July 2021


Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

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There are three components to homeowners insurancedwelling coveragepersonal property coverage, and personal liability coverage.

Personal liability coverage protects homeowners if their pet injures someone or damages someone’s property. If your pet bites you or damages your property, that is not covered. Also, exotic pets and certain dog breeds are typically excluded from coverage in either situation.

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Does homeowners insurance cover pet damage and liability?

If you have homeowners insurance, pet bites are covered under your policy’s personal liability coverage. However, some homeowners insurance companies will not offer coverage for certain dog breeds and exotic pets. 

According to Wise Insurance Group, most insurers consider a pet to be exotic if:

  • A permit is required to buy the pet
  • You need to modify your home or yard to contain the pet
  • The pet is a hybrid of a domesticated and non-domesticated animal (like wolf and cat hybrids)
  • The animal is found naturally in the wild

Pet liability coverage is not pet insurance. Pet insurance is a health plan for your pet. Pet liability covers damage or injury your pet causes to someone. Also, damage to you or your personal property by your pet will not be covered.

There are limits to standard personal liability coverage depending on your policy and insurance carrier, usually $100,000.

Consider an umbrella policy for extra liability coverage

An umbrella policy is additional liability coverage that’s available as an add-on rider to your renters insurance. Umbrella coverage kicks in after you have used up your personal liability coverage limit.

A million-dollar umbrella policy costs between $150 and $300 a year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. However, the Institute notes that most carriers require renters to have at least $300,000 in personal liability coverage before selling them an umbrella policy.

Canine liability and exotic pet insurance is an option 

If you have a restricted dog breed and cannot get an umbrella policy to cover your pet, you might consider canine liability insurance. Canine liability insurance offers coverage if your dog bites or attacks someone. It’s a separate policy that is helpful if your renters insurance doesn’t offer coverage for your breed. 

If you have an exotic pet, X-Insurance offers exotic pet liability insurance.

How to file a liability insurance claim for a pet bite or damage

If your pet bites someone, you should notify your homeowners insurance company immediately. Some states have laws that if a pet bites, the owner is strictly liable. 

You want to make sure your insurance company is on notice in case a lawsuit is filed against you. Failure to timely notify your insurance company can result in denying your claim — in which case you would be personally responsible for costs.

Also, if you get an exotic pet without approval from your homeowners insurance company, your claim may be denied and you may be dropped as a customer.Ronda LeeAssociate Editor, Insurance

Ronda Lee is an associate editor for insurance at Personal Finance Insider covering life, auto, homeowners, and renters insurance for consumers. Before joining Business Insider, she was a contributing writer at HuffPost with featured articles in politics,…Read More

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Over a period of time, as your income increases, you change your lifestyle. Moving to a bigger house, changing cars and gadgets, and expensive shopping become a part of your existence. There is nothing wrong with spending incremental income on yourself. But have you ever thought of enhancing your investments and insurance as well? Very few review their investments and insurance requirements periodically. It is not possible to always maintain a ratio of savings to income, but you must monitor it.

Life events necessitate reviews

Marriage and child birth increase your dependents. At such life stages, you should review your investment, life and health insurance. At the time of renewal of your health insurance, you must not only add the new member of the family, but also increase the sum insured. The health insurance cover that was sufficient for you as an individual or as a couple, may not be sufficient for a family of two / three members. You should consider opting for a family floater health insurance cover at the time of member addition.

A relook at your life insurance needs is also necessary during such life events. You need to make sure your child’s education cost is taken care of in case of your untimely death. As a simple thumb rule, you should increase the term life insurance cover by the present value of your child’s education expense. So, in case of an uncertain event, your family can invest the proceeds from life insurance for the child’s education.

In terms of investment for a financial goal before marriage, if you were investing for your retirement, you now need to accumulate a corpus for your spouse as well. Also, once you have a child, you should start saving for the kid’s higher education. So, you need to top-up your investments accordingly. The earlier your start, the lesser the monthly savings required.

