Buying a home, whether it’s your first home or fifth, can bring a lot of excitement to your life. In spite of the stress, people find a great deal of enjoyment in viewing homes and planning out their future in a new space. If you’re considering a home purchase there are some insurance related considerations you should keep in mind.
The age of the roof
It’s no secret that North Texas gets a lot of hail. Hail, wind and brutal sun in the summer often shortens the lives of Texas roofs. An old or damaged roof can make getting insurance coverage from a reputable company difficult. Even if you are able to get the coverage you’re likely setting yourself up to have to file a claim the next time a bad storm comes through and pay the deductible to get the roof repaired or replaced, or even worse the insurance company may require you to have a scheduled or actual cash value roof coverage clause on your policy.
Prior claims and damage
Life happens. Especially in older homes it’s not uncommon to find that insurance claims and damage have occurred when prior owners were living in the home. The problem you can run into, though, as a homebuyer is finding out that those damages weren’t completely or properly repaired. If the damages weren’t complete or only partially complete that can result in a delay in binding the homeowners insurance which can slow down your loan closing and processing. Even worse, unrepaired damage could, in some instances, result in a claim denial.
Plumbing, Heating and Electrical
Of course, when buying a home, your inspector will make sure that the plumbing HVAC and electrical systems are all in working order. But in older homes, things like fuse boxes, galvanized plumbing, knob and tube wiring and older furnaces can result in denial of insurance coverage or exclusions for certain claims.
Dallas Homeowners Insurance
You’ve got a lot going on when buying a home. Let your Texas insurance agent make things a little easier by ensuring that the home your purchasing is properly covered so there are no surprises come claim time.
An independent insurance agent in Dallas, like Lewis Family Insurance Group, is your best bet as we have access to nearly two dozen nationally rated insurance carriers to find a policy that will protect your home and leave you with peace of mind.
If you’re considering purchasing a home in the near future and need a relator or loan broker, let us know so we can put you in contact with one of the proven professionals we trust to handle our clients home buying needs.
I see it more often than I’d like. Someone comes to me looking for a quote on their auto insurance and their prior agent had reduced or eliminated their uninsured motorist coverage to save them an extra $10 or $15 per month. Don’t get me wrong, tough economic times means making tough decisions and I’m not saying that there isn’t a reason to look at where you can save a few dollars a month on your auto insurance, because those dollars add up over the course a year.
The problem I have with agents who tell their clients to drop their uninsured motorist coverage is that they often times say it in a way that implies that the coverage is unimportant or unnecessary. Tell me how unimportant uninsured motorist coverage is when you’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance, or you get back to your car at the grocery store to find out you were in a hit and run or even worse you’re driving your new, $45,000 car and someone with state minimum liability insurance (only $25,000 in coverage) t-bones you at an intersection.
Uninsured motorist coverage can be tricky. You’ll likely see it on your policy declarations page noted as UIM or UM coverage. It can cover:
Being involved in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance.
Being involved in an accident with someone who doesn't have enough insurance.
A hit and run accident.
Medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages as a result of the accident.
Now, it is true that there may be other coverages on your policy, such as collision to repair your vehicle, or medical payments/PIP that can help out if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured or under-insured driver, but those coverages often come with a higher deductible or less overall coverage.
Additionally, filing a collision or medical claim because of an uninsured driver can in some instances cause your rates to increase which would likely raise your rate more than the $10 or $15 a month that your agent was trying to save you.
Again, there are a number of people who carry low limits of uninsured motorist coverage or reject it all together. The key, from the standpoint of an agent, is to find out what level of risk tolerance your client has and help them build a policy of coverages that will protect the things that matter most to them that is also aligned with the overall level of risk that they’re willing to assume
Here at the Lewis Family Insurance Group we help our Dallas auto insurance clients find coverage options that are a specific fit for them. Every client is different, every insurance company is different and it’s imperative that you work with an agent that is looking out for you as an individual, not just signing you up for the same policy that everyone else that comes through their door gets.
If you’re looking for low-pressure personalized service for your Dallas auto insurance, the Lewis Family Insurance Group is here to help.
It’s no secret that more and more Americans, especially younger Americans, are being saddled with student loans. As the cost of tuition and public and private universities increase at record speeds and wages remain relatively stagnant, most higher learners are being forced to take out loans to pay for their continued education.
Now, this blog post isn’t a critique one way or another about student loans, whether they should be forgiven, what the interest rates should be or anything like that.
What this blog post is about, however, is whether those student loans are forgiven when you die and whether your life insurance death benefit will be reduced to cover the outstanding loan balances.
First and foremost it’s important to remember that (just like every person) every life insurance policy and company is different. The contracts have different features and benefits associated with them so before you sign up for coverage with your Dallas insurance agent, you ask them every single question you can possibly think of.
As a general rule, though, life insurance is a contract directly between the policy owner (not necessarily the insured) and the insurance company. When you die the beneficiary that is listed in your policy receives the death benefit minus any deductions for unpaid premiums or loans if it is a permanent policy. Any debt that you might have, including student loans, generally isn’t subject to being garnished from life insurance proceeds as those debts become part of your estate and are settled through the probate process. And if you’ve taken out federal student loans those are typically forgiven at the time of death.
So, no, generally speaking student loan debt doesn’t reduce the amount of the death benefit when you die.
What you should think about, however, is if you have student loans that you acquired with the help of a cosigner. Specifically private student loans, cosigners may be required to continue paying the debt on those loans even if you are no longer living. For parents and grandparents who plan on cosigning for their junior’s students, it’s not a bad idea to take out a small life insurance policy on him to make sure if something tragic happens that you are not responsible for a debt that, while technically is yours, isn’t one you were prepared to take on.
Even more than auto, home and renters insurance, life insurance can become incredibly complicated. Your Dallas insurance agency, the Lewis Family Insurance Group, has the knowledge and experience to cut through the clutter and simplify the topic so you can make an informed decision.