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Archive for March 2011

Don’t Assume Art, Jewelry, Toys, All Have Coverage

If you have a  collectible an original mint conditioned Darth Vader figure signed by George Lucas himself – then you better read this:

 

Homeowners insurance policies typically cap the amount they’ll reimburse consumers for on items such as jewelry, art and collectibles — often at far less than the value these objects have accrued over time.

In the case of a fire, break-in or accident, the damage to your favorite family heirloom can mean a loss of more than fond memories.

“In that situation, there are certain limitations on your homeowners policy that may or may not cover that piece of art,” says Tim Hogan, head of elite services for insurance and consulting services firm Alper Services.

The same goes with jewelry, firearms, furs and antiques. “If you have an item that is valuable because of what it is …where the true value is not what’s on the tag, but worth a lot more, you can have items appraised and … insured separately under a floater policy,” says Madelyn Flannagan, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America vice president of agent development, education and research.

These policies can cost a couple of hundred dollars per year depending what they cover, but should be worth it, says Hogan. “When you schedule something under a policy, you’re getting …much bigger coverage,” he says. Putting these items on separate policies prevents you from having to pay a deductible when replacing them, as you would when making claims for items under a homeowners insurance policy. The annual cost of this coverage can run from 1.5% to 2% of the value of the items being insured.

Consumers shouldn’t assume the coverage for personal possessions on their homeowners policy is enough. “If you want to cover things, you need to ask about a rider or endorsement for those things specifically,” says Insure.com senior managing editor Amy Danise. “Otherwise, you’re underinsured.”

Lynn Gottlieb, 59, of Seattle, says she has itemized, scheduled personal property coverage for jewelry, which otherwise wouldn’t be adequately protected under her homeowners policy. She gets the items reappraised every two years, because in the past she didn’t do it frequently enough, and had to pony up her own cash after a break-in.

“I had to pay part of the cost to get the items replaced since the insurance did not totally cover them. What a bummer,” Gottlieb says.

Consumers could also look to coverage available on their existing homeowners insurance for protecting specialty items, says Ross Buchmueller of the insurer PURE. For example, some specialty insurers take the cap of jewelry coverage from $5,000 to $50,000. “Most people do not have enough coverage for jewelry; there are solutions besides simply buying a separate policy; look for solutions that have broader coverage for jewelry,” Buchmueller says.

Consumers should be on the lookout for how to protect the liability surrounding certain toys and recreational vehicles.

All-terrain vehicles, WaveRunners and motorized scooters are all covered under a homeowners policy — provided that they stay on those premises, says Hogan. If you actually want to use those vehicles out in the wilderness or on the waves — as they’re designed — you need to get separate insurance policies for them, he says.

(source)

Written by lordsinsurancelog

March 31, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Posted in Insurance News

How To Enhance Your Morning Experience

 

Good morning! Tired? Need to feel relaxed to get on with your day?

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Speakers/Audio output of some kind
  • Hot cup of coffee or tea
  • Warm blanket or heater on

Alright, ready? Take your nice hot cup of coffee or tea to your table, turn up the sounds of your speakers or headphones, and then click the following links:

  1. http://www.rainymood.com/
  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsD1zoI7NYo
  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMnrl0tmd3k

Have them all play simultaneousness. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your cup of tea or coffee.

Written by lordsinsurancelog

March 31, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Posted in Misc

Best Way To Obtain Insurance Rates

Everyone needs to be insured but that doesn’t mean you have to be breaking the bank just to do so!

If disaster strikes, though, going without insurance could make it even harder to recover. And in many cases, insurance isn’t optional: most states require drivers to carry a minimum level of auto insurance, and mortgage lenders usually require borrowers to have homeowners insurance.

The good news: you can buy a lot of protection without spending a lot of money. Life insurance rates have been dropping for years, mainly because people are living longer. Consumers who are willing to shop around can find a wide assortment of discounts and deals on home and auto insurance. Consumers who take the time to shop around could save hundreds of dollars a year, says Amy Danise, senior managing editor for Insure.com.

Here are five ways you can reduce the costs of insurance:

Buy policies from same insurer

Many insurers will give you a discount if you purchase two or more types of coverage from them, Danise says. These discounts are typically offered to customers who buy homeowners, auto and umbrella policies from the same insurer, but a few companies offer discounts on life insurance, too, Danise says.

Don’t automatically assume, though, that it’s cheaper to put all of your policies under one roof, says Joel Ohman, a financial planner and founder of InsuranceProviders.com. Discounts for multi-policy coverage range from 5% to 20%. If the discount is on the low end, you may get a better deal by buying policies from different companies, Ohman says.

Comparison shopping is particularly important if you have dings on your driving record, Danise says. Some insurers charge much lower rates for people with blemished driving records, she says.