Additional liability

When you take a home loan or personal loan, automatically your monthly fixed expenses will go up to the extent of the EMI. So, you should gradually top-up the contingency fund with an amount equivalent to 3-6 months of EMI.

Many of you simply consider the existing term life insurance cover as a hedge for the new home loan that you take. Even if you have term life insurance, you should increase your cover to the extent of the home loan so that this liability can be repaid immediately in case of your untimely death. The balance proceeds from life insurance can be utilised for your family’s ongoing expenses and other financial goals. So, you should simply increase your term life insurance cover to the extent of your home loan that you take.

Factor in inflation

Most of you review the performance of your investment portfolio regularly, but very few review the quantum of your savings. You should review your investments once a year and insurance cover every 3-4 years to see if they can beat inflation or not.

Your monthly outgo increases due to inflation, lifestyle change and ongoing children’s education expenses. So, you should top-up your contingency fund accordingly. Also, if you are investing in mutual funds via the SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) mode, you can consider increasing your instalments every year automatically by a fixed percentage or amount. This can help you enhance your investments automatically with your increasing income and expenses.

Even today, I come across many friends and relatives who have family health insurance cover of just Rs 2-3 lakh staying in a metro such as Mumbai. They do review the premium at the time of renewal by comparing it with ten different companies, which saves them some cost. But they ignore the fact that the cover they have is insufficient and might end up paying from their pocket someday. Medical inflation is something that is ignored by many. So, it is very important to review your sum insured of health insurance and see if it is enough to meet current hospitalisation expenses of major illnesses. You can enhance your health insurance by increasing your base policy cover itself or buying a super top-up cover at the time of renewal.

It is very important to enhance your investments and insurance periodically so that you do not overspend your incremental income and thereby do not remain underinvested and underinsured.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Most people are familiar with renters insurancehomeowners insurance, and condo insurance, but there are eight types of homeowners policies based on the type of home you have. 

If you bought a townhome and want to get homeowners insurance, you might not be sure what to get: homeowners or condo insurance. The determining factor that will help you decide is whether or not your townhouse is part of a homeowner association (HOA).

Do I need homeowners insurance for my townhouse?

Homeowners insurance is not required by state law. However, if you have a mortgage, your lender will require homeowners insurance to protect the investment. If you have a homeowner association, most require homeowners insurance.

Even if you don’t have a mortgage, homeowners insurance is generally a worthwhile investment because it protects your dwellingpersonal belongings, and offers personal liability coverage if an injury happens on your property. The issue is whether you can afford not to protect your home — which is most Americans biggest asset.

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What kind of townhouse insurance do I need?

If you are renting a townhouse, then you need renters insurance. However, if you own your townhome, the type of homeowners insurance you need depends on whether you are part of a homeowner association.

If your townhouse is part of a homeowner association (HOA), then you will need HO-6 condo/co-op insurance. If you own your townhome and there is no homeowners association, that means that you are responsible for the dwelling and need a standard HO-3 homeowners insurance.

Condo/co-op insurance versus standard homeowners insurance

The major difference between standard homeowners insurance and condo/co-op insurance is the dwelling coverage. 

Homeowners living in a house have dwelling coverage for the home and any structures on the property. HO-3 is the most common type of homeowners insurance because it covers the house, your belongings, and liability coverage. 

If you live in a condo or co-op, the building and common areas are owned by the condo association. They are covered by the condo or co-op association’s master policy, which condo owners contribute via condo or homeowner assessments, known as HOA fees. 

The condo association’s master policy covers liability for injury that occurs in common areas. You need to check your association’s by-laws to determine whether the master policy has “all-in” coverage or “bare walls” coverage.

Although the condo association’s master policy covers the building and common areas, your assessment payments do not cover the contents of your unit, injuries that occur in your unit, or damage to your unit. Condo insurance is referred to as “walls-in” coverage because it covers everything inside your walls, whether that’s your property, your liability, or damage inside your unit. 

