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Old 05-05-2008, 05:18 PM
 
11,961 posts, read 12,051,454 times
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Thank you Dun and golf, advice noted. I appreciate your patience with someone so obviously frustrated by the system. I'm a first time homeowner and a bit overwhelmed by all this complicated mishagosh.
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:19 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 51,029,939 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harborlady View Post
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.
Again, with the flood insurance, it isn't a matter of any company honoring a flood policy, insurance companies only do the paperwork for the National Flood Insurance, they don't actually issue the flood policy. If the policy was not honored it has NOTHING to do with the insurance company.

Most insurance policies are written to cover everything except what is excluded and frankly, they don't exclude all that much. Floods (water), war, nuclear disaster are the big ones. Some areas of the country require you to purchase separate earthquake insurance.

Floods are the big one. Floods cause more damage in the US then everything else COMBINED. To cover floods through private insurance companies would either bankrupt the companies or cause everyone's rates to double, triple or more. Why should someone in Arizona have to pay for a flood policy for someone in New Orleans? That is how they are structured--the higher risk area carries higher premiums, lower risk areas carry lower premiums. Florida is a perfect example of this, it is next to impossible to get homeowners insurance along the coasts there but easy inland.

Most insurance companies assume you have clothing, furniture, pots, pans, etc. Getting coverage for those in a fire, for example, is easy. The hard things are DVD's, CD, jewelry, guns, expensive collections, etc. It is really easy to say you have 200 DVD's but with no proof, no you aren't going to get coverage for that. If you live in a trailer house and claim Lucky 7 jeans at $200/pop, nope they probably won't pay those out but if you claim plain old Levi's, no issue.

It is a VERY good idea to video tape your house. If your insurance agent doesn't do that (we do) then do it yourself and put it in a safe deposit box. Open drawers, closets, etc. and take a short video of everything. If you have a collection of anything, document it. We have a customer with $14,000 worth of DVD's. He would NEVER get that covered except we have an excel copy of all of his movies and it is also stored on our corporate hard drive for future proof. A good agent will help you with all of this.

To be honest, it isn't possible to predict every situation and that is why you want to pick a good company and a good agent. A good agent can vouch for you in most cases and help you through any claim process. Also, most people that have issues with insurance companies really have a problem because they don't understand their coverage vs not being covered.
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:21 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 51,029,939 times
Reputation: 10438
Quote:
Originally Posted by harborlady View Post
Thank you Dun and golf, advice noted. I appreciate your patience with someone so obviously frustrated by the system. I'm a first time homeowner and a bit overwhelmed by all this complicated mishagosh.
The more we can educated people on how their policies work the easier our jobs! I prefer when people ask questions vs getting mad if something doesn't go the way they think it should.
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:31 PM
 
Location: SCCL, Lancaster, SC
444 posts, read 1,435,760 times
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Default Flood

It is very important that everyone understand how flood coverage responds.

Your homeowners policy covers wind driven rain that causes damage to your structure. If there is no damage to your structure, yet water seeped in through your windows or doors that is considered flood.

So, if you have a hurricane the homeowners policy will respond under the wind coverage if there is damage to the house. If not and wind blows rain into the house and you have damage it is covered under the flood insurance policy.

I hope tomorrow I will be able to provide you with an extensive view of the 7 versus the 5 and the 3 form. The 7 is only available in NC nor SC. In SC you have to purchase the 3 since the other forms are not available.

So until tomorrow........

Dunroven
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:38 AM
 
11,961 posts, read 12,051,454 times
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Floods aren't always caused by a river or ocean. I'm not in a flood plain despite my proximity to a river because I'm at a higher elevation. What about when they are caused by your interior plumbing, or worse, from a water main break in the neighborhood? What about a poor drainage scheme for a hillside, or a foolhardy neighbor who clearcuts beneficial vegitation?
Worst case scenario where I live in WV, most homes are built on slopes because the whole state is a gynormous slope, and once something happens to undermine it, it's like a slow moving avalanche bowing peoples foundations. Perhaps the older construction plays a factor in this, as best practices weren't as solidly established in the early 1900's.
Common assumptions are that coal mining happens everywhere in WV, and I was offered insurance against underground operations that never have and never will happen here due to historic zoning. Another insurance clause I was offered protection from earthquakes, although they're unheard of in this region. Nearest activity is in kentucky. Should an earthquake occur here, the damage I'm more likely to sustain would be fire from the gas mains that run throughout the neighborhoods, and the innability to put them out because the water mains run parallel. Would that nullify my insurance if I didn't have earthquake insurance (ie fires as a secondary result from primary cause).

