Posts Tagged ‘Homeowners Insurance Policy’

Easy 2nd Income String For Realtors and Mortgage Reps

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Are you looking for a way to earn extra revenue while helping your clients and doing no extra work? Let me explain this very simple and exciting new program designed for Realtors to earn extra money.

We have designed a program that doesn’t cost you anything to take part, and once set up it works on auto pilot. You will be able to earn money and help your clients at the same time. This is a win-win every way you look at it.

Every Realtor knows that homeowners insurance is needed on every home purchase that has a mortgage. This is something that either the Realtor or the Mortgage rep has a conversation about with the client.

To read more or sign up for free go to:
http://www.quotematcher.com/affiliates/realtor.asp

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Insurer may have violated law, report reveals

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

A high-profile California insurance company that is backing a controversial insurance measure on the June ballot has engaged in practices that may be illegal, including deceptive pricing and discrimination against consumers such as active members of the military and drivers of emergency vehicles, according to a state report obtained by The Chronicle.The report, obtained through the state Public Records Act, alleges that Mercury Insurance Group may have violated Proposition 103, the landmark consumer protection law approved by voters in 1988. The measure limited the cost of policies and made civil rights and antitrust laws apply to the insurance industry.

The 275-page report by the state Department of Insurance was authorized for release by Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. The documents, which cover the firm’s practices from the mid-1990s to 2004, are the state’s most recent completed investigation of the company.

In its reporting, the state found evidence that Mercury may have violated state laws by:

– Flagging some consumers for higher rates if they had been in an accident, even if it was not their fault.

– Not immediately granting coverage to applicants including military personnel on active duty, “artists,” those employed “in the entertainment industry as actors, dancers, etc.,” and emergency vehicle drivers.

– Raising insurance premiums after its sales agents quoted prices for discounts for which the consumer was not eligible. The department said this was the single largest category of complaints it received about the firm.

– Collecting higher premiums than allowed by law by requiring its brokers to return part of their fees to the company.

– Requesting information about customers’ “national origin,” a practice that the department said “could raise questions about the legality of Mercury’s personal automobile policy cancellation and non-renewal decisions” under state law. Mercury agreed to block such data after the state investigators raised concerns.

State officials said the report uncovered 25 issues or questionable practices by Mercury, seven of which remain unresolved.

Kathy Fairbanks, a spokeswoman for the company, disputed the state’s findings and said consumer groups intend to use the report to “muddy the waters” regarding Proposition 17, the June ballot measure that Mercury is backing.

“We’re talking about issues years ago that have been addressed and taken care of,” Fairbanks said. “I’m not going to respond (to details of the report) because it’s unrelated to Prop. 17, which is what voters are going to review.”

Fairbanks said the June measure, called the “Continuous Coverage Discount Initiative,” would increase competition and lower rates by providing auto insurance discounts to millions of Californians who “continually maintain” auto insurance coverage, an idea she said has been backed by groups including the California Chamber of Commerce.

Mercury put up $3.5 million last year to back a group called “Californians for Fair Auto Insurance Rates” to support Prop. 17, which consumer advocates say would dramatically change state auto insurance laws.

Prop. 17 affects rates

A leading consumer advocate was quick to respond to the state report.

“In my career as a consumer advocate, I’ve never seen such a devastating indictment of a single insurance company,” said Harvey Rosenfield, founder of Consumer Watchdog of Santa Monica and author of Prop. 103. He called the practices “illegal, unfair and un-American,” saying “it’s shocking that Mercury so brazenly defied the law for so many years.”

Rosenfield said Prop. 17 will allow Mercury to raise rates for Californians not previously insured or those who let their insurance lapse – a practice that is illegal under Prop. 103.

“What’s outrageous is that Mercury is spending millions on an initiative to legalize the kind of discriminatory surcharges that they were caught doing by (state) investigators,” Rosenfield said.

Poizner said he could not comment on his department’s findings on the company because his office is involved in an administrative action against Mercury for non-compliance on an issue dating back to 1998 that surfaced in the state’s examination of the company.

But the insurance commissioner, who is a Republican candidate for governor in the June primary election, said that if the state finds any insurance company to have violated the law, he will “come down on them like a ton of bricks.”