Also, condo and co-op owners get a specific type of coverage called “loss of assessment,” which kicks in to cover any additional costs that may be requested should the condo association’s own coverage fall short. If there is an event and the association’s coverage isn’t enough, the association will ask for additional payment from each condo owner. Loss of assessment coverage helps condo owners cover those payments.

Coverage HO-3 Special homeownersHO-6 Condo/Co-op
Dwelling/StructureYesMaster policy*
Personal liabilityYesYes
Personal belongingsYesYes
Loss of Use (additional living expenses)YesYes
Loss of assessmentsNoYes
High-end electronics/special jewelryLimited**Limited**
Equipment breakdownYesMaster policy*
Electrical outageYesMaster policy*
Service linesYesMaster policy*
Cyber liability****
FloodNo***No***
EarthquakeNo**No**
Water damageYesYes

*Consult condo/homeowners association’s master policy and by-laws

**Available as add-on coverage if not part of policy

***Required if you are in a flood zone, but most homeowners experience some flood 

What is the difference between a condo and a townhouse?

A condo is an apartment-style building, but instead of a landlord it’s managed by the condo association. The association is responsible for the building and common areas. A townhouse is like a rowhouse and you share one or two walls with your neighbors. A townhome may have an attached or detached garage.

 CondoTownhouse
OwnershipCondo owners only own the interior of their unit. All other areas, including the building exterior and communal areas, are property of the Homeowners Association (HOA).In most townhouse communities, owners own their unit’s interior and exterior, including the roof, lawn and driveway, but not the communal areas.
ArchitectureCondos come in many different styles. They may be part of a large high rise, a cul-de-sac of cottages or anything in between.Townhouses are designed in rows, so tenants usually share at least one wall. It’s common for townhouses to have two or more stories.
CommunityCondominiums often have a community focus with a club house, pool, golf course and/or similar amenity.Some townhouse communities offer the same types of amenities as condos, but others are more private.
Homeowner Association (HOA) feesHOA fees for condos are typically higher than townhouses because they pay for exterior upkeep, such as lawn care, trash removal, and pest control.Townhouse owners pay lower monthly HOA fees because they pay for much of their own upkeep. Certain types of maintenance and trash removal are still handled by the HOA.
Homeowner insurance ratesHome insurance rates are usually lower for condos because owners only have to insure the interior of their unit.Townhouses may have higher home insurance rates, since most owners need insurance that covers both the exterior and interior.
SizeAlthough condos come in many sizes and styles, they are generally smaller than townhouses.Townhouses can be quite large and often feature multiple stories.
PrivacyDepending on the style, condos could be private, individual homes or apartment-style units.Townhouses share one to two walls with neighboring units, but don’t have units above or below them.

Data from Nationwide

How much does homeowners insurance cost?

According to the Homeowners Insurance Report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average annual premium in the United States in 2017 was $1,211. 

The average annual condo insurance premium in the United States in 2017 was $488, according to the Condominium/Cooperative Unit Owner’s Insurance Report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Homes located in weather zones or disaster-prone areas — such as flood zoneshurricanestornadoes, wildfires, mudslides, hail, and earthquakes — will have increased premiums because these types of events are not included in basic coverage and will need to be add-on riders. 

The cheapest price may be okay for a renter. However, if you’re a homeowner the cheapest price is probably not the way to go if that means a company isn’t responsive when you file a claim. For many homeowners, a home is their biggest asset and homeowners insurance helps protect it. Focus on customer service, complaints, and the reputation of the insurance provider. 

How to find homeowners insurance

If you currently have homeowners insurance, review your policy coverage yearly. If your homeowners insurance company hasn’t provided the level of service you expected, maybe it is time for you to select a new provider.

Remember that a cheap price doesn’t mean good customer service. The average cost for homeowners insurance will vary based on the state where you live and whether you are urban or rural. Focus on customer satisfaction rankings, like those from J.D. Power, and comparison shop. This is especially important for those living in disaster-prone areas, when good service can make all the difference.Ronda LeeAssociate Editor, Insurance

Ronda Lee is an associate editor for insurance at Personal Finance Insider covering life, auto, homeowners, and renters insurance for consumers. Before joining Business Insider, she was a contributing writer at HuffPost with featured articles in politics,…Read More

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a jury verdict that found an insurer liable for $2.6 million in damages to a Miami condominium tower caused by Hurricane Irma, rejecting arguments made in appeals filed by parties on both sides of the dispute.

