From the category archives: Insurance Protection Blog

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Should Your Collision Coverage be Dropped?

If you are like most new car owners, then you probably paid the extra money to include the protection offered by collision coverage in your insurance policy. However, as your vehicle has now begun to age and depreciate, you've likely started to ponder if and when you should drop the pricey collision coverage that's running up your insurance bill. There's not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. After all, everyone won't have the same comfort level on risk or the same insurance needs and wants. However, there are some factors that you can consider to help you determine if and when you should drop your collision coverage: 1. Determine the value of your vehicle. The first thing you should do when deciding if you should drop your collision insurance is determine approximately how much your car is worth. There are several ways to go about this, but one of the best methods is by getting an actual cash value (ACV) estimate. Kelley Blue Book and N.A.D.A. guides are excellent sources. However, you might wan ...
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The CLUE Report: Don't Be Left Clueless on Insuring Your New Home

If you don't properly educate yourself on the home buying process, it can very well be like walking into a minefield. Most buyers at least have a novice understanding on areas like their credit, pre-approval, a home inspection, and so forth. However, most buyers don't have a clue what a CLUE report is, much less what an important element it is when buying and insuring a new home. Considering that around 90% of all insurers underwriting homeowner's insurance subscribe to the CLUE service, it's certainly something that you should know about. What Is CLUE? The Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, or CLUE, is a database that allows auto and homeowner insurers to exchange information about property loss claims. Unless your state specifically requires it, prior notification isn't required before your information goes into the system. ChoicePoint, one of the largest personal consumer data compilers in the United States, maintains the database. Property loss claims and even inquiries into coverage are entered ...
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Save Money by Avoiding These Costly Insurance Mistakes

When it comes to purchasing insurance, fear is an important motivator. We are justified in our worries about protecting assets such as homes and automobiles, and we buy insurance to protect our financial integrity. Despite our best efforts, sometimes our insurance does not offer full financial protection. This is not necessarily because there is a problem with the insurance policy; it can be a result of human failure. When purchasing an insurance policy, many people fail to look at the true level of coverage that is necessary to restore assets to their pre-disaster conditions. Below are five common insurance mistakes to avoid at all costs: *Trying to do it all on your own - Shopping for insurance is complicated, and it is best to seek professional advice. While it is fine to use the Internet to educate yourself, you should ultimately work with an independent agent who can offer multiple options for your consideration. An agent will help you untangle the complex issues involved in purchasing the proper amoun ...
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Five Things You Should Know about Your Condo Association's Insurance

A condominium unit-owner usually has her own insurance policy that covers her for loss of her personal belongings, parts of the building that the condominium agreement makes her responsible for insuring, the additional cost of living elsewhere after a fire damages her unit, and her legal liability for injuries or damages suffered by others. In turn, the condominium association has its own policy, which may cause some unit-owners to wonder why they have to buy separate insurance. Doesn't the association's insurance cover the same things that her policy does? Depending on the property at issue, the answer is maybe yes and maybe no. Insurance companies designed the two types of policies to complement each other in some cases and to overlap in others. Here are five things unit-owners should know about their associations' insurance. The association's policy covers the building. Depending on the wording in the contract between the association and the unit-owner, the word "building" may mean several different thing ...
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Insurance Advice for after the Storm

Severe weather can come in many shapes and sizes.  It may take the form of heavy rain or snow, strong winds, thunder and lightning, and/or flooding.   When it comes to protecting your home and auto, you must prepare for the worst.  If damaging weather does come your way, here are some suggestions on what to do when the storm has passed: 1.   Contact your agent or insurance company as soon as possible to arrange a visit from an adjuster. 2.   Take photographs of any damage before doing repairs to your home.  Also, make an itemized list of all damage sustained during the storm and its aftermath. 3.   Protect your home from further damage by making only temporary repairs until your insurance company advises you further. Save all receipts for materials purchased for repairs. 4. Exercise caution when beginning repairs and clean up. Be careful with power tools such as chainsaws, and use proper safety equipment like safety helmets and/or glasses. 5. &n ...
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Don't Let Obsolete Driving Techniques Put You in Harm's Way