Raise your deductibles

You can significantly reduce premiums for auto and homeowners insurance by carrying a higher deductible. Increasing your auto insurance deductible to $500 from $200 could reduce your collision and comprehensive coverage by 15% to 30%, according to the Insurance Information Institute, an industry-funded educational organization. Increasing your deductible to $1,000 could slash your premiums by 40% or more. Increasing the deductible on your homeowners policy to $1,000 from $500 could lower your premiums by up to 25%. For this strategy to work, you need to make sure you have enough in savings to cover the deductible, Danise says. Otherwise, you could find yourself unable to pay your share of the cost to repair your car or home.

You or your insurance agent should run the numbers to make sure raising a deductible is worthwhile, says Richard McGrath, president of McGrath Insurance Group in Sturbridge, Mass. You should save enough in premiums to cover the higher deductible in three or four years, he says.

Check rates before you buy

The Mercedes SL 65 AMG is a snazzy-looking ride, but be prepared to pay a lot of money to impress your friends. The average annual insurance premium for this roadster is $3,543, vs. $1,091 for a Chrysler Town & Country LX minivan, according to Insure.com’s annual list of vehicles with the highest and lowest insurance rates. Typically, minivans and small and midsize sport-utility vehicles have the lowest insurance rates, while sports cars and convertibles cost the most to insure, Danise says. Since insurance can add significantly to the cost of owning a vehicle, check with your insurer before you go to the dealer’s showroom. Consumer Reports recommends asking your car dealer to show you the “Relative Collision Insurance Cost Information Booklet,” produced annually by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Likewise, consumers should take the cost of insurance into account when they’re shopping for a home. You may pay lower homeowners insurance premiums for a new home than for the charming 1920s bungalow on the other side of the street. Have you always dreamed of owning a home near the water? Check insurance rates before you buy that beach house. Homeowners insurance rates in some coastal areas have shot up 30% or more since Hurricane Katrina.

Look for discounts

You probably know that a safe driving record will get you a lower auto insurance rate. But did you know you can also get a lower rate by taking the bus to work? Many insurers offer a low-mileage discount for policyholders who drive below an annual threshold, typically 5,000 to 8,000 miles a year, Danise says. Most states require insurers to give a discount to drivers 55 or older who complete a defensive driving course, and a few require insurers to give a discount to anyone who completes such a course. You may also qualify for a discount if your car contains certain safety features, such as a car alarm.

Discounts can also reduce the cost of adding a teenage driver to your policy. Many insurers offer better rates for teenagers who have good grades. Others will lower your rate if you agree to install a monitoring device that tracks your child’s driving habits, Danise says.

Homeowners can lower their rate by installing burglar alarms and smoke detectors. Installing a sophisticated home-security system could lower your rate by up to 20%, according to Insure.com.

Some insurers provide discounts to older homeowners, Danise says. The reasoning: Retirees are home during the day, so their homes are less likely to be burglarized or damaged by fire.

Maintain good credit

You may think that your credit score has nothing to do with your driving habits, or the likelihood your house will burn down. Insurance companies disagree. They say that there’s a statistical correlation between credit scores and the likelihood someone will file an insurance claim. Consequently, drivers and homeowners with low scores often pay higher premiums than those with pristine credit. Consumer groups have criticized this practice, arguing that it discriminates against minorities and low-income consumers. A few states have enacted legislation that limits insurers’ ability to use credit scores to set rates.

Your best defense is a good offense: Pay your bills on time and don’t carry a large credit card balance. You should also check your credit reports regularly to make sure they don’t contain errors that could hurt your credit score. You can order a free annual copy of your credit report from the three credit bureaus at annualcreditreport.com.

(source)

 

Written by lordsinsurancelog

March 30, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Time Wasters of the Day

Hump day. What a silly alternative name for Wednesday. You know what isn’t silly? Wasting some time instead of working. Shhhh.

 

Entabulator (video) – Rockwell International decided to get into the heavy duty automatic transmission business. They were getting ready to tape their first introductory video. As a warm up, the stage crew began what has become a legend within the training industry. This man should have won an academy award for his stellar performance. This is strictly off the cuff; nothing is written down. Nothing he says is true. He had NO script!

Fork-lift driver loses control in warehouse (video) – What happens when a forklift driver neglects to pay attention to his work and hits a shelving unit in their giant warehouse holding nearly half a million in products? Those boxes contain glass bottles of vodka by the way.

German fork lift training video (video) – Perhaps the best training video in the world. The video does contain some fake blood and gore so watcher beware.

Subtle Safety Ring (link) – Perhaps the best way to look stylish and defend yourself at the same time. Assuming the wearer can throw a punch, this ring adds a little extra pain to the unsuspecting victim.

Written by lordsinsurancelog

March 30, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Posted in Daily Quip

Insurance Coverage for Nuclear Accidents

It’s been all over the news lately – nuclear this, nuclear that, radiation here, radiation there, but no one is really talking about the insurance side of nuclear!