The panel refused the insurance carrier’s request to overturn a magistrate judge’s decision barring testimony by its expert, who had failed to make himself available for a deposition during the period set by the US District Court’s scheduling order.

But the panel also rejected an argument by the condominium association that a deductible set at 3% of the value of the building was invalid because it conflicted with a state statute. It refused to overturn the jury’s finding that a portion of the damages claimed by the association existed prior to the hurricane.

“After extensive litigation, we put this case to bed,” says the 11th Circuit ruling, released Tuesday, July 20.

Neither the St. Louis Condominium Association or State Auto’s Rockhill Insurance Co. were happy after a District Court jury in Miami returned a $2.6 million damage award to the condo association.

St. Louis claimed Hurricane Irma caused $16 million in damages to its 31-story waterfront building when it struck on Sept. 10, 2017. The insurer argued that most of the claimed damages were preexisting, caused by years of exposure to wind and rain, and the amount needed for legitimate hurricane damage repairs fell well below the deductible amount of 3% of the value of the building, or $945,342.

The jury found that the association suffered $3,673,303.67 in covered losses. The jury also found that $359,578 of the claimed damages were preexisting.

Rockhill appealed the trial court decision and St. Louis filed a cross-appeal. Each party asked the 11th Circuit to overturn the jury verdict because of the magistrate judge’s decisions on motions that were made both before and after trial.

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Before trial, the association had moved to exclude or strike testimony by some of Rockhill’s experts. The magistrate judge agreed that one expert should be removed: Brian Warner, Rockhill’s expert on sliding windows and doors. The magistrate judge noted that Warner had canceled a scheduled deposition and Rockhill had refused to offer a single date on which me would be available before the deadline set by the scheduling order.

Rockhill filed a similar motion to bar testimony from St. Louis’ experts, alleging their training was inadequate and their methodology in estimating damages was unreliable. The magistrate judge denied the motion.

After trial, the association filed a motion to strike the jury’s finding about preexisting damage and asked the trail court to refrain from applying the deductible. The magistrate judge denied both requests.

On appeal, the condo association argued that the trial court erred by applying the deductible because Florida Statute Section 627.701(2)(b) states that deductibles cannot be based on a percentage rather than a specific dollar amount unless the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation determines that the deductible provision is clear and unambiguous.

The association also asked the appellate court to overturn the jury finding that that $359,578 of the claimed damages were preexisting.

The 11th Circuit panel refused on both points.

The condo association was hoping to increase the amount of the award by about a third by throwing out a deductible that it says is specifically prohibited by state law.

The opinion says that the Florida Supreme Court ruled in QBE Ins. Corp. v. Chalfonte Condo. Apartment Ass’n (2012) that the statute that requires regulatory approval for percentage-based deductibles does not create any penalty for violations. Voiding the deductible would amount to a “severe penalty” that was not created by the legislature, the panel concluded.

The court also upheld the jury’s finding about pre-existing damage. The opinion notes that minutes of the condo association’s board of directors meetings shows that the amount that jury found to be pre-existing damages matched exactly the cost of a repair estimate that was provided to the board for a proposal to waterproof and caulk windows and doors.

Rockhill was also unable to persuade the appellate panel to alter the trial court decision. The insurer rejected arguments that the association’s experts were incompetent and unreliable.

What’s more, the appellate panel refused to accept Rockhill’s argument that jury had failed to factor into its damage calculation that the board of directors was considering spending $1.2 million for painting and waterproofing balconies attached to the condo tower. The insurer asserted that those “pre-existing damages” should also have been deducted from the award.

The 11th Circuit said to overturn that finding, the insurer needed to show that the amount awarded was not “legally sufficient.”

