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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

For new and soon-to-be moms, this mother’s day was a particularly special occasion. In a sea of firsts, this Sunday is a day for celebrating the new adventure you’ve just embarked on or will soon be embarking on.

But being a new parent also comes with new challenges, and it probably feels like there are more priority items on your list than ever before, as major life events have a way of focusing our attention in a new way.

One of those areas coming into sharper focus may be your financial picture, and the need to protect your people in the event that you are no longer there. That’s where life insurance comes in, and is likely one of those items already on your list.

Whether you’re a new mom, soon-to-be mom, or thinking about becoming a mom, it’s never too early to start thinking about life insurance. Ladder makes it easy for moms like you to find the right life insurance policy.

1. Which kind of life insurance is right for new moms?

In general, life insurance policies come in two forms: “term life” and “permanent (or whole) life.” With the former, you choose a period of time (i.e. 10, 20, or 30 years) during which you will pay monthly premiums and receive coverage for a given amount that, should you die within this period, will go to your beneficiaries. Conversely, “whole life” is an open-ended contract with no expiration date: if you keep paying in, it will cash out whenever you die.

If you’re a new mom, you’ll likely want to give term life a closer look for several reasons.

Cost: Term life is generally cheaper than whole life (3-10x less expensive). While whole life offers a cash value, this can be an expensive way to save money, because of commissions paid on the premium and other built-in costs. 

Transparency: It’s relatively easy to figure out the appropriate term length—typically 10 to 30 years—if your goal is ensuring your children receive support until they’re financially independent. 

Control: People who want more control over their life insurance and investments might prefer a “buy-term-and-invest-the-difference” strategy vs. a whole life insurance product. This gives you the ability to change your investment strategies when you want, so you can use the money you saved by choosing term life insurance instead of whole for other purposes, as you see fit.

Flexibility: Typical term life insurance can be limited. In most cases, you select a policy and you’re essentially locked into it for the duration of your term. That means you have to determine what your family and financial picture will look like over the next 10, 20, 30 years. If that feels hard to do, that’s because it is! Our lives are constantly changing (maybe you pay off your mortgage faster than expected or move to a city with a lower cost of living), and our coverage should be able to change too. That’s where laddering, or flexible term life insurance, comes in. Ladder gives you the option to instantly decrease your coverage over the course of your term life policy, which decreases your premiums by the same proportion—all with a few clicks online or taps in the app. You can also easily apply to increase your coverage online if your circumstances change and you want more coverage. There are no fees, paper forms, or calls from commissioned agents to get it done. 

Staying on top of your life insurance needs is a smart way to save money over the years while keeping your loved ones covered.

2. What if your partner already has life insurance?

We’ve been talking about why new moms should consider life insurance, but many people may be wondering if their own life insurance policy is even necessary if their partner already has one.

Whether you and your partner are both working or one of you stays at home, you should both consider getting life insurance. That’s because you both contribute financial support to the household and the standard of living of your family. This includes stay-at-home parents!

Salary.com estimates that the median annual salary for all of the jobs that stay-at-home moms (and while the survey didn’t include them, it’s worth noting dads, too) perform is $178,201. If anything were to happen to the stay-at-home partner, all of this non-salaried work would have to be provided by some other means, and a second life insurance policy will go a long way towards maintaining your family’s standard of living.

3. How much coverage do new moms need?

Perhaps the easiest way to estimate your life insurance needs is to use a free calculator online. If you want to break it down further, how much you should buy really depends on your goals and budget. In the end it’s all about figuring out how much risk you can afford to take off the table.

One popular method for picking your term and coverage amount is based on the simple but powerful idea of replacing your income. There are two main steps.

Pick your term. How many years until you think you’ll retire? That’s your term. The reason why is that until then, you’ll most likely have people counting on your income (for example your spouse/partner and/or kids).

Pick a coverage amount that’s equal to your annual salary multiplied by your term. So for example, if you make $100,000 a year and have 20 years left until retirement, pick a coverage amount of $2M. If you have 30 years left until retirement, adjust accordingly.

If the quote fits in your budget, that’s great news. It’s always better to avoid cutting corners.

If money is tight, however, it’s important to identify two things before buying a policy.

What’s your goal with the policy? Your goal of the policy should highlight which financial liabilities are a priority. For example, it could be a mortgage, a few years leeway for rent, or your child’s college education. You prioritize what’s most important for you and your family. 

What’s realistic for me and my family’s budget? Before you accept your policy, you’re able to view different term lengths and coverage amounts. And if you get your quote from Ladder, non-commissioned agents are available to help you find the best option for your budget.

4. How much coverage do you need if you’re a stay-at-home mom?

Figuring out your coverage amount might feel a bit more challenging if you don’t take a traditional income. While there is no single approach that works for everyone, factoring in the size of your family and the value of the work that you do in terms of dollars (i.e. how much would it cost to hire someone) is a good place to start. 

This is another point for laddering—if your family is growing, you can take out the policy that’s right for you right now with the option to apply to bump up coverage whenever you need.

*About the Author

Liana Corwin is the Director of Communications and Editor of the Financial Literacy Blog at Ladder, an award-winning insurtech that’s using technology to make life insurance smart, easy, and affordable. Passionate about helping consumers, Liana has spent nearly a decade working with brands that solve hard problems and make consumer experiences delightful.