Mercury’s performance and its political muscle could also play out in the governor’s race this year. The company and its chairman, George Joseph, have donated more than $7.2 million to state political campaigns in the past decade and rank among California’s most deep-pocketed political donors.

In 2009, Mercury donated $13,000 to the gubernatorial campaign of Attorney General Jerry Brown but has not donated to Poizner’s campaign for governor.

Former state insurance commissioner John Garamendi, now a congressman, said that starting in 2002 his office “received complaints about Mercury’s practices – and those complaints rose to the level where we felt it was necessary to investigate.”

Under Poizner, who was elected insurance commissioner in 2006, the state has continued to investigate Mercury, the parent firm to the state’s third-largest auto insurance firm, which serves 10 percent of the market in California, records show.

“Mercury has a deserved reputation for abusing its customers and intentionally violating the law with arrogance and indifference,” the state department wrote in a Feb. 20, 2009, legal filing related to its administrative case.

Since 2006, the state has fined Mercury $600,000 for violations based on its own examinations and for consumer complaints about the firm, state officials said.

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Political clout

Garamendi and others said Mercury has a reputation for playing political hardball.

In 1996, when then-state Senate Pro Tem Bill Lockyer, a Democrat, opposed Mercury’s effort to amend Prop. 103, company chairman Joseph responded by writing a $500,000 check – to the state GOP.

“What really perturbed me is that, instead of cleaning up their act, they decided to try and change the law – to make legal what was illegal,” Garamendi said. “They went at it through the Legislature and we ultimately defeated that. And now they’ve come back with Prop. 17 … so they can do what is fundamentally unfair to the consumer.”

Fairbanks argued that Prop. 17 “levels the playing field and allows all the insurers to offer the same discount, which ultimately drives down rates” to benefit California drivers with good records who’ve maintained their auto insurance coverage.

Rosenfield said Poizner “deserves accolades for disclosing an examination that is important for the public to consider – not just customers of Mercury but voters who will have to assess the credibility of this initiative.”

Consumer Watchdog has urged Brown – who has yet to formally declare himself a candidate for governor – to consider revising the title and summary for Prop. 17 that will appear on the ballot. The group argues that Brown’s ballot description failed to mention that the measure could lead to higher rates for some Californians.

Brown’s office has said the summary accurately reflects changes in the initiative and its impacts. A nonpartisan analysis of Prop. 17 on the insurance commissioner’s Web site says some consumers will get discounts under the initiative but it “will result in a surcharge for other drivers.”

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Google Video World Most New Best Man Pic

Monday, January 25th, 2010

What’s with that title? Read the story to find out more.

diggPeople want to know how to get there story onto the front page of Digg. Digg is huge and if you make the front page, Digg can send you thousands of visitors. The title of this story contains the 8 Most dugg words on DIGG that aren’t filler words like the, to, of, ect…

Here is there order:

1 Pic

2 Video

3 New

4 World

5 Google

6 Best

7 Man

8 Most

If you want to get a complete list of dugg words Check This Out.

Let’s see how many times this page gets dugg and if it shows up on the front page of Digg.

This information was brought to you by QuoteMatcher.com where you can Compare Insurance Quotes, Compare Contractors and Compare Home Service Estimates.

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Today’s Insurance Safety Tips – Cold Weather

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

It’s that time of the year again.  The chill creeps into you bones.  They also creep into the bones of you home and car.  Make sure to take some preventive measure to make sure you home and vehicle are in tip top shape.

You Home.  Make sure to turn off all water going to outside faucets as they may burst due to the cold.   If you have any pipes in outside soffits that you can get to make sure they are insulated.  Make sure outside gutters are clean.  In winter run off water can collect and freeze and if gutters are clogged it may cause water damage to roof and beams adjacent to the gutters and downspouts.

Car Maintenance.  Make sure your tire pressure is set correctly.  This helps with tire traction during cold weather.  Change your windshield washer fluid to a de-icer fluid during the winter.  This way it won’t freeze and you can use it to clear morning frost from your windshield.  Do a radiator flush changing your antifreeze this will help your car run better in cold weather.  Other things to consider is to keep a warm blank and some packaged food/snacks in the car in case you break down and need to stay the night.

