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Old 05-02-2008, 04:24 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,306,618 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierraAZ View Post
Now I remember they were saying the reason for this was that they can trace the location if the call is make from a land line. Suppose they mean the rare case when your house gets on fire and you make a call but have to run before you manage to tell them the address. In any event, it's pretty odd.
That is true--your land line will trace where the call comes from but if you can give them your address it works the same I guess.
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Old 05-04-2008, 02:13 AM
 
11,961 posts, read 12,419,423 times
Reputation: 2772
Wish I understood the h3-0-7 lingo- I'm pretty clueless about homeowner policies and have to get one going on a house I just bought. Can I assume H7 references are for replacement value, because that's the quote I asked the companies for and they didn't specify by numbers like these.
I'm also wondering how much liability insurance seems wise to carry during a remodeling phase with private contractors running around. Shouldn't they have their own insurance for license and bonding in business? The insurance agent is telling me I'd be liable. That doesn't sound right to me.
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Old 05-04-2008, 06:08 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,306,618 times
Reputation: 10471
Quote:
Originally Posted by harborlady View Post
Wish I understood the h3-0-7 lingo- I'm pretty clueless about homeowner policies and have to get one going on a house I just bought. Can I assume H7 references are for replacement value, because that's the quote I asked the companies for and they didn't specify by numbers like these.
I'm also wondering how much liability insurance seems wise to carry during a remodeling phase with private contractors running around. Shouldn't they have their own insurance for license and bonding in business? The insurance agent is telling me I'd be liable. That doesn't sound right to me.
Contractors should have their own liability insurance. Having that is part of getting licensed. Ask for a certificate of insurance from them BEFORE they start your job. This will show if they have an active policy AND give you contact information should you need to file a claim. This policy will also cover things like them not putting in your plumbing correctly and having major leaks or not wiring something right that causes a fire, etc.

Your homeowners liability would only cover you if you were negligent about something and a contractor got hurt--say your sidewalk was icy and you made no effort to clear it (putting sand down for example). You can never really have too much liability on your insurance policies. Part of what is covered with those are legal fees if someone sues you and with today's society, that isn't all that unusual. Besides, liability insurance is cheap! We have $1,000,000 on our homeowners and then an additional $1,000,000 umbrella policy (which also extends the liability coverage on your auto, boats, motorcycles, etc). Those two coverages together are about $20/month.
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Old 05-04-2008, 06:11 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,306,618 times
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As for the lingo--yes, they are just different types of homeowners policies. The base coverages are pretty much the same but the extras they add are what make them different. If you are going with a big name company, State Farm, American Family, Farmer's, etc. you are going to get a better policy with replacement cost, etc. If you are looking at some of the internet based companies, they don't always just give you their extended coverage policy, basically quoting you their less expensive policy (with less coverage) knowing full well most people don't have a CLUE what it all means and only look at the cost of the policy.
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Old 05-04-2008, 09:13 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 65,186,959 times
Reputation: 22269
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
I have never heard of an insurance company having issue with no land line. First of all, usually if you are calling 911 it is for a fire or burglary. You shouldn't be making either of those calls from inside your own home anyway--not safe, so having a cell phone is a better protection in those cases anyway. Also, you can call 911 from your cell phone it just doesn't link to your county dispatch.

As for the policy type, some of that might have to do with your individual state. Each state has their own insurance laws. Also, most companies do offer some sort of expanded HO3 policy, they are HO5's in our area. Some houses don't qualify for an HO5 so that might be the case as well.

anifani821--In MN the refrigeration coverage is standard to the base HO3, you couldn't opt out even if you wanted. You don't see many individual claims for this but along with a natural disaster, say tornado, most people get paid out for that.
I am gonna pull out my policies and look at them again! This thread has been great - I need to re-examine everything and honestly - I thought I had a grip on it all, including exclusions . . . now I am not so sure.

Thanks for all the good info - great thread!!!

Last edited by brokensky; 05-04-2008 at 09:14 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:17 AM
 
Location: SCCL, Lancaster, SC
444 posts, read 1,461,639 times
Reputation: 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by harborlady View Post
Wish I understood the h3-0-7 lingo- I'm pretty clueless about homeowner policies and have to get one going on a house I just bought. Can I assume H7 references are for replacement value, because that's the quote I asked the companies for and they didn't specify by numbers like these.
I'm also wondering how much liability insurance seems wise to carry during a remodeling phase with private contractors running around. Shouldn't they have their own insurance for license and bonding in business? The insurance agent is telling me I'd be liable. That doesn't sound right to me.
Before you let any one on your property make sure they have workers compensation and general liability. The workers comp will prevent you being liable for their employee on your land and the general liability will protect you if they damage your property. The GL does not give you coverage if they do poor workmanship but it will pay if they damage you in some other way.