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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

More than 50,000 Florida policyholders will soon be looking for a new carrier for their homeowners insurance after three Florida-based companies were approved by the state regulator to drop the policies. The moves come just a few weeks before the official start of hurricane season and as legislation designed to target the state’s insurance market issues awaits the governor’s signature.

In consent orders signed by Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier, Universal Insurance Co. of North America (UICNA) was approved to drop 13,294 personal residential policies and Gulfstream Property & Casualty was approved to cancel about 20,311 personal residential policies. Both insurers will remove the policies over the next 45 days.

Southern Fidelity Insurance Co. was approved to nonrenew approximately 19,600 personal residential policies over the next 14 months, with approximately 2,300 receiving less than the required statutory written notice of nonrenewal.

The early cancellation and nonrenewals of policies is “an extraordinary statutory remedy reserved to address insurers which are or may be in hazardous financial condition,” the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation stated in the orders, which also require the insurers to take other steps to stay solvent.

The regulator’s actions are the most recent indicators of Florida’s stressed insurance marketplace that has been described as “spiraling towards collapse.” Altmaier and others have previously warned of problems for Florida’s domestic companies thanks to spiking litigation, dishonest contracting practices, catastrophe events and high reinsurance costs. Florida insurers were reported to have lost a combined $1.7 billion in 2020.

“OIR remains focused on the protection of consumers and fostering stability in Florida’s insurance marketplace,” OIR said in a statement to Insurance Journal. “Allowing for the early cancellation or nonrenewal of policies is not a decision made lightly, and requires a finding that such action is necessary to protect the best interests of the public or policyholders.”

The respective orders outline what “hazardous” financial conditions led to the approval of the policy cancellations and nonrenewals:

Universal Insurance Co. of North America (UICNA)

UICNA’s cancellation of 13,294 of its 57,000 Florida policies will occur as part of a financial restructuring plan that includes a merger with and into Universal North America Insurance Co., a Texas domestic company.

UICNA reported net losses of $4.1 million in 2019 and $22.5 million in 2020, and had decreased its surplus by more than $9 million as of Dec. 31, 2020, OIR stated in the order approving the policy cancellations. UICNA’s surplus deterioration came despite the company receiving capital contributions of $13.5 million, without which it would have been considered an impaired insurer as it would have fallen below Florida’s minimum required surplus of $10 million.

OIR said UICNA provided financial projections that show without the cancellation of the approximately 9,341 homeowners policies and 3,953 dwelling policies, the company’s financial condition would further deteriorate to an unsustainable level by the end of 2021.

Given UICNA’s catastrophe loss experience, higher reinsurance costs, and significantly increased litigation, the identified policies for cancellation would “provide an immediate impact to the company’s financial position and facilitate the completion of a financial restructuring plan to protect its policyholders and the public,” the order says.

The policy cancellations are also a condition of the company’s merger plan, OIR said, which is still subject to approval by the Texas regulator. If the merger plan is not approved, or if Universal North America Insurance Co. is unsuccessful in becoming licensed in Florida, “UICNA agrees it will consent to immediate administrative supervision, for the purpose of conserving assets while UICNA develops a fully funded plan,” the OIR order states.

UICNA must file its plan of merger with OIR and the Texas Department of Insurance no later than May 14, 2021, and must provide at least 45 days’ notice of cancellation to the affected policyholders. UICNA must also continue to file monthly financial statements with OIR until further notice and submit an updated business plan to the regulator by Aug. 1, 2021 for the period of July 1, 2021 through Dec. 31, 2024. The plan must include the company’s ability to generate “successful operation results by the implementation of underwriting changes, rate adjustments, operational savings, capital management, and other significant modifications to its current business model.”

No policies from the block of cancelled policies can be rewritten on a different UICNA policy form or an affiliated insurer for a period of three years from the date of cancellation.

Southern Fidelity Insurance Co.

Southern Fidelity’s order, signed April 28, is the latest in a series of moves by OIR designed to “remediate the financial condition” of the company and to facilitate a long-term financial restructuring plan. OIR said it previously approved a rate increase, a merger with its sister company Capitol Preferred Insurance Co., the cancellation of an identified block of policies, and a capital contribution plan developed by Southern Fidelity’s new indirect owners, HSCM Bermuda.

The 19,600 policies Southern Fidelity is seeking to nonrenew are generating significant losses, and OIR found after evaluation that dropping the policies is “necessary to protect the best interest of its policyholders and the public.”

“Information filed by the company in support of its request demonstrates that without the approval of this plan of nonrenewal, the company would not be able to satisfy the surplus requirements of [Florida law], nor complete its long-term restructuring plan,” the order states.

Southern Fidelity is required to actively facilitate the placement of the policies to be nonrenewed through “robust” communication with its agents and by providing data to other insurers expressing interest in offering replacement coverage under a confidentiality agreement.

Southern Fidelity must also provide OIR with an actuarial review of its homeowners programs to “properly position its rates so as to avoid adverse selection and improve future loss ratios,” as well as adhere to file and use rate filings on a prescribed schedule. The company wrote more than 133,000 policies in Florida as of Dec. 31, 2020, making it among the top five insurers in the state.

Gulfstream Property & Casualty Co.

The financial condition of personal residential insurer Gulfstream, which has 56,000 policies in Florida, will deteriorate to an unsustainable level by mid-2021 without action, the May 6 consent order from OIR states. As such, the company has been approved to early cancel approximately 20,311 personal residential policies. Gulfstream has also signed a letter of intent with a new investor that stipulates the policy cancellations as a condition of its investment.

