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    Personal Insurance Blog

    Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Insurance

    Fri, Feb 03, 2017 @ 11:28 AM

    Understand your auto insurance options to cover your vehicle with Andrew Gordon Inc

    Many people don’t know the difference between ‘Collision Insurance’ and ‘Comprehensive Insurance.’ So we’ll give you the basics.

    Collision Insurance

    Collision insurance covers the damage done to your vehicle if you are in an accident, whether you are at fault or not. However when not at fault, some people choose to settle the whole thing through the insurance of whoever IS at fault, meaning that they don’t have to go through their carrier.

    We recommend that you do go through your carrier, even if you are not at fault, for 2 reasons;

    1. If you are not at fault, you generally pay no deductible (an insurance deductible is the amount of money you pay towards repairs before your insurance kicks in; the higher deductible you’re willing to pay, the lower the cost of your policy will be).  So you don’t pay for the repairs to your car if you are not at fault; even if you go through your insurance provider. Ultimately, at the end of the day, your insurance provider is going to be giving the bill to the other company; you just get to deal with the people you know throughout the process.
    2. As a paying customer, you have much more leverage with your insurance company than with the insurance company of whoever hit you.

    Collision insurance is not required by law.  But if you owe money on your car or truck, the bank is going to require it.

    Comprehensive Insurance

    Comprehensive insurance is similar to collision insurance, but it offers protection from damage caused to your vehicle by unknown losses, including any ‘act of God.’  It is also known in some states simply as “other than collision” coverage.

    So let’s say someone breaks into your car, or steals it while you left it parked; these are covered through your comprehensive coverage. Collision with an animal such as a deer or moose are included too, but as always, be sure to check with your agent on the details of your policy to know where your coverage begins and ends.

    Comprehensive also generally covers flood, hurricane, fire, and other damage caused by ‘acts of God.’ Like collision insurance, comprehensive coverage will pay for repair or replacement, up to the fair market value of your car.

    Learn more about auto insurance here.

      INSURANCE QUESTION?  

    Corbin Foucart

    Tags: auto, insurance, coverage, ma, collision, comprehensive

    Snow Plow Operations – Are You Covered?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Dec 24, 2013 @ 09:00 AM

    Snowplowing can be a lucrative business, especially in the New England area. However, the chances of injuring someone or damaging something unseen are high. For snowplow operators, ‘Bodily injury to others’ is the coverage on your auto policy that would apply. For ‘snowplowees’, you might want to check out the insurance policies of potential contractors before they get to work.

    Operators: don’t wait until it's too late to review this coverage with your agent. Make sure you have adequate limits. Here are three more considerations and hazards for all you snowplow users to think about.

    • You are plowing a driveway or parking lot and damage a parked car or building with your snowplow or the truck that it’s attached to. ‘Property damage to others’ is the clause in your policy that applies. But what if you collide with something that damages your snow plow?
    • How much is the ‘Collision’ coverage on your policy? Sufficient to cover your damaged snow plow? Some companies require you to schedule the snow plow on your policy so you should check things out with your agent.
    • Do you need a ‘General Liability’ policy? It depends on what you contract to do.

    Don’t wait for the first flakes to fall before discussing both adequate ‘property damage to others’ limits and ‘collision’ coverage with your agent. Then factor these costs into your pricing for snow-moving jobs.

    What if your services include more specific snow clearing areas, such as snow removal (and disposal) from walkways, sidewalks, steps and sometimes even the snow on the roof? Be sure that you are on top of your contractual obligations. For example, when 2 inches of snow builds up, you may be required to plow parking lots without a call from your customer.

    Be covered for snow trouble this winter with personal home insurance from andrew g gordon inc

    Other contracts may call on you to sand and salt the parking lots, steps and walkways. In these situations you bear some responsibility if someone were to slip and fall. They could blame their injury on your improper snow removal, sanding/salting, or failure to plow during an agreed upon accumulation. In such cases you require insurance under a ‘General Liability’ policy. This would also cover the risks of you damaging someone else’s property in the course of your business.