“The number found by the jury was not pulled out of a hat—it was within the range shown by the evidence at trial,” the opinion says.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Whatever it was meant for , we need the push for new business in all areas so this should help keep S. Florida moving toward to recovery.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

The tragedy provides a lesson on the importance of transparency and honesty when completing insurance applications.

By Tiffany J. Rothenberg | July 26, 2021 at 03:00 AM | The original version of this story was published on Daily Business Review

As a related matter, policyholders should know that under Florida law, there is a duty to read and understand documents before signing. When an insured signs an insurance application, the insured is affirming to the carrier that all of the information provided is correct. This is true even if the insurance agent filled out the application, and simply requests a signature. (Credit: Felix Mizioznikov/Shutterstock.com)

As of July 16, a search of Miami-Dade Court records revealed more than 20 lawsuits that have been filed on behalf of the deceased, grieving families, and the dozens of survivors rendered homeless following the Surfside Condo collapse. As the investigation unfolds on the recent tragedy, so too has the pursuit for accountability and compensation for victims.

Initially, litigants focused on the potential coverage limits of the condo association’s property insurance and liability insurance policies as sources of compensation. Indeed, at one of the first hearings, Judge Michael A. Hanzman, the judge presiding over the Surfside Condo matters, observed that the combined funds of these policies, totaling $48 million, are unlikely to adequately “compensate everyone fully for the extent of their losses.”

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

As Florida continues to grapple with increasing weather damage claims and rampant insurance fraud, more insurers are refusing to cover homes with roofs over 10 years old.

The number of lawsuits filed against Florida’s top 44 insurers has continued to increase, data from the state Department of Financial Services said, totaling 44,325 during the first six months of 2021, compared to about 30,000 during the same period in each of the three previous years. Allegations of fraud amid the lawsuits, and its effect on rising premiums, have led the state to pass a bill to control runaway insurance costs.

Read more: Federal judge blocks provision of Florida property insurance law

But apart from the severity and frequency of roofing claims making insurance more expensive, insurers are also increasingly unwilling to write new policies with asphalt shingle roofs that are over 10 years old. An insurer which asked not to be identified told South Florida Sun Sentinel it had identified at least four companies unwilling to insure shingle roofs more than 10 years old, two that had a cut-off at 12 years, and three that would not insure homes with 15-year-old roofs. The data was based on a review of information submitted to the state’s insurance regulators.

Since the list was made in January, several of the companies approached the Office of Insurance Regulation to ask if they could lower their roof cut-off ages, but the regulator pushed back against such decisions, the insurance contact noted.

According to Paul Handerhan, president of the Federal Association for Insurance Reform, “the outlook is bleak” for consumers in Florida who are caught in between this mess.

“But you can’t force insurance companies to write business they can’t write. If the law suddenly required companies to cover homes with older roofs, you’d be risking the company’s solvency and that wouldn’t do anyone any good, because, after a catastrophe, they’d be going bankrupt and no-one would get paid,” Handerhan told South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Handerhan added that insurers do not care if a 10- or 12-year-old roof is still functional; the issue is that they see homes with older roofs as most likely to be targeted by roofing contractors looking for big payouts; eliminating older roofs from their books of business is the easiest way to avoid costly claims.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

The latest uptick in COVID cases has been dubbed the “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” with the average number of new cases over the last seven days up nearly 70% and hospitalizations up 36%. Yet, while some of those represent breakthrough cases, the vast majority of Americans falling sick or dying in this latest wave are unvaccinated, Dr. Anthony Fauci said earlier this month.Medical professional giving Covid-19 vaccine© Frederic J. Brown—Getty Images Medical professional giving Covid-19 vaccine

With unvaccinated Americans at greater risk of contracting a deadly case of COVID, does that have any effect on consumers’ ability to buy life insurance?  https://products.gobankingrates.com/r/d9360ea31bf06ea8b9d0ef49288e28fb?subid=

Although life insurers generally ask new policy applicants to share their health information or submit to a medical exam, some of the largest life insurance companies say they currently are not taking COVID vaccine status into account during the underwriting process, although a few are asking in select cases.

