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26/05/2017

Essential Facts About Home Insurance

Understanding the basic facts about home insurance is crucial to protecting your investment whether you are a first-time home buyer or an established home owner. Outlined below are some of the things you need to know and avail yourself with.



1. ARM YOURSELF WITH A COMPREHENSIVE LOSS UNDERWRITING EXCHANGE REPORT:
C.L.U.E.-Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange-is a database that is owned by LexisNexis Risk Solutions that gives the insurer access to information on claims that have been filed against the property in the last five years. As a prospective buyer, you can't get a report from the company, but you can ask the homeowner, who can ask LexisNexis, for a copy of the report. According to LexisNexis, a growing number of buyers are requiring sellers to provide a copy of the report as a exigency for a purchase offer. The loss history will reveal problems that could make insuring the home difficult or expensive. Ask an insurance agent about the home's insurability and for an estimate of the premium.

2. FIND OUT WHAT A HOME INSURANCE POLICY COVERS:
   A basic home insurance policy provides coverage for your home and belongings and also the liability of you or your pet causing injury to another person, perhaps, a visitor. It also provides Additional Living Expenses (A.L.E) if your house is inhabitable for the period of time you don't stay in your inhabitable home, possibly, due to repairs after it has suffered damages from a natural disaster for which you were insured for.
Remember, policies differ from state to state, so you will do well to find out from your State Insurance Commission what policies are allowed and available for your state. You also need to differentiate between Actual Cash Value (A.C.V.) and Replacement coverage. A.C.V. pays for the cost of replacement of a damaged household item, minus depreciation while Replacement Coverage will pay for the purchase of the said item.

3. FIND OUT WHAT A HOME INSURANCE POLICY DOESN'T COVER:
Basic home insurance policies do not cover natural disasters such as floods. In this case, you have to make sure that you purchase a separate policy for these kinds of disasters. If you live in areas that are susceptible to flood, you will be required by your lender to purchase insurance through the NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM or if you live in the coastal region, a standard home insurance policy does not include coverage from damage caused by wind, so if you have a home in the coastal area, you need a separate Windstorm Insurance Policy to cover the damage made by the wind. In earthquake-prone area like California, Earthquake Insurance is optional but recommended.

4. FIND OUT THE LIMITS ON THE POLICY YOU ARE INTERESTED IN:
  It is highly recommended that you perform an inventory to know exactly the amount and value of your belongings. This is because, some policies put dollar limit on valuables such as jewelry, fine arts, furs, antiques, etc, so, endeavor to work closely with your agent and ask questions from time to time to be sure you have enough coverage. Remember, the more detailed you are, the more accurate your policy is going to be.

5. INSURE YOUR HOME FOR THE COST TO REBUILD IT AND NOT THE CURRENT MARKET VALUE:
Make sure that your home is insured for the cost to rebuild it and not for its current market value. This is because, the rebuilding cost does not include the value of the land.  That amount could be much more or much less than the market value depending on factors and variables such as labour and costs of materials.

6.  THERE IS BENEFIT IN SHOPPING AROUND:
Cultivate the habit of shopping around for companies and carriers that provide best coverage at the best price at the best service because they are not equally created. We live in a highly competitive world and every business is constantly competing with each other to emerge the market leader.
Conduct a search to find out a company's financial ratings and consult your state's insurance department website to get information on consumer complaints against a company.

7. UPDATE YOUR POLICY AS YOUR MAKE NEW ADDITIONAL STRUCTURES TO YOUR HOME:
For each additional structure or gadget added to your house, make sure you update your policy to cover said structure or gadget. If you fail to do so and a disaster you were insured for occurs, the additional structures or gadget will not be replace because you failed to upgrade your policy to cover the new additions.

Facts About Auto Insurance

Understanding the  simple mechanics of auto insurance can be a herculean task, let alone understanding the puzzles surrounding it. Puzzles like the guidelines, policies and procedures of the many insurance carriers of today. Outlined below are some facts you need to know about auto insurance so you can have adequate arsenal at your disposal when looking forward to purchasing an auto insurance.
FAAI Screenshot


1. YOUR CREDIT HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR INSURANCE RATES:
Whether  you like to accept it or not, your credit history will have an impact on the insurance rates the insurance company will give to you.
    Insurance carriers and companies discovered that an individual's characteristics predict the possibility and likeability of such individual having insurance claims. They may use scores that are credit-based in addition with other factors to assess the possibility of claims submitted.  These factors may include age, driving records, claim history, place of residence, brand of car and the average miles driven, etc. As acceptable practice, strive to improve your credit, keep a close eye on your credit report and contact the credit bureau to clear up any errors.