     

     INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Tags: winter, snowplow, plow, plowing, snowplowing, snow, coverage, collision, bodily injury, property damage

    Mac or PC?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Nov 22, 2012 @ 06:00 PM

    The timeless question mac vs pc answered by andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maIt’s almost the holiday season and that can mean only one thing- presents. With high school seniors eagerly waiting acceptance letters and college kids returning for the break, technology is going to be a "must-have." Students flock to Best Buy, the Apple Store, and the internet for the best deal on the best computer. Many people choose different sides of the argument as if they are picking team Jacob or Edward (ok, maybe it’s more like Coke vs. Pepsi). You’re either a Mac or a PC person (remember that ad a few years back?) So, what’s the big fuss about?

    PC (Windows)

    Windows operating systems have been a staple in home and business computers for decades. No one can deny the plentitude of options and variations allows for a custom computer how you want it. Most programs and institutions have their base in PCs, meaning if you have one, you’re probably already compatible. The operating system for Windows is not the issue. Windows 7 is a fine tool and excellent to work with. Now with the launch of Windows 8, there are more options for everyone. However, the most common problem for PCs are the hardware. Dell, Acer, Lenovo, etc. all make the computers that run windows, and most of the problems come with design flaws and issues within these machines.

    Decide mac or pc for your personal insurance with andrew gordon inc norwell ma

    Mac

    Don’t go based on looks. These computers perform very well at a lot of tasks. Options and configurations aren’t as plentiful as the PC counterpart; however, the two have been coming together in the compatible programs and documents department. No doubt, technology is moving to the cloud. Apple utilizes this feature and has made their products integrated with the web base storage and sharing options. Not to mention the ease of use that is associated with Macs. Apple utilizes a vertical integration business model; meaning they own or operate all aspects of the computer build process, meaning if there is a problem, Apple can be held responsible to fix the issue. A major advantage of Mac computers is they can run a windows operating system like Windows at the same time as OS X, so you can literally get the best of both worlds.

    For more on the great debate: visit Intel’s, APC's, Popular Mechanic's, and Apple's pitch for the products. I use both PCs and Macs frequently; my personal preference is Mac for the reliability, speed, and overall appeal.

    Know mac or pc for your personal with andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maInsurance aspect

    There are pros and cons to both models of computer, and inherent risks to owning one. Computers are an investment, no matter which way you roll. Protect your investment and make sure that your new laptop is covered under the parent’s homeowner personal property coverage on the homeowner policy or sometimes there is a computer or electronics endorsement. If the student resides in an off-campus apartment, they may need to buy a renter’s policy as most insurers do not extend coverage to a rented apt from the parent policy. Take photographs and save the receipt of purchase in a safe place.

    Other protection

    See our previous blog about preventing theft in college for a comprehensive list of crime deterrent tips. What about those pictures from last year’s vacation and your sister’s wedding? Back up your files on an external hard drive, or send it to the cloud where even fire, flood, and theft can’t access it.

    Which one?

    So which one are you, blog reader? Are you subscribing to us on a Mac or a PC? Leave a comment below with your opinion.

    Learn about personal insurance here.

      INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Tags: theft, work, computer, insurance, fire, apple, coverage, homeowners, Flood, mac, pc, college, macbook pro, intel, windows, microsoft, personal computer, laptop, tablet, notebook, comprehensive

    What is a Personal Umbrella Insurance Policy?

    Posted by Val Feeney

    Mon, Oct 15, 2012 @ 04:50 PM

    Learn what a personal umbrella insurance policy covers with andrew gordon inc norwell ma

    An Umbrella Policy provides liability coverage above and beyond your first line of legal defense, which is usually your homeowners and/or auto policy. These both offer liability coverage to protect you against the cost of a lawsuit. The umbrella policy provides additional levels of insurance in case something really bad happens and the lawsuit is big.