Lincoln Financial, New York Life, and Prudential, which collectively have over $33 billion in direct written premiums, all told Fortune that they do not ask customers to verify their vaccine status for new coverage.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is not a factor in the underwriting process,” Lincoln spokesman Jay Russo says.

Northwestern Mutual, another one of the largest life insurers, tells Fortune that while vaccination status is not a concern for the majority of its applicants, the company is asking for vaccine status from a “small number of people who have high risk conditions,” says spokeswoman Betsy Hoylman. That said, she adds that people can be unvaccinated and still qualify for the best rates.

MassMutual and MetLife did not confirm whether they take COVID vaccination status into consideration. 

While life insurers may not take Americans’ vaccine status into account in most cases, whether or not you’ve had COVID can be a factor. Consumers should expect to disclose if they currently have COVID, or have recovered from COVID, as part of the general medical questionnaire or declaration of insurability, Russo says of those applying for life insurance through Lincoln Financial. 

“Those who have/had COVID are still eligible to apply for life insurance coverage, though their application may be postponed until recovery,” he added. 

Northwestern Mutual does not directly ask whether an applicant has had COVID, but if an applicant was recently hospitalized or received recent abnormal test results, Hoylman says that may trigger a follow up with more questions or requests for associated medical records. Hoylman again noted that people who have fully recovered from COVID will still qualify for the best rates.

It’s worth noting that whether or not someone has a COVID vaccine does not impact life insurance costs for coverage already in place, according to Jan Graeber, senior health actuary at the American Council of Life Insurers.

The ACLI previously noted life insurers do not consider whether or not a policyholder has received a COVID vaccine when deciding whether to pay a claim. 

For all new coverage, Graeber says companies routinely consider health factors as information is available and in compliance with regulations that govern the industry. 

Yet those regulations and information may shift as more becomes known about COVID. “There may be near- and long-term considerations based on experience with COVID-19, new strains, vaccines, and consumer behavior,” Graeber says.

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Being inexperienced behind the wheel of a car usually leads to higher insurance rates, but doing some homework on prices can yield savings. Just like for any other driver, finding the best car insurance for new drivers means doing research and comparing prices from multiple providers.

This guide will give an overview of what new drivers can expect when paying for car insurance, who qualifies as a new driver and what factors shape the price of an insurance policy. Enter your zip code below to start comparing free quotes from top providers in your area.

In this article:

  • Who is considered a new driver?
  • Car insurance for teenagers
  • Car insurance for first-time drivers
  • Getting car insurance after moving to the U.S.
  • Tips to save money on car insurance for new drivers
  • Some options for car insurance for new drivers
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Our methodology 

Who is considered a new driver?

Each state sets its own minimum auto insurance requirements, and car insurance for new drivers will look the same as any other driver’s policy. While a lack of driving experience doesn’t change how much insurance you need, it will impact the price. Here are some examples of people that could be considered new drivers:

  • Teen drivers
  • Older individuals without a driving record
  • People who immigrate to the U.S.

There’s also no specific car insurance policy for new drivers. You’ll be expected to purchase at least your state’s minimum required coverage, which typically includes bodily injury and property damage liability car insurance. Some states also require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection.

What influences the price of insurance? 

Car insurance companies review a number of factors when giving estimates for coverage. Some center around the auto policy itself, but many others have to do with a driver’s demographics and driving record. Age and driving experience are two factors that insurers weigh heavily, as they’re key indicators of how likely a driver is to get into an accident.

Here are some of the main factors that influence car insurance quotes:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Location
  • Vehicle make, model and mileage 
  • Credit score
  • Driving history  
  • Coverage limits

Car insurance rates by age and credit rating

Building good credit before you start driving is a good way to get cheaper car insurance as a new driver. On the other hand, a poor score can make your rate go up. Here’s how car insurance rates compare between two different age groups and across three credit ratings according to our cost estimates.

