Friday, October 5, 2012

Home Insurance Covers More Than Fires

April 2, 2006 Tornado Outbreak, O'Fallon, Illi...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
First-time home buyers will find they need to insure their purchase with a homeowner’s insurance policy. Banks and mortgage companies require this protection, and homeowners that do not finance should still recognize the necessity of buying insurance coverage for what may be the biggest investment they will ever make.

Should the worst happen, a blaze destroys their investment, insurance will save the homeowner from financial devastation. But fire isn’t the only loss a homeowner may suffer, and a good homeowner’s policy will protect against a wide range of mishaps.

Primary structure
A standard policy, in addition to fire, covers damage to the house caused by windstorms, hailstones, lightning strikes, theft and vandalism. Most policies will cover damage from burst plumbing and leaking roofs. Earthquake damage and flood damages are not covered in a standard policy; a homeowner must buy insurance against these perils separately.

Detached structures
Detached garages, garden sheds, and other structures on the property are covered for damages by the same perils for which the main residence is insured.

Personal property
Personal property is anything that is not attached to the real estate. It includes a homeowner’s possessions such as furniture, clothing and housewares  Standard policies cover damage and loss to personal property, with limits. Insurers generally place a cap on reimbursements for loss by damage or theft on the following items:

  • Cash, bank notes and precious metals. 
  •  Securities and stamps.
  •  Jewelry, gems, furs and watches.
  •  Cutlery plated with silver or gold.
  •  Firearms, boats and trailers.
Homeowners will need to purchase additional home insurance on these items to ensure they are covered up to their full value.

Many policies will cover, up to a set amount, the cost of replacing spoiled food caused by interruption of power to a freezer or refrigerator. Damage to the homeowner’s vehicles is generally not covered; this coverage must be purchased as part of an automobile insurance policy, although damage to the vehicle of a visitor may be covered.

Loss of use
Loss of use coverage pays for any increase in living costs a homeowner incurs if part of the insured property is rendered unfit for use by a covered peril. This can include reimbursements for the cost of a motel room while repairs are being made to the home, or include a meal allowance should a covered damage make the kitchen unusable.

With home ownership, the homeowner becomes personally liable for injury to others, or damage to another’s property, that occurs on his or her land. Personal liability coverage will pay, up to the insured amount, judgments against the homeowner in a personal liability suit. This includes slip-and-fall type injuries, physical injuries caused by the homeowner’s children or pets, and other injuries for which the homeowner is legally liable.

Medical expenses
This coverage pays the costs of medical treatment for injuries caused on the homeowner’s property, or injuries caused away from the insured property if the injury is caused by an action of the insured. It is limited to a set amount per person and covers persons other than the insured, including those that were on the property with permission.

A comprehensive homeowner’s policy will protect the insured’s investment and safeguard against financial losses that can arise in the course of home ownership.

Author’s Bio:

Jeff Hall is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. His blog focuses on home insurance. You can follow him on Google+

Thursday, October 4, 2012

5 Tips to Choosing a Car With Low Cost Insurance

Day 209 - West Midlands Police - Uninsured veh...
(Photo credit: West Midlands Police)
When shopping for that new car we take a lot of time researching the cost and features. We visit more than a few car dealers narrowing down are choice by model, color and interior. We haggle with the car dealer and then eventually strike a deal for the final purchase price. In today's economy everyone is trying to get a good deal. 

After all that, we call our insurance agent and write a check for the car insurance. We don't give our insurance any more thought than that. We put so much energy into the car purchase but not the cost of car insurance.

Why not reverse the process and research the car insurance first. We should be looking at the cost of the insurance for a particular size, cost and type of car. We should be picking the car to purchase by how much the insurance is. If you could save yourself $50 per month on your car insurance for the life of the car would it be worth it?

Here's a list of things you should consider before making that car purchase.

