Achieving More Affordable Car Insurance

In the event that something happens to your family’s financial situation, less expensive car insurance may become necessary.  Finding a cut-rate insurance policy can be easy but that may not be the best way to go.

When it comes to getting a low rate from a dependable insurer you would be better suited to find out what type of coverage you are required to have, research insurance company reputations and use every possible discount for which you are eligible.  Another option is a pay-as-you-drive policy with premiums based on miles driven each year.

You are your best advocate when buying a lower priced miami auto insurance policy but that can be a hard role to play.  Do not pick an insurance company just because it is the only one you have heard of or their commercials make them more appealing.  To help you reach the goal of more affordable car insurance you can use the steps below.

1. The Car Matters The year, make and model of your vehicle can affect the price of an auto policy.  The newer a car is or the higher its price tag is, the higher your auto insurance premium may be.  If you already own a higher priced car, if possible, you may be able to switch it out for a lower priced car.

2. Insurance Limits Many states have minimums on what insureds must have for the bodily injury and property damage portion of their auto policy.  On top of that your lender, if you take out a loan when buying a new or used car, may have requirements you will need to meet when purchasing insurance for that vehicle.  Until the loan is paid off, the lender could be considered a partial owner and may want to ensure it is properly covered so that they can still get their money should something happen to the vehicle.

3. Opt for the Highest Deductible This may feel like a risky move but higher premiums are rewarded with a lessening of the premium.  But, should you always be sure to drive carefully and do what is humanly possible to avoid being the cause of an accident, the risk may pay off.

4. Know Your Credit Score In some states it is allowable for an insurance company to use your credit history to create an insurance credit score which is taken into account when determining the premium.  It is unfortunate but a lower credit score works against you as it can cause you to pay more for your auto policy.  It would be a good idea to try to fix that by paying bills on time, monitoring your credit report and resolving any past issues that may be keeping your credit down.

5. Get Multiple Quotes Have your miami insurance agent create quotes from as many insurance companies as possible.  This will give you the ability to see what your options are with each company but you can take it one step further and experiment with the quotes to see what will affect the premium and how.  If desired, you can also look into the reputations of the different companies to see which ones are trustworthy, are there any complaints against them, what is their A.M. Best rating, etc.

6. Go After the Discounts Insurance companies may not offer all of the same discounts but if you feel you have chosen which one you prefer, find out which discounts they have available for their customers.  Just to name a few, an insured could get a discount that helps lower their rate for being retired, having a shorter commute to work, having technology like LoJack installed in the car, or being a student with good grades.  It may also be possible to get a discount by being part of some professional organizations and, if you’re over the age of 55, you might be able to get your premium lowered some by taking a defensive driving course.

7. Opt out of Some Coverage If your car is old enough you could discuss with your agent the possibility of excluding comprehensive and collision coverage.  It is not impossible to end up paying more for insurance than your car is worth.  But make sure to keep the liability coverage.  In many states it is not legal to drive without it.

8. Review Your Insurance Needs and Premium It is possible to get an auto policy for a full year but the majority of them are set to be in force for 6 months at a time.  Since needs can change from year to year it would be a good idea to go over your policy with your agent at least once per year to make sure that everything in your policy fits your needs.  You could even get updated on the discounts to see if there are any new ones or if you are eligible for any that you weren’t eligible for before.

Everybody would like it better if insurance were easy but with the multitude of cars to choose from, multiple insurance companies, credit and driving history, multiple discounts, etc. it may feel like navigating a maze of options.  But that is where we come in.  We are here to get you the quotes, answer your questions and turn the quote into a policy.  For any help acquiring a car insurance policy, whether it’s your first or one in a long line of policies, feel free to give us a call at 305-270-2100.

At Filer Insurance, Inc., we have been providing Home, Auto and Business Insurance in Miami and South Florida since 1919.  We would very much like to have you as one of our customers. Please give us call or come by our office for a free quote on your insurance.

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10 Things Not Covered in Home Insurance

It is an unfortunate fact of life that bad things can happen to, or in, people’s homes.  In the event of a tragedy, you may not be covered under your homeowners’ insurance policy.  A lot of people may think they are covered for something when they really are not.