Credit RatingAnnual Cost For 24-Year-OldAnnual Cost For 35-Year-Old
Good$2,377$1,711
Fair$2,957$2,102
Poor$4,419$3,191

Car insurance rates by provider

Car insurance for new drivers can vary widely depending on where you shop. Below are a few popular providers with the annual cost for a 24-year-old with a good credit rating and driving record.

Car Insurance CompanyAnnual Cost For 24-Year-Old
USAA$1,417
Geico$1,645
State Farm$1,755
Progressive$2,016
Allstate$3,000

Car insurance for teenagers

It can be exciting for a teen to start driving on their own for the first time, but the cost of car insurance for new drivers likely won’t stir any smiles. As mentioned, age is one of the main things insurance companies look at when putting prices together.

Part of the reason insurance companies hike rates for younger drivers is the increased likelihood of an accident. Car crashes are the second-highest leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additional reporting from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that nearly two out of every three teenagers killed in crashes in 2019 were males.

Usually, the best way for young drivers to get cheap car insurance is to stay on their parents’ policies. Car insurance companies typically offer families several discounts to save money on coverage, including:

  • Safe driving discounts
  • Good student discounts (must have B average grades or higher)
  • College student and student-away-at-school discounts
  • Defensive driving course discounts

Remember that young drivers can’t purchase their own policies unless they no longer have the same permanent address as their parents and also own their own cars. Also, keep in mind that drivers under the age of 25 usually pay much higher rates. Adding a young driver to an insurance policy will still increase your premiums substantially, but the amount will depend on your insurance company, the vehicle and where you live.Car insurance for first-time drivers 

Teenagers aren’t the only ones driving for the first time. A person at any age who has lived in a large city and primarily relied on public transportation or who hasn’t had the means to purchase a car could also be considered a new driver.

As we mentioned above, things like the vehicle you choose, your age, location and credit score will all impact the price of car insurance for new drivers. Even though you may not have experience on the road, if you’re over 25, you may see lower rates than new teen drivers.

Another thing to consider is that if you live in an area that has public transit or you don’t plan on driving much, there are alternatives to traditional insurance, like usage-based insurance. Also known as pay-per-mile insurance, this type of coverage measures things like driving behaviors and mileage and uses this data to set rates. By linking the monthly bill to the actual time on the road and good driving habits, usage-based insurance policies usually end up costing customers less than traditional auto insurance, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Usage-based policies may not be available in every state. They’re also not a good option if you drive often or have a long commute, and people with poor driving habits may actually see their rates increase.Getting car insurance after moving to the U.S. 

Immigrants and foreign nationals can be classified as new drivers when they first enter the U.S. This is because car insurance companies usually check domestic driving records, so you can have a clean driving record in another country and still be considered an inexperienced driver after moving to the States.

Being an immigrant can make it harder to purchase car insurance. Many car insurance companies will turn down applicants without a valid driver’s license. If you don’t have the proper government paperwork, you may still be able to get a license depending on where you live.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 16 states and the District of Columbia allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license if they can produce items like a foreign birth certificate, valid foreign passport or proof of residency in the state.

Some states that offer driver’s license services to undocumented immigrants include:

  • California
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Virginia

Tips to save money on car insurance for new drivers

There’s no one surefire way to find the best price for auto insurance, but there are a few things you can do to get lower rates. We recommend using the following strategies if you’re purchasing car insurance for new drivers.

Compare companies

No two insurance companies will give you the same price on coverage. Taking time to compare car insurance quotes will give a baseline idea of what you can expect to pay when adding someone to an existing policy — or how much you could save by switching providers. When trying to decide between two companies, it may also help to read comparisons like our Allstate vs. Progressive review or State Farm vs. Geico review. These break down each company’s discount offerings and customer reviews side-by-side.

Look for discounts

We mentioned earlier that several car insurance companies offer discounts for young drivers and students, but you can save money through other means too. Bundling policies like homeowners insurance with your auto coverage can lower your premium, so check to see if your insurer offers a multi-policy discount.

