Off to catch the last bit of autumn sun? Make sure your home is covered while you’re away with home insurance

The autumn months are a great time to get away for that last blast of summer sun. Southern France, Italy and Spain are still enjoying the warmer rays – making them an ideal destination for a holiday. But while you’re topping up your tan, you don’t want to be worrying about your home. So before you head off, make sure you check that you have a home insurance policy in place

Knowing you’re covered by a home insurance policy you can rely on will help to give you peace of mind. If you don’t have a policy in place yet, you can look online to find contents insurance quotes  to suit you and your home.

Of course, there are plenty of other things you can do to help keep your home safer. Here are five things to consider before you jet off:

Tip 1: Lock away any valuable possessions

If you have any treasured or valuable jewelry or watches, or small electrical items such as a laptop or iPad, it’s a good idea to keep them locked away if you’re not taking them with you. You can pick up a good quality home safe from any of the bigger home improvement stores. Home safes can help protect your valuables from burglars – and many are fireproof too. 

Tip 2: Fit an alarm

You can buy alarm systems specifically designed to deter potential thieves – these can range from a simple alarm bell that goes off if there is an intrusion, to more sophisticated ones that will automatically ring chosen friends and family to alert them of the alarm.

Tip 3: Consider installing a camera

The sight of CCTV on the side of your house, overlooking your front door, back door and garden, could be just the thing to put off thieves. And if you do become the victim of crime, the video footage could potentially be used as evidence to show the police.

Tip 4: Fit security lights

Motion sensor lights fitted to the outside of your home can also be a good way to deter a burglar. Install them around the doorways of your home, your driveway and any outbuildings, such as a shed or garage.

Tip 5: Check all windows and doors are locked It may sound obvious, but as you’re leaving, check all windows and doors are fully locked. Many robberies occur because a thief spots an easy way to break in. Windows left on the latch – and even something to give them a good leg up, such as a water butt or dustbin – can be very enticing to would-be opportunists.   

Taking precautionary steps like these could really help to make your home and contents that little bit more secure while you’re away. And if you make sure that you have a quality contents and buildings insurance in place, you’ll get that extra peace of mind.

Post by Leanne

Insuring Your Valuables

Many of us have things that mean a lot to us in our homes – and much of the time, those things are expensive. Appraised antiques, precious metals, or china or crystal dishes can be highly valuable. Unfortunately many people don’t realize the need to separately schedule insurance on these valuables, assuming they will be covered in full in case of a fire or theft by a basic homeowner’s policy.

Your Basic Homeowner’s Insurance

With basic homeowner’s insurance, the items in your home are protected against a variety of perils, including fire and theft. They are not protected against flood – a separate flood policy is needed if you live in a zone where that may occur.

Although it varies by state, in general your personal property is covered at 50% of the coverage level of your home. So, if you insure your house at $100,000, your property would have a maximum of $50,000 in total of coverage. In addition, certain assets such as cash, jewelry, art, and other valuables have much lower limits of coverage – such as $200 for cash, or $1500 for jewelry. You’ll want to read the ‘contents and additional coverage’ section of your policy contract for details.

Even if an item doesn’t fall under a limit, coverage may be paid at an ‘actual cash value’ determination – that is, the price minus any depreciation. This can leave you scrambling, so make sure that your policy is listed for replacement value.

Given these lower limits of coverage, how do you make sure your valuables are protected? Many times, the answer is to schedule specific coverage into your homeowner’s policy.

Scheduled Homeowner’s Coverage

 Scheduled coverage is a way of adding a specific item to your homeowner’s policy with a set coverage for that item. For instance, you can specifically insure your grandmother’s fur coat at its appraised value, rather than dealing with the policy limit on furs. This has the benefit of giving you a set value, with no depreciation. In addition, this type of coverage is often very inexpensive.

Antiques should also be scheduled separately, since many home insurance policies won’t pay replacement value on them. As mentioned above, an ‘actual cash value’ determination will generally be below the cost to replace an item, and this is especially true with antiques. Don’t take the risk – have your valuable antiques appraised and scheduled with their own coverage on your policy.

 

Scheduled coverage generally requires a written appraisal from a reliable source, and should be revisited every two to three years to make sure the value of the item hasn’t changed substantially.

Protecting your valuables is an important part of insurance, and it’s essential to understand the type of coverage needed. Read your homeowner’s contract carefully, and if any of your valuables are not covered well enough be sure to add an inexpensive rider to schedule coverage for them. No one wants anything to happen to their valuables, but if it does, be sure you have plenty of coverage through your insurance.

Garfield Refining is a Philadelphia based precious metal refinery offering nation-wide service. This 120 year old refinery buys and refines gold, silver, platinum, and palladium and services both B2B and B2C markets. For live gold prices check out @GarfieldGold on twitter.

Insurance Options when Coping with Unemployment

Are you recently unemployed?  If so, you may remember quite well the sense of panic you felt when you realized that you would soon have no income.  Secondary to that initial panic is the concern you feel when you realized you would no longer have health insurance.  This can be scary enough as a single person, but if you are a parent, you know how accident prone young kids can be.  Going without insurance is risky and not recommend.  Yet, what options are available?

