insurance

Can Insurance Policies Be Combined?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
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Whether it is home, auto, medical or life, most of us have an insurance policy. Many of us even have multiple insurance policies, even from the same insurance provider. Did you know that insurance policies can be combined? Did you know that there are multiple benefits to combining your insurance policy?

Can you combine them?

More often than not, your insurance policies can be combined. However, depending on your insurance provider, the terms of your combined policy may be different. In most cases, similar types of policies are usually combined, for example: health with life insurance or property with auto insurance. But why combine them?

Why combine Insurance Policies?

The biggest reason why people combine their insurance policies is to pay reduced premiums. When you pay more overall, you receive discounts to both insurance policies. In essence, you are paying less for both policies. In fact, many combined policies may offer discounts up to 45%.

People also choose to combine their insurance policies because they receive various benefits. These benefits are usually incentives that give customers the ‘push’ they need to combine their insurance policies.

Finally, people choose to combine their insurance policies because it makes policy management and payment easier. When their premiums are due, it makes it easier to simply pay one premium rather than two. This is particularly important if you have multiple policies from different providers.

Evidently, there are many benefits to combining your insurance policies. Most importantly though is the fact that you can, quite easily, combine your insurance policies. Combining your insurance policies is not only possible, it is highly recommended. When you combine your insurance policies, you receive a significant discount on the total premium you pay. Additionally, you also receive various incentives to aid your decision making process.

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Best homeowners insurance providers

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The best homeowners insurance provider is a matter of, well, opinion. Facts can be assembled to demonstrate superior service or rates or coverage. However, in the end, an insurance customer often lauds one company over another because of immeasurable attributes like “friendliness” and “caring.” Neither of those qualities is measurable on a rational scale, yet they honestly reflect how a homeowner has ultimately evaluated his insurance provider.

So “best” is subjective. Yet every homeowners insurance company can be judged according to industry criteria that are purely objective. Pricing is one such criterion. The bottom line is the bottom line and every homeowner looks there first in evaluating an insurance policy quote. A company striving to be the best homeowners insurance provider in an area must be price competitive. The price of a policy can be a little higher than the competitors’ prices, but only if there is perceived extra value in a policy.

The “best” company also will have its act together in providing homeowners billing and processing that is easily accessible, easily understood, and straight forward in its intent. Upsetting small print won’t be found in the policy documents of an insurance provider wanting to be deemed the best. By the same token, a company representative should be easily reached and the company operated transparently. An insurer that operates mysteriously does not inspire confidence and probably will not be forthcoming when disaster strikes a home.

The variety of coverages offered by a company will add to its luster. If choices are few, a provider does not really seem to be in business to benefit homeowners. When customer policies are so rigid as to be intimidating, a company has little hope of winning and keeping the loyalty of homeowners. Only so much flexibility is possible in any financial transaction, but circumstances sometimes require a little more give than take and a “best” company is structured to do just that.

What the best homeowners insurance provider covets is high placement in the category of “Best Overall Satisfaction.” This category of evaluation contains both subjective and objective criteria. It summarizes what customers have concluded about a company—that is, what they think of a company, how well they perceive a company works with them, how they feel—yes, feel—about a company. Good feelings make for good customers, and the best homeowners insurance providers know the feeling.

 

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Citizens to Private Insurance

Monday, October 8, 2012

Jacksonville, Florida -- Like lots and lots of other South Florida policy holders covered by state-run Citizens Property, I got a letter a while back because of a private insurance carrier informing me make use of them be taking over my policy in 30 days - unless I opt out.  Have other Florida homeowners had this same issue?

Sounds great, I thought, when I received the letter from Tampa-based Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty. Especially after hearing that Citizens ended up being approved for rate hikes averaging above 10 percent next year.

Florida Consumers can't make a confident decision, because these carriers won't answer the actual largest question - about all of the cost of contracts every time they renew next year.

When I called Homeowners Choice, a customer service representative explained my current Citizens policy would remain in force until it lapses next July. She said the business enterprise would mail me a renewal offer in May, but that she couldn't say exactly what the premium might possibly be. Nor could she necessary under some company's current rates to find a policy comparable to my Citizens coverage. And he or she didn't know but if your company has put setting yourself up for a rate increase for next year.

What type system is that? Do you really want to try and find a car or a home with no knowledge of the actual going rate?

My answer: Thanks, but I’ll have to pass on this option.

On Saturday I spoke to company CEO Paresh Patel, asking how consumers should decide with such limited information. He said he understood the concerns, but there is much uncertainty for next year and the carriers aren’t going to try and mislead consumers. The way in which, he was quoted saying, "Our rates are on the same as Citizens." He was quoted saying the company has asked to have an average 6 percent rate increase, but state regulators could require more.

Are you frustrated with the way Citizens conducts business in Florida?  Remember, they are the carrier that is a last resort, and they seem to do the best they can under the circumstances.  If you received this infamous letter from Citizens, comment on our Blog today and let us know how you really feel about this situation.

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Force-Placed Insurance

Friday, October 5, 2012

MIAMI, FLORIDA - Lenders who allow their home insurance to lapse will often get stuck with a bill for much more expensive coverage, courtesy of their mortgage holders.