A certificate of insurance can be provided to you from their insurance agent. Do NOT accept a certificate from the contractor make sure it is mailed or faxed to you from the agent. (alot of bogus certificates go around)

You may pay more for the work because they have insurance but you have peace of mind.

As far as your coverage for general liability under your homeowners you should carry liability coverage in accordance with your liabilities. If you live on the lake for instance and someone were to drown you would be held responsible therefore you should carry more coverage. If you own a home and cars, boats, etc. you might want to consider a umbrella policy that would pay $1,000,000 should you cause an accident. We all work so hard for everything you don't want to lose it because you didn't have enough coverage. Price is not high.

Hope this has helped. Please let me now if I can help you further!

(retired insurance agent)

Dunroven
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Old 05-05-2008, 01:12 AM
 
11,961 posts, read 12,419,423 times
Reputation: 2772
dunroven- I hope you won't take this the wrong way, because I'm not trying to insult any proffession, but lets just say I've got a bad taste in my mouth after 911 and katrina for lawyers and insurance companies. Not to blame you for entire industries, we'll call it disconcerting trends going on for american consumers.
Specifically, I mean faithfully paying premiums for what amounts to be a false sense of security. Although it's quite a deal- $20 extra for million in coverage- the fact that a rider that large would only serve to attract the very weasels who would ordinarily look at me as not having enough meat on my bones to bother- kind of defeats the point. Did you know they train lawyers to behave this way? Isn't that gross?

Katrina folks who had flood insurance denied? Please explain this to folks like me. Those faithfully paid premiums came from folks making not much more than 30k a year. I don't have to be a southerner to feel that heartbreak. How can anyone trust a government who can't enforce that contract, and what is that saying about the insurance industry as a whole?

Frankly, I've never been, nor have I witnessed, anyone being treated fairly by any insurance company. Not doctors with health insurance people, not patients with health insurance, not the guy who hit my parked car with a uhaul, not me dealing with my own company over it... the list goes on. Who are these companies? State farm, liberty mutual, oxford, vytra, travelors. Maybe thats where it goes wrong- I didn't go with the smaller mom and pop shops who have no choice but look you in the eye because the sales agent is the claims agent.

The bigger companies, the sales agents promise the world, and I think they really believe what they're saying. The claims department is a cat of another stripe, however. They wiggle, squirm, and back pedal grasping for the slightest opening in language to justify not honoring the policy. They're rewarded for exascerbating customers too frustrated to chase after them. Legalese punches so many holes with disclaimers, there's hardly anything left except on blue moon mothers days (only if it's a leap year). Then they cry foul when you have to hire a lawyer to get them to rightfully stand up, and point like a martyr to a litigious society when they themselves provoked it with their own smarmy lawyers writing false policies.

I apologize for my cynicism. A part of me knows its over the top. It's just this long trail of empty promises for warranties that marketing guru's have abused so much it's lost any meaning for me. I'm looking at the redneck insurance of a shotgun over the front door, and keeping an underground safe in euros for the money I'd have paid in insurance toward the rebuilding of a new house if it ever caught fire. The keep it simple stupid plan. I know it's wrong, but it's mighty tempting these days.
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Old 05-05-2008, 04:50 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,306,618 times
Reputation: 10471
The problem with Katrina is not so much that people were denied but they didn't have the coverage they though they had. For the flood insurance, that is through the federal government and there is only $250,000 MAX you can buy on a home so if you have a $400,000 home and a total loss, all you will get is $250,000. There isn't anything insurance companies can do about that.

Also, many people did NOT have flood insurance and ASSUMED their homeowners policy covered flood--NO home owners policy anywhere covers floods. If you are in a high risk flood zone, flood insurance is very expensive, $2500+/year. If you are in a low risk zone it is around $300/year.

Everyone wants to blame the insurance companies and yes, there are some unethical companies but for the most part claims were paid out according to the policies the REAL problem is that people simply did not have the coverage they thought.

As for 911, ALL of the claims made against life insurance policies for 911 WERE paid out. Keep in mind NONE of them had to be paid out the second George Bush declared WAR on terrorism since there is a clause in every life policy excluding acts of war. Yes, some of the claims took time to pay out because they had problems identifying people but again, there are laws that have to be followed.

The insurance industry is HIGHLY regulated by the government. All rates have to be file with the state, all policies, changes, etc. have to be approved by the state insurance commissioner.
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Old 05-05-2008, 04:51 PM
 
Location: SCCL, Lancaster, SC
444 posts, read 1,461,639 times
Reputation: 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by harborlady View Post
dunroven- I hope you won't take this the wrong way, because I'm not trying to insult any proffession, but lets just say I've got a bad taste in my mouth after 911 and katrina for lawyers and insurance companies. Not to blame you for entire industries, we'll call it disconcerting trends going on for american consumers.
Specifically, I mean faithfully paying premiums for what amounts to be a false sense of security. Although it's quite a deal- $20 extra for million in coverage- the fact that a rider that large would only serve to attract the very weasels who would ordinarily look at me as not having enough meat on my bones to bother- kind of defeats the point. Did you know they train lawyers to behave this way? Isn't that gross?

