What information will I need when I’m applying for an insurance policy? Why do insurers need so many details?
You insurance agent will start by asking for some basic information about you, such as your name, age, gender, address, etc. You will also be asked a series of other questions which will be used to determine how likely you are to make a claim.
For example, when you're applying for auto insurance, your agent will want to know about your previous driving record, whether you have any recent accidents or tickets, and what type of car you will need insured. This information is used by the insurer to determine a fair price for a policy. Adults with clean driving records will typically pay less for car insurance than young drivers with lots of traffic tickets.
I have an old car. Do I really need to purchase car insurance?
Most states require drivers to have at least some car liability insurance. These laws were enacted to ensure that victims of car accidents receive compensation when their losses are caused by the actions of a negligent individual.
Often times the cost of repairing damages to an older car is greater than its value. In these cases, your insurer will usually “total” the car and give you a check for the car’s market value less than the deductible. Many people with older cars decide not to purchase any physical damage coverage.
How can I lower the cost of my home insurance?
The first thing you should do to lower your home insurance premiums is to request a comprehensive review of your policy and your needs from your independent agent.
It’s not unusual to find quotes on homeowners insurance that vary by hundreds of dollars for the same coverage on the same home. When you shop, be careful to make sure each insurer is offering the same coverage.
What is the difference between “actual cash value” and “replacement cost”?
Covered losses under a homeowners policy can be paid on either an actual cash value basis or on a replacement cost basis. When “actual cash value” is used, the policy owner is entitled to the depreciated value of the damaged property.
Under the “replacement cost” coverage, the policy owner is reimbursed on an amount necessary to replace the article with one of similar type and quality at current prices.
“Rule of thumb” suggests that a person should purchase an amount of life insurance equal to six to eight times his or her annual earnings. However, many factors should be taken into account when determining the right amount of life insurance for you and your family, including:
- Income sources and amounts other than salary earnings
- Whether or not you are married and how much your spouse earns
- The number of individuals who are financially dependent upon you
- Whether any special life insurance needs exist – (mortgage repayment, education fund, estate planning need, etc.)