5 Simple Tips to Save Money on Your Home Insurance

Home insurance is often seen as a grudge purchase, you need it, but it can often be costly. In this economic downturn, it’s important to know how to save money on big purchases.

These simple tips could help you make savings when purchasing home insurance:

1. It’s always important to compare quotes from several different insurance providers. Comparing insurance online can be very helpful for this as you can see quotes from multiple insurance providers in one place, without the hassle of going to each individual company. Always compare home insurance quotes to similar plans, considering all the policy features as well as price.

2. Once you’ve been given your quotes, be aware that the cheapest quote may not always offer adequate coverage. Be sure to check the finer details of the quote, so you know exactly what is covered and what is not. It’s important to have the right level of coverage on your policy as being under-insured could cost you a lot more in the event of your claim exceeds your coverage.

3. Your premium should reduce if you offer to pay a higher excess. The excess is the amount of money you’d contribute in the event of a claim. Normally, you’ll be seen as less of a risk to the insurer if you offer to pay a larger excess. In return, your premium might be lowered. Be certain that you’re willing and able to pay this amount if you ever needed to claim.

4. Security in your home is important and many insurance companies reward this with lower monthly or annual premiums. For example, insurers may look more favorably on you if you have a fully operational burglar alarm or you’re a member of a neighborhood watch program. Again, this is because your policy will be viewed as a lower risk policy.

5. It’s always important to accurately calculate the amount of insurance needed to cover the value of your possessions. If you over-estimate, you may be paying for coverage coverage you don’t need. By doing a thorough analysis of the contents in your home before you look for a quote, you’ll be sure of the amount of coverage you actually need.

Also, remember to give an accurate rebuild cost for your property; this is not the market value of your home but how much it would cost to rebuild the house. This price can be lower than the price that your home would sell for on the open market.

With many households looking to reduce their outgoings, it’s useful to know how to save money on big purchases. These simple tips should show you what to look out for when buying home insurance.

This post was written by Katie Sheeran of insurance site Policy Expert.


Tips for Maintaining Your VA Benefits Eligibility

The first thing to understand when it comes to VA benefits is that there are never any guarantees.  Requirements and the application process can change at any time or you could lose your eligibility for future earnings.  What’s even worse than this is that you could be required to pay benefits back!  To reduce the risk of any of this happening to you, it is always advised to work with a qualified counselor when applying and meeting annual eligibility requirements, especially when dealing with non-service connected disability payments such as the Aid and Attendance Benefit, also known as the Veterans Pension Benefit.

If the VA benefits application process isn’t stressful enough, every year before March 1st, you are required to fill out an Eligibility Verification Report (EVR) and file it.  While this report is somewhat shorter and may seem simpler on the surface, if you don’t complete this accurately, your pension benefits could be reduced or revoked.

The Importance of the EVR

The Eligibility Verification Report must not be taken lightly.  It has been designed to make sure that you do still need those funds that you are being given every month and in some cases, you may even deserve more than you are being awarded.  Factors that affect whether you maintain your eligibility status or not include new assets that have been acquired throughout the year, additional income, shifting of any assets already owned, disuse of medical services that were previously needed and your life expectancy.

The EVR evaluates if your current pension amount is too low, high or unnecessary and ensures that the total of your monthly expenses exceeds your income.  To maintain eligibility, you will be required to submit financial documents and medical forms which should all be reviewed by a qualified professional before submitting your EVR.

Why Hiring an Attorney Makes Sense

If it’s not enough that an attorney can ease your burden associated with this stressful paperwork and help you keep your needed benefits, they can also be beneficial in other ways.  Such an individual will be knowledgeable of the proper forms that you need to file and they can help you reassign or convert assets so you can keep your eligibility.  They can also educate you on offsetting your income with medical payments so you can receive the maximum amount of money you are entitled to.

VA benefits are nothing to fool around with, especially when it comes to your annual forms.  Think of how good it felt to finally get that money and how it would feel if it was suddenly gone.


Clever Car Insurance: Considerations Beyond the Bottom Line

If you wanna drive you’ve gotta have car insurance. It’s right up there with taxes on that list of payments we shell out because not doing it is, well illegal, but it’s also likely to end in disaster. So we do the best we can to keep the out-of-pocket as low as possible. Some corners are worth cutting, but there are others that maybe we shouldn’t. Here are just a few things to think about if you’re shopping for car insurance. And you should be. Seriously. Shop around.

Liability and Collision

One of the first things to look at in car insurance is liability coverage. This is the one that applies to the stuff we do to other people or their cars. And this is not an area to be stingy. See, if you total a car or worse, hurt someone, in an accident the costs could be pretty high. It’s important to look at your total liability and the coverage per person. It may cost a little extra, but taking a higher deducible getting the highest possible coverage in this area will bring you the most comfort in a bad situation. If you take the minimum you run the risk of paying for the costs that exceed your coverage. When you consider that accident injuries can costs hundreds of thousands of dollars if they are severe, do you want your insurance policy maxing at a $100,000? Yeah. Me neither.

