Homeowners insurance isn't a luxury, it's a necessity. Read Home and Social's top tips helps you to find the right policy and cover.

New York home insurance laws

New York home insurance laws

New York home insurance laws help to ensure that homeowners in the State get home insurance coverage from licensed insurer operating there. Homeowners insurance is important because it covers your home against perils such as fire, vandalism and theft. In case the insured peril takes place, the insurer either replaces or repairs the home. This way you do not suffer the cash setback that the peril causes. For home insurance New York, the department of insurance promotes and enforces these laws.
Some of these laws are on:

Credit information

Insurance providers use credit information in pricing an insurance policy. In New York, the credit information law provides safeguards for consumers, which the insurers must abide to when they are using your credit information. The insurer must inform you when they want to use your credit information and on the credit agency they have used. In case you quote a lower credit rate but your score is higher, the insurance company should let you know. If your credit report has an error and it is corrected, resulting to a higher score, you can make a request for lowering of your premium. You can request for annual review of your credit information and if the score improves, your premium should be adjusted. The insurer cannot use your credit information to terminate he policy or to raise your premium rate on renewal.

Discounts

If a homeowner installs storm shutters or laminated doors and glass windows that are hurricane resistant, the insurers should give discounts. You should notify the insurance company if you install them so that they can adjust your premium.

Workers compensation insurance


According to home insurance New York laws, a policy for a one-to-four family in an owner occupied home with personal liability cover must also have workers compensation. The compensation coverage applies to the employee working in the property for below 40 hours every week such as a domestic helper or a gardener.

Cancellations

According to the laws, when an insurer cancels your insurance policy, it must provide you with a cancellation notice to notify you why it has canceled. This notice can only be given in the first 60 days of the policy being in effect, or else there can be no cancelling or renewing for up to three years. However, there are certain conditions when the policy can be cancelled. They are: insured not making payment, the insured being convicted, discovery of deception or fraud against insurer; intentional misstatement of information to the insurer by the insured, the property undergoing physical changes that impact on coverage limits, and/or if the insurer violates the insurance law.

Excess line market

The New York home insurance laws allow homeowners to obtain insurance policy from an excess line insurer or unlicensed insurer if certain conditions are present. For instance, if three licensed providers turn you down if you want homeowners insurance. You must however use an excess line broker with a New York license. The down side is that these insurers’ deductibles and policies are different from those offered by licensed companies. You are also not protected by property securities fund in case the insurer becomes bankrupt.

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How to estimate home insurance cost

How to estimate home insurance cost

When taking homeowners insurance, you should have an estimate of home insurance cost. This will help you when searching for the right insurance company because you will know how much your policy is likely to cost and that you are getting the right coverage.  A number of factors play a role in determining the home insurance cost, such as the type of insurance, deductibles and property value among others. By analyzing these factors, you can get an estimate of how much your home insurance should cost.

What determines the cost?

If you are taking a mortgage, the amount that the lender requires as the minimum policy will determine the cost. It is usually an amount enough to pay for the rebuilding costs in case an insured peril takes place. The higher the required amount, the more will be the cost. There are also variables that determine the cost of the insurance such as the property’s value and the homes condition. A property that has a higher value requires more cost in coverage and so is an old property. The type of home also dictates how much you should pay for coverage. Condominium coverage is much lower than for a single family detached home with additional structures.


The coverage on home contents also adds to the cost especially if there is additional coverage for the valuables. The amount of coverage for personal liability also determines the cost.  A house located in an area with high occurrence of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and hurricanes have a higher cost of premiums. You may also have to get additional coverage of such disasters because the standard insurance does not cover them. If your home is in a fire hazard zone, you may get coverage from the standard homeowners insurance, but at higher premiums rates. The amount of deductible on the policy determines how much you should pay in premiums. A higher deductible means lower insurance payments. You should however be careful if choosing higher deductibles because you can find yourself with a hefty bill incase a peril occurs. This is because deductibles represent the amount of money you pay out of your pocket before home insurance companies chip in. If you find that you may not have enough funds to pay the deductible, it is better to take higher premiums and lower deductibles.

Using online calculators and home inspection

Online calculators can be helpful in determining the cost. Home insurance companies provide these calculators and you can use them to calculate how much the insurance would cost and the premiums you should pay. You should however note that the premiums are just an estimate and for the actual cost, you should talk to an insurance agent. For a more accurate estimate, you can have a home inspection from the insurer to determine how much it would cost to insure it. The insurer considers the age of the home, risk level and its value.

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Does homeowners insurance include home appliance insurance?

Does homeowners insurance include home appliance insurance?

If you have homeowners insurance, you may be wondering if it includes home appliance insurance. Are your appliances covered in case of damage? The truth of the matter is that the homeowner’s policy only covers some of the risks depending on the cause of damage. The appliances are covered for the insured perils on the coverage of the home contents. For instance, if your home insurance policy covers your contents against fire, your appliances would also be covered in case the peril occurs. There are cases that your homeowners insurance does not cover the appliances, such as damage to normal wear and tear and damage due to normal power failure. This means that you need coverage for the appliances in case they are damaged due to normal use. In that case, you should take the home warranty insurance for your home appliance insurance.

When to make a claim

Wear and tear

The appliances are not covered by homeowners insurance in the event of damage due to normal wear and tear. Appliances wear out as they are used. You may find out that after you use your refrigerator for a while, it may suddenly stop working. Because the homeowner’s policy does not protect on damage due to wear and tear, you cannot make a claim. However, other policies are there that are designed to cover for home equipment in case they are not operating due to normal use. They are known as home warranty or home protection policies and they cover the gap left by the homeowners insurance in providing home appliances insurance.