It can be hard to hear your kids call your beloved television show reruns, choice of music, hairstyle, and/or clothes old school, but you'll have to remember that you probably didn't exactly jive with your parent's choices either. While Elvis's Rubbernecking may forever play in your head and never become dated in your eyes, you should realize that your driving techniques may be one dated area truly in need of an update. The advances made to automotive technology and in safety research have likely made most of what you learned as a new driver not only dated, but dangerous. Here are six tips to bring your driving skills up-to-date and avoid jeopardizing your safety, as well as those around you. 1. Seat position - airbags have made seat positioning an important safety issue for drivers and passengers. When airbags were first placed in vehicles, they caused some serious injuries to drivers seated too close during a deployment. Even modern de-powered airbags can deploy at 150 mph and cause serious injuries if th ...
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Don't Let Driving Emergencies Take You by Surprise

There are two golden rules to remember when driving - expect the unexpected and be ready for anything. Many agencies, such as the National Safety Council, have compiled listings of the most common road emergencies and the ways that drivers can best handle them safely. Let's look at six of them: 1. Blown Tire Don't over-steer, but do maintain a firm, steady grip on the wheel to keep the vehicle going in the desired direction until you're able to slow it down. Keep in mind that a front blown tire will cause the vehicle to pull toward the blowout's side, while a rear blown tire will cause the vehicle's rear end to weave. Apply your brakes smoothly and slowly enough that you can pull the car to the side of the road at a safe speed. Never immediately swerve to the side of the road or jam on the brakes as you could lose control. 2. Blown / Malfunctioning Headlights Slowly brake and come to a stop on the right shoulder. Try to get as far away from passing traffic as possible. Turn on your emergency flashers, if ...
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On-line Insurance as Opposed to an Insurance Agency: What's the Difference?

Just as one may use a CPA to prepare their income taxes or an attorney to help them with their estate planning, many choose to use an insurance agency to write their insurance policies. This choice is mainly made because a person feels they need professional advice during the process. Of course, everyone will have different needs and circumstances surrounding their purchase, and this is why an insurance professional's advice can be an invaluable asset. If you're debating buying insurance on-line versus through insurance agency, then you should ask yourself a couple of questions: * Do I know for certain what specific coverage(s) I need? * Do I know all the questions I should be asking before making an insurance purchase? * Will the on-line purchase truly result in both time and money savings? * Can I obtain all my insurance policies through a single on-line insurance provider? * Can I call the on-line insurance provider and receive insurance advice when needed? * Is the personal information I'll be prov ...
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Are Your Valuable Collectibles and Antiques Adequately Protected?

Many Americans have a passion for collecting costly antiquities, while others may simple inherent some valuable antiques from their relatives. Either way, these antiques are often not adequately protected under a typical homeowner's insurance policy. Being inadequately insured could mean significant financial and emotional loss if something were to happen to one of your antiques. As far as antiques go, a standard homeowner's insurance policy may very likely include restrictive coverage and limits and have a valuation only on the actual cash value. Before you mistakenly assume that adding a personal property replacement cost endorsement to your homeowner's policy will provide you with coverage, you should realize that the endorsement lists several ineligible properties, including antiques, paintings, art, and memorabilia. There are also several coverage restrictions, such as excluding coverage if the antique is accidentally scratched or broken. Here are six tips that may help you better protect your valuable ...
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Are Your Safe Driving Skills Up to Par?

As if we didn't already have enough distractions, on-board GPS systems, portable DVD players, iPods, and Smartphones have created more driving distractions than ever before. And, it's certainly not atypical for a vehicle to simultaneously have ringing phones, cartoons blaring from the backseat, a GPS incessantly yelping orders out, and fast-food fries flying around like ninja weopons. Even though elements like the above have been proven to make it nearly impossible for a driver to devote their full attention to the road at all times, many drivers still think they're perfectly safe drivers. Here's a simple yes -or- no quiz that you should take to really determine just how safe you are when driving with distractions: 1. So long as I'm not watching, it's okay for passengers to watch a movie on the vehicle's in-dash video screen? The answer is no. Not only do most front seat, in-dash video screens generally have a feature that prevents it from showing entertainment or business video when the car is moving, but ...
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