1. Research average repair costs
Cars that are more expensive to insure are generally more expensive to fix and sometimes require hard-to-find parts. Research the typical repair and maintenance costs for vehicles in your area. On many sites, you’ll find average ownership costs broken down into various categories. You can also research which cars cost the least (and most) to repair, which are worthy considerations (and ones that your insurance company will also take into account).

2. Know the stolen vehicle statistics
As you might imagine, cars that are more likely to be stolen are more expensive to insure. You can find stolen-car statistics through the National Insurance Crime Bureau. If you're shopping for a new car, the good news is that shiny new cars are not the most commonly stolen.

3. Go with a less expensive model
Add-ons that come standard on high-end models, such as sunroofs and built-in navigation systems, are nice to have but expensive to repair. Yes, this too means higher insurance premiums. You’ll be spending enough on your new car as it is, so if you’re willing to forget some of these luxuries, you can save on the sale price and on your insurance premium.

4. Research premiums
Before you buy your new car, go online to get a quote for that year, make, and model. The results may be enlightening. Though there are moves you can make to minimize your costs, such as increasing your deductibles or dropping comprehensive or collision coverage, it’s important not to sacrifice solid protection for a shiny new car. Check out auto insurance quotes online.

5. Avoid high-performance vehicles
Sports cars, large SUVs, luxury cars, and anything, well, souped-up all come with boosted insurance premiums because they generally cost more to repair or replace. Safety is also a factor — a small, zippy sports car generally offers fewer safety features and attracts more lead-footed drivers than a modest midsized sedan. Plus, these cars are typically gas guzzlers, which will also add to your expenses.
So unless you’re prepared to shoulder the many surrounding costs for your dream car, your best bet is to simply stay away from these high-end rides. Sensible choices reap their own rewards.

Don't buy that car until you check out how the purchase will affect you car insurance premium. You could save quite a bit every month for the life of the car.

Planning Family Fun Activities without Breaking the Bank

budget (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)
Under the present economic scenario, planning a fun weekend can be a little difficult. No matter how tight the financial situation is, spending quality time with the kids and the rest of the family is a must. Besides, the children need some recreation - a fun filled weekend is what they look forward to the entire week. 

Wondering how to keep your kids busy on the weekends when the budget concern is bothering you? Not to worry, there are ways out. Let’s list out the possible enjoyable activities that don't cause a dent in the pocket.

  • Retail stores, libraries, and zoo - What would the kids want to do for fun? Games would top their list. But gaming parlors are expensive and out of the budget at this stage. But there are ways out. Check out the nearest retail store, they tend to come up with something or the other on the weekends. Various games and other activities like building a birdhouse, storage box and other things are organized in the morning. They even teach art and crafts. These are mostly free and at times there is free coffee for the parents. Even the library has loads of fun options to offer to the kids. The museum and the zoo offer free or low-cost days at least once every month, watch out for them. 
  • Beaches or parks -There is nothing exciting than packing your lunch and leaving for the beach on the weekend. For those who don't have the luxury of spending the entire day at the nearby beach, a park is as good an option. You can stop on the way to pick up some exciting games and/or beach toys, these toys are usually lasting., 
  • Movies - Many movie theaters screen free shows for the kids once or twice a month. Otherwise, the movie shows are pretty expensive, a family of four ends up spending a good 50 dollars at the least. Just to enter the movie hall a family will have to spend a good forty dollars. That is not all; then you need to buy the munchies, the popcorn, the nachos, the cold drinks and other snacks. You can rent movies instead of going to the theater; this is an economic option indeed. You can use online service for this purpose, a meager subscription and you can always download a new picture every weekend. You can opt for renting pictures through Redbox, they charge a very minimal amount, like a dollar a day for each movie. 
  • Some community works - Park clean up days and other community service activities can be fun too. Now this is what is called learning while having fun. 

Where to get information from

Have a look at the local Sunday newspaper, there has to be a local calendar section. Now this is the drawer chest of all information for the for cheap or no-cost weekend family activities. Here you get all the information on the activities happening all around the town.