As always if you are looking to save money on your insurance.  Take a look at Auto Insurance Quotes and Homeowners Insurance Quotes to compare rates from multiple companies by completing one simply form.

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Homeowners Insurance – How Much Do You Need?

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

homeownerspicYour home is probably the biggest investment you’ll ever make, it makes sense to take measures to protect that valuable investment. The best way to safeguard your home investment is through homeowner’s insurance.

Don’t settle for just any homeowners insurance policy. Your home and your homes contents are unique and the amount of insurance you need depends on this and your personal requirements. But how much insurance is enough?

Here are a couple of ways for you to determine how much home owners insurance coverage is right for you:

Market value may not be enough

While it might be tempting to buy just enough homeowner’s insurance to cover the resale value of your home, this may be too low.

Your home’s market value may be very different than what is known as its “replacement cost.” The replacement cost of your home is the amount of money you would need to rebuild your home to its previous condition if a total loss were to occur.

In today’s real estate market property values are falling throughout the country.  Due to this it is more important to protect you home for what it will cost to rebuild your home.

Calculate the replacement cost

Your homeowner’s insurance company can calculate how much it will cost to rebuild your home based on the following:

  • Square footage of your home
  • Type and quality of your home’s construction
  • Any updates, special features or add-ons to your home
  • Quality and cost of materials used in your home

Personal liability coverage

Modern homeowner’s insurance policies also include personal liability and medical expense coverage.    There is usually a preset dollar amount of coverage for these two items so; you might want to consider purchasing a separate personal umbrella liability policy, which can offer additional protection.

An umbrella policy offers a higher level of liability coverage and ensures that you and your family’s assets will be protected if someone sues you for damages. Umbrella policies typically pay up to a predetermined limit, which is usually purchase in increments of $1 million.

Protect your valuables

If you have valuable jewelry, artwork or collectibles, you may want to opt for even more homeowner’s insurance coverage for additional protection. You may assume your valuables are fully covered by your homeowner’s insurance, but that’s not always the case.  To be safer it may be wise to schedule these items separately for there estimated worth

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Jack Frost Nipping’ at Your Home? Why You Need Homeowners’ Insurance Against the Winter Weather.

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

As many of us in the northern parts of the U.S. find ourselves in the grips of increasingly colder weather, the familiar worries return to torment homeowners as they consider the possible effect of the soon-to-be-freezing temperatures and change in precipitation that comes along with the season. The best way to avoid losing sleep over concerns about your home is to be sure that your homeowner’s insurance policy includes coverage for the potential damage winter can wreak on your home.

When you check your home owner’s insurance information, you need to be sure that it allots for the following problems that can be directly brought on by the winter chill:

  • Windstorm or hail: With nor’easters driving up the coast throughout the winter bringing along high-level winds and excessive precipitation, threats of downed wires, branches and trees are regular worries.
  • Damage Caused by a Vehicle: Icy roads, slushy corners and drivers that aren’t cautious as they should be of the road conditions can mean problems for anyone living in a trafficked area.
  • Weight of Ice, Sleet or Snow: Looking out the window, the icicles and snow elegantly draped over the trees, rooftops and power lines can be truly beautiful but also a very real threat to your home.
  • Freezing of Household Systems or Appliance: Burst water pipes, or worse appliances that won’t work due to excessive cold can be a concern in many homes.

When researching home owners insurance quotes, be sure to think about the effects winter has on your home. If your current policy doesn’t cover all of the above, or you feel you need to improve your homeowner’s insurance policy, check out QuoteMatcher.com for free and easy-to-use home owners insurance quotes matching for your home.

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Home Owner Insurance Need To Know Information

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Home Owner Insurance 101

There are a few simple items you need to pay attention to when getting Homeowners Insurance Quotes.  Let take a look.

1. Your Deductible: What amount are you willing to pay if you file a claim before repairs or the claim is satisfied.  Unlike auto insurance most homeowner insurance claims could be avoided with proper maintenance and the chances of having a home owner insurance claim is much lower than an auto insurance claim. Therefore, Homeowner insurance deductibles should be around $1000 this will give you the best price break on your insurance without putting you out of pocket to bad if something should happen.