    If a guest is at your house and is injured, you may be sued for damages including medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of earnings and other damages. Your homeowners policy (Part E. Personal Liability) will typically cover you for up to $300,000 or $500,000. If you are sued for more than your coverage amounts, you become personally responsible for the difference. 

    An umbrella policy protects you in these bad case scenarios by adding an additional layer of coverage that sits on top of the underlying home or auto limits. Umbrella policies can be bought in amounts of $1M, $2M, $3M, $5M, $10M, and even greater. Relatively speaking, they’re not expensive.

    To purchase an umbrella policy you must have sufficient underlying limits on your home and auto policies first. For the homeowners insurance you generally need a minimum of $300,000 under Part E. For your auto insurance, most carriers require at least $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident in Optional Bodily Injury coverage (Part 5). Different companies have different underlying requirements, so coordinating these properly is important.

    Learn about liability and personal umbrella insurance coverage policies with brokers and agents at andrew gordon inc insurance norwell ma

    Umbrella policies vary in price depending on several factors: how many homes you own; how many cars you have; number of drivers in your household; any youthful drivers; driving records; and any owned watercraft. The price can be as low as $150 and the umbrella policy might be written as a stand-alone policy or added to your homeowners policy. Whenever possible, it’s best to have all these policies with the same insurance company.  Given a complicated accident where you exceed those underlying policy amounts, you don’t want to switch defense teams mid-stream if the insurance carriers are different. 

    If you own a second home, a business, any rental properties, or other substantial assets, it is particularly important that you have an umbrella policy.  With assets like these, you're perceived to have a deep pocket and you have multiple exposures that could result in a claim. Lawsuits are on the rise in the United States, and so are your odds of being named a defendant. It is wise to protect yourself with this extra layer of coverage.

    Call the Gordon Atlantic Insurance professionals to discuss a personal umbrella further by calling us toll free at 1-800-649-3252. Prefer to type versus talk?  Click below! 

     

    HAVE A QUESTION?


    Val Feeney

    Tags: personal, policy, insurance, umbrella, coverage, liability, protection, lawsuit

    What Do I Need to Know About Insurance? 5 Things

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Mon, Sep 10, 2012 @ 04:55 PM

    Insurance can be puzzling- the more you know, the better. As surprising as this may sound, insurance is not entirely about the price. Thus, we’ve created a list of things-to-know about insurance for your convenience.

    Learn everything you need to know about home auto life business insurance andrew gordon inc norwell ma

    1. Amount of coverage

    What do you want to protect? That’s the overall question for deciding the amount of coverage you need.  The best advice we can offer you is for you to think about all the things that could potentially happen. Or consult a professional agent who will ask lots of questions to uncover areas you need to pay special attention.  Although you might want to push these thoughts to the side (i.e. “that could never happen to me!”), someone has to think of these situations. Nobody plans for a car accident or a guest being injured at his/her house, yet these sorts of things happen all the time.  A good way to cover a lot of these is by running down a prepared list such as this checklist for your homeowners insurance.

    2. Risk level

    The amount of risk you take sometimes depends on one aspect of your life: money. If you have available money, then choosing a policy with high deductibles is probably the best option for you. Remember, “Insure only what you can’t afford to lose.”

    Obviously, this part of our list is also going to discuss risk. Some policies cover more than other policies do, so be informed on what risks you can afford to take, as well as what is the cost of transferring that risk (via insurance)? An example of this is would be a dog with a biting history. The only company that will offer coverage after a dog has bitten someone (resulting in an insurance claim) is the Massachusetts Fair Plan (MPIUA). But they might do so with a $25,000 limit of liability for dog bites. So you have to ask, is the dog worth that much to me that if he/she bites someone and it results in a $100,000 claim (we’ve had one here that exceeded that, and not even from a dog ‘on the list’), are you prepared to pony up the next $75,000? Make sure you know what is covered on your policy, and be careful with what chances you take where insurance doesn’t go.

