furniture, or electronics yet, just the room pics.)

1. Closed Claim -

1. Obtain Documents For Building: Your insurance adjuster had taken photos of the property during their inspection(s). If you do not have any photos yourself, or if you only have minimal photos - you should request a copy of all photos that were taken by the insurance adjuster. You will want to also request the copy of the adjusters scope. The scope will be the diagram/sketch and measurements they used to calculate the square feet of each room of the building. Request the complete line-item, detailed estimate they wrote to arrive at the settlement numbers of your claim. These documents will be useful to you and for any fire insurance claim consultant you may choose.

2. During Claim Process -

2. Document Your Contents Damage: Next is to visit each room and closet once again to inventory your contents. Take an overview photo of each piece of furniture, pair of shoes, shirts, pants, ect. Then a close-up photo of any damage on that item. Write each item down on a Contents Inventory Form. ( Download one by visiting http://www.insuranceclaimsgroup.com/forms.html ) Similar to the way you have photographed and organized your building damage photos, you should do the same with your contents. Example; Take overview photo of living room, then work your way around the room to the left (clockwise). Photograph and list all the items on each wall until you get back to the doorway you began at. This way items will not be missed or forgotten. Once the living room inventory has been completed, move to the next room and start by taking an overview photo of the room. this helps organize what room the contents were located. List the name of the room at he top of each page of your inventory list. Now the photos and the list are both organized in sequence with each other.

2. Closed Claim -

2. Obtain Contents Damage Documents: If the adjuster has done their job properly they have taken photos of the contents during the inspection as well. If you have minimal or no photos of your contents you should request all those taken by the adjuster. You also want to request a copy of the complete contents inventory they had written to arrive at your contents settlement numbers. This type of documentation will also be useful for the fire insurance claim consultants you may choose.

3. During Claim -

3. Review Your Policy: Fire victims must take the time to review their insurance policy. You must know the basics; How much coverage do you have on your building? How much coverage do you have for your contents (furniture, clothing, etc.)? How much coverage do you have to stay in a hotel or to rent a home or furniture? Surprisingly, many people don't know this. In many cases the policy has been damaged in the fire. If this is the case; visit your agent and ask for a certified copy of your full policy. Ask your agent to help explain how much coverage you have.

3. For Closed Claims -

3. Obtain Copy Of Your Policy: Contact your insurance company and request a certified copy of your "FULL" insurance policy, including the Declarations page. This documentation will be useful for the fire insurance claim consultant you choose.

4. Existing Claims -

4. Consult With A Professional: The insurance companies have their adjuster visit your property, inspect your damages, and complete estimates on the amount of damage you have incurred. It's very important you have the same exact process completed yourself. How does a policyholder know the insurance company adjuster has done their job correctly? Should you be willing to give up tens of thousands of dollars by not taking steps to be sure? The insurance adjuster should explain all the fire insurance claim coverage's that is available to you, however, such information is rarely disclosed. Sometimes it is even done on purpose, and on other occasions it's also done on purpose (Did you read that? Forgetting to advise you of certain coverage's is usually withheld until you ask. More often than not; it's done on purpose.) It is your belongings, it is your money, and it is your policy. You must educate yourself to ensure you're being fully compensated for the fire damages. You should consider hiring a fire insurance claim professional. Someone who can look out for you and review the insurance company's value of your loss. You need to be in-the-know by obtaining your own "real-world" costs and estimates to repair or replace your property.

4. For Closed Claims -

4. Consult A Independent Insurance Appraiser: Have you been provided with a fair settlement? How is a person sure they have unless they consult with a professional? Anyone who is not 100% sure if they have obtained fair and full settlement from an insurance company, owes it to themselves to investigate. If policyholders have collected and reviewed all the docs and photos that are listed above; they have sufficient documentation to consult the opinion of an independent appraiser and insurance professional. A professional review of your claim documentation is all an independent insurance appraiser needs to advise if you were treated fairly. To consider leaving yourself in the dark, with no flashlight in sight, without knowing if you're forfeiting tens of thousands and/or hundreds of thousands of dollars in the insurance company's pocket - doesn't make much sense at all. The minimal fee it would take to understand where you stand is a very tiny cost to pay. Compare that same tiny cost to a large chunk of insurance funds that you weren't even aware existed... is a no-brainer.

(Free Consultation: Getting help is easier than you think. We provide a no cost review of any present or closed insurance files. Call for your Free Consultation at any time 919-669-9111. Or visit online at http://www.insuranceclaimsgroup.com/contact-us.html )

The reasons are very simple. The fact is, the insurance company's adjusters work directly for the insurance companies, where fire claims appraisers works directly for the policyholders. At this point you have made the right move by taking time to be sure you had insurance coverage for your property. It is now up to you to jump to the next step to ensure you have fully received what was paid for. - 31388

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