Here are some common discounts offered by insurance providers:

  • Safe driver discount
  • Multi-policy discount 
  • Multi-vehicle discount
  • Military discount
  • New vehicle discount
  • Vehicle safety feature discount

Adjust your coverage

If you’re looking to save and have a new driver on the road, adjusting your current auto policy might give you a better rate. Opting for a higher deductible usually leads to overall lower premiums, but it does mean paying more upfront if you file an insurance claim.

Another option is dropping coverage you don’t need. If one of your cars is older and you own it outright, you can likely stop paying for collision insurance and comprehensive coverage. Remember that you’ll still have to pay for liability insurance if you decide to drop the rest of your full coverage policy.Some options for car insurance for new drivers

Whether you’re a new driver or have been driving for decades, researching and comparing quotes from several providers is a great way to find the best rate. Some of the big names in the business include Geico, State Farm and Liberty Mutual. Read on to learn more about these providers, or use the tool below to start getting free quotes from top insurers in your area.

Geico

Geico offers a wide range of coverage and discount options. Students can get discounts up to 15%, and if you have multiple vehicles on your policy, you can get savings up to 25%. Geico also has a positive reputation for customer service and sound business practices, earning an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

State Farm

If your student driver holds at least a B average in school or is away at college and only uses their car sparingly, State Farm has a number of discounts that can help you lower your premiums. This includes programs like Steer Clear® for drivers under the age of 25. Plus, its network of local agents can come in handy if you’re not sure how much coverage to purchase as a new driver.Frequently asked questions

Is car insurance higher for new drivers?

New drivers are more expensive to insure due to the lack of a driving record. Younger drivers are more likely to be in an accident, which also raises car insurance rates.

What’s the cheapest way to insure a new driver?

Ways to find affordable auto insurance rates include comparing quotes from multiple providers, looking for discounts and dropping unnecessary coverage. It’s generally best for young drivers to stay on their parents’ policies too.

What is the cheapest car for a 17-year-old to insure?

Older cars with higher mileage are usually less expensive to insure because they have less cash value than newer vehicles. Financing a vehicle also comes with higher insurance requirements.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Kenneth Murry Rossman, a certified public accountant and licensed insurance agent, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud and aiding and assisting in the preparation and filing of a false income tax return, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

Rossman, a Bradenton resident, faces a maximum penalty of eight years in federal prison.

According to the plea agreement, Rossman conspired with Phillip Roy Wasserman, a former lawyer and licensed insurance agent, to defraud elderly victim-investors. The conspirators made false and fraudulent misrepresentations and concealed material information in order to convince elderly victim-investors to put their money into Wasserman’s new insurance venture, “FastLife.”

Some victim-investors were persuaded to liquidate traditional investments, such as annuities, and/or to borrow funds against existing life insurance policies to generate cash to invest in the venture. These victim-investors were not told about surrender fees and other costs associated with the liquidations, and Rossman prepared income tax returns for victim-investors in a manner designed to conceal negative personal tax consequences that resulted from the liquidations from both the victim-investors and the Internal Revenue Service.

Victim-investors’ money was used to perpetuate the fraud and for the conspirators’ personal enrichment. Wasserman paid Rossman a percentage of the victim-investors’ money as compensation for his role in the conspiracy. Wasserman also used victim-investors’ money to make payments to earlier victim-investors in the FastLife venture, as well to as victim-investors in his earlier hedge fund and real estate fund ventures. Wasserman spent a significant amount of the victim-investors’ money to finance a lavish lifestyle that included luxury residences, high-end vehicles, jet skis, jewelry, personal celebrity entertainment, gambling, retail shopping, home improvements, personal insurance, and many other expenses for his personal benefit and the benefit of family members.

The conspiracy resulted in victim-investors losing more than $6.3 million.

In November 2020, Wasserman was charged in a superseding indictment with filing false income tax returns, tax evasion, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, and substantive counts of wire fraud and mail fraud. His case is currently set for trial in December 2021.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

Sponsored by Florida Surplus Lines Service Office (FSLSO)

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Rachelle DesVaux Bedke, David W.A. Chee, Colin P. McDonell, and Rachel Jones.

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