    3. Insurance company

    People often assume that the insurance company will be able to handle anything and everything- you should never assume. If the company goes under, or even if the company stays around but has poor finances, then you won’t get what you need. The best way to make sure that your company will be able to provide for you is to check a credit rating agency. We recommend A.M. Best Company for this. Other credit rating agencies include Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s.

    4. Discounts

    Everybody loves saving money; discounts can be available all around you, and you might not even know it!   For a list of most prevalent auto insurance discounts, click our video and list

    Account discounts, where you have two lines or more (such as home and auto), are often the most compelling.

    Always ask your agent questions, he/she is there is serve YOU.  If they are not helpful, just contact us.

    5. When do I need to look at new insurance?

    Certain life changes will cause you to look at new insurance.  These changes include:

    -Starting a new business

    -Buying an additional home

    -Adding a driver to the auto policy

    -Changing jobs (especially if you leave a rich benefits plan for a bare bones benefits employer)

    -Volunteer work (such as serving on the board of a non-profit organization)

    This list just helps prove a very important point: insurance is not only about the price. For a few extra dollars, you can have all sorts of things protected.   Think back to the dog example- imagine how expensive it would be to defend a bad dog bite without insurance! When it comes to insurance, price is important, but it’s not the only thing that matters.

    If you have any questions about insurance, contact us. For quotes, click here. We are dedicated to getting you the best insurance possible for you and your needs. Learn more about personal insurance here.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?  

    Tags: home, commercial, auto, company, risk, life, insurance, coverage, discounts, ratings

    Accident Forgiveness- Will My Auto Insurance Premium Go Up?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Aug 31, 2012 @ 12:58 PM

    Learn how your car insurance premium rates change if youre in an accident with auto from andrew gordon inc norwell maMany drivers ask, "will my auto insurance premium go up after an at-fault accident?" The answer is yes, in most instances you will pay more for insurance if you are found to be at-fault in an accident. However, Massachusetts state law prohibits insurers from increasing your premium based on at-fault accidents or traffic violations that occurred more than five years prior to the effective date of your policy. The effect on your premium when you are at-fault in an accident will be based on the rules and rating factors your insurance company has filed with the Division of Insurance. Most insurance companies assign a fixed number of points for each type of at-fault accident or traffic violation, and the total point value is used to determine a percentage increase to the premium for the policy. At-fault accidents may affect future premiums for 3-5 years. The Massachusetts Division of Insurance reviews merit rating plans before authorizing an insurance company to apply them to determine premiums. Individual insurer’s rating plans are available to the public. 

    The points are assigned to the at-fault driver after an accident is closed. The insurance company must notify the at-fault driver with a surcharge notice within 30 days after the claim is closed. However, it is important to know several auto insurers "forgive" an at fault accident. The criteria varies on accident forgiveness from company to company. For most insurers offering this coverage, the driver must be squeaky clean prior to the incident. Some carriers charge an extra premium to have the optional accident forgiveness endorsement available to their insureds. Others impose restrictions related to loyalty. In these situations, you must have been insured with the company for a certain length of time and hold a good driving record. 

    If you do have an accident surcharge forgiven by your insurer, it's important to know that does nor mean the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has forgiven the accident.The forgiveness only applies to the individual insurance carrier. If your agent markets your auto policy to other carriers, the at-fault points will be included in the pricing. You can see the accident forgiveness coverage can build loyalty to the current insurer by dismissing the first at-fault accident.

    The accident forgiveness coverage is not available from all carriers. Those that do offer accident forgiveness may charge a premium. Several charge  4-6% of the annual premium so not all customers opt in for the coverage. It certainly is a nice safeguard when you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, if you pay 4-6% more each year for premium and do not have an accident then the cost benefit for the accident forgiveness coverage is not so great. Let’s say you pay $1000 a year in premium and pay $60 a year for the accident forgiveness coverage. Over five years, you will have paid $300 for the coverage. If you don’t have an accident then it’s easy to look back and say I shouldn’t have bought that coverage. However, if you do have a major accident. The coverage may save you more than $400 a year for five years. This surcharge amount varies by driver and coverage limits.  