2. BRAND LOYALTY CAN COST YOU

    If you have a careless attitude about auto insurance, you might want to retrace your steps. Years ago, insurance companies took stock of factors when calculating your premiums. Today, that list has grown to a confusing maze of requirement causing insurance rates to be at odds greatly from provider to provider.
Instead of allowing your policy to renew itself automatically, compare and shop once a year to ensure you're getting the best auto insurance rates. Some companies provide policies directly to consumers, while others sell policies through insurance agents or brokers. An good place to start is by getting auto insurance quotes online, which could save you money. If you're afraid that lower rates mean less coverage or poor service, don't be. Today, there are plenty of insurance companies that offer affordable premiums, well-rounded coverage and excellent customer service.

3. KNOW THAT IF YOU STOP MAKING PAYMENTS NOW, YOU'LL EVENTUALLY PAY THEM AT THE END OF THE DAY
 
If you think you can stop making payment by changing your car insurance company, think again. Of course, your policy will be cancelled, but your existing insurance company could report you to the credit bureaus for non-payment, damaging your credit score in the process. What's more? Your insurance history will reflect the cancellation which may in turn cause a new provider to decline your application or charge you higher premiums in the future.
So instead of changing your insurance company, make sure you complete all the necessary paperwork with your existing provider, such as a policy cancellation form at the right time so you can be starting your new policy on the date your old policy ends or expires.

4: YOUR CAR INSURANCE COMPANY CAN CANCEL OR REFUSE TO RENEW YOUR POLICY AT ANY TIME

    Your insurance company can decide to cancel or refuse to renew your policy at any time if you violate one or more of its guidelines during your policy period. Things such as failing to pay your premium on time, losing your driver's license due to suspension or revocation, submitting too many at-fault claims, or misrepresenting your driving history or past insurance claims could all be reasons for cancellation or non-renewal.
In either case, your insurance company is obligated to notify you in writing within a timeframe legally required by your state. When it comes to cancellation, your insurance company is required by law to state the reason, but its not so with non-renewal. If you want a reason but aren't provided with one, you must send your insurer a written request. If you believe you've been unfairly treated, you may have legal support or a way out through your state's department of insurance. Also, don't forget about your "binding period",: the time when your insurance company is especially conscious of your risk level. The binding period usually occurs within 60 days following your auto insurance application. If your insurer finds any inconsistency on your application, on your driving record or with your credit, it can cancel your policy.

5: PAYING FOR YOUR PREMIUM IN FULL COULD SAVE YOU MONEY
   
You may be surprised to know that most car insurance companies charge an administrative fee to split your premium payments into installments, such as paying every six months, every three months or every month. The more you divide your payments in installments, the more these "convenience fees" add up, and before you know it, you will be paying substantially more than you thought. Bear it in mind that for each method of installment payment you choose, such as automatic bill pay or pay-by-phone, there may be charges attached to it.
  Remember to ask your provider what its administrative fees are. If it makes financial sense and you can do it, pay your premium up front and in full. Not only will you avoid the additional expense, you won't have to worry about missing a payment, or being late on payments, both of which could be grounds for cancellation. Other factors, such as the brand of car you drive, can cost or save you money on car insurance as well.

23/05/2017

Homeowners Insurance Policy: What It Covers

Homeowners insurance is an insurance policy that provides financial protection against disasters. It insures the home itself and the things you keep in it.
This insurance policy is a package policy. What it means is that it covers all damages to your property and your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage you or members of your family may cause to other people. This also includes damage caused by household pets.
Damage caused by most disasters is covered but there are exceptions. The most significant are damages caused by floods, earthquakes and poor maintenance. You must buy two separate policies for flood and earthquake coverage.
Homeowners Insurance Screenshot

Most basic homeowners insurance policies include four essential types of coverages:

1. Coverage For The Structure of Your Home

Your homeowners policy covers the repair or rebuild of your home if it is damaged or destroyed by fire, hurricane, hail, lightning or other disasters listed in your policy. It will not pay for damage caused by a flood, earthquake or deterioration. When purchasing coverage for the structure of your home, remember this simple ground rules: Purchase enough coverage to rebuild your home.
Most policies also cover separate constructions such as a garage, tool shed or gazebo—generally for about 10 percent of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home.

2. Coverage For Your Personal Belongings

Your furniture, clothes, sports equipment and other personal items are covered if they are stolen or destroyed by fire, hurricane or other insured disasters. The coverage is generally 50-70 % of the  insurance on the structure of your home. The best way to determine if this is enough coverage is to conduct a home inventory.
Personal belongings coverage includes items stored off-premises— this means you are covered anywhere in the world. Some companies limit the amount to 10 percent of the amount of insurance you have for your possessions. You also have up to $500 of coverage for unauthorized use of your credit cards.
Expensive items like jewelry, furs, art, collectibles and silverware are covered, but there are usually dollar limits if they are stolen. To insure these items to their full value, purchase a special personal property endorsement or floater and insure the item for its officially appraised value.
Trees, plants and shrubs are also covered under standard homeowners insurance—generally for about $500 per item. Trees and plants are not covered for damage by wind or disease.