I cannot begin to tell you how confusing this circular thinking has worn on me. I'm living in this house with no insurance at all because I can't make an informed decision, and my inaction only makes it more stressful.

Last edited by harborlady; 05-07-2008 at 07:40 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:34 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 51,029,939 times
Reputation: 10438
Quote:
Originally Posted by harborlady View Post
Floods aren't always caused by a river or ocean. I'm not in a flood plain despite my proximity to a river because I'm at a higher elevation. What about when they are caused by your interior plumbing, or worse, from a water main break in the neighborhood? What about a poor drainage scheme for a hillside, or a foolhardy neighbor who clearcuts beneficial vegitation?
Worst case scenario where I live in WV, most homes are built on slopes because the whole state is a gynormous slope, and once something happens to undermine it, it's like a slow moving avalanche bowing peoples foundations. Perhaps the older construction plays a factor in this, as best practices weren't as solidly established in the early 1900's.
Common assumptions are that coal mining happens everywhere in WV, and I was offered insurance against underground operations that never have and never will happen here due to historic zoning. Another insurance clause I was offered protection from earthquakes, although they're unheard of in this region. Nearest activity is in kentucky. Should an earthquake occur here, the damage I'm more likely to sustain would be fire from the gas mains that run throughout the neighborhoods, and the innability to put them out because the water mains run parallel. Would that nullify my insurance if I didn't have earthquake insurance (ie fires as a secondary result from primary cause).

I cannot begin to tell you how confusing this circular thinking has worn on me. I'm living in this house with no insurance at all because I can't make an informed decision, and my inaction only makes it more stressful.
First of all, never say never. There are fault lines on the east coast, just because something hasn't happened in recent history doesn't mean it can't happen. With that said, earthquake insurance, at least here, is HUGLY expensive with VERY high deductibles (like 25% of your dwelling coverage). The mine sustenance isn't a bad idea if you live in an area prone to sink holes.

As for the water, broken pipes in your home is covered under your standard policy but any flood water is not--including run off water. Flood water is basically water collecting where it should not be--doesn't matter where it is from. It could be from an abnormally heavy rainfall, pools in your back yard, seeps into your basement--that is flooding.

Keep in mind, the base policy for everyone in your state is the same, the extras are what each company ads to the policy. I think you are over analyzing this too. Take a step back, take a deep breath and just get a policy. Go with a 'name brand' company like State Farm or Allstate and you won't really have any major issues. The only really bad claim experiences I have had were dealing with the small, unknown companies or the internet based companies. Spend your time finding a GOOD agent and they will help you will all of this.
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:45 PM
 
11,961 posts, read 12,051,454 times
Reputation: 2772
You're right. It's getting done today whether I understand it or not. I can always change the policy when I've learned more. Thanks for the smack upside the head! lol I surely needed it!
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:30 PM
 
11,961 posts, read 12,051,454 times
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Update & more info on the subject:
-policy in effect as of midnight, with updated auto policy for my area. CHECK.

-million dollar liability coverage for $14 more per YEAR made way too much sense when I was reassured that the insurance lawyers had bigger teeth than weasel lawyers.

-Alternative to video documenting the worth of personal property: A free way to DIY documentation was recomended by the agent who sold me my policy. You can take digital photos, insert them into an email to yourself, and store them electronically both on a backup digital disk format in a lockbox/safe and through your ISP account. In the event of disaster (fire in your house or electronic catastrophe of your ISP account), one form or the other will prevail.