The company also reported that it will no longer have risk on any policies outside of Florida, except for about 90 policies in Texas that will non-renew by June 20, 2021, as part of an ongoing renewal rights transaction and withdrawal from the state of Texas.

Gulfstream reported a decrease in surplus of more than $5.2 million as of Dec. 31, 2020 compared with the same date in 2019, the order states. Its surplus included a net loss of $22.6 million, a net underwriting loss of $34.9 million and capital contributions of $17.1 million, without which its surplus would have fallen below the required $10 million.

If Gulfstream is unable to complete its obligations in the investor letter of intent or the move is not approved by OIR, Gulfstream will consent to immediate administrative supervision for the purpose of conserving assets while it develops a fully funded plan, the OIR order states.

Gulfstream has voluntarily ceased writing new business, OIR said, and may only resume doing so if its revised business plan is filed and approved by the regulator. Gulfstream must submit an updated business plan to OIR by July 1, 2021.

Demotech President Joseph Petrelli said Florida companies are taking action to nonrenew and cancel policies to lower their exposure in particular geographic areas and their reinsurance costs. Demotech requires “rigorous” reinsurance programs from the Florida insurers it rates, and advised in March that several companies may need to remove certain policies from their books “whose underwriting characteristics generate a disproportionate cost of reinsurance,” to sustain their ratings.

“Between the geographical issues and the disproportionate reinsurance cost issues, we think that’s a smart move on behalf of companies,” Petrelli told Insurance Journal in response to the recent orders.

For consumers, the actions make a tough market even tougher. Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Tasha Carter said she has been assisting homeowners daily who are facing challenging consequences because their policies have been cancelled or nonrenewed. As insurers offset sustained losses with rate increases and coverage restrictions, homeowners are left to pay higher rates with fewer options and less coverage, she said.

“In addition to raising rates, the cancellation of high-risk policies is another step insurers are taking to reduce their exposure and mitigate their risk in an effort to improve their overall financial stability to ensure financial protection for policyholders,” Carter said in a statement to Insurance Journal. “I am hopeful that the implementation of the [property insurance] legislation will lead to a reduction of rates and increased coverage and capacity.”

In the meantime, OIR encouraged consumers who receive a cancellation notice from their insurer to immediately contact their agent to obtain replacement coverage, and noted the companies will also contact their appointed agents to facilitate the placement of policies with other insurers.

“OIR’s priority is to ensure consumers have access to coverage and will make every effort to help consumers find replacement coverage,” the regulator said.

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

Tue, May 11, 2021, 12:51 AM·2 min read

An estimated 170,000 car insurance claims in 15 months are suspected to have been linked to “crash for cash” gangs, investigations suggest.

Crash for cash is the name given to a fraud when criminals deliberately cause a road collision to claim compensation.

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), which shares intelligence within the sector, said that parts of Birmingham were the centre of these cases.

Tue, May 11, 2021, 12:51 AM·2 min read

An estimated 170,000 car insurance claims in 15 months are suspected to have been linked to “crash for cash” gangs, investigations suggest.

Crash for cash is the name given to a fraud when criminals deliberately cause a road collision to claim compensation.

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), which shares intelligence within the sector, said that parts of Birmingham were the centre of these cases.- ADVERTISEMENT -https://s.yimg.com/rq/darla/4-6-0/html/r-sf-flx.html

Insurers said the fraud cost meant premiums increased for all motorists.

The IFB said there were 2.7 million motor insurance claims across the UK from October 2019 to the end of last year, of which 170,000 could be linked to suspected crash for cash networks.

It said the main hotspots were the B25, B34 and B8 postcode areas of Birmingham, and the BD7 and BD3 areas of Bradford.

It hoped that by pinpointing crash for cash hotspots, people would be encouraged to be vigilant as more drivers start to take to the roads.

Many innocent drivers are caught up in these collisions.

IFB investigations have found single gangs can be behind thousands of orchestrated collisions in some areas, with the combined value of their fraudulent claims running into the millions.

James Dalton, director of general insurance policy at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), said: “These criminal gangs are often highly organised and put lives at risk.

“The amounts that they fraudulently claim can be huge, and can impact on the motor premiums paid by honest motorists.”

Between 2011 to 2018, more than 150 people were convicted in south Wales for submitting bogus claims, as part of a £2m car insurance scam.

The Yandell family’s “crash for cash” swindle went undetected for years due to the sheer number of people they roped into the scam.

It centred around using vehicles in staged accidents so the fraudsters could submit bogus and exaggerated insurance 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

With weather improving, Shropshire homeowners have been warned that expensive garden ornaments and equipment may not be covered by traditional home insurance policies.

Martin Pitchford, from Henshalls Insurance Brokers in Newport and Shrewsbury, said many people were unaware that items such as garden furniture could be unprotected.

“Home and contents insurance does not always cover the cost of replacing garden furniture and outside items, and it’s vital that homeowners check the small print on their policies as they may need to pay more to upgrade their cover,” he said.

“With the warmer weather on its way, many of us will be hoping to spend more time in the garden and inevitably, that means dragging the barbecue and the sun loungers out of the shed – making them highly visible targets for opportunist thieves.ADVERTISING

“Some insurance policies will also cover items stored in sheds and greenhouses as standard, but with some firms and some structures, there could be an extra cost to add them to your cover.