    For specific pricing, get a no-obligation quote to see how much we can save you by clicking our auto quote page. Learn more about auto insurance here.

      Driving with Insurance in Mind eBook INSURANCE QUESTION?

     

    Tags: auto, insurance, forgiveness, coverage, accident, premium, collision

    Having a Car Accident in a Car That Isn't Yours!

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Aug 22, 2012 @ 04:45 PM

    Uh-oh, you just got into an accident.broken headlight To make matters worse, this isn’t your car- it’s your friend’s. Through some circumstance you ended up driving a car in which you aren’t listed as a driver- you may not even be covered by the same insurance company! What happens now?

    A situation like this can be frightening. However, accidents can happen. In case this ever happens to you (hopefully, it won’t), then this information may prove valuable and can help you remain calm afterwards.

    First of all, the insurance company for the involved vehicle would handle the claim and pay for damages and injuries. After all, unless you were stealing the car (from a friend? I should hope not…), then the friend must be aware of the risk of you having an accident.  Be warned, your policy could potentially come into play if the limits on your friend’s policy have been exhausted.

    Secondly, and this is the part that you won’t like, your license and your policy will be affected. If you are more than 50% at-fault you will be surcharged.

    In Massachusetts, a Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report needs to be filed within five days if the crash occurred on public roadways, any person is injured, or damage is over $1,000. Section B of the report describes the vehicle you were driving. The driver, the insurance of the car, and the owner of the car are all listed under different categories. For the insurance company, list the insurance company for the car, not yours.

    Finally, here are some tips to keep you safe on the road while driving an unfamiliar vehicle:

    Avoid car accidents drive safely and cover your automobile with auto from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell ma-Make sure you know and understand all the controls to the car

    -Test the car brakes; odds are they feel different than the ones in your own car

    -Check out the steering wheel; some cars turn more smoothly than others

    -Whenever you’re driving, be sure to have the proper paperwork in the car (current registration, valid inspection sticker)

    -As always, remember to drive cautiously (i.e. fully stopping, checking mirrors, etc.)

    Accidents can be avoided, and it would be a shame to taint a friendship by crashing a friend’s car. On the off chance it happens, now you know what affects whom. Safe driving!

    For more information about auto insurance, contact us or visit us at www.agordon.com. If you would like to update your coverage, or find auto insurance to fit your insurance needs better, click the button below. Learn more about auto insurance here.

    Driving with Insurance in Mind eBook  

    Tags: auto, insurance, coverage, accident, driving, claims, car, collision, friends

    Home Inventory – How to Organize

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Jul 13, 2012 @ 11:55 AM

    Do you know how much “stuff” you own? Don’t find yourself scrambling to recreate a list of your possessions if you suffer a fire or other devastating loss. An up-to-date home inventory will help you get your home insurance settled faster, help you purchase the correct amount of insurance and verify losses for Uncle Sam when tax time rolls around.

    Tackling the inventory list can be simplified if you:

    1. Organize your home to stay safe and get homeowners coverage from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maTake pictures of rooms and important individual items. Don’t forget to open your closets and drawers for items hidden from view.
    2. Videotape- walk through your house, condo or apartment videotaping and describing the contents. You can also do the same with a tape recorder.
    3. Use your computer-many personal finance software packages include room by room inventory software programs.
    4. Remember to send the list off-site to save in case the computer is damaged or ruined.
    5. Keep any photos or videos or receipts in your safety deposit box or at a friend’s home.
    6. Remember to update your list periodically so the inventory is current.

    For more on taking the risk our of your home, visit our home page at www.agordon.com. Learn more about homeowners insurance here.