Collision is the side of insurance that helps repair for damages to your car. Choose the highest deductible you think you can afford to save a little money and if you have an older car, consider dropping it altogether. If it’s going to cost almost as much to replace the car as you would get from the insurance company, instead of paying collision premiums, bank that money for a new car.

Additional Services

Once you get past the major stuff, liability and collision and so forth, you may want to think about a few miscellaneous benefits. A common one is car rental. In the event of an accident, you’ll still need to get around. Car repairs can take a while leaving you without transportation indefinitely. And if the car is totaled you don’t want to be rushed into finding your next one. In either case, you may already be facing additional expenses as a result of your accident and the last thing you want is to deal with high rental fees on top of that. When the time comes, you’ll be grateful you have a policy that covers the rental for you. You may be able to get towing and labor coverage as well, but this may also be worth cutting if you have AAA, OnStar or other roadside assistance. Are any of these considerations as important as Liability? No, definitely not. But when you get a quote, it’s worth finding out if these are included.

Other Benefits

Before you sign up with any insurance company, there are a few “little things” to think about. A dedicated representative is one of them. Having one person or a couple of people that you deal with exclusively can be a great relief in the event of an accident. If you file a claim and wind up talking to a dozen different people having to repeat details and information it can be a hassle. Having someone familiar help you maneuver the complexities of car insurance will be a relief in a time of crisis.

Signing up with an insurance company that can offer you the opportunity for future deductions and savings is also a good idea. Many companies offer opportunities to lower your premiums over time by proving yourself a safe driver, taking classes or long-time customer discounts. If you don’t have a house now, you may someday and getting your house coverage at the same agency as your auto insurance can qualify you for discounts. The same is true of multiple vehicles, rental insurance, life insurance or coverage for valuable items. When you cover multiple entities through the same company you can often save quite a bit. So when you look at an insurance quote, will it always be that number? Or does the company also offer incentives that can lower your payments in the future? This may be a deciding factor in who you choose as your provider.

Medical, Loss of Income and Uninsured Drivers

Insurance can also be used to protect you in the event of an accident. Three different kinds of extra coverage may help you if you get hurt or get into a scrape with an uninsured driver. Medical payments help you cover for medical bills and expenses. Loss of income coverage provides you with additional cash to help compensate for an inability to work as a result of an accident. Uninsured driver coverage will pay the costs of car repair if the other party does not have insurance that will cover it for you. However there are third party insurers like AFLAC also offer accident coverage for this kind of emergency. Just run the numbers; find out if grouping this coverage with your regular auto insurance policy may be cost effective.

Choosing car insurance is an important decision. While it may be tempting to go with the lowest quote you can find, it’s not always in your best interest. Consider the quality of your coverage and the risks in the worst case scenarios and figure out is it better to pay a little more every month or be up a creek in a disaster?

About the author. Platon writes for Guard Insure an agency featuring Massachusetts Car Insurance. Platon has written and blogged quite a bit over the last several years and has spent a number of years navigating the complex world of insurance.



Car Accidents – The Perfect Driving Storm?

Car accidents are the principle cause of unnecessary deaths across the majority of major countries of the world and is fast becoming the driving force behind the enormous increase in the number of personal injury compensation claims being filed.

The Perfect Storm for car accident injuries

Many of these car accidents typically involve drunk drivers and are as a result, often fast impact accidents which unfortunately involve a high level of serious injuries as well as fatalities. Most of us are aware that the consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol seriously degrades our reaction times and reasoning capacity all helping to contribute to a serious road traffic problem. The combination of these attributes makes for a “perfect driving storm.”

Typical Car Accident Injuries

Typical injuries caused specifically from car accident involving drunk drivers tend to range in severity according to the location of the incident. Built up areas tend to involve lower speeds due to the makeup of the roads whereas incidents upon highways and motorways often result in many more injuries and quite often multiple victims. If you have ever suffered a car accident then you will understand that injuries can vary in severity some of which may require medical attention (and resultant medical bills and possible lost wages/income) not to mention the physical and psychological trauma associated with any accident.

Car accident injury claims – get it right

It is crucial that any car accident claim is filed as soon as is practically possible following the accident. This will very much depend upon the severity of the incident. Should the incident be a small one the following the wreckage being cleared off the road, insurance documents and personal information will need to be exchanged. If you find you do not have (or recollect) your insurers details, do not worry, simply take as much identifying information from the other party (including contact telephone numbers) and after you have returned home locate the information and telephone it through remembering to inform your insurer of the problem as soon as possible.

Many insurers typically do not require initial claim forms to be competed; most of the details can be relayed over the telephone making the claims process much quicker and streamlined. This will of course not be the case should an accident compensation claim be affected, in these cases a detailed report will be required for the insurer to undertake investigations of your case.

Should you admit liability?

Regardless of who is responsible for the accident and assuming everyone involved escaped safely, admitting liability (even if you knew it was your fault) is not a great strategy. This is something which your insurers will battle out and is not something you need to concern yourself with. Simply avoid any admission at the scene; this will help the insurer later down the line of the claim.