“You may find that your buildings insurance will include some items that are permanently fixed to the ground too, such as hot tubs, pergolas or statues.”

Mr Pitchford said that any items stored in a shed or garden office would usually be covered for theft under a homeowner’s contents insurance.by TaboolaSponsored LinksYou May LikeMan Decides to File for Divorce After Taking a Closer Look at This Photo! JustPerfact USA2021 Cadillac SUV Lineup Is Turning HeadsCadillac’s On Yahoo

“There is generally a limit though as to how much you’ll be able to claim, and under some policies you will only be eligible to claim if the outbuilding was locked and you can prove entry was forced.

“It may be that your cover will exclude any weather damage that’s caused by falling trees or if any plants that are planted in the ground suffer frost damage, so check your paperwork carefully.

“If you do have valuable items in your garden, ask your insurer about topping up your policy to protect them through your home insurance cover – it could well mean you’ll need to pay extra, but at least you’ll have peace of mind.”

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

A homeowners insurance lapse may happen to even the best of policyholders. An oversight on your insurance bill or a failed automatic payment may cause your coverage to lapse for nonpayment. It is relatively simple to handle – pay your past-due insurance bill, and your coverage should be reinstated.

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A homeowners insurance lapse may happen to even the best of policyholders. An oversight on your insurance bill or a failed automatic payment may cause your coverage to lapse for nonpayment. It is relatively simple to handle – pay your past-due insurance bill, and your coverage should be reinstated.a person sitting at a table using a laptop computer: Saving for the future is serious business© Rowan Jordan/Getty Images Saving for the future is serious business

However, letting your home insurance lapse is risky and should be avoided. If your homeowners policy lapses, even if just for one or two days, any damages that occur during that time, such as home burglary, windstorm or fire, could leave you without coverage to pay for your losses. In addition, a lapse is noted on your home insurance record and could lead to higher insurance premiums in the future.

What happens if my homeowners insurance policy lapses?

If you do not pay your insurance bill after a certain amount of time, your home insurance will be canceled, creating a lapse in coverage. However, other reasons besides nonpayment could cause your home insurance to lapse, including:

  • You misrepresented yourself on your application: For instance, if you omitted that you own a pit bull or that you do not plan on living in the home full-time, your insurance company may cancel you if they find out.
  • You are considered high-risk: Your carrier may decide that too many claims or late insurance payments make you too high-risk to insure. Or, if the area you live in just suffered deadly wildfires or flooding, the insurance company may reconsider insuring you.
  • A negative home report or deferred maintenance: If your roof needs replacement and you have been avoiding it, or the initial home inspection showed that the electrical wiring is defective or outdated but has not been replaced, an insurance company may decide to cancel your coverage.

Any of these scenarios may cause you to lose home insurance coverage. Finding an alternative quickly before your insurance lapses and you end up without coverage is vital. The homeowners insurance grace period is typically 30 days if you forget to pay your premiums. If you receive a warning letter for non-payment, you should act fast to reinstate your policy and avoid a lapse in coverage. Here is what could happen otherwise:https://products.gobankingrates.com/r/d9360ea31bf06ea8b9d0ef49288e28fb?subid=

Your mortgage lender will buy home insurance coverage

Part of the requirements you agreed to in the large stack of closing documents you signed when you purchased your home is maintaining continuous home insurance coverage with the lender as named insured. If your policy lapses, the insurance company will notify the lender, who may purchase a policy on your behalf to avoid leaving your home without coverage.

The issue is, the lender may not shop around to find you the best deal on home insurance. You may be forced to pay for a new home insurance policy that is much more expensive than your lapsed one. It may also only include dwelling insurance for the home’s structure, leaving all your personal belongings uninsured.

Your premiums may increase

Even if you reinstate your existing home policy, the carrier will likely note the lapse in your records. The lapse could lead to higher insurance premiums since your carrier may find you riskier to insure because you went without coverage for a certain period.

You will have trouble finding coverage with another carrier

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If you fail to make good on the lapse, other carriers may not insure you. One of the questions most insurance applications ask is if you have had a lapse in coverage in the past. If you did, you might be rejected. And not being truthful is worse – if (and when) the carrier finds out, your policy will be canceled for misrepresentation or fraud.

You would have to pay for losses out of pocket

As mentioned, a lapse in your coverage means that you were uninsured for a certain period. It could be days or weeks, but the risk is the same – if something happens during the lapse period, you will not have any financial protection from homeowners insurance and will have to pay the expenses and losses out of pocket.

How do I get homeowners insurance coverage after a lapse?

If your home insurance has lapsed, finding coverage immediately should be a priority. Even if you plan on disputing the lapse with the carrier, the process could be slow. Having coverage while you wait for a decision is necessary. To get started, select a few insurance companies and get quotes.

Once you have collected a few quotes, carefully compare rates, policy limits, and deductibles to narrow down your list to two or three insurance companies. Do your research on the carriers by looking at customer reviews. After you choose a home insurance company, complete the application process as truthfully and thoroughly as possible. Be sure to set the effective date to immediate and contact your mortgage lender with the details of your new policy before they purchase home insurance on your behalf.