3. Liability Protection

Liability protection covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or family members may cause to other people. It also pays for damage caused by your pets. So, if your son, daughter or dog accidentally ruins a neighbor’s expensive rug, you are covered. However, if the reverse is the case, i.e, your neighbor's child or pet destroys your rug, you’re out of luck.
The liability portion of your policy pays for both the cost of defending you in court and any court awards—up to the limit stated in your policy documents.
Liability limits generally start at about $100,000, however, it’s a good idea to discuss whether you should purchase a higher level of protection with your insurance professional. If you have significant assets and want more coverage than is available under your homeowners policy, consider purchasing  an umbrella or excess liability policy, which provides broader coverage, including claims against you for defamation of character, as well as higher liability limits.
Your policy also provides no-fault medical coverage, so if a friend or neighbor is injured in your home, he or she can simply submit his medical bills to your insurance company. This way, expenses are paid without a liability claim being filed against you. However, it does not pay the medical bills for your own family or your pet.

4. Additional Living Expenses (ALE)

ALE pays the additional expenses if you are temporarily unable to live at home due to damage from a an insured disaster. It covers hotel bills, restaurant meals and other costs, over and above your usual living expenses, incurred while your home is being rebuilt.
Keep in mind that the additional living expenses (ALE) coverage in your homeowners policy has limits—and some policies include a time limitation. However, you can generally increase the amount of ALE coverage for an additional premium.
The coverage limit on your ALE is different from the amount available to rebuild or repair your home. Even if you use up your ALE, your insurance company will still pay the full cost of rebuilding your home up to the policy limit.
If you rent out part of your house, ALE also covers the rent that your tenant would have paid if your home had not been destroyed.

22/05/2017

Insurance Agent App for Insurance Professionals

Insurance companies are almost in every nook and cranny Nationwide and there are lots of competitions as a result of this massive explosion of Insurance agencies, so as a rule of thumb, Insurance professionals must seek for ways to maximize their time and effort towards their competitors.  

17/05/2017

Gap Insurance

When you purchase or lease a new vehicle, the value starts depreciating the very minute it {the vehicle} leaves the car park. Suffice us to say that as a matter of fact, most vehicles lose about 20% of the value attached to it within a year.
 
GI Screenshot
Standard auto insurance policies act as a coverage for the depreciated value, because insurance will pay the current market value for the car.
If you pay for the purchase of a new vehicle and only put down a little deposit, the amount of the loan borrowed  may very well surpass the market value of the vehicle as at when it was purchased.

Gap Insurance therefore bridges the gap between the worth of a vehicle and what you owe on it.
Therefore, it is a good idea for you to consider buying gap insurance for your new vehicle if you:
  • Deposited a percentage of less than 20
  • Financed for 5years or longer
  • Leased the vehicle
  • Purchased a car or truck whose depreciation is faster than average
  • Allowed an adverse equity from an old car loan roll over into the new one
 Although the car dealer might offer to sell you a gap insurance on your new car or truck, most car insurers offer it and for a lesser cost.
On most auto insurance policies including gap insurance with collision and comprehensive coverage makes an addition of only about $20 a year to the annual premium.

Questions You Should Ask When Buying An Auto Insurance

Are you considering purchasing an insurance for your car? Then, there are some questions you should ask yourself before you buy one.
Read Also Coverages Available In Auto Insurance
QYSAWBAAI Screenshot

1. HOW MUCH LOVE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUR CAR?

     If you have any special bond or connection with your car, you will definitely want it fixed to perfection or replaced with a similar model if anything happens to it. In this case, you should definitely shop for the fullest range of insurance including comprehensive, collision and even glass coverage. If you see cars as objects that could be changed at any given time and you want to save on premiums then you may go for liability insurance.

2. HOW MUCH DO YOU DRIVE?

     Do you need to make use of your car everyday? Or is a car a convenience you could easily forgo if the need arises? How many miles do you drive in a month? You would want to make sure your policy reflects this little information. If you don't drive a lot, you may want to go for a mileage-based insurance.

3. WILL YOU BE USING YOUR CAR FOR WORK-RELATED PURPOSES?

     If you are not just using your car to commute to work but to also perform work-related tasks then commercial auto insurance is very necessary. A personal auto policy will not provide coverage if you undertake delivering pizzas, drive as a courier or use your car for commercial purposes.