There are limitations and exceptions in home insurance policies you may or may not know about.  Below are ten things you may need to have additional coverage for.

1. Injuries From a Trampoline
Many insurance companies want nothing to do with trampolines and the risk of injuries that can occur from their use.  In 2011 over 83,000 injuries occurred causing tens of thousands to be taken to an emergency room.  But if you are dead set on having a trampoline, then a separate policy may be needed and certain precautions will be required for the policy to stay in force.

2. Injuries or Deaths From Pools
An unhappy average of 3,533 fatal, unintentional, non-boating related drownings occurred each year from 2005 to 2009.  Of those that were between the ages of 1 and 4, most of them were in somebody’s pool.

If you have a pool, or want one, contact your miami home insurance agent regarding the purchase of an umbrella liability policy.  This gives extra coverage should you be sued for damage to people’s property or injuries to other people.  It is also highly recommended to have a strong, sturdy fence around your pool for reasons of insurance liability and safety.

3. Attacks From Dogs
Sometimes man’s best friend is not so friendly… causing insurance companies to be hesitant when it comes to insuring certain breeds.  With 4.5+ million dog bites every year and 885,000 people needing medical attention from those attacks, their hesitancy may be justified.

The list of acceptable dogs may vary by insurance company.  If your dog is not on the list or if your dog of a non-aggressive breed has bitten a person your insurance company may give you a higher premium, exclude your dog from the coverage or require you to carry additional insurance.

4. Earthquakes
This is not a concern in all states, but a standard home insurance policy may not cover damage from an earthquake.  However, if you feel the need to be covered, look into getting an earthquake policy.

Unfortunately, those policies have a high deductible.  It is based on a percentage of the replacement value of your home and its contents.  For example: if the cost to replace is $300,000 with a 15% deductible ($45,000), the company may want you to pay that in order to get the rebuild started.  The amount may seem high, but it will be better than having to pay the whole thing on your own.

5. Destroyed or Stolen Cash
Some people like to store cash in a specified place in their home.  This may not be the best thing to do.  If you are wondering why, it is because your home insurance policy may not cover you for more than $1,000 of stolen or destroyed cash.  That number may seem low, but proving that you had a higher amount of money in your home could be extremely hard, if not impossible, to prove.  Not everybody likes banks but they might be a safer place for your money.

6. Fine Art, Jewelry, Rare Collections
Items such as baseball cards and family heirlooms have sentimental and/or financial value.  But, if their combined worth exceeds $1,000 – $2,000 they may not be fully covered.  Standard home insurance policies tend to have limits on what they will pay for when it comes to higher valued items.

It may be in your best interest to acquire a policy with your insurance provider that gets into the specifics of what you own and what they are worth.  Before you do that, though, make sure to get an appraisal of your high value items to keep you from accidentally marking an item for less than it is actually worth.

7. Damages, Injuries From Construction Work
A standard policy may not cover incidents caused by construction on your home.  Look into getting a builder’s risk policy which offers protection from damage during construction as well as damage from wind and rain, and possibly theft.

Before hiring anyone, make sure a contractor is licensed for any liability they could cause.  And, get their insurance company to send you a copy of their insurance certificate.  If the contractor causes damage to your home or injury to a person, they pay for it instead of you.  Also, make sure to inform your miami insurance agent what work is being done on your home.  Should there be a lawsuit and the insurance company has no record of new construction, it is likely you will not be able to get any coverage from your insurance.

8. Mold
If covered in your policy, it is common for insurance companies to limit how much they will pay for damage in unseen places caused by mold, fungus or wet rot.  Some companies do not offer any coverage and, for those that do, there are differences in how it is handled.  For example: if mold is the result of a covered peril, like water from a burst pipe, it could be covered under your standard policy.  If you want to make sure that you are fully covered, there may be an endorsement or additional coverage for mold that can be purchased.

9. Floods
Regardless of what causes your house to flood, you cannot expect your home and possessions to be covered unless you have a flood insurance policy.  You also cannot depend on government aid if a disaster happens or assume that you have a zero risk of flooding.  Only about 15% of those living in the United States have flood insurance.  If you live in an area that has been declared to be a federal disaster area you could get monetary assistance from the government but it could be a lesser amount than what you need to fix your home.  Most, if not all, people would be better off depending on a flood insurance policy than the U.S. government.