Called force-placed or lender-placed insurance, these policies protect banks’ interests when borrowers fail to follow through on the standard loan requirement that they maintain continuous coverage on their home.

The use of these policies soared during the recession, as homeowners who fell behind on their mortgages effectively stopped paying their insurance as well, since premiums are typically included in the monthly payment. From 2006 to 2011, direct earned premiums for lender-placed insurance more than tripled, to $3.1 billion from $954 million, according to the Insurance Information Institute. “It’s a privately run, high-risk market of last resort,” said Robert P. Hartwig, the institute’s president.

But state and federal regulators have begun to question whether mortgage servicers have been too quick to slap these high-priced policies into place, possibly because of financial incentives. At hearings held this spring by the New York State Department of Financial Services, a representative for American Home Mortgage Servicing acknowledged that a company affiliate receives 15 percent commissions from QBE First, a major provider of lender-placed insurance, for policies placed on its loans.

Because the premiums for lender-placed policies are 2 to 10 times as expensive as standard homeowner policies, these policies impose a considerable burden on already distressed homeowners, said Alexis, a research and policy analyst for New York’s Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project. In some cases, the cost more or less ensures foreclosure for a household on the brink; it can also hurt a borrower’s chances for a loan modification.

Fannie Mae has adopted new mortgage servicer guidelines aimed at reducing the likelihood that borrowers will get stuck with a high-priced policy unnecessarily. The guidelines require the servicer to keep the borrower’s own homeowner policy in force if at all possible, even if that means advancing money to cover the past-due premium.

The servicer is required to contact the borrower by letter at least twice before putting a lender policy in place. Such disclosures must explain that lender-placed insurance costs more, and that it covers only the structure of a house, not its contents.

Once a lender policy is in place, homeowners can still buy their own insurance and ask to have the lender policy canceled. Fannie Mae wants servicers to refund the premiums on canceled policies within 15 days of receiving evidence of other coverage.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed similar guidelines, as part of the mortgage servicer rules it is writing to implement the Dodd-Frank Act.

“The new rules would require the servicer to continue advancing the money to keep the homeowner’s policy in effect rather than letting it lapse, so the forced-place insurance would never even come up,” said Andrew Pizor, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center.

Consumer advocates like Mr. Pizor are concerned that, under the bureau’s proposal, the requirement does not apply if a borrower doesn’t have an escrow account. The bureau is accepting public comment on the rules through Oct. 9; comments may be registered on its Web site.

Mr. Hartwig of the insurance institute defends the rates as a reflection of the risk of insuring the homes on a lender’s books in bulk, “sight unseen, irrespective of their condition.”

But Birny Birnbaum, a former insurance regulator and the executive director of the Center for Economic Justice in Texas, says losses on lender-placed policies amount to less than on standard policies. “The responsibility comes down to regulators to do their job and say rates need to be reasonable and not excessive,” he said.

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Home Warranty Policy

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Your home insurance policy covers you for water damage or if a fire burns down your house, but for rare occurrences like an electrical problem or a broken appliance, you will have to pay for that out of your own pocket.  Does that seem fair to you?

Many homeowners purchase a home warranty policy to cover them for the little items that break down in your house.  I know last year my air handler on the AC unit went haywire.  I didn’t have a home warranty policy and paid nearly $500 out of my pocket for this repair.   It probably would have been a smart idea to purchase this low cost insurance plan, which might have had a premium of about $200 per year.  This type of policy covers you for items like AC unites, home electrical, and hot water heaters. 

 “It simplifies the cash management and process of getting them fixed,” says Thomas Rusin, chief executive officer at Home Serve, a home emergency insurance provider. “When you walk into the kitchen and there’s water running out of the sink most people think ‘I don’t have the time for this and how much is it going to cost?’ For around $100 we take care of all that.”

Next time something breaks down in your house you should contemplate purchasing a home warranty policy through a company like Home Serve.  Most homeowners don’t understand that they are responsible for taking care of the outside line that connects many of the utilities from the street to their home.  When something like a big pipe running through your yard bursts, you are for sure looking at thousands of out-of-pocket expenses.  You should inquire about this added coverage for your home.  It is worth the money. 

Let us know what you think.  Have you ever purchased a home warranty policy?  If so, lets us know how it paid when push came to shove. 

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Rates Might Go Up In NC

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

RALEIGH, NC – It looks like the North Carolina Rate Bureau released a new proposal today that would issue increases for home insurance policyholders statewide.

According to this information, the proposed increase in home insurance premiums would increase on average close to 18%.  This number was averaged for the majority of the intra-coastal areas in NC.  If you live in a housing community near the ocean, your increase will be much higher. 

If you live in a county like Pender or Brunswick, get ready for the sticker shock of your premium increase.  The majority of homeowners in these counties will get over a 30 percent increase in rates . 

Mr. Tyler Newman is with the Business Alliance for a Sound Economy.   “The perception is that we have more hurricanes than the interior part of the state but that’s not true,” said Newman.  “The hurricanes, the storms that we have, don’t stop at I-95, they move all the way through the state.”

