— Insurance Help For YOU


Posted on July 10, 2008. Filed under: -- Insurance Help For YOU | Tags: , , |

Dear Readers =) I thought this might be of value to you. I know this was written in May and it’s now July, but the information is still helpful. Best, Molly
 by Amy Hoak
Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Homeowners often don’t take time to reassess home-insurance coverage when it’s time to pay the premium. But with many Americans looking for ways to save a buck these days, examining that paperwork could pay off.

While raising the deductible is often an easy way to reduce premium costs, it isn’t the only way. Discounts in the form of credits are also available for many homeowners.

“Credits can really add up and become substantial,” says Pete Spicer, vice president and new product manager for Warren, N.J.-based Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.

A renovated-house credit, for example, is available through Chubb for homes that have been renovated in the last 10 years. Those eligible to take advantage of that credit may shave off as much as 10% of their premium if the renovation occurred in the last year.

It’s likely that some of these breaks will be brought to your attention by your agent, says Dick Luedke, spokesman for Bloomington, Ill.-based State Farm Insurance, but it doesn’t hurt to ask about them yourself if you think you may qualify.

Below are five home-insurance credits that are offered. Availability and eligibility will vary by carrier.

Security Protection Credit

Many carriers offer a credit if a home has a functioning security system, with the amount of the credit dependent on the type of system. According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowners can often get at least 5% off their bill for a smoke detector, burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks. Add a sophisticated sprinkler system and a fire and burglar alarm that rings the police, fire department or another monitoring station, and you may be in for a premium reduction of as much as 15% or 20%, according to the institute.

Central Monitoring

Central monitoring systems can shut off the water if there’s a leak detected while the homeowner is away, or raise the indoor temperature if it moves out of a specified range. Chubb, for example, offers 2% credits for water-leak detection systems as well as temperature monitoring systems that protect a home’s pipes from freezing.

Disaster Preparedness

Credits are available for people who guard their homes against natural disaster. Storm shutters and shatter-proof glass can help reduce premiums in some areas, according to the Insurance Information Institute. At State Farm, a wind-resistant roof can result in a discount from 3% to 20%, Mr. Luedke says. At Chubb, an automatic seismic shut-off valve that protects gas lines in the event of an earthquake, as well as a back-up generator, can reduce an insurance bill.

Other Discounts

Live in a gated community? Chubb provides a 5% credit for that level of security. Many carriers will also offer breaks if the home’s plumbing or electrical system has been completely modernized, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Discounts for Repeat Customers

There’s often a discount if at least one car is insured under the same carrier that insures your home, Mr. Luedke says. And the longer you’ve been a customer — and haven’t racked up any claims — the better the price break. At State Farm, for example, a claim-free customer who has used the company for more than nine years is eligible for a 20% break on his or her premium.

Copyrighted, Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
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PMI- Private Mortgage Insurance

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: -- Insurance Help For YOU, -- Real Estate Guide For Today's Market | Tags: , , , , , |

By Molly Greaves

In a perfect world, you dont want to borrow more than 80% of your home’s value. If you do, you’ll end up picking up the cost of PMI. 

Look at how it can add up. Quickly too!

PMI for a $250,000 home with only 15% down: $57/month. Times that by 52 (amount of months you’ll need to pay it) and your total cost is $2964, according to Money Magazine in June 2007.

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Suze Orman’s Insurance Action Plan

Posted on July 6, 2008. Filed under: -- Book Summaries, -- Building Wealth, -- For The Investor In YOU, -- Insurance Help For YOU, -- Top 10... | Tags: , , , , |


I’ve gotten good response emails from a few readers that liked my Suze Orman post. They too say they cant handle her show, but appreciate her knowledge and advice. 

Since I’m one that just loves deals and knowledge, I wanted to share with you what I found when investigating ways to be a better insurance consumer. I got this tidbit from Suze Orman’s book “Women & Money: Owning The Power To Control Your Destiny.” Although the title implies that the book is for women, the advice is for all. This is verbatem from her book. I’m not an insurance whiz by any means, but I do find the information valuable to readers so I still wanted to type it up and post it anyway. 


-Get life insurance to protect anyone who is dependent on your income.

-Buy term insurance. Do not buy any other type of insurance.

-Opt for a guaranteed renewable policy. 

– For maximum protection, aim for a death benefit that is equal to twenty times the annual income your dependents need to cover their living costs.

– Make your revocable living trust the beneficiary of your life insurance policy.


-Make sure your dwelling limit coverage is updated to reflect the current cost of rebuilding your home if it were destroyed.

-Check that your dwelling limit coverage is either guaranteed replacement cost or extended replacement cost. 

-Make sure your possessions are insured for replacement value; if you just have actual cash value coverage, you need to upgrade your policy.

-Confirm that your policy has an automatic inflation adjustment.

-Find out your coverage for additional living expenses. Ideally, you want a policy that will pay your living costs indefinitely while you rebuild/repair your home. 

-Get a separate personal umbrella policy if you’re assets are valued at more than $500,000.


-Make sure you have your own personal renter’s policy. If the value of your personal assets exceeds the liability coverage in your policy, buy an additional personal umbrella policy.


-Get your own personal condo owner’s policy. If the value of your personal assets exceeds the liability coverage in your policy, buy an additional personal umbrella policy.

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