July, 2014 | Blog
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The Sanford Group

10150 Ball Ground Hwy,
Ste 101,
Ball Ground, GA 30107

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  P.O. Box 374
Ball Ground, GA 30107

The Sanford Group Insurance Blog

If I make a home insurance claim and it is denied, can I expect my premium to rise as a direct consequence?

Making a claim on your home insurance policy will have a direct impact on your premiums in Ball Ground, GA. Depending on the situation and the claim that you make, the specific impact on your insurance premium may vary.

Low-Cost Claims

As a general rule, it is better to avoid making a claim on your home insurance policy unless you have a large amount of damage.

Low-cost claims are usually not worth the impact on your premiums and they may be denied in a variety of situations. In some cases, the deductible will be higher than the amount that you want to claim, which makes it not worth the increased rate on your policy.

Denials and Insurance

Even if a claim that you file is denied, you may still see an increased rate on your insurance premium. The reason is that your insurance provider now has a record of the damage to your property and the attempt to make a claim.

Whenever your insurance policy records a claim, it will usually have an impact on your rates. In most cases, your rates will increase. That does not change just because the claim was denied, so it is important to evaluate your policy carefully before you contact your insurance provider to ensure that you are covered for the situation. If a claim is denied, then find out the reason. Sometimes, it may be denied because you have not provided all of the required documentation or similar problems.

There are times when it is better to avoid filing a claim on your home insurance policy to protect your finances. Contact us to speak to an agent to learn more about your coverage options.

What are the most important features of a home insurance policy?

The last thing you want to happen is to have a disaster befall your home, and then find out that your insurance company isn’t going to compensate you for the damage or cover the repairs that are necessary. Instead of getting into that situation, target the most important features of a home insurance policy before you purchase the policy for your home. That way you have the protection you need without having to play guessing games on whether or not your insurance company will cover the costs for you.

The actual replacement cost of your home is an important figure to keep in mind. This is the amount that the insurance company covers in the event that your home is considered a total loss. You want this figure to be as close to the actual cost of your home as possible, which may require you adjusting it over time as the home gains value and you perform renovations and additions to it.

Another important aspect to a home insurance policy is the type of disaster coverage you have. If you live near an area prone to floods, you are probably required to get flood insurance. If you live farther out from known flood plains, you may still want to ask the insurance company to cover you in the event of worse than normal flooding that reaches your house.

Look into displacement policies with the home insurance policy as well. If you have to stay out of your home while repairs are being made, you might not always have a family or friend’s house to crash at during the repairs. Make sure that the insurance covers hotel costs or other displacement costs while the repairs are going on.

What information about my home should I have available when purchasing home insurance?

When you are purchasing home insurance, you will need to answer a series of questions. Most of this information should be readily available to you on your real estate documents. If you do not know all the answers, your agent may be able to help you in finding the information.

Basic questions

You will need to have the address of the property available. In addition, the age of the structure, year built, and the square footage are required. You will also need to know the style of the home, one-story, two-story, ranch or other design. Next you will need to have the basic information about the materials used in building the home, for example, brick or vinyl siding. The age of the roof and roofing material must also be indicated.

You will be asked about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms plus any additions or improvements to the property. The presence of a garage and the type, attached or detached, and any other building on the property will be included in the questions. The age of the electrical, HVAC and plumbing systems may be required.

Additional questions

In addition to standard questions about your home, other information is required before you can be given a complete quote. You will be asked if you have a pool or trampoline on your property. You will likely be asked if you own any dogs. If so, you will need to provide breed information to the agent.

The insurer may ask how far the home is from a fire station or hydrant. You may be asked about the presence of smoke detectors and alarm systems. When it comes to insuring your personal property, you may be asked about any unusual value items. While the purchase price of the home is important, the insurance company will place a valuation based on the answers to these questions.

If you need information about purchasing home insurance in the Canton area, get in touch with us. We can even help you compare quotes from leading insurers online for your convenience.

Do I need to buy collision insurance for a rental car if I have auto insurance?

Rental car insurance is a tricky subject if you’ve never picked it up before, as you may have complete coverage through your existing auto insurance and not need the additional options offered through the rental company. The first step to take when renting a car is to look through your existing auto insurance policy. If you have collision insurance coverage already, there’s no reason to double up on rental insurance for that reason. You would deal with your own car insurance company, and pay your own deductible, instead of going through the terms that the rental company sets.

Your next stop is your credit card terms. Some credit cards provide rental insurance coverage, although it’s likely that this is liability only coverage and would not cover other costs. If you want to be as protected as possible, a collision or comprehensive plan gives you more financial protection than liability only.

Another thing to consider before you turn down rental car insurance are the additional commercial insurance protection riders they add to this type of insurance. Specifically, the rental car company won’t come after you for loss of use of the vehicle if you go through their insurance, as this is covered under their policy. This is not standard coverage that’s included in most auto insurance packages, so that’s something to keep in mind.

You don’t want to get redundant insurance when you go with a rental car, but make sure to weigh your options carefully before you drive the car off the lot. You don’t want your rental to be more trouble than what it’s worth.

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