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Thread: Yes, read your insurance policy

  1. #16
    Raise your deductible. Because I was in the home repair business, I upped our deductible to two grand. Slashed premiums by almost 30%, as most claims are for less than that. Besides if it were less than two grand, I would fix it myself. Labor is usually the larger percentage of repairs. Make sure your insurance is replacement cost, especially with what building materials are now.
    Last edited by Bruce Wrenn; 04-24-2021 at 9:01 PM.

  2. #17
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    We moved here in 2008. That first winter we had a massive load of snow. Massive enough to collapse our greenhouse. It bummed me out. While cleaning up in the bedroom we use as an office, our home insurance policy was one of the things to file. Looking through it there was coverage for outbuildings. Imagine my joy to find out the greenhouse and the woodshed were covered. We were able to rebuild and make it a little better due to learning from the causes of the collapse.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #18
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    Oct 2006
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    I had the same agent and then his protégé with Allstate for 30 years. He was a very nice man and I felt like I could trust him. Every year for several years I asked him about getting my shop fully insured for flooding. I was told I’d have to have the building inspected by an engineer and a new elevation certificate created and then get a completely new policy just for my detached garage building which contained my shop. The cost of all of this would have been almost equal to what my house was insured for every year so I did not do it. then in 2017 hurricane Harvey hit in the shop got 7 feet of sea water in it. The Allstate adjuster who came to the house came to tears because he was also a woodworker and told me I should have complete coverage of my shop because he considered it attached. I simply had a deck built between the house and the garage which was touching both structures. It turns out that this is not exactly what the FEMA guidelines find acceptable but very close, And the adjuster has a lot of leverage as to how they report their findings.. A days work and a few boards and screws actually meet FEMA guidelines for an attached structure. I had never read the fine print of FEMA‘s flood policy. For about only $500 extra a year I could have increased the insurance on my garage to $100,000. and this is a structure that is half a mile from the Gulf of Mexico. After the Hurricane I asked the agent why I was never told I could do this and she lied to my face and told me she did. Because all of my business with this agency was done either face-to-face or over the phone I did not have any written record of the things I had been told over the years because I thought I could trust these people. so I say yes the agent matters but you still have to do all the research yourself and point everything out to them and fight for what you deserve. The agents are there to sell and get commissions so most of them don’t really care about you.
    Last edited by Gregg Feldstone; 04-25-2021 at 2:59 AM.
    Gregg Feldstone

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Wrenn View Post
    Raise your deductible. Because I was in the home repair business, I upped our deductible to two grand. Slashed premiums by almost 30%, as most claims are for less than that. Besides if it were less than two grand, I would fix it myself. Labor is usually the larger percentage of repairs. Make sure your insurance is replacement cost, especially with what building materials are now.
    I did that quite a few years ago as premiums for "this old house" were escalating substantially. I can afford to self-insure for $2500 for those unlikely things that might happen and since I tend to do my own repair work, it's even more economical this way. I set up the insurance for the new property the same way and it was almost mind-boggling how positively it affected the annual premium.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #20
    I view all insurance as Catastrophic loss protection only. I take the highest deductibles that I can to reduce premium costs. On auto, with the higher deductible, if I do not have a claim for three years I have made up the deductible cost. Homeowners here, in the foothills of the Sierra, due to the fire risk is a real problem getting it and then keeping it as the companies are very aggressive in cancellations.

  6. #21
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    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Earthquake insurance, I belive the deductible starts at 20,000 and you can go higher. Basically it does not cover all the windows and plumbing breaking.
    Bill D

  7. #22
    sometimes I wonder how the math all works out for ins. companies... case in point, I/we moved (back) in to my parents house- also my business- in 2009. In 2012, 9 years ago, we had the shingles replaced, insurance paid all but $500 of the the $7000 bill. Our premiums are roughly $450 a year. So, 9 years later we've only paid back in premiums $4050 of the $6500, just for shingles, and the premiums will still cover any further losses. Seems a bargain to me. Must be a lot of people never need to use the insurance..
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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    . Must be a lot of people never need to use the insurance..
    You hit the nail on the proverbial head. Insurance is all based on the numbers. Insurance companies hire very smart people who analyze the risk and calculate what your rate is along with thousands of others most of whom never make a claim. Plus they insure themselves by -- you guessed it -- taking out insurance! There are very large financial organisations called reinsurance companies, and their function is to insure the insurers. So basically your claim vs your premiums is insignificant, just a drop in the ocean.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Cincinnati Ohio
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    We were with the same agent/company for years. Never thought about changing till all of a sudden they kept jacking up our bill every 6 month. Discounts dropping off the bill. We went to a new agent that just opened up in town. She ran our numbers and could not understand why we were paying so much. She worked after hours trying to figure out where she could have made a mistake because it was 1/3 of what we were paying. She ran it through corporate and came back even cheaper. Funny part was with our old insurance co. were were paying $100 a year membership for the privilege of a discount.
    You owe it to yourself to shop around.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  10. #25
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    Shopping around occasionally is a good practice...just be sure that apples are being compared to apples. Sometimes those "great rates" don't necessarily have the same coverages. In homeowners, be really careful that the come-ons are full replacement cost, etc., and also have the level of liability you personally require.

    That said, switching frequently if you have a mortgage with escrow of insurance and taxes can be a bit of a financial pain because of having to front the money for the new policy that first year. Switching is a bit more of a dance when one bundles auto and umbrella for better rates, too.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #26
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    Mar 2010
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    Somewhere in the Land of Lincoln
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    Something else is umbrella policies. Cheap protection from major liability issue. It could be a car accident, someone falls off your steps, or you name it. I think I'm paying $350 per for 3 million and that starts after the base policy maxes out.

  12. #27
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    And the money keeps on rolling in☺

    I have a pickup which I hardly use, 9,000 miles in 3 years. So I called my insurance company and got a $27, (not much but better in my wallet than the insurance company,) reduction in my car insurance.
    Keep on reading those insurance policies.
    Dennis

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Upstate NY
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    I found two things (generator and low temp monitor) that I should have been getting discounts for the past 9 years. Maybe I have to find a new insurance agent.

    A question in case anyone knows. My zip code is in two counties. My insurance policy has me in the wrong county. There isn't much difference between the two. Does it matter? I am pretty sure I mentioned it to them a few years ago; I guess they didn't bother to fix it.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Northern Oregon
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    I have a former insurance adjuster friend named Tom. He knows the tricks of the insurance trade. He said you really have to read ALL the fine print in your policy. I told him if I have questions about my policy I email the agent to have proof. He said thats even better, after all who can interpret a whole multi page policy?

    Tom said his most troubling example happened in my county. A guy with a 1.3 million $ house had a minor fire with 20K in damage and filed a claim. He just got a new policy and asked his long time agent is there any changes? No was the answer and the agent retired.

    Thinking he had the $1,000 deductible he'd had for years. As paper work advanced the homeowner saw that his deductible was $13,000! He called and his new agent said " we switched you to a 1% deductible".
    The homeowner consulted with my adjuster friend. The insurance company is a large well known name. They claimed the policy showed the change to "percent deductible" as the home increased in value to over 1 million over the years. The homeowner said his long time agent never told him.
    Last edited by Andrew Joiner; 05-04-2021 at 6:37 PM.
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  15. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    New England
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    We just saved $650 a year by increasing our deductible to $2500.

    Thank You Dennis!

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