    Home Quote Request Homeowner's Checklist  Download  

    Tags: house, home, building, insurance, public adjusters, lawyers, contents, cheap, coverage, homeowners

    Identity Theft – Tricks of the Trade

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Tue, Jul 10, 2012 @ 09:23 AM

    Use of credit cards, bank accounts, and other electronic monetary transactions are a necessity in today’s world. An unfortunate side effect of this otherwise wonderful technology is the prevalence of identity theft. Previously a small and isolated type of crime, this type of theft has become ubiquitous in a world where money is wired from account to account, and most personal information is handled digitally. News of medical records ending up in landfills reminds us that our privacy is not always within our control.

    But this does not mean you can’t be vigilant and prepared.  Here’s a great checklist from Reader’s Digest developed by former identity thieves to show you discreet ways criminals can help themselves to your money: 

    Learn the basics of protecting yourself from identity theft and cover yourself with personal from andrew gordon inc norwell ma13 Things an Identity Thief Won’t Tell You

    1. Watch your back. In line at the grocery store, I’ll hold my phone like I’m looking at the screen and snap your card as you’re using it. Next thing you know, I’m ordering things online—on your dime.
    2. That red flag tells the mail carrier—and me—that you have outgoing mail. And that can mean credit card numbers and checks I can reproduce.
    3. Check your bank and credit card balances at least once a week. I can do a lot of damage in the 30 days between statements.
    4. In Europe, credit cards have an embedded chip and require a PIN, which makes them a lot harder to hack. Here, I can duplicate the magnetic stripe technology with a $50 machine.
    5. If a bill doesn’t show up when it’s supposed to, don’t breathe a sigh of relief. Start to wonder if your mail has been stolen.
    6. That’s me driving through your neighborhood at 3am on trash day. I fill my trunk with bags of garbage from different houses, then sort later.
    7. You throw away the darnedest things—             preapproved credit card applications, old bills, expired credit cards, checking account deposit slips, and crumpled up job or loan applications with all your personal information.
    8. If you see something that looks like it doesn’t belong on the ATM or sticks out from the card slot, walk away. That’s the skimmer I attached to capture your card information and PIN.
    9. Why don’t more of you call 888-5-OPTOUT to stop banks from sending you preapproved credit offers? You’re making it way too easy for me.
    10. I use your credit cards all the time, and I never get asked for ID. A helpful hint: I’d never use a credit card with a picture on it.
    11. I can call the electric company, pose as you, and say, “Hey, I thought I paid this bill. I can’t remember—did I use my Visa or MasterCard? Can you read me back that number?” I have to be in character, but it’s unbelievable what they’ll tell me.
    12. Thanks for using your debit card instead of your credit card. Hackers are constantly breaking into retail databases, and debit cards give me direct access to your banking account.
    13. Love that new credit card that showed up in your mailbox. If I can’t talk someone at your bank into activating it (and I usually can), I write down the number and put it back. After you’ve activated the card, I start using it.

    Sources: Former identity thieves in Kentucky, Florida, Indiana, Virginia, and New York.
    From Reader’s Digest – September 2010 

    Protect yourself and your bank account from identity theft with these tips from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maIf you should become a victim of identity theft, be sure to contact your financial institutions to report the problem.  Many insurance companies offer ID Theft Recovery coverage either as an automatic coverage or for a small charge.    

    *13 Things An Identity Thief Won’t Tell You | 13 Things | Reader’s Digest. Reader’s Digest Magazine Articles. Sept. 2010. Web. 31 Aug. 2010. . 

    Even if all these steps are noted and taken advantage of, there is a chance you may still become a victim. Fortunately, many homeowners’ insurance companies offer assistance in reclaiming your identity.  If you’re not sure that your homeowners insurance includes ID theft coverage, contact us.  It isn’t expensive and will save you a ton of time and money if some sly thief absconds in the middle of the night with your identity. 