Make a pick

Now that you’re aware of the options, it’s time to make the pick. Ask children for their opinion. In fact you can ask the children to make the plan, allot them a spending budget and let them do the planning. This would be fun and a learning lesson at the same time.

Author’s BioJonny Pean is an expert blogger who writes informative and high-quality articles on a range of topics such as payday loans, same day payout, instant cash loans and quick cash loans.

Ways Your House Can Earn You Money

Housing (Photo credit: james.thompson)
When financial times are tough, we have to make our assets work for us. A house is a large investment and it is important to ensure that the money that has been invested in it is working as hard as it can. Of course, we invest a lot emotionally into our homes as well, but sometimes it helps to view the house from a different perspective, and think of the fiscal benefits our homes could provide. 
By viewing a house as a moneymaking machine as well as a home, ideas for generating extra cash will soon come flooding in. Here are a few to start off with: 

Almost everything is rentable 

Perhaps the most familiar moneymaking scenario is renting out the spare room to a lodger. There are many types of lodgers out there looking for a room. Whether it is a student during the current college term, out-of-town workers looking for Monday to Friday accommodations, or tourists seeking somewhere to spend a few days or even a single night, there is plenty of flexibility in the room rental model. 
It may seem hard to believe, but the rental concept can be extended to cover many other things related to the home. There are people out there willing to pay good money to rent the driveway (for parking), the garage space, and even the back yard of a house (to pitch a tent for a party). Websites exist that can help hook up homeowners with people looking to rent various parts of the house or property. There are even people who will be looking to rent the lawnmower or gardening equipment for a couple of hours. If you are looking to generate some income, take another look at your home and its contents with fresh eyes - instead of being a money pit, it could be making money. 

Buy another house 

We have established that houses can often be efficient moneymaking vehicles, so if there is room in the budget, why not buy another? Admittedly, not many people have spare cash around these days, but those who do are certainly not getting great returns from savings accounts or CDs. It will usually be a far better idea to put any extra money into investments that pay good returns. With property prices at historic lows in many areas and rentals in high demand, becoming a landlord is increasingly popular for those with money to invest. Choose property in attractive areas where rental demand outstrips supply. There are many US houses for sale in premium locations that would make prime vacation rentals and yield a healthy return on investment. 

Film star homes 

Spectacular, unique, well located, or just plain quirky homes are always in demand as film locations. TV and film companies are willing to pay good money in return for the use of a home as a film set. Registering with a locations agency can be a relatively simple process and if your home has that ‘star quality’, the house could be earning hundreds of dollars a day just for looking good.

Remodel for great returns 

Another sure-fire way of making money from a home is by increasing its value through remodeling. Home improvements such as unique designer kitchens, luxury bathrooms, extra bedrooms, new flooring, garden rooms and conservatories, landscaped gardens and driveways will all help to boost resale profits. This long-term route may take time to reap rewards, but can be very financially beneficial. 
So remember, home is where the heart is, but when money is tight, home can also be where the cash is. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How to select the best car insurance for luxury car?

Automobiles are among the most commonly used e...
Automobiles are among the most commonly used engine-powered vehicles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Many of us would envy and dream to own a luxury car such as Audi, Benz, and Porsche in our life time. People who opt for a luxury is the one who do not want to compromise on the ride, handling and comfort of their travel. So, when it comes to car insurance these cars should also have an insurance policy that covers the cost of the repair adequately.
A car accident can never be planned and no one knows when it is bound to occur. As a luxury car owner one should have necessary coverage with the insurance so that the cost of the accident does not have a catastrophic effect on your finance. 

These are the few points you should consider when going for a luxury car insurance

Be ready to pay higher premium – As we all know luxury cars tend to cost more than the regular cars. And the costs to keep up the luxury cars are also higher than the regular cars. Therefore, insurance company does charge a high premium for the top end cars. Therefore, when you plan to buy a luxury car, be ready to pay higher premium.