-remodelled homes are eligible for upgraded or near new home discounts from some insurance companies. My premium will reduce by $150 yearly when I provide reciepts from liscensed contractors. Must involve roof, heating, and electrical for this particular company I'm with, but for others it may vary. Wouldn't hurt to ask if the discount is available.

Hope this helps add informed options to the thread. thanks again.
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Old 05-10-2008, 05:36 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 51,029,939 times
Reputation: 10438
Quote:
Originally Posted by harborlady View Post
Update & more info on the subject:
-policy in effect as of midnight, with updated auto policy for my area. CHECK.

-million dollar liability coverage for $14 more per YEAR made way too much sense when I was reassured that the insurance lawyers had bigger teeth than weasel lawyers.

-Alternative to video documenting the worth of personal property: A free way to DIY documentation was recomended by the agent who sold me my policy. You can take digital photos, insert them into an email to yourself, and store them electronically both on a backup digital disk format in a lockbox/safe and through your ISP account. In the event of disaster (fire in your house or electronic catastrophe of your ISP account), one form or the other will prevail.

-remodelled homes are eligible for upgraded or near new home discounts from some insurance companies. My premium will reduce by $150 yearly when I provide reciepts from liscensed contractors. Must involve roof, heating, and electrical for this particular company I'm with, but for others it may vary. Wouldn't hurt to ask if the discount is available.

Hope this helps add informed options to the thread. thanks again.
Very good!!!! Your agent is right about the umbrella policy and lawyers. What we have found is that judges try to rule within the limits of those policies since people were proactive to secure one. In cases of extreme negligence that isn't the case but in your typical auto/injury accident that is usually what happens.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:39 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,873 times
Reputation: 12
Default ???

It has been so interesting to read all of the previous posts about difference policies and the questions that have been addressed. As an agency prinicpal, I try to put myself in the customer's shoes to understand what they need, don't need or better yet...DON'T UNDERSTAND. I never ask customers if they understand, better yet I offer them the opportunity to stay longer with me in the office to get an insurance review.

Being that I have a 4 yr degree in insurance and licesnses to sell in several states, I have a greater understanding of insurance, how it works and what it is designed NOT to do. Everyone thinks that they or someone they have know has been "ripped" off by the big bad insurance companies. One of the problems that needs to be addressed is the fact that the majority of the general puclic is, for a lack of better words, insurance stupid. Hearsay and misinformation is out there. Don't let someone tell you what they "think" insurance should or shouldn't do.....Read your policy.

Unfortuntaly, there are alot of dishonest agents out there!! And more than you think. It doesn't take much to get a license and in my opinion that shouldn't be the only requirement. Go and find yourself an independent agency and talk to a princial - not a producer, csr or other. If you are a "good" client who wants advice and doesn't mind spending $20 more a month or good coverage, they will meet with you.

In regards to the HE-7 discussion - any one who tells you the HO-3 is better or it is cost effective to add riders is an IDIOT! That statement alone should make you run for the hills. If you have a good and honest agent - they will be able to get you the HE-7 for the same or less than the HO-3. Alot of agents don't even know of the HE-7 and that's becuase several of the capitive companies don't write it ( it's not an approved form in all states). If your agent doesn't offer you an umbrella or expalin what you liability does for you - that's another clue to run for the hills. And a big name company doesn't always mean better. I have worked for a few of them and (hint, hint) I left for a reason!!

Piece of advice - document you belongings with photos or video. Phone line discussion - that's hearsay! I myself don't even have a land line and haven't had one in years. Flood insurance - find out want flood zone your in and get a quote. It's not that expensive if you are in a "preferred" zone - you would be surprised. Carrying a higher deductible - no less than $1000. If your agent can't give you a good reason to carry a $1000 deducitble - find another one! Max out your liability coverages - it is so cheap. Ask for some different examples of claims that have occured in the area and how the policy paid. It is shocking. I have a list of 6 examples of a sheet that sits in my lobby. Anyone that reads it has a little wake up call. The last thing you want is to be caught in a situation with the wrong type of insurance. In every sense of the word - you pay for what you get. If all your concerned about is price - something is bound to happen to you.
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