Ways to save on homeowners insurance coverage

If you are struggling with the cost of your home insurance and have trouble making the monthly payments, finding ways to save on your home insurance could bring your budget some relief. Consider the following ideas to lower your rates:

  • Bundling: Buy your car and home insurance with the same carrier to receive a discount on both.
  • Switch carriers: Periodically compare home insurance rates from a handful of carriers. You may find it is cheaper to switch companies to pay less for coverage.
  • Raise your deductible: If you do not expect to file a homeowners claim, you could raise the deductible to a higher amount to lower your rates. The key is to raise it enough to save on your premiums while still being able to pay out the amount in case of a claim.
  • Adjust your property limits: Take the time to tally the cost of your personal property, such as furniture, fixtures, electronics and more. You may be paying more for personal property insurance than you own and could possibly lower the amount.
  • Add a security system: Many of today’s home security systems are affordable and DIY. Adding cameras, door sensors, deadbolt locks, smoke detectors or a water leak detector can help you save on your home insurance.

Frequently asked questions

What happens if your homeowners insurance is cancelled?

Having your homeowners insurance canceled can be unpleasant. You will receive a letter explaining why your insurance was dropped with an effective date. You will need to find a new home insurance policy to replace the canceled one. Do not delay, or your coverage could lapse, leaving you exposed to risks such as fire or theft.

How much does home insurance cost?

The average annual cost of home insurance is $1,312 for a home with a dwelling coverage amount of $250,000. Your rate may vary based on where you live, the value of your home and your past claims history.

Who has the best home insurance?

There are many quality home insurance companies. Bankrate’s list of best home insurance companies includes USAA, MetLife, Allstate and Lemonade. To find the coverage for your needs and budget, shop around and get quotes from a few carriers before you decide.

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

CAR INSURANCE costs for electric vehicles are now cheaper than petrol and diesel vehicles, according to new analysis from Compare the Market. Prices have reduced by £75 in the first quarter of 2021 removing one of the biggest “deterrents” towards electric transition.

The reduction means the average premium for electric models now stands at £566 per year, down from £641 late last year. The cheapest possible electric caf premium is at £478 highlighting drivers can secure rates even cheaper if they look around.

Meanwhile, average insurance prices for petrol and diesel vehicles say at £611 per year.

The price reduction was partly caused by the fall in car insurance claims during the pandemic and multiple lockdowns.

The average cost of car insurance for electric models has fluctuated over the past two years.

Prices reached a peak of almost £700 in December 2019 but have dropped as low as £550 in February 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

Two Miami residents have been arrested for allegedly acting as public adjusters without a license and filling false insurance claims with Citizens Property Insurance Corp., according to a statement from the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS).

The CFO’s Division of Investigative and Forensic Services (DIFS) partnered with the state-run insurer to execute the operation, which utilized a house located in Broward County and undercover fraud detectives posing as homeowners.

Carmen Rosa Contreras and Alexandra Isabel Cano were arrested for allegedly filing fraudulent insurance claims that were submitted to Citizens Insurance company for $65,420.

The covert operation was initiated by DIFS fraud detectives in September 2019, with the cooperation of Citizens Property Insurance, based on allegations that Contreras was acting as a public adjuster without a license and allegedly creating or enhancing damages to homeowner properties.

The following month, Contreras met with an undercover detective to provide a free home inspection. Contreras inspected the home and pointed out nonexistent damage throughout the house. Two insurance claims were filed against Citizens for the alleged property damages noted by Contreras.

On the day of the inspection, Contreras sent her associate, Alexandra Cano, who was then identified as a second subject and was acting as a public adjuster as well. Cano arrived at the home before the inspection and instructed the undercover detective not to say anything to the Citizens Insurance adjuster. Cano identified alleged property damage to use for the insurance claim and Citizens inspection.

Additionally, a second undercover detective posing as the homeowners’ spouse spoke to Cano prior to a three-way call with Citizens Insurance and had been coached prior on what to disclose and not disclose to Citizens Insurance regarding the alleged damages.

Contreras and Cano surrendered to DIFS fraud detectives and were booked into the Broward County Jail. Each face charges of acting as public adjusters without a license and false and fraudulent insurance claims. If convicted, each could face up to 10 years in prison. Individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Barry Gilway, Citizens president, CEO and executive director, said DFS has been partnering with the insurer in its efforts “across the industry to stamp out fraud and abuse that impacts all policyholders who are forced to pay higher premiums because of fraudulent claims.”

To avoid significant out-of-pocket costs, owners in high-risk areas are piecing together a growing selection of policies to get enough coverage. Let USAssurance help you review policies and coverages.

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

Calvin and Elizabeth Moore weren’t worried when they learned their coastal Pensacola, Fla., home was in the path of Hurricane Sally. They had upgraded its roof and windows after Hurricane Ivan damaged the property in 2004.

But the 2020 storm was stronger than expected, and they ended up with significant damage from a leaking roof, said Mr. Moore, 79, a retired real-estate broker. They were able to have their antiques, art and furniture safely removed and stored while workers repainted and dealt with mold inside the house. They spent months sleeping in the sitting area off their kitchen.

To cover the roughly $300,000 in repair costs on their 4,000-square-foot home, which faces the water on three sides, the couple added their own funds to payouts from the insurer they finally switched to after the previous storm and after a second insurer they picked stopped covering their area. Their $1.5 million Pure Insurance policy, including repairs and replacement from water damage, covered about $200,000 in damages. Mr. Moore said he paid a $37,000 wind deductible to the builder and plans to spend $70,000 to repair his torn-up backyard, which isn’t covered.

“It’s a work in progress,” he said.