Nuclear power plant owners in the U.S. are required by law to have liability insurance in place that covers any individuals and businesses located in the affected area who suffer damages in the event of a nuclear accident. A program for compensating the public for damage and injury caused by a commercial nuclear accident in the United States exists under the Price-Anderson Act.

The measure, first passed by Congress in 1957 and renewed four times, most recently in 2005, ensures that adequate funds are available to satisfy liability claims for property damage and personal injury to the public and limits the liability of companies involved in certain nuclear activities, such as power plant operators, in order to encourage the development of private nuclear power.

The measure also channels liability to the nuclear facility owner or operator. Currently, there is nearly $13 billion in liability insurance protection available to be used in the event of a commercial nuclear accident. The level of available insurance protection serves as the liability cap. Standard property/casualty insurance policies issued in the United States exclude coverage for property damage and personal injury caused by such accidents. All claims are channeled through the nuclear power plant operator.

Under Price-Anderson, claims can be for any nuclear-related incident including those that result from theft, sabotage, transporting or storing nuclear fuel or waste and the operation of nuclear reactors. Claims covered include bodily injury, sickness, disease resulting in death, and property damage and loss, as well as reasonable living expenses for individuals who are evacuated from an affected area.

Two Tiers of Coverage

Nuclear insurance consists of two tiers. The first tier is private liability insurance coverage made available by a pool of U.S. insurance companies, called American Nuclear Insurers. The second tier is made up of an assessment on nuclear power plant operators.

Currently, owners of nuclear power plants pay premiums for $375 million in private liability coverage for each nuclear reactor they own. If there is an incident at a nuclear plant, and the $375 million in coverage is not sufficient, the owner’s coverage is supplemented by the second layer of protection, which is supplied by the nuclear power industry as a whole.

Under the Price-Anderson Act, all reactor owners are committed to paying their share of any damages that exceed the incident reactor owner’s first tier limit of $375 million—up to $111.9 million per reactor. Since are currently 104 reactors in operation, the amount that would be available in the industry pool to pay claims totals $12.6 billion (2011). If this second tier is depleted, the act calls on Congress to decide whether any additional disaster funds are required.

Three Mile Island

There has been only one major accident involving large scale liability payments to the public since Price-Anderson was enacted: the 1979 Three-Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant accident in Middletown, Pennsylvania. Following the Three-Mile Island accident, insurance adjusters immediately advanced money to evacuated families to cover their living expenses, and reimbursed more than 600 individuals and families for lost wages.

A class action lawsuit for economic loss was filed later in federal court on behalf of the residents who lived near the site of the power plant. Insurers paid about $71 million in liability claims and litigation costs associated with the accident. The payments all came from the primary tier of coverage ($140 million per reactor at the time). In addition to the liability payments to the public under the Price-Anderson Act, $300 million was paid by a pool of insurers to the operator of the damaged nuclear power plant under its property insurance policy.

Source: Insurance Information Institute: iii.org.

 

Written by lordsinsurancelog

March 29, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Posted in Insurance News

Time Wasters Of The Day

Welcome to another episode of TIME. WASTERS. OF. THE. DAY!!

Cue applause.

SimplyNoise (link) – Are you the type of person who needs constant noise? Whether it be to sleep or read? SimplyNoise is a website that will play all your favorite white noises from the sound of white noise, to pink noise, and even brown noise!

Hyperbole and a Half (link) – A random and hilarious individual who writes and draws stories about the things in her life or the things that goes on in her head. I’m actually not quite sure, her about me page is the most useless page ever.

Full Screen Weather (link) – Pretend to be a weatherman/girl and take a look at this full screen map of the weather around you. Never again will you have to ask yourself “I wonder how cold it is in New York” when you can simply just drag your mouse over to New York and bam! Weather.

The Baby Name Wizard (link) – Tracks baby name popularity across time and space.

Written by lordsinsurancelog

March 29, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Posted in Daily Quip

Time Wasters Of The Day

Hello Monday lovers, yeah all two of you. Start off your day with a nice cup of coffee and some time wasters instead of all that fancy responsibilities you have in your inbox.

Genki Sudo – World Order in New York (video) – Ever curious as to what it looks like when 7 Japanese men in business suits dance and walk around slowly in New York? Wonder no further!

Sandra Lee – Lush Lagoon (video) – Watch as Sandra Lee tells you one of her favorite recipes which includes two shots of Vodka. Wait..2 shots? That doesn’t look like 2…

SWITL (video) – I don’t know what SWITL means and after watching this video, I still don’t know what it means. Even then, this has to be one of the coolest and most useless inventions I’ve seen.

Etsy (link) – A website dedicated to home-made accessories, jewelry, art, and so much
more. Arguably the best website to find unique accessories to impress your friends with.

Regretsy (link) – A website dedicated to the bizare home-made accessories, jewelry, art, and so much more than exist on Etsy.

Written by lordsinsurancelog

March 28, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Posted in Daily Quip