Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of our frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

  1. What factors affect home owners insurance
  2. Term Insurance vs. Mortgage Life Insurance?
  3. Q: Does a ride-sharing driver’s personal auto policy cover the ride for hire?
  4. What to ask before buying flood insurance policy?
What factors affect home owners insurance

Factors That Affect Homeowners Insurance Prices

Home Type

The type of the home being insured will directly impact the cost of the homeowners policy. The material used in construction, like brick or stone, as well as the size will also be considered in the home insurance price.

Home Age

The age of the home will be an important factor when determining the cost of a home insurance quote. Older homes may be more susceptible to problems with aging plumbing and electrical systems, which can be costly to repair. Age of the roof. Some home insurance companies will offer an age of construction discount, reducing the home insurance premium for homes built before a specified year. Newly purchased and newly renovated homes are also often eligible for home insurance discounts. The age of the homeowner will also play a role in the cost of the premium, with some homeowners insurance companies even offering a discount for relatively elderly policyholders.

Home Location

The location of the home is a fundamental factor in the cost of the home insurance policy. The probability of major perils like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, mudslides, wildfires, and other natural disasters is often directly correlated with the geographic location of the home. Consequently, the state where the home is located will play a major role in the home insurance quote. Proximity to the local fire department and fire hydrants are also often considered in policy pricing.

Individual Credit and Insurance Scores

Home insurance companies will look at the credit score and the insurance score of the homeowner when determining the cost of the home insurance premium. A credit score is used by the financial industry to determine the creditworthiness of a borrower. The homeowner’s credit history, amounts owed, types of credit, and several other factors are used to determine this score. An insurance score is used by the insurance industry to determine the risk associated with a policyholder and is typically used for home and auto insurance policies. This score is based on specific credit score measurements, like payment history, length of credit history, balances on accounts, bankruptcies, and other related inputs.

Other Factors

Similar to most types of insurance, policyholders that frequently file claims will likely face higher rates. Risk factors like owning a swimming pool, an aggressive dog, or a trampoline will all play a role in home insurance quotes, and will likely result with increased rates. There are also several safety features that can help lower the cost of homeowners insurance. Some of these include installing smoke and fire detectors, a security system, or deadbolt locks. Those looking for a low homeowners insurance rate will also want to ensure all available discounts offered by the home insurance company are being utilized.

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Term Insurance vs. Mortgage Life Insurance?

Term life insurance vs. mortgage life insurance

Both term insurance and mortgage life insurance provide a means of paying off your mortgage. With either type of insurance, you pay regular premiums to keep the coverage in force.

But with mortgage life insurance, your mortgage lender is the beneficiary of the policy rather than beneficiaries you designate. If you pass away, your lender is paid the balance of your mortgage. Your mortgage will go away, but your survivors or loved ones won’t see any of the proceeds.

In addition, standard term insurance offers a level benefit and level premium for the term of the policy. With mortgage life insurance, the premiums may remain the same, but the value of the policy decreases over time as the balance of your mortgage declines.



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Q: Does a ride-sharing driver’s personal auto policy cover the ride for hire?

A: Generally a standard personal auto policy will not provide coverage for ride-sharing. A standard personal auto insurance policy stops providing coverage from the moment a driver logs into a TNC ride-sharing app to the moment the customer has exited the car and the transaction is closed.

Recognizing this coverage gap, lawmakers have been working to enact legislation that specifies what insurance coverage is needed to operate legally from “app-on to app-off.” There are three distinct periods where a personal auto policy offers no coverage to TNC drivers, according to a National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

·         Period 1: when the TNC driver logs into the TNC application but is not matched with a passenger;

·         Period 2: when the TNC driver has made, and accepted, a match with a prospective passenger but that passenger is not yet physically in the vehicle;

·         Period 3: when the TNC driver has picked up the passenger and the passenger is occupying the TNC driver’s vehicle.



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What to ask before buying flood insurance policy?

 

Here are helpful questions to ask your agent about flood insurance:

  • Does my community participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)? Flood insurance from the NFIP is only available in participating communities, but most communities do participate. Your agent can tell you if your state and community participate, or you can look it up online in the Community Status Book.
  • What flood zone do I live in? What is my property’s flood risk?
  • How long does it take for my flood insurance policy to go into effect? It typically takes 30 days from the day you purchase flood insurance for the policy to go into effect. When purchasing a policy, ask your agent when coverage will start.
  • Is flood insurance mandatory for my property? Will the lender require it?
  • Do I qualify for a lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy (PRP)?
  • Does my community participate in the NFIP’s Community Rating System (CRS)? If so, does my home qualify for a CRS rating discount?
  • What will and won't be covered?
  • Will the federal government back my flood insurance policy?
  • How much coverage should I get for my building and for my contents?
  • How can I reduce the cost of my flood insurance?
  • Are there additional expenses or agency fees?
  • Will my policy provide Replacement Cost Value or Actual Cash Value — and what’s the difference between the two?
  • Who should I call if I have a flood claim?
  • How can I pay for my policy?
  • How do I renew my policy?

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