Katrina folks who had flood insurance denied? Please explain this to folks like me. Those faithfully paid premiums came from folks making not much more than 30k a year. I don't have to be a southerner to feel that heartbreak. How can anyone trust a government who can't enforce that contract, and what is that saying about the insurance industry as a whole?

Frankly, I've never been, nor have I witnessed, anyone being treated fairly by any insurance company. Not doctors with health insurance people, not patients with health insurance, not the guy who hit my parked car with a uhaul, not me dealing with my own company over it... the list goes on. Who are these companies? State farm, liberty mutual, oxford, vytra, travelors. Maybe thats where it goes wrong- I didn't go with the smaller mom and pop shops who have no choice but look you in the eye because the sales agent is the claims agent.

The bigger companies, the sales agents promise the world, and I think they really believe what they're saying. The claims department is a cat of another stripe, however. They wiggle, squirm, and back pedal grasping for the slightest opening in language to justify not honoring the policy. They're rewarded for exascerbating customers too frustrated to chase after them. Legalese punches so many holes with disclaimers, there's hardly anything left except on blue moon mothers days (only if it's a leap year). Then they cry foul when you have to hire a lawyer to get them to rightfully stand up, and point like a martyr to a litigious society when they themselves provoked it with their own smarmy lawyers writing false policies.

I apologize for my cynicism. A part of me knows its over the top. It's just this long trail of empty promises for warranties that marketing guru's have abused so much it's lost any meaning for me. I'm looking at the redneck insurance of a shotgun over the front door, and keeping an underground safe in euros for the money I'd have paid in insurance toward the rebuilding of a new house if it ever caught fire. The keep it simple stupid plan. I know it's wrong, but it's mighty tempting these days.
Golfgal is correct in her statements regarding insurance companies and policy forms. They are all regulated! Problems are created when the public is not well informed.

When we purchase our policy we all try to tell our agents of everything that
we feel should be insured and every effort is made at that time to provide coverages based upon what we tell them we want to buy.

One problem occurs when you renew your coverage through the mail and during the years time you have changed your exposure. It is up to us the consumer to let our insurance agents know of these changes otherwise when the claim arises there might not be coverage or enough coverage.

Call your insurance agent today and take care of these issues. Don't wait until its too late!

Dunroven
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:11 PM
 
11,961 posts, read 12,419,423 times
Reputation: 2772
My bad, I wasn't clear. The reference to 911 and false sense of security has more to do with military protocols not being followed to prevent the incident in the first place. Not the military's fault- its a serious leadership problem, and an inappropriate downsizing post cold war. Job one is provide for the common defense, and if the powers that be can't manage that, they've aren't worthy of the post.

So I guess if I were to articulate my grievance better, I'd say its the political favoritism for commerce, and how gov't seems to have abdicated its role to represent the citizens, allowing commerce to police itself to the detriment of the consumer (ex. enron or home appraisal scams grossly inflating real estate). By and large there aren't serious consequences for unethical business practices unless someones got political ambition and it makes for good media PR. Government has underfunded enforcement agencies responsible to keep order. Checks and balances are way out of whack. My faith in Gov't is severely strained these past 8 yrs.

The katrina folks who did have flood insurance- some companies, I believe the smaller ones, didn't honor the claims. People also have false sense of FEMA's role, until a wildfire, tornado, or flood wipes out their town. I think FEMA itself would be shocked if a survey were taken across america- what people THINK their job is vs. what their job ACTUALLY is- a vast discrepancy. I find it disheartening to see forces majeur (act of god) exclusionary clauses everywhere. Honestly, isn't that why we buy insurance in the first place? All those unexpected things beyond our control?

I wonder if a policy exists where its all covered, without 50 pages of legalese jargon creating ala carte holes, or opportunity for claims dept denials. How much would that cost? What insurance agency out there helps you document solidly your possessions/true replacement values to ensure there aren't petty skirmishes on the worst day of your life? So far I've got 3 price quotes, but none of these major companies have been helpful in any way about that issue. After the fact the burden of proof is your own, but there is zero assistance in terms of preventing lack of documentation. They'll write a policy on hearsay, but make you prove the value after the reciept burned. Maybe this blog will be incentive for someone to start a new company, with a different attitude. I'm not shopping for the cheapest, I'm shopping for the most legit.

Again, I acknowledge my cynicism is an unhealthy attitude, but maybe that would be assuaged by hearing stories from people who had positive experiences with insurance. The latest round of commercials from Allstate about people doing the right thing is the idealistic world I'd love to live in, but my skeptism says that's not reality.
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