The Department of Insurance in NC will announce a final determination of this rate increase within the next couple of weeks.  Many individuals have been putting up a fight against the premium increases and the public will have the opportunity to comment on this issue to the state DOI.

Skyrocketing increases of home insurance premiums all across the United States has many families uneasy as to what the future might hold.  From North Carolina, to Florida and back to California, rates keep going up.  What can we do to slow this down in America?

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Property Insurance Rates Leveling Out in 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

Property insurance rates in the United States are leveling out in 2012, according to a recent study completed by Marsh. (A large property insurance broker)

Even though we didn't see any large natural catastrophes during the start of the year, rates are still slightly increasing due to many factors in a variety of geographic areas.  Rates are seen to be leveling out in 2012 because the increases have been minimal this year.

It looks like one of the reasons why the property insurance rates are still going up in small increments was due to the insured losses that were offered in 2011.  This was according to Marsh's "Global Insurance Market Quarterly Briefing:  First Quarter 2012."

Many of these losses are showing up in risk areas like business interruption, where insurance companies are being very cautious in how they underwrite each individual property case, thus taking on less risk. 

Additionally, many changes offered in 2011 risk models used by insurance companies will probably slow down premium increases in the upcoming months. 

Premiums in the United States for catastrophic-exposed risks increased between 5 and 25 percent, while most of the property insured in non-catastrophic areas only went up 5 to 10 percent. 

“The global commercial property insurance market is continuing to show signs of upwards rate trends, especially for catastrophe-exposed risks,” said Dean Klisura, U.S. Risk Practices Leader, Marsh.

Marsh deals with a variety of insured properties throughout the United States.  Do you fill this report is accurate for your situation.  How much were your home insurance premiums increased this year at time of renewal?  We would like consumers to give us an idea in how they feel about increases of insurance premiums.  Let us know how feel today, comment below. 

 

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Home Insurance Premiums On The Rise

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jacksonville, Florida - Increasing home insurance claims are on the rise due to the simple fact that more people are making claims.  Home insurance claim frequency is through the roof over the past 24 months. 

A new study was conducted by the IRC (Insurance Research Council).  They found that the average claim payment per person in the United States rose above 170% from 1997 to 2011.  The actual costs per insured house increased to nearly 30% in that same time period respectively.

The study concluded that during this period of time the annulated rate of increase was over 7%.

From the study, “Trends in Homeowners Insurance Claims,” the Insurance Research Council reviewed and separated regular claims from catastrophic claims.  These average paid claims for both types had many similarities.  They showed around $8,000 for non-catastrophic claims and $7,500 for catastrophic claims.

Homeowners insurance premiums are on the rise every year.  This is due to many factors that surround certain geographic areas.  We would like to ask you, have your home insurance premiums increased significantly over this same period of time?  What do you think we can do to slow down the rise in house insurance premiums in America?

Read More Here: 

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2012/09/26/264398.htm

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Florida Health Insurance For Homeowners

“Find out facts regarding Florida health insurance change today”

A citizen of Florida has numerous choices to select from when it comes to Health Insurance. Quite a few insurance firms offer a wide range of plans for distinct health requirements.  The different insurance plans which are available are personal Florida health insurance, group medical health insurance, Florida medical health insurance, short-term health insurance, child/student health insurance, and much more.

GET FLORIDA HEALTH Insurance policy Prices Today

The state of Florida has passed health insurance reforms to make certain early comfort and stability to its residents. If any citizen of the State of Florida wishes to secure insurance coverage, he or she really should understand the establishments available and the eligibility conditions for them.  Generally there are several Florida health insurance facilities that supply services to distinct parts of society. Besides, there are specific regulations that are pertinent to individuals and households.

The different health insurance plans provided in Florida are

1.      Indemnity (Fee for Service): These ideas present a large choice of health care providers.  You need to pay the full amount promptly and send the invoice to the insurance agency to receive the refund of the sum according to policy terms and conditions.

2.      Preferred Provider Organization: PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) is an association of health care providers that features doctors and hospitals.  You can easily opt for any health care provider inside the system, that is revealed by your policy.  PPO insurance plans save a little money although you have got to make a co-payment in such programs.

3.      Health Maintenance Organization: HMO is similar to a PPO program, however the only distinction is that you need to make a co-payment to an in-network doctor.  The HMO strategy will not refund you the cost sustained if you acquire services outside the circle.  You have got to go through a primary care physician in order to seek services involving a expert.

4.      Point of Services (POS): This is equivalent to HMO but the truth is can go out of the health care community, if you’d like attention. Nevertheless, in such instances, the program will only repay 50 to 80 percent and you are also expected to pay co-insurance along with a insurance deductible.

You can also get short-term medical health insurance in Florida. One of the advantages of Temporary Health Insurance can be you get instant authorization or decline plus it is obtainable at the most affordable cost possible. Temporary Health Insurance guarantees protection for a limited period (up to a maximum of 36 months). Temporary health insurance includes most health conditions, like diabetes type 2.  On the other hand, it doesn’t cover any kind of pre-existing ailments.

 

 

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