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What is included in my Homeowner’s insurance policy? Is there anything specific I need to keep in mind before buying a policy?
Your Homeowner’s insurance covers your house, any permanent fixtures and fittings, garden walls, gates, fence, pool and your personal belongings. Home owner’s insurance protects you from specific types of home-related accidents and incidents. The most common types are fire, theft and vandalism. It also provides additional living expenses such as hotel expenses in case you are unable to stay in your home due to damage resulting from a covered peril.

A homeowner’s policy also provides liability protection.Ideally, you should select the amount of liability coverage that would be sufficient to replace your home and property plus any other significant assets you own.

However, if you are staying in a high-risk flood or earthquake area, you should separately purchase flood, landslide, and/or earthquake insurance as homeowner’s insurance doesn’t usually cover these perils.

May I increase or decrease the amount of insurance on personal items in my home?
Initially, your personal property coverage usually reflects a fixed percentage of your home insurance coverage. It may be increased or decreased, depending upon your needs.
While most homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies contain Personal Property coverage, not all of your belongings are covered under this coverage alone. Guns, jewelry, collectibles, etc. may be covered only up to a certain amount on your policy. You may need a Personal Article Policy if the value of your property exceeds the limit on your homeowner’s or renter’s policy.

Remember to document your possessions and keep an updated list. In the event of a loss, this information will come in handy when working with an insurance company.

Can I lower my home insurance premium?
Yes, you may be able to lower your homeowner insurance premium. A few ways of doing this include going over possible discounts with your agent, holding multiple insurance policies with your insurance carrier, and raising your deductible.

What happens to me if I drive without auto insurance?
If you are involved in an auto accident and found to be driving without car insurance or proof of financial responsibility, you will be subject to penalties specific to the laws of your state. Penalties could include a fine or loss of driving privileges. If you are uninsured and in an accident that involves property damage or injuries to people, you will be required to pay on your own for any damages assessed by a court.

What is Term Insurance and how does it differ from Life Assurance?
There are two main types of life insurance policy. Term Insurance pays out a sum if the holder dies during the fixed period of the policy. Life Assurance also offers a lump sum payout to dependents should the policy holder die during the period of the policy; but if he/she survives that period then he/she will receive the payment. Life Assurance is also seen as an important investment option. The payments for Life Assurance are greater than Term Insurance.

Why do different people pay different premiums?
The amount you pay in premium depends on the level of risk you represent to the insurance company. The price you pay for life insurance mainly depends on your age, health, lifestyle and occupation. So if you are older, have health problems and smoke, and happen to work in a dangerous environment, you will have to pay more for life insurance than someone who is younger, healthier, a non-smoker in a low risk occupation.

What is Limited-Pay Insurance?
Limited-pay life insurance is a type of insurance where all the premiums are paid over a specified period after which no additional premiums are due to keep the policy alive.

Are the proceeds of life insurance policy taxable?
Generally they aren’t subject to income taxes. However, they may be subject to estate taxes such as inheritance tax.

How long after filing an insurance claim do you receive the payment?
You should expect to receive forms and information in 5 to 10 days. Once the Death Certificate and forms have been returned, payment should be issued within the same time frame.