The Moores were diligent about adequate coverage, which costs them about $28,000 annually and includes two additional government-backed flood policies. The typical home-insurance policy doesn’t always cover costly storm damage, such as flooding, for high-end coastal and waterfront properties. Many luxury homeowners, like the Moores, are turning to a small but growing sector of private insurers to combine various policies and fill the gaps.

What you need to know about pending changes to Florida insurance laws

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

Ron Hurtibise, South Florida Sun-SentinelMon, May 3, 2021, 8:00 AM·9 min read

No one was thrilled with the insurance changes that were passed on the final day of the Florida Legislature’s spring session — not the insurance industry and not consumers’ attorneys.

Insurers didn’t get to kill the law that requires them, and not their customers, to pay to replace damaged roofs. Failure to change the law will keep insurance rates rising, they warn.

Attorneys failed to prevent new restrictions on how they get paid when they sue insurance companies, prompting warnings that consumers will have to pay attorneys upfront if they want to sue.

Ron Hurtibise, South Florida Sun-SentinelMon, May 3, 2021, 8:00 AM·9 min read

No one was thrilled with the insurance changes that were passed on the final day of the Florida Legislature’s spring session — not the insurance industry and not consumers’ attorneys.

Insurers didn’t get to kill the law that requires them, and not their customers, to pay to replace damaged roofs. Failure to change the law will keep insurance rates rising, they warn.

Attorneys failed to prevent new restrictions on how they get paid when they sue insurance companies, prompting warnings that consumers will have to pay attorneys upfront if they want to sue.- ADVERTISEMENT -https://s.yimg.com/rq/darla/4-6-0/html/r-sf-flx.html

Months of debate unfolded over how lawmakers could help stave off skyrocketing insurance rates in Florida.

Along the way, plenty of other changes cleared the Legislature before the session closed Friday that will bring significant changes to auto insurance, claim filing deadlines, kickbacks from contractors, rate hikes by state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and more.

The bills next go to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk. Barring a veto, they will be enacted into law on July 1. Here’s what consumers need to know about them:

No-fault auto insurance repeal will raise costs for some, lower them for others

Motorists who have been rolling the dice by purchasing the minimum amount of auto insurance required to register their vehicles — $10,000 in personal injury protection — will have to pay more to cover injuries to other motorists. Vehicle owners must now buy liability coverage that will pay at least $25,000 per occupant and $50,000 per incident.

The new requirement could raise insurance costs by as much as 50% for those who buy the minimum no-fault coverage, said Sen. Jeff Brandes, who voted against the bill. But drivers who are already paying for liability coverage will likely see their costs reduced because they will no longer be required to buy the $10,000 PIP policy, which is considered redundant for motorists who already have health insurance.

Motorists will have the option of buying $5,000 or $10,000 in coverage for injuries to themselves. Supporters say this option would be useful to drivers who do not otherwise have health insurance.

Ron Hurtibise, South Florida Sun-SentinelMon, May 3, 2021, 8:00 AM·9 min read

No one was thrilled with the insurance changes that were passed on the final day of the Florida Legislature’s spring session — not the insurance industry and not consumers’ attorneys.

Insurers didn’t get to kill the law that requires them, and not their customers, to pay to replace damaged roofs. Failure to change the law will keep insurance rates rising, they warn.

Attorneys failed to prevent new restrictions on how they get paid when they sue insurance companies, prompting warnings that consumers will have to pay attorneys upfront if they want to sue.- ADVERTISEMENT -https://s.yimg.com/rq/darla/4-6-0/html/r-sf-flx.html

Months of debate unfolded over how lawmakers could help stave off skyrocketing insurance rates in Florida.

Along the way, plenty of other changes cleared the Legislature before the session closed Friday that will bring significant changes to auto insurance, claim filing deadlines, kickbacks from contractors, rate hikes by state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and more.

The bills next go to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk. Barring a veto, they will be enacted into law on July 1. Here’s what consumers need to know about them:

No-fault auto insurance repeal will raise costs for some, lower them for others

Motorists who have been rolling the dice by purchasing the minimum amount of auto insurance required to register their vehicles — $10,000 in personal injury protection — will have to pay more to cover injuries to other motorists. Vehicle owners must now buy liability coverage that will pay at least $25,000 per occupant and $50,000 per incident.

The new requirement could raise insurance costs by as much as 50% for those who buy the minimum no-fault coverage, said Sen. Jeff Brandes, who voted against the bill. But drivers who are already paying for liability coverage will likely see their costs reduced because they will no longer be required to buy the $10,000 PIP policy, which is considered redundant for motorists who already have health insurance.

Motorists will have the option of buying $5,000 or $10,000 in coverage for injuries to themselves. Supporters say this option would be useful to drivers who do not otherwise have health insurance.

In a statement released Friday, the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida urged DeSantis to veto the bill, saying cost hikes will result in more low-income drivers forgoing insurance altogether. About one in five Florida motorists are uninsured.

Restrictions tightened on roofing contractors, public adjusters

A hotly debated proposal that would have allowed insurers to switch out full roof replacement coverage with limited coverage for roofs 10 years or older did not survive the session. The insurance industry wanted to replace full-roof replacement coverage — which they claim is driving millions of dollars in losses — with partial roof coverage that would require owners of older roofs to pay a large portion of their replacement costs.

Insurers requested the change to combat roofing companies they say offered incentives to homeowners willing to let them inspect their roofs for damage they could blame on past hurricanes.

