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How to Navigate the World of Home Insurance

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Navigate the World of Home Insurance

Your house is the most important investment asset you have. With housing prices ranging from hundreds of thousands up to millions of dollars, protecting that asset is paramount. All too often, there are reports of people who lost their homes to a disaster and have no way of recovering all they lost. It’s a good thing there’s home insurance to prevent a disaster from leaving you without a home or a path to recovery.

We all know it’s important to have health insurance, and it’s mandatory to have car insurance, but many people try to get by without the protection of home insurance. However, without the proper insurance policy, you could lose everything you’ve worked hard to build. Continue reading to get some information and tips that will help you navigate the world of homeowners insurance.

Homeowners insurance is a requirement of most home loans.

Did you know that mortgage lenders can make home insurance a requirement for getting a home loan? That’s the lender’s way of looking out for your best interests and theirs. Until you own the home outright, you and the mortgage company are partners in your home. True, you’ll be the one who lives in the home, but they have more ownership stake in the home than you do when you first purchase the home.

Indeed, if your home is destroyed in a fire or hurricane, your insurance policy will pay the rest of your mortgage and you’ll receive the balance of the policy once the mortgage is paid. Without insurance, both you and the mortgage lender could lose everything you’ve invested in the house.

Compare, compare, compare.

The key to getting the most out of your homeowners insurance is choosing the right insurance company and policy. Shopping for insurance can be difficult, but the good news is there are plenty of services you can use to make your search easier.

iSelect is one of the best online platforms for shopping for insurance. iSelect compares home insurance, life insurance, health insurance, and car insurance. With their tools, you get side-by-side comparisons of insurance companies, making it easier to pick the best company and policy for your budget and needs.

You can bundle your homeowners insurance and save money.

Buying in bulk is one of the best ways to save money on essential products, and this is true for insurance policies as well. If you already have an auto insurance policy, you could save a lot of money by bundling your home and auto insurance. When you bundle your insurance policy, it’s more like expanding your current policy than buying an altogether new one. So, if you’re worried about cost, bundling is your best friend.

Know what a policy covers before purchasing it.

If Hurricane Katrina taught us anything, it’s that you need to be certain about what your homeowners insurance policy covers and what it doesn’t. Katrina was the most devastating hurricane in recent history, and what made it an even bigger tragedy is that many homeowners learned their policy didn’t cover flood damage even though it covered hurricane damage.

You don’t want to find out by surprise that your home isn’t protected against “Acts of God.” That’s why you must know every detail of your policy before signing on the dotted line. Home insurance can be tricky, but comparing policies with iSelect takes the guesswork out of shopping for coverage.

Of course, the hope is that you’ll never have to file an insurance claim on your home or any of your belongings in it. However, you don’t want to leave your most valuable asset to chance. Homeowners insurance is the only thing that stands between your home equity and a catastrophic event, so it’s better to have it and never need it than the reverse.

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Finance

What Are The Benefits of a Small Business Debt Relief Program?

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Debt Relief

If you are running a small business which is in debt then looking a small business debt relief program is going to be a very smart idea. Many owners fail to do things like this, they are too proud to ask for help and the result is that they eventually get themselves into more and more debt, resulting in their inability to continue the business.

Most businesses around the world are in debt, the difference with them is that it is very well managed. Small businesses in particular are less robust and this is why debt issues amongst those smaller companies can quickly escalate. When this does happen it can cause terrible issues for the business. Here are the benefits which a small business is going to be able to count on if they swallow that pride and use the support and help of a business debt relief program.

Personal Mental Wellbeing

When a business is buried in a mountain of debt it can very quickly feel as though everything is swirling out of control. This means that personal mental wellbeing is going to suffer and owners and those working within the business are no doubt feeling this. Using a debt relief company is able to help take that pressure off and very quickly owners and those working inside the business can feel a little less pressurized and a lot more relaxed.

Success of the Business

There is a real catch-22 here whereby the business knows that the more money which it is able to make, the quicker that it can improve its financial situation. At the same time however, most businesses find it very difficult to seek success and to get the money pumping, because they are racked with pressure and negative feelings from the debt mountain which they are under. Using a debt relief company ensures that businesses can be a lot more relaxed and they can then look to find more success in terms of profits.