Fire and lightning vs. power failure

In the event there is a fire, you can make a claim from your insurer on the appliances as long as the contents of your home are insured on homeowners insurance. Even sudden fire caused by an electric current is covered. However, appliance damage caused by an electric power surge is not covered. The appliance can only be repaired or replaced by insurer in case you have a home warranty policy. This is because a fire is considered as a onetime event while a power surge is a normal event. You may file a claim if the food in your refrigerator spoils due to loss of power for an extended period. However, the policy has a limit and you would have to document every item in addition to providing its retail price.


Strikes by lightning damage electric appliances. If there is a storm, the smart thing is to unplug all electronics and appliances. In case they are damaged by lighting, the homeowners insurance provides coverage. Proving lightning damage is easy and examining the appliance can reveal the cause. To protect your appliances against the normal wear and tear, an aspect that is not covered by homeowners insurance, you should take home appliances insurance. This ensures that if your appliances are damaged, you do not spend a lot of money in their repair or replacement.

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How to insure your home using high value home insurance

How to insure your home using high value home insurance

An expensive home requires being insured using high value home insurance. This is because the standard homeowner’s policy is not enough to cover the home due to its coverage limits. When insuring your home, it is important to ensure that the coverage you are taking will be enough to cater for the replacement cost of your home and personal possessions in case a peril occurs. Therefore, if you calculate your home’s replacement cost and find that it is above what the standard policy is offering as the limit, it is best to use the high value policy.

What the high value home insurance covers 

Most companies insuring high value homes specify the rebuilding cost a home should have to qualify for this type of policy. A buildings cover is provided and it includes an amount for alternative accommodation in case an insured peril occurs and the home becomes unusable. Because an expensive home is a sign of expensive contents, even their coverage is higher than what is provided by standard home insurance. Apart from your expensive home, the policy also covers expensive items such as antiques, fine art and jewelry. The coverage for these items should be enough to replace them in case a peril takes place.

How to purchase the insurance

You should do research to find a policy that has the best coverage the same way you would if you were buying any other insurance. Review quotes from different insurance providers to find out which one is giving the best coverage and at a reasonable price. You may use online comparison websites to request for quotes from different insurance companies. This way, you can find different policies to compare. Some of the areas you should be keen on are to find out what the policy covers and what limits it has on claims. The main reason you are taking high value home insurance is so that you can get coverage that is enough to cover the replacement cost of your home. You should therefore choose a policy whose limits are a reflection of the realistic costs that would be incurred to repair or replace your home and valuables. In case you have a problem calculating your home’s replacement cost, you can request an estimate from a realtor or a contractor. An inflation protection that is built- in on the policy would help to curb devaluation of currency. If you are in earthquakes or flood prone areas, you may need to take additional insurance for them. You should therefore analyze the quotes and see what is covered and the limits provided. Quality of service provided by the insurance company is also important. Ensure that you can get timely response on your enquiries a sign that you will also get good response when making a claim. You should check if the insurer can handle high volume claims without payment delays.

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More about taking Denver home insurance

More about taking Denver home insurance

Homeowners should get Denver home insurance for their homes in the area. The insurance can help the homeowners to protect their homes from various perils that can result to loss such as theft, fire and vandalism. Moreover, with the recent cases of fire, it would be unwise for someone to go without homeowners insurance. Most homeowners take HO 3 policy for their homes. This covers the structures and the contents in the home against perils except for flooding and earthquakes, which require additional coverage. This policy also has coverage for liability in case somebody is injured or another person’s property is damaged because of your negligence. The most common policy covers a dwelling replacement cost of $200,000, contents replacement of $160,000, personal liability of $100,000, medical expenses of $1,000 and $500 deductible. You should however note that policies from different insurers provide varying coverage limits with different exclusions and inclusions. You should therefore review your policy carefully to determine if it meets your needs.
Denver is said to have the highest premiums, with other cities in Colorado having lower premiums.

Causes of high premiums in Denver home insurance

Denver is reported to have high rates of insurance premiums that are above other cities in the state and above the country’s average. This is due to the high rates of crime in the area. A high crime neighborhood increases how the homeowners insurance cost due to the high risk of residents making a claim due to theft. Despite this, also other factors contribute to the cost of Denver home insurance premiums. Some of the factors include how old the house is, where the house is located and the distance from a fire station or hydrant and how the house is constructed. Discounts, coverage that you buy, deductible, your claims and credit history also determine the how much premiums you pay for the house.

What to watch out for when insuring your home

The essence of taking homeowners insurance is to cover the home in case a peril occurs. This prevents you from suffering losses in repair and replacement. It is not a legal requirement to insure the home, but it is important. If the fires that took place in Denver are anything to go by, then it is better to have the home insured. One mistake homeowners make is to insure the home at a lesser value than the replacement cost. In the event that a peril occurs, the homeowners find themselves unable to replace their property to their initial position. This is because the insurance company compensates for the value that had been insured. For instance, when there were the fires in Denver, most homeowners replacement cost limit was way below what was required to replace the property. The cost of construction materials had gone up and new building codes had come up. To curb such kind of an event, homeowners are advised to keep on reviewing their replacement limits to keep up with the increasing costs of construction.

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