Florida’s building code requires replacement of entire roofs if more than 25% damaged, and insurers contend that contractors are exploiting the requirement by blaming normal wear and tear on hurricanes or hail storms to justify full replacement claims.

The final version of the bill bars contractors from advertising, offering to perform or performing public adjuster services unless they are licensed as public adjusters. That means contractors cannot inspect damage to determine whether it could be covered by insurance, or perform any function connected to submitting a claim.

Insurers have long complained about roofing contractors that advertise their ability to help submit roof claims and get new roofs funded with little or no out-of-pocket costs to consumers.

Public adjusters, who are allowed to inspect damage and submit claims, will be barred from offering property owners anything of value for allowing contractors or themselves to inspect a roof for damage or file an insurance claim for the roof.

Public adjusters are also barred from accepting payment from contractors or attorneys. This is intended to eliminate the ability of public adjusters working as “loss consultants” for law firms that specialize in suing insurers.

A separate bill empowers the Department of Financial Services to levy fines against contractors acting as claims adjusters.

Brandes, a Tampa-area Republican, who supported the roof replacement proposal, said failure to include it in the Legislature’s major insurance reform bill will keep rates for private-market coverage unaffordable and drive more consumers to state-owned Citizens Property Insurance Corp., which he said is growing at unsustainable rates.

Brandes said that without the roof coverage change desired by insurers, the bills that cleared the Legislature this year amounted to just “a 40% solution for what is needed in Florida to potentially bend the cost curve.”

Even though the roof replacement provision was stripped from the final bill, consumers should know that some insurers are seeking authorization from state insurance regulators to offer “actual cash value” roof coverage for older homes they would be otherwise unwilling to insure. Others are selling the reduced roof coverage with dwelling/fire policies.

Either choice would potentially expose homeowners to high out-of-pocket costs, including their deductable, if their roofs must be replaced.

Deadline for filing claims reduced to two years

Concerns that too many hurricane damage claims are being filed long after the storms have passed prompted lawmakers to reduce the deadline for claims from three years to two years. While originally intended to address only hurricane claims, the final version creates a two-year deadline from the time of loss for all types of claims while allowing an additional year to file supplemental claims for damage that occur during repairs or aren’t apparent when first reported.

Insurers said that too many “questionable” claims tied to Hurricane Irma were filed in the third year after the storm, while supporters of the reduction argued that two years is enough time for homeowners to identify and report storm losses.

Ten months after Irma struck in September 2017, state insurance regulators reported claims with estimated insured losses totaling $9.7 billion. By June 2020 with the filing deadline approaching in September, the estimated loss tally had doubled to $17.4 billion. By November 2020, the number had increased by another $3.3 billion.

Insurers must get 10-day lawsuit notification

Policyholders must give insurers 10 days’ notice before filing suit, presumably to give insurers time to correct disputed issues.

Early versions of the bill would have given insurers 60 days’ notice, but opponents said that would have added too much time to already lengthy delays before repairs commence. Current law already gives insurers 90 days to determine whether to cover losses, and the bill bars pre-suit notices until insurers make their coverage decisions.

Rate increase cap lifted for Citizens Property Insurance

The state-owned “insurer of last resort” has become the first choice of too many homeowners shocked by price increases from their insurers. Unlike private-market carriers, Citizens can raise rates for its customers by only up to 10% a year. As a result, Citizens has become an attractive choice compared to companies that have raised their rates by as much as 40% in recent months.

And that’s alarmed lawmakers concerned that if Citizens — currently growing by 5,000 policies a week — gets too big, its $7 billion surplus would be depleted, leaving all insurance customers in the state vulnerable to special assessments to make up any shortfall.

A Senate bill sponsored by Brandes would have increased Citizens premium costs by 15% immediately up to 25% if the company’s policy count exceeded 1.5 million. But a House companion bill never emerged, and a milder version survived that raises the maximum annual rate increase from the current 10% by 1% each year until it reaches 15% by 2026.

Policyholders have 10 days to cancel public adjuster contracts

Homeowners dissatisfied with their decision to hire a public adjuster to represent them when filing their claim with their insurer now have 10 days to cancel their contract with the adjuster. Current law allows three days. The cancellation notice must be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, or other forms of mail that provides proof that it was delivered.

Original versions of the bill would have required a 60-day pre-suit notice. But plaintiffs attorneys countered that insurers already have 90 days to decide if a claim is covered. Requiring an additional 60-day notice before a lawsuit could be filed suit disputing an insurer’s decision would unfairly delay repairs, they said.

Attorneys fees incentives reduced

Insurers have long complained about the so-called one-way attorney fee provision in state law that they say encourages lawsuits by allowing attorneys to bill insurers for all of their fees if they recover as little as $1 more than the insurer originally offers.

Replacing that provision is one that requires policyholders to pay their attorney’s fee if the lawsuit recovers less than 20% of the difference between what the insurer offers and the policyholder demands. If the suit recovers between 20% and 50% of this difference, the insurer pays the attorney’s fee multiplied by the percentage difference. Insurers will pay the full attorney’s fee only if the lawsuit results in a settlement exceeding 50% of the difference.

Insurers contend the one-way fee has caused litigation to increase sharply over the past decade, while attorneys counter that lawsuits would not be necessary if insurers paid claims promptly and fairly.

Sen. Gary Farmer, a Fort Lauderdale-based plaintiffs attorney and frequent critic of the insurance industry, said the attorney fee restrictions will leave homeowners unable to get legal help from attorneys who currently take cases on a contingency basis.