Make sure it covers all the spare parts – Luxury cars when met with a accident is going to be a costly affair to get repaired. Many insurance companies do have restrictions on percentage of claims you can make on the specific parts of a car. Some companies only offer 50% of claim on spare parts that is made of plastic. Therefore, before signing a luxury car insurance you should make sure it is always a bumper to bumper insurance.

Your insurance should cover theft – Luxury cars and vintage cars are rare in numbers, therefore they are always the target for people who steal luxury and vintage cars and ship it to other countries. I believe many would have seen the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds” where Nicolas Cage steals 50 luxury vintage cars in one night. That movie is a good reminder for people to have theft insurance on their luxury car.

Research and analyze – Even though a luxury car owner is not a price conscious person it is always advisable to shop deep to get the better insurance coverage for your luxury car. To get the best plan collect all the available plans, analyze each every minute details like premium, coverage and No claim bonus to select the best plan for your needs

Always go with company offered insurance – Many car manufacturers like Porsche, Mercedes and Audi tie up with insurance companies and offer their own insurance plan. In case if you come across such plan, never leave the opportunity to go. In experience, a luxury car is easy to maintain when the car has the insurance plan from the insurance company that has a tie-up with the manufacturer.

When you are in the market for an insurance policy for your luxury car, you should make sure that the insurance policy fulfills the above points. An insurance policy that compiles with the above points will give you peace of mind while driving your luxury car.

Philip is a guest blogger interested in writing informative contents related to Auto insurance. To know more on being familiar with car insurance please go through his page at

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

7 Ways Seniors Can Keep Their Car Insurance Affordable

With the cost of car insurance rising each and every year, it is no wonder that car owners have been looking for ways to make their insurance more affordable. No group of car owners, however, has been hit by rising insurance premiums as much as seniors. 

This sector of the population generally has low incomes but high car insurance costs, especially if one has not built up a good driving record over the years. Follow these tips to keep your car insurance premiums as low as possible for years to come. 

1) Keep out of trouble! 

The best way for anybody, not just seniors, to keep car insurance premiums low is to ensure that your driving record is clean and you never get into any at-fault accidents. Your insurance company is bound to get wind of any problems with your driving record at some point, so keeping out of trouble is the best policy. 

2) Take a defensive driving course

Aside from the obvious benefits of showing you how to control your car effectively, many insurance companies provide discounts to drivers who take defensive driving courses. 

3) Find a senior citizen insurer 

Some insurance companies specialize in providing cover to senior citizens, and these companies might be a little more forgiving of previous misdeeds on the road, especially if such incidents occurred decades ago. 

4) Drive less and ask your insurer for a discount 

Many seniors do not use their cars very much. Often, a senior citizen's car is only used for short drives down to the shops or to visit family. Some insurance companies provide discounts to people who use their car very little, as a reflection of the sharply decreased risk involved by driving occasionally. 

It is well worth speaking to your current insurer to see whether any such offers exist, and if not, consider switching insurance companies.

5) Keep up to date with medical checks

Insurance companies just love to see medical reports come in outlining issues with vision, as this is a great excuse for them to hike their premiums. If you detect issues with your vision, it may be worth your while to visit an optometrist to see whether corrective lenses can be worn to ensure that while on the road, these vision problems will have no impact on your ability to drive safely. 

This not only looks good to an insurance company, but it also helps to keep you safe while on the road. 

6) Switch insurance companies

Many seniors do not have access to the Internet, and hence do not 'shop around' to get the best rates on their car insurance. It is a good idea to shop around, so if you do not know anybody willing to source quotations for you, get out your copy of the White Pages and start calling around. 

7) Stop driving.

Many seniors use their cars so infrequently that it may be cheaper to get rid of the car altogether and just take cabs whenever transport is needed. Often, the cost in cab fares that will be incurred by not driving will be less than the yearly insurance premium. 

Author Bio: Anna Peterson works for a company that provides numerous quotes to compare. 

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