The Newlywed’s Guide to Buying Insurance

Congratulations! You just got married and everything is changing – new spouse, new home, new in-laws. But with all these new things comes changing insurance needs. Here are the things you need to think about insurance-wise after you tie the knot.

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Home or Renters Insurance

Getting married often comes with a new place. If you are moving into your spouse’s existing home, make sure you are added as a named insured on the existing homeowners or renter’s policy. This is as easy as calling your agent or insurance company.

 

If you are purchasing a new home, contact your local agent while you are in the process of looking at homes. It is a good idea to have an insurance agent run a quote on your favorite home BEFORE putting it under contract. This is to ensure the property has not had a “location loss” which is an insurance claim on the property. Even if you didn’t live in the home at the time of the claim, location losses can affect your insurance rate or even keep you from getting insurance at all. Using an independent agent will help make sure you are getting the lowest rate by comparing rates from multiple carriers.

Car Insurance

Getting married is a great time to consolidate your auto policies. Having multiple cars on a policy will usually give you deep discounts. Also consider bundling with your home or renter’s insurance to give you an even lower rate.

Life Insurance

Getting married is a major life event where you should reevaluate your life insurance. The thing with life insurance is…the younger you are, the cheaper it is. Now is always the cheapest life insurance will ever be for you! Especially if you are thinking about kids in the near future, life insurance gives you the peace of mind that your family will be taken care of should the worst happen.

Health Insurance

Looking over your health insurance policies is a necessity when you get married. The nice thing is that getting married often offers you many new options. If your employers each offer coverage, compare the prices between keeping your policies separate or putting both of you on one employer’s plan. If neither of you get coverage from your employer, look at getting a policy on the federal health insurance marketplace. Since your household is larger, you could qualify for a larger subsidy to help pay for healthcare costs. Talk to a local independent agent to find out how much you can save.

If you have questions regarding insurance for newlyweds, we are happy to help! Give us a call today at 615-919-1009!

Do I Really Need Renters Insurance?

Many renters think that because they pay monthly rent, everything is included, even insurance. This is simply not the case. Your landlord’s coverage only applies to the building, not all of your belongings. The landlord’s insurance also doesn’t cover you if someone injures themselves on the property and you are found liable. When you consider these two points, you can see the importance of purchasing renters insurance.

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What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Renters insurance typically has two parts – liability and contents. Liability coverage is required by many landlords, especially apartment complexes. It usually ranges from $100,000 to $500,000 and provides you protection if someone sues you after being injured on the property.

Contents coverage is what protects your belongings. Everything that you move in on moving day is covered by this coverage. When considering the amount of your contents coverage, make sure that you consider high price items such as

          Jewelry

          Designer clothing and shoes

          Musical instruments

          Art

          Guns

          Computer equipment

          Memorabilia

 

I once had a client that only wanted $2000 in contents coverage. However, when I asked more questions, he had over $10,000 in guitars and a piano in his apartment. (It is Nashville!) This would have been a huge problem should a total loss have occurred. Remember those things add up when you are deciding on your contents amount.

How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost?

The best thing about renters insurance is that it is so inexpensive – usually less than $1 a day! Usually when you bundle with your auto insurance, you get a discount on both, making it even more affordable.

There is really no reason not to buy renters insurance. To compare your rate with multiple companies in Tennessee, give our office a call at 615-919-1009 or visit our website today!

Will My Insurance Company Replace All My Belongings if Something Happens? – Importance of Knowing ACV vs RCV When it Comes to Home Insurance

When you buy home insurance, your mind often goes to what will happen if you have a claim. One question I often get asked in my agency is if the insurance company will replace everything back to the way it was before a covered event happens. In short, my answer is…it depends. There are a lot of factors to consider when discussing how a claim is paid. One thing to consider is if you have ACV or RCV coverage on your contents.

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Actual Cash Value (ACV)

ACV or actual cash value is the depreciated value of the item at the time of the covered claim. This is taking into consideration wear and tear and the age of the item – think “garage sale price”. Actual cash value is often not enough to buy a new item, putting you in a tight place when you are trying to replace the important things in your home.

Replacement Cost Value (RCV)

RCV or replacement cost value provides you with the necessary money to replace the lost items. This is better than actual cash value as it puts you in the same position that you were in before the loss.  

 

Be aware, when replacement cost coverage is in place, you will usually need to replace the item before the insurance company will pay your claim. There may be exceptions to this. Consult your home policy for terms and conditions.

How Do I Get Paid for a Claim?

It is sometimes assumed that if there is a total loss, you will simply get a check for the contents limits of your policy. This is not the case. That is the maximum you will receive in the event of a claim.

 

If you have replacement cost coverage, you will usually receive your settlement in two payments. After evaluating the damage, the insurance company will provide actual cash value for the lost items first. Next, you will need to provide proof that you have replaced the items in order to receive final payment. This will most likely be done over time with the help of an insurance adjuster. 

In Conclusion

 

It pays to take the time to make sure you have replacement cost coverage on the contents of your home. This will save you major headaches in the event of a covered claim.

If you have questions on how to read your policy or you want to look at other home insurance options, give us a call at 615-919-1009. We will be happy to help!

Disclaimer: Every carrier’s insurance policies are different. Please consult your homeowners policy for specific coverages, exclusions, and limitations.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Using an Independent Insurance Agent

Finding new home insurance or car insurance can be a lengthy and confusing process. You can spend hours calling agents and entering information into dozens of websites to get multiple quotes. However, there is one way you can save time (and usually money) when looking for insurance quotes – by using an independent agent.

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In the insurance world, there are two different kinds of agents – captive and independent. A captive agent is an agent that is contracted to sell one company’s brand of insurance products. There are many great captive agents (I used to be one!), but there are huge advantages to using an independent agent when you are shopping for insurance. Below are some of the top reasons to use an independent insurance agent in your quest for quotes.

1.    An Independent Agent Likely Has Many Different Carriers to Choose From

Where a captive agent is only able to sell one company’s products, an independent agent usually has several companies that they work with, giving you options. An independent agent can offer you the best products from different carriers or give you big discounts by bundling your policies with one carrier.

2.   An Independent Agent Can Compare Prices and Save You Money!

Independent agents often use raters that will quote several carriers at once with the click of a button. Rather than having to spend hours contacting 10 different agents and giving them all your information, you can give your information to one agent and get access to several different quotes. This can give you confidence that you are getting the best price for you!

3.   An Independent Agent Can Easily Put You with Another Company if Rates Increase

One of the greatest advantages of an independent agent is that if your rate goes up with your current company, they can easily move you to another carrier without the hassle of having to move agents. This also goes if you generally become unhappy with your carrier. Some agents will even requote you every renewal to make sure you are getting the lowest price they can offer year after year.

4.   Independent Agents Usually Offer Additional Products

Many independent agents offer health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, surety bonds, and other products that captive agents do not offer. This helps you to keep all of your insurance products in one place, lowering the risk that there are gaps in your coverage.

5.   Independent Agents Work for You, Not the Insurance Company

Independent agents do not work for any one insurance company, so they have your best interest in mind.

Again, while there are some excellent captive agents out there, it pays to consider using an independent agent in your next search for home insurance and car insurance. It could save you a lot of time and money in the long run!

If you are in Murfreesboro / Nashville or surrounding areas, please consider giving us a call at 615-919-1009 or visiting our website – www.advocateinsurancetn.com – for  a free, no-obligation comparative quote. We look forward to showing you the Advocate difference!