10. Sewer Backup
It may not occur to a lot of people that this is something that could ever happen to anyone but, if it does, it can cause thousands of dollars of damage to furniture, electrical systems and to the house itself.  A flood, for example, could cause a sewer to become backed up.  You might be lucky and the insurance company that you currently use for your home insurance covers this in your policy.  Otherwise, you may need to purchase additional insurance or an endorsement in order to have any financial assistance in cleaning up your house and replacing anything destroyed in the mess.

Knowing what you are and are not covered for is important and interpreting your policy may not always be easy but we are able to help you with that.  Please feel free to give us a call at 305-270-2100 and we can help you navigate the world of insurance.

At Filer Insurance, Inc., we have been providing Home, Auto and Business Insurance in Miami and South Florida since 1919.  We would very much like to have you as one of our customers. Please give us call or come by our office for a free quote on your insurance.

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10 Myths About Home Insurance

It would be ridiculous to expect anyone to know all that there is to know about home insurance.  But unfortunately what can happen is people making assumptions that can become well known as fact when they are really fiction.  To help with that, the below are ten common myths people believe about home insurance.

#1: Flood damage is covered under a home insurance policy. It would be nice if this were true but in order to have coverage against a flood and the damage it can cause a separate flood insurance policy needs to be purchased.

#2: You and your family are covered by the Medical Payments section. This is not true.  If a non-family member should become injured while on your property and they are kind enough not to sue you, this is when Medical Payments come into play.

#3: In the event that you lose your home, the insurance company will take your word concerning what you owned. If this were to happen your insurance company will want a list of your possessions that includes information such as cost, purchase date and serial numbers.  Such a list would be difficult to compile from memory.  It is recommended to already have that information put together and it would not hurt to have further proof of ownership with items like photos and receipts.  You could keep an electronic version of what you have in your e-mail account as well as a printed version in a fire proof safe.

#4: Your premium will increase just for filing a claim. Your claims history can be taken into account but one claim over the time of a few years, as opposed to multiple claims, might not affect anything.  Even so, if the claim is for something minor and the fix would cost less than or not much more than your deductible, you could take care of it yourself.  If you have had to unfortunately file multiple claims and your premium increased, giving your miami insurance agent a call to find out what discounts are available to you may help you save some cash.

#5: Any and all valuables you own are covered if they are stolen. Insurance companies tend to put a limit on how much coverage is available for your valuables.  It would be wise to find out the limit on your policy, and if your valuables are worth more than that, you would need to add an endorsement to your policy for additional coverage.

#6: You are covered for issues that arise from lack of maintenance. Your home insurance policy only covers you from perils that are listed in your policy such as lightning and fire.  An insurance company expects their insured to handle regular care of their home,  they will not cover issues that arise from not performing such maintenance.

#7: Flood insurance is not for people living outside a flood zone. Even if you do not live in a flood zone it does not mean that where you live is 100% free of the possibility of experiencing a flood.  If a flood can happen in the Midwest, then the likelihood of it happening to you might be greater than you think.  Protecting yourself from potentially being on your own if/when replacing your home and possessions would be wise.

#8: Saving money on home insurance means having less coverage than you actually need. There are better ways to save money on your home insurance than skimping on your coverage.  Insurance companies have discounts available to their insureds.  For example, you could receive a discount for having a burglar alarm in your home or for having your home and auto policies with the same company.

#9: The purchase price of your home is how much your dwelling coverage should be. This is a common mistake that people make.  When you paid for your home, included in that price was the land your home is sitting on which will never need replacing.  Instead, the amount of dwelling coverage should reflect what it would cost to rebuild your home in the event of a total loss.  To help you determine that amount you could use a home insurance calculator or speak with an expert in the construction business.

#10: Unless you purchase home insurance you will not be able to purchase a home. Technically, you can buy a home without also having home insurance, but even if you do not have a lender that requires you to have home insurance, you are better off with it than without it.  Life is unpredictable and the risk of going uncovered is not worth it.