2. Coverage Amount:  Make sure to insure your home to the amount it will take to rebuild or at least 80% of this amount.  This way you will qualify for replacement cost value on all your property this eliminates the cost of depression for you.

3. Understand Limits:   To get the most out of your homeowners insurance policy you need to understand your policy limits.  For example know how much coverage you have for theft or computers or electronics.  There are many specific coverage’s inside your homeowners insurance policy and even though your overall policy is covered up to a predetermined amount specific coverage’s may lower the amount of coverage for specific events or items during a claim.

By understanding these three basic concepts of a homeowners insurance policy you will be able to purchase a policy that best fits your needs.  Remember to always have a list of questions on hand when talking to your insurance agent to make sure you don’t miss anything and see the difference between coverage and cost among companies.

Click This Link Free Insurance Quotes to Compare Insurance Quotes Today

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Some Good Questions to Ask when Choosing a Homeowner’s Insurance Company

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Your home is most likely your largest asset, and protecting it in a time of catastrophe is not only necessary, but vital to your family’s security. If you were to face a fire, theft or other accident that could potentially damage or destroy your home, you should be able to rest assured that your costs and losses are covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Costs and policy inclusions for this type of insurance can be affected by several criteria, including where you live, the local weather patterns, the size of your home, your home’s safety features as well as the local crime rates. Be sure to keep these points in mind as you begin to compare prices for your homeowners insurance.

Once you find a few homeowners insurance providers in your area, there are three criteria that should be at the top of your list while you do your comparison shopping:

• What does the homeowner’s insurance policy cover for your home?
• What is the overall monthly premium for the homeowner’s insurance policy that is best suited for your home?
• What deductibles must be paid before your insurance policy picks up any costs for your losses in the case of a claim?
A good rule of thumb is to compare three different homeowner’s insurance companies to find the best rate and policy for your needs and budget. With those three names in hand, consider the following:
• Many homeowners’ insurance companies also offer automobile insurance in a package set that can save you up to 10% on your overall policy costs.
• Be sure that you receive discounts on all the products you’ll need to make your home safe like smoke detectors and fire alarms or even new plumbing or a new roof. Most of these products offer discounts for homeowner’s insurance policy owners.
• Your deductible should be no less than $500.00. This is the industry standard, but many homeowners carry a $1,000 deductible. Increasing the amount to $1,000 could save up to 10% more a year in premium fees.

Take the time to be thorough in your search for a homeowner’s insurance company. In the case of a tragedy, you can have the ease of mind that your costs will be minimized and your family protected from further loss.

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Homeowners Insurance and Structural Damage Due To Pests

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Home Owners insurance provides protection to your home in case of loss due to perils except those specifically excluded in the homeowner’s insurance policy. Huh, okay let me explain, a home owners insurance policy will list what causes of damage will be cover under the policy terms. For example fire is a peril that is covered under your homeowners insurance. There are many perils that are covered under current home owners insurance policies; windstorm, vandalism, smoke damage and theft just to name a few.

There are two major situations that may occur that can cause extreme damage to you home that will not be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. They are flood and structural damage to your home due to pest. Both come with there own solution, which are very different from one another. To protect your home against flood damage all you need to do is purchase a separate policy that protects against flood. There is no such policy you can purchase from an insurance company to protect you against damage due to pests.

The two most common culprits of structural damage from pest to homes are termites and carpenter ants. Both literally eat your home. They will start with your seal board that separates the foundation of your home and the main structure. Once they start eating that they will proceed to eat the interior walls of your home. This can cause your home to collapse if not rectified in a timely manner.

The best solution to help protect against structural damage due to pests is to regularly monitor the framework of your home and check for signs of infestation. This is easily noticeable if beams in your basement or crawl space are viewable. You will notice what looks like tracks in the wood. If you press a pencil against the wood, the wood will seem like a putty. If you are unsure the best solution is to receive a free pest control inspection from a local extermination company. In the spring you may also notice swarms of termites that are flying around.

The reason insurance companies don’t protect against structural damage due to pest is because the damage isn’t caused from a single catastrophic event such as a fire or windstorm. There view is that pest damage is a sign of neglect on the homeowner over a long period of time.

To be safe and to protect your home from all disasters make sure to compare homeowners insurance quotes and coverage and also get pest control estimates from local exterminators.

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