4. WHAT BRAND OF CAR DO YOU DRIVE?

     Insurers avail themselves with lots data and they know exactly which car is more or less likely to incur claims. Your insurance will be priced according to the car you drive, whether its a Maserati or a mid-sized sedan. In the same vein, you may receive discounts if your car has a good safety record and the latest safety features.

5. WHERE DO YOU LIVE AND WHERE DO YOU PARK YOUR CAR?

    The insurance rates for someone who lives in an urban area and parks his car on the street are higher compared to someone who lives in a rural area because he faces a greater risk of theft or vandalism. In this case, you may want to go for comprehensive coverage.

6. WHO ELSE WILL BE DRIVING YOUR CAR?

    In general, your car insurance will cover other people who drive your car from time to time. These ''other people'' should be listed on your insurance policy if they live with you.

7. WHAT ARE YOUR LEGAL OBLIGATIONS?

    Almost every state requires that you carry a minimum liability coverage, so you need to ensure that your policy complies with state mandates. The levels of required coverage in general is pretty low. However, to be on the safe side, you'll probably want additional liability coverage.

8. IS YOUR CAR FINANCED OR ON LEASE?

    If you are still owing money for your car or you have to return it when the lease expires in good condition, you'll likely be required to insure it for its full value and for any gap between what you owe and the market value for the car. Collision and Comprehensive coverage will cover the car's damage up to the market value while supplemental gap insurance will take care of covering the rest.

Bear in mind that your insurance options and costs will be impacted upon by your age, gender and driving record. Also, your credit score will greatly impact upon your insurance rates.

15/05/2017

Coverages Available When Purchasing A Car Insurance

Are you thinking of getting an insurance policy for your car but you don't know the policy that is suitable and tailored to meet every one of your needs down to the last detail?
Well, we've taken the liberty of preparing this article to serve that purpose.
Below are some of the coverages under auto insurance:
CAWPACI Screenshot

  • Liability Coverage: Under this, we have two types of coverage; coverage for body injury and coverage for personal property coverage. As a legal requirement for drivers in almost every state, liability coverage pays for someone's medical expenses, personal injuries and damage to property if the fault lies with you.
  • Collision Coverage: If you collide with another vehicle or something stationary like a telephone pole, collision coverage helps to pay for the damages to your car.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Otherwise known as ''Other Than Collision'' or ''Fire and Theft''. If there is a break and something gets stolen from your car or if there is a dent due to hail or storm, comprehensive coverage helps in covering for the losses to your car.
  • Medical Bills Coverage: If you or any other occupant in your car gets hurt in an accident, this coverage can pay for your's and their medical bills.
  • Personal Injury Protection: PIP is very much identical to Medical Bills Coverage. The difference here is that PIP has a much wider coverage capacity than Medical Bills Coverage. It can help pay for medical and rehabilitation expenses, funeral loss, chemotherapy or dialysis expenses, etc.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: If the fault lies with an uninsured or underinsured motorist in an accident, this policy provides liability (bodily injury and property damage) coverage for you.


So, when you are setting out to buy an auto insurance, make sure you talk to a seasoned insurance broker or agent to find out the best kind of coverage that will be suitable for you. Make sure you understand what each option does and how it would work if you ever needed it. Also, you can get more than one coverage at a time so far as it provides the best car insurance that will fit with your budget.


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Please make sure to read the actual policy document in your state for important details on coverages, exclusions, limits and terms and conditions.

13/05/2017

Things To Consider When Choosing An Insurance Company

When choosing an insurance company, there are several factors to take note of to help you make a wise and if possible, the best decision. Consider some of the factors below:



  • Check out a company’s ratings: What is the quality rating of the insurance company, as published by the main rating agencies in comparison with their peers?
  • The paying ability, financial strength, asset, etc of the company matters
  • Find out if the insurer is a specialist in this area of insurance coverage
  • Will it be possible to meet or speak with any of the insurance company's agent and will you be working from time to time with the same person (agent)?
  • Will the company be able to provide an insurance coverage that is adequate enough for your needs?
  • Is the insurance company's policy premium cost effective when compared to similar/other insurance companies?
  • What are the deductibles you are to pay?
  • What is the process and procedures for payment of claims?
  • Does the insurer give family discounts on premiums for multiple policies?
  • If closeness is going to be an issue, is there a local office nearby that will attend to you?
  • Complaints made against the insurance company: Consider the company's record for claim refusal. Your State's Insurance Commission may have a record of complaint.
  • The size and life span of the insurance company 
  • Seek assistance from a seasoned insurance professional 

12/05/2017

Lagos Postal Code for Island and Mainland

The Lagos State postal code is basically divided into two:

Nigeria Postal Code, ZIP Code And Dialing Code

The confusion about Nigeria’s ZIP code is on a high trend as many internet users get confused between Nigeria postal code, Nigeria zip code and Nigeria's dialing code.