People do not like having to deal with insurance but when something happens to their home and/or their possessions those people with home insurance are better off and most likely glad they have it.  The alternative is being completely on your own and not everybody has the funds to fix any and every problem that may affect their home.  If you have questions about home insurance that you want answers to and/or you are in need of home insurance, please give us a call at 305-270-2100.

At Filer Insurance, Inc., we have been providing Home, Auto and Business Insurance in Miami and South Florida since 1919.  We would very much like to have you as one of our customers. Please give us call or come by our office for a free quote on your insurance.

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Car Insurance Options

Whether your car is your baby or just a means to get from A to B, you need to insure it in order to comply with legal requirements and to protect your financial interests. If you want best value auto insurance in Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Kendall, Miami, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest or Homestead, then Filer Insurance can help. They know where and how to car insurance discounts so you pay less for the same coverage.

When you take out car insurance you should provide your broker or agent with all the positive indicators that can help you get additional discounts. Factors that can help you get discounted auto insurance include your driving record, your driving habits, the type of car you own, security devices fitted to your vehicle, where you live, how old you are, no claims history, good credit record, your education, whether you own your own home and so on. The more stable you appear to the insurance carrier the lower your premiums are likely to be.

Of course you need you auto insurance to cover you for the obvious things such as collision damage and loss. You also want your car insurance to cover medical costs in case of injuries to yourself and to passengers. You also want liability cover included in the event that you cause injury or damage to 3rd parties.

Therefor your car insurance should include auto liability coverage, personal injury protection as well as collision coverage. However there are other risks such as auto theft, vandalism, storms and so on. This falls under a category known as comprehensive coverage. So you will likely need a comprehensive policy as well.

Another category of auto insurance is uninsured motorist coverage. This will cover if you are involved in accident with a motorist that does not have car insurance. Finally you may want to consider car rental reimbursement as well as road side assistance coverage.

At Filer Insurance, Inc., we have been providing Home, Auto and Business Insurance in Miami and South Florida since 1919.  We would very much like to have you as one of our customers. Please give us call or come by our office for a free quote on your insurance.

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Don’t Overlook Hot Tub Hazards

Often, when we think of drowning hazards in a home environment, the two things that come to mind are the bathtub and the swimming pool. While those are good examples of possible danger zones where drowning accidents can occur, they are not the only risky locations that might be in your home. Hot tubs and Jacuzzis offer another location where a child, or even an adult, could be at risk of drowning and related injuries.

Proper Hot Tub Usage The first step in practicing hot tub safety at home is to create rules for hot tub usage. Some examples include:

  • Children should never be permitted to use the hot tub alone.
  • Young children should not be permitted to use the hot tub even with supervision as the heat from the hot tub can cause injuries and even brain damage.
  • Adults may be able to use a hot tub alone, but they should rethink doing so when they have been drinking, are drowsy or have taken any medication which can make them sleepy. Falling asleep in a hot tub is risky for anyone of any age. In addition, the heat from a hot tub can be especially dangerous for those who have been drinking.

Protect the Hot Tub and Surrounding Area The area around the hot tub can be designed to reduce risks by:

  • Having non-slip rugs and flooring. Flooring that gets slippery when wet, such as tile, may be a poor choice.
  • Keeping the area clear of electrical items. There are many water-safe radios that you can use instead of traditional plugged-in models.
  • Keeping the hot tub covered and locked when it is not in use in order to prevent unattended children from accessing it.
  • According to PoolSafely.gov, hair entanglement in a hot tub suction fitting has resulted in many injuries and several deaths. Make sure that you have a special drain cover that reduces the risk of hair entanglement.
  • Proper maintenance of your hot tub will help ensure that the water temperature remains at a non-hazardous level and that the overall condition of the tub is safe.

Finally, always make sure you have the right liability coverage. Let your home insurance agent know that you have a hot tub, Jacuzzi or pool so that your rates and limits can be appropriately adjusted.

If you are thinking of adding a hot tub to your home, give us a call at 305-270-2100 to find out how it will affect your home insurance rates.

At Filer Insurance, Inc., we have been providing Home, Auto and Business Insurance in Miami and South Florida since 1919.  We would very much like to have you as one of our customers. Please give us call or come by our office for a free quote on your insurance.

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