How much car insurance do I need?

No matter where you live, if you want to own and drive a car you will need to buy auto insurance. The type and amount of insurance you may be required to carry varies from state to state. In general you are required to carry property damage and bodily injury liability insurance for injuries sustained by another party or his or her property.

Financing a Car

When you are making payments on a car you will be required to carry comprehensive and collision coverage in addition to state mandated liability coverage. A lender will require you to carry full insurance to cover the value of the car or the amount that you are actually financing. By having adequate insurance, the lender will be assured that if you have an accident or your car is stolen, the company’s interest in the car is protected.

If You Own Your Car

While it is usually not required that you carry comprehensive or collision coverage if your car has been paid off, it may still be wise to purchase that type of auto insurance. Even if your car is 5 or 6 years old, it still may be worth quite a bit. If you intend to keep your car for a while and it is in good condition, you will want to have coverage in case you get in an accident or it is stolen. It is worth paying a few hundred dollars in an additional premium to pay for repairs in the event of an accident.

Keeping the Premium Down

If you decide to get comprehensive and collision auto insurance, you can reduce the amount you will have to pay by increasing your deductible. Also, look for discounts from your insurance company for such things as being a safe driver or having certain safety equipment on your car.

How Home Building Material Impacts Your Policy Rate

Homeowners in Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma are well aware of the damage that hail storms can wreak upon roofing materials. In Texas, it is estimated that about 40 percent of insurance claims from homeowners are due to hail damage. Large hail, the size of golf balls and baseballs, cause heavy damage during Colorado storms, and the largest hail stone on record landed in Kansas, measuring over 6 inches in diameter. Insurance companies have paid billions of dollars out for hail damage alone, so the development of impact resistant roofing materials is very welcome.

Successful intensive material testing by State Farm and Underwriter’s Laboratories, since 1966, has identified several types of roofing materials that withstood steel ball testing for impact resistance. Use of these materials is one way to reduce policy rates for homeowners insurance. Some roofing materials, like slate, are almost indestructible. Some new homes are using metal shingles that are fire-resistant and lightweight. Fiberglass shingles are more durable than traditional asphalt shingles. Wood shingles or shakes may have a higher risk for fire damage than other materials. Tile is attractive and durable, but it may present a weight problem for the building structure.

Just like in an old fairy tale, the house made from bricks will be stronger and less prone to weather damage than one made from wood. Homeowners insurance policy rates will vary by many factors, including geographic area, weather history and damage statistics. Home building materials are another factor that will impact your policy rate. This is an area of concern for those who are buying a new home, an existing home or beginning a remodel project. Bring the facts about your building materials in with you when you consult with your insurance agent, before making any commitments to determine what impact building materials will have on your policy rate.

Why is Landlord Insurance Important?

Being a landlord is not as simple as collecting rent checks and maintaining the property. The legal responsibilities and liability associated with being a landlord can be overwhelming in certain unfortunate circumstances. Luckily, that is why there is landlord insurance There are a few basic types of landlord insurance that provide protection from the most common occurrences. These are the most important.

  • Limited Contents Insurance. Tenants often means damages. Landlords can obtain coverage that covers only specifically itemized contents and items such as lighting fixtures, window coverings, flooring, carpeting and similar contents.
  • Unlimited Contents Insurance policies cover losses and structural damage to everything contained in the property that belongs to the landlord, including furniture, accessories and personal belongings. Loss may be due to fire, theft, storms, vandalism or other natural disasters.
  • Loss of Rental Insurance. Events like storm damage, fire, flood and other disasters can leave a property in unrentable condition. This insurance will continue to provide income comparable to the lost rent while repairs are being effected. Regular property insurance can cover the cost of those repairs.
  • Landlord Liability Insurance. Anything can happen. If your tenant or someone visiting your tenant is injured due to any one of many possible causes, including faulty electrical wiring or appliances, falling objects, damaged floorboards, or dozens of other situations, the liability for that injury falls to you as the landlord. Any injury that occurs on your property is your responsibility. This insurance will protect you from these potential losses as well as lost rental due to the tenant’s inability or refusal to pay his rent.

Landlord insurance is the best way to protect yourself from property loss, income loss and personal liability associated with any rental property. Coverage options can be specifically designed to meet your specific requirements.

Tailored Home Insurance for Home Owners

A general home insurance policy is not necessarily the best one for all homeowners. When purchasing home insurance, it is best to look for a tailored home insurance policy that meets the individual needs of the homeowner. Think about it: Someone that owns a multi-million-dollar home will definitely have different needs than the first time starter home buyer. The contents alone will be significantly different and so will coverage needs.

The elements of basic home insurance policies may look sufficient, but take time with your professional agent to work up an individual, tailored home insurance policy that meets your specific needs. Every homeowner is different, with unique needs for insurance. Someone that runs a business from their home will want to have extra coverage, such as professional liability insurance. Another person may have a large family, and so they will want to include provisions in their home insurance to assure full replacement should some disaster ruin the home.

There are many different situations that can be individually dealt with by an insurer. A homeowner may need extra liability insurance if the property includes a potentially hazardous element, such as a swimming pool. For others, home and property becomes a major portion of their final estate. Without proper insurance coverage and accurate valuation of the home and contents, the estate value may be less if damage or destruction occurs to the home.

A tailored approach is always the best way to get the right home insurance that meets the expectations of the homeowner. Adjust deductibles higher or lower to achieve a premium cost that is acceptable, but do not fail to obtain exactly the right coverage. A general policy may be just a beginning; ask your agent to explain all the other insurance options, discounts and types of home insurance that are available for your individual situation.