  1. COBRA insurance.  You will likely qualify for COBRA insurance from your employer, but COBRA can be prohibitively expensive.  Remember, you must apply for COBRA within 60 days of being laid off.  COBRA coverage is available typically for 18 months.
  2. Private insurance.  If you find the price of COBRA out of reach, you can pursue private health insurance either by going through an insurance broker or an organization such as The Health Insurance Group.  You can also contact different health insurance companies directly, but that method can be time consuming.
  3. Carry major medical only.  If you find the cost of most insurance plans prohibitive, consider carrying only major medical insurance.  This will cover you and your family in the event of a significant medical crisis such as emergency care after a car accident or if you or one of your family members were to get a life-threatening disease or illness.  However, if your child breaks a bone or you need to take your baby in to the doctor because she is sick, you will pay for those expenses yourself, which can be difficult if you are unemployed.
  4. State-based insurance.  Although you may feel uncomfortable taking advantage of it, state-based insurance is meant for situations just like unemployment.  Depending on what your income was previously or how much you will earn in unemployment, you will either get your state insurance for free or have to pay a small monthly fee.  At the very least, this insurance will typically be available to your children and will help you maintain their regular shots, check-ups and routine medical care.
  5. Medi-share.  Another option available to Christians is medi-share.  This is NOT health insurance.  Instead, you pay a certain premium every month, and you agree to a certain amount you will pay out of pocket for the year.  (The more you are willing to pay out of pocket, the lower your monthly premium.)  Then, all other expenses are paid for the year once you meet your out of pocket deductible.  Members work together to cover one another’s expenses.

Being unemployed can be scary.  In addition to the loss of income, you also lose important benefits such as health insurance.  However, there are several options available, including some low cost and free options, so there is no reason to be without health insurance.

Post by Melissa

Answers To Common Insurance Questions

Buying insurance is a pretty normal part of life, but many don’t understand basic issues surrounding insurance policies. If you’re in the market for an insurance policy or you already have a policy, you might need to know the answers to some of the most common insurance policy questions.

What Policies Will I Need?

There are a number of different kinds of insurance that the average person may need. Those who have family members to take care of definitely need some kind of life insurance coverage. With life insurance, the insurance company pays the beneficiary that you name when you pass away. If you have a car and a home, you’ll need auto and homeowner’s coverage as well. Disability insurance is usually a good idea to ensure that you receive money when you’re unable to work due to some kind of long-term disability.

Does My Insurance Cover A Home Business?

Many people in today’s society work from home in some capacity. If you have a home office, your regular insurance policy may not cover your home office. While your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover damage to the physical structure itself, it may not cover any equipment that you have for your business. If your home is damaged and requires repairs, your regular policy may not pay for lost income while you are out of your office either. In order to have your home office covered, you may need to buy an additional home business rider for your homeowner’s insurance policy. This makes it possible to cover your business and make sure that you are not liable for any damages caused during the course of normal business operations.

Do I Really Need Car Insurance?

Car insurance is a necessity if you plan on driving a car on the public roads. In fact, it’s a law in every state in the United States that you need at least liability insurance. Liability insurance helps protect the financial interests of other drivers because it pays for the damage that you cause while driving, up to a certain limit. If you don’t have liability insurance when you have a wreck, you could get a citation from the police and face a lawsuit from the other driver involved in the accident. Buying an auto insurance policy will ensure that you don’t have to worry about these extra expenses.

What Are Some Ways To Save Money On Insurance?

Insurance is a necessity but it can also be very expensive. If you’re looking for ways to save money on your auto insurance rate, you may want to consider bundling your policies all into the same provider. For example, if you get your auto, health, homeowner’s and life insurance all from the same company, you will probably qualify for a discount from the insurance company.

Another good idea when it comes to saving money on insurance is to shop around. There are many different websites that you can use to compare rates of insurance companies. You can also call around to the various insurance companies in your area and get quotes for what you need. Insurance is a very competitive business and some insurance companies will try to earn your business by giving you the cheapest rate that they can afford to give.

Taking a driver’s education course can also help you save money on auto insurance rates. If you learn the basics of defensive driving, the insurance company will be willing to charge you less in auto insurance rates because you are less likely to have a wreck at that point.

What Type Of Life Insurance Should I Buy?

Life insurance comes in two varieties: cash value and term life insurance. With term life insurance, you get a death benefit for a certain number of years. With cash value life insurance, you get permanent coverage and a cash value that accumulates over time. Term is much cheaper than permanent coverage, but some people prefer to get a cash value component that grows as they pay their premiums.

Understanding Personal vs. Professional Liability Insurance

Insurance policies are contracts. These contracts have a first (the insured) and a second (the insurer) party. First party claims can be made by the insured for their own losses. However, another claim that can be made is known as a third party claim. A third party claim is made when an individual or other entity that is not part of the insurance contract makes a claim against the insured. The third party will usually allege negligence or wrongdoing by the first party. The coverage offered for this type of claim is liability insurance. Two of the more common forms of liability insurance are personal liability insurance and professional liability insurance.

Personal liability insurance is insurance purchased by individuals to protect them from liability situations involving their personal property or their actions. These actions cannot be related to their job or vocation. For example, the liability coverage on an automobile insurance policy and the liability coverage on a homeowners insurance policy could both be considered to be forms of “personal” liability insurance. However, a true personal liability policy is often called an umbrella policy. Such a policy is not limited to auto coverage or homeowners coverage. Rather, it follows the insured anywhere and is a more expansive liability coverage since it is not limited to just autos or property. True personal liability limits are also higher than the underlying limits of the more restricted policies.

What is professional liability insurance? It is a liability insurance plan that is designed to protect professionals. Professionals in this context can refers to doctors, dentists, lawyers, and engineers to name a few. The purpose of this coverage is to provide a level of protection for these occupations from liability claims. Such situations often result from acts of commission or omission related to advice or services being rendered by the professional. Unlike general liability insurance, professional liability insurance does not require that there be bodily injury or property damage. Therefore, this liability insurance is intended to cover financial losses of third parties as opposed to bodily injury or property damage.