    Wish to discuss this topic further with a Gordon Atlantic Insurance professional?  Call us toll free at 1-800-649-3252.  Prefer to type versus talk?  Click below!

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    Tags: theft, Business, coverage, protection, credit, card, recovery, MasterCard, protect, identity, Financial, services, atm, debit

    How Much Should I Insure My House For?

    Posted by Val Feeney

    Wed, Jun 27, 2012 @ 11:41 AM

    A Guide to Determining How Much Insurance to Buy for Your Home

    On nearly every homeowners quote I present to customers, the #1 question I receive is how I determined the amount of coverage to use for the home, or the “Dwelling Coverage” amount.

    What is Dwelling Coverage?

    The Dwelling Coverage (often referred to as the ‘Replacement Cost’) is not the market value of the home, the assessed value of the home, nor the mortgage amount used to buy the home, but the amount of money it would cost to rebuild the home if it is ever destroyed by a fire.  Land is also not a factor in this amount.

    Understand the cost of insuring your house with homeowners dwelling coverage from Andrew Gordon Inc Norwell MA

    How does Dwelling Coverage work?

    Your independent insurance agent will calculate the dwelling coverage by entering the square footage, year built, style of home, foundation type, garage type, # of bathrooms, type of kitchen, material of the interior & exterior walls, type of flooring, and energy infrastructure (to name a few) into a replacement cost calculator provided  by the insurance company.  The insurance companies keep up to date replacement cost calculators by continually updating the current prices for building materials and labor.  The insurance companies create these calculators to ensure that their customers are getting the proper protection and so the insurance company is covering homes to their proper replacement value.

    Now, here is the important part.  Once the agent presents the quote to the customer, the customer decides if they are happy with the dwelling coverage.  I would urge, if you trust your agent, to use the dwelling coverage amount the agent has come up with. After all, this is what an agent is for.  This will ensure that you have adequate coverage for your home. 

    Cover your house with the right pricing of home dwelling coverage with homeowners from Andrew Gordon Inc Insurance Norwell MA

    Can't I opt for less dwelling coverage?

    In a tough economy, customers try to find savings anywhere possible, and one area is their insurance.  Most homeowners believe they can simply lower their insurance coverage (dwelling coverage) to save some money.  This is true, but it comes with a heavy cost due to the coinsurance clause

    Insurance companies require homeowners to carry at least 90% in coverage of the dwelling/replacement cost, which is the coinsurance clause. So in our example of $300,000, the insurance company would require at least $270,000 in dwelling coverage to satisfy the 90% or more insured-to-value requirement.  Insurance companies offer discounts for homeowners who insure to the full replacement cost.  The customer will sleep easy having full coverage on the home.

    What does that mean in a claim?

    Now let’s say that the homeowner decided that he/she wants to lower the dwelling coverage to $250,000, which is 83% of the replacement cost.  Let’s also say the homeowner suffers a $100,000 claim. The insurance company will penalize the homeowner with a penalty of 17% taken directly from the claim.  It is calculated by the following:

    ($250,000/$300,000) X $100,000 = $83,333.

    The homeowner may have saved a few hundred dollars in premium by lowering their dwelling coverage to $250,000, but have now taken a penalty of $17,667 at the time of the loss, vastly eliminating the saving they thought they found earlier.  Instead of receiving $100,000 for the claim, the insured is now only receiving $83,333.

    In conclusion, it may seem like the obvious area to save money on your homeowners insurance, but lowering the dwelling coverage on your policy can negatively affect you during a time of a claim, or a total loss.  That is not the time to realize you made a bad decision. 

    Use an independent agent to ensure you are getting the best coverage available for your home, and allow the agent to find discounts for you that don’t affect your coverage.

    Top 10 Things to Know about Homeowner's Insurance

    Val Feeney

    Tags: house, home, cost, how much, insurance, coverage, homeowners, premium, dwelling, agent

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