Second Chance

Most debt issues come about as a result of mistakes, financial mistakes made by those who don’t quite know what they should’ve been doing. Losing a business seems to be a terrible punishment for a single mistake and this is why debt relief companies can help to give businesses that second chance which they need. Financial misdealing should never result in the closure of a business unless the company knew better and continued anyway. This is why small businesses have to reach out for support if they find themselves in debt trouble, it really is going to be essential to their survival and their continued success.

There is no point struggling simply because conditions have changed and you are financially exposed. There is help out there and all you have to do is admit that you need it, then go out and seek that support which can help you take the business to healthier levels.

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Finance

Canada’s Condo Insurance Crisis: Sky-High Premiums Threatening Consumers

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Condo Insurance Crisis

Millions of Canadians love the condominium lifestyle, and for some, it’s more affordable to own and live in a condo complex versus a detached house. Moreover, condo towers offer an agreeable solution to urban density and sprawl – if you can’t spread outwards, spread upwards. Governments fancy them too. After all, condo complexes help satisfy the need for housing in cities while increasing the tax base. What’s not to like?

Unfortunately, a burgeoning condo insurance crisis – driven by a spike in claims and increasing repair costs – has sent premiums skyward for condo corporations, which in turn, may impact unit owners. The demand for coverage is outweighing supply. In other words, some insurance companies are reducing the limits of what they will cover while hiking their premiums. Other insurers with shrinking risk appetites are opting to exit the market altogether. That’s left many condo property management teams struggling to secure insurance with adequate protection at affordable rates.

That presents potential problems for all.

Could the Crisis Affect Condo Owners?

While rising premiums are faced by property management teams, by in large personal condo policy premiums have remained steady and affordable for many years. As building rates soar, however, those costs can be passed onto unit owners through higher condo fees and deductibles.

Another factor registering in escalating premiums is climate change.

Insurance companies put dollar values on weather events. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, catastrophic loss claims (losses topping $25 million) totalled an average of $405 million per year between 1983 and 2008. Over the next decade (2009 to 2018), the average annual cost of catastrophe losses reached $1.8 billion per year.

That is especially true in regions of the country where catastrophic risk is increasing. For example, the threat of an earthquake in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. Or wildfires in Alberta and B.C., as well as floods in many provinces.

The Cost of Condo Insurance

Insurance companies are not offsetting their risk concerns toward individual condo owners yet, keeping restrictions focused on corporations. That means condo insurance in Canada remains affordable for most owners.

Your condo’s property management team will have insurance to cover the building’s common areas, and it may provide a limited amount of coverage for some items in your unit like the interior walls. But you need to make up the shortfall to protect your belongings. For example, if a fire damages your unit and possessions, it’s your personal condo insurance policy that will cover the cost of things such as furniture, electronics, and clothing.

Many factors determine the cost of condo insurance, including where you live, coverage options, restrictions, and deductibles. For most Canadians, condo insurance will cost about $250 to $350 per year for $50,000 of contents coverage.

Having coverage means you are financially prepared should the worst happen. Depending on your policy’s coverage, condo insurance provides:

  • Coverage for your belongings
  • Temporary living expenses if your unit is uninhabitable during a claim
  • Personal liability coverage in the event someone is injured in your residence or if their property is damaged
  • Loss assessment coverage supports you in the event you are held financially responsible for any damages to the condo building itself and its common areas

How to Reduce the Cost of Condo Insurance

As the Canadian condominium insurance market moves through a period of volatility, the importance of finding the right coverage at the right price has become doubly important. Condo owners can follow some simple steps to ensure the best deal possible:

  • Shop around. Shopping for condo insurance gives customers access to the best premiums for their circumstances. By comparing insurance quotes, it’s easier to find coverage that meets your insurance needs at the most affordable price.
  • Combine insurance. Many insurers allow customers to bundle home or condo insurance with car insurance, which may result in a discount between 5 per cent and 10 per cent.
  • Manage deductibles. By choosing a higher deductible, you can lower your overall premium.
  • Take loss prevention measures. Insurance companies like to see their customers take proactive steps protecting their units. For example, getting an alarm system installed, ensuring smoke detectors are working and having a fire extinguisher on-hand.

Other steps condo insurance customers can take include switching from monthly to annual payments, perfecting your coverage limit (only insure what you need), and maintaining a good claims record.

Condo Insurance Is Important

Amid all the debate surrounding condo insurance in Canada, one thing remains crystal clear: Consumers do need coverage. If you’re a condo owner, you need insurance to keep your property and belongings safe. Many landlords will lease their condominiums, and it is equally important for renters to get a tenant insurance policy.

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