Farmer derided insurers’ complaints that out-of-control litigation is threatening the financial stability of the industry as a “completely manufactured crisis.” Insurers hide profits in holding companies and other affiliated ventures, he said.

“The bill [restricting attorney fees] chips away at the tools to help the little guy and the little girl take on Golaith,” he said.

Regardless of who’s to blame, there’s little disagreement that rising legal costs threatens affordability of insurance.

A study by insurance consultant Guy Fraker earlier this year found that of $15 billion spent on claims in Florida that resulted in lawsuits since 2015, only 8% went to policyholders to fix damage. Plaintiffs attorneys got 71% and insurers paid their defense attorneys the other 21%.

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

Because almost every state requires some sort of auto insurance coverage, a car insurance policy is one of the most important purchases you can make. That’s why it’s essential to choose an insurance company that has excellent ratings.

Choosing A Car Insurance Company

Not only is car insurance necessary to legally operate a vehicle, but it also protects you from financial devastation if you’re ever in an accident or your vehicle is stolen. While each driver has a particular set of coverage needs and budgetary concerns, factors such as an insurance company’s financial strength and customer satisfaction should play a part in choosing a provider.

While you might be tempted to just go with the insurance company that gives you the lowest quote, Policygenius recommends that you consider more than how much your policy costs. Some companies might seem to offer a good financial value, but if they don’t provide good customer service, you’ll end up paying in other ways. On the other hand, a company’s excellent customer service might make it worth paying higher rates.

The Best Car Insurance Companies For 2021

Bankrate rates auto insurance companies on a scale of one to five, with one being the poorest and five being the best. When rating companies, Bankrate considers the provider’s financial strength and customer service reviews to determine where a company ranks on the scale. Here are Bankrate’s top car insurance companies for 2021, their Bankrate score, and what they charge for an annual premium with full coverage:

  • USAA – 4.7/$1,252
  • Geico – 4.6/$1,325
  • State Farm– 4.6/$1,422
  • Erie – 4.5/$1,207
  • Amica 4.4/$1,318
  • Progressive – 4.1/$1,419
  • Nationwide – 3.9/$1,475
  • The Hartford – 3.7/$2,064
  • Allstate – 3.6/$1,920
  • Farmers – 3.6/$1,912

How To Find The Best Insurance Company

In addition to looking at company ratings, NerdWallet recommends that you do some additional research. When shopping for insurance, it helps to take the following steps:

  • Visit your state insurance commissioner’s website. The insurance commissioner’s office will list any consumer complaints lodged against an insurance company operating in your state.
  • Ask questions. When talking to an insurance agent or customer representative, they should be able to answer any questions you have. Asking questions helps you get the coverage you need and keeps you from paying for anything you don’t want.
  • Look at smaller insurance companies. A smaller company may be able to provide the individual customer service experience you’re looking for better than a larger company. They’re also likely to offer lower rates.
  • Wait to shop if you have a spotty driving record. If you shop for insurance soon after an accident or DUI, you’re sure to pay higher rates than if you wait three to five years to purchase a new policy.

ValuePenguin suggests that you determine what you need from and care about most in an insurance company and find a company that meets those needs. For example, maybe you want a company that makes it easy to manage your policy with tools like a mobile app. Perhaps you need specialized coverage. Or maybe you are just looking for the lowest premium. Making a list of your insurance priorities will help you stay focused on finding the policy that’s right for you.

Car Insurance Discounts

As Policygenius notes, the best insurance companies help their customers save money by offering discounts. While many discounts are standard across the car insurance industry, the amount of each discount varies by company. Be sure to compare how much of a discount each company is willing to give. Common discounts that you should look for include:

  • Good Student Discount – If you have a teen driver on your policy, they can qualify for a discount if they maintain a 3.0 GPA. Some companies extend this discount to college students if they live at home and are under the age of 25.
  • Bundling Discount – If you combine your home and auto insurance policies through the same company, you’ll qualify for a substantial discount. Bundling your policies can also make it easier to manage your insurance payments.
  • Affiliation Discount – Some companies offer discounts to customers who are members of professional organizations or automobile-related clubs.
  • Paperless Statement Discount – You could qualify for a discount if you decide to access your statement online instead of having it mailed to you.
  • Payment Discount – Some companies will give you a discount if you pay for your policy in full instead of making monthly payments.
  • Equipment Discount – If you install an alarm system on your car or buy a new vehicle with advanced anti-theft and safety features, you could get a discount, which could help offset equipment costs.
  • Safe Driver Discount – A safe driver discount typically requires you to install a telematics device provided by your insurance company. This device will monitor how fast you drive and other habits. The safer you drive, the bigger the discount.

Customer Service And Claims

While ratings can give you a good overall picture of an insurance company, consulting a website like Policygenius can give you more details. Policygenius allows users to post detailed reviews in which they describe how easy it is to file a claim and how long they have to wait for an insurance provider to respond to the claim and pay it out. It never hurts to ask friends or family about their claim experiences. Claims satisfaction is an essential factor to consider since that what you’re buying insurance for in the first place.

If you want to see for yourself what kind of customer service you can expect to receive from a company, ValuePenguin recommends that you call their customer service line. You can see how long the customer service representative keeps you on hold and how the representative responds to a general inquiry. If the company seems difficult to deal with, you probably want to go with another provider. The last thing you want to deal with if you’re in an accident is the added frustration that poor customer service brings.

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