Why Reassessing Your Home’s Worth Could Save You Money

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Puffy Lux

With today’s crazy housing market, many homeowners are opting to instead stay in their current homes. In fact, a poll from Zillow found that nearly 75% of Americans would prefer to use funds to update their existing home, rather than apply that same amount toward a down payment on a new home. And that means that their housing value might’ve changed from when they first purchased insurance.

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If you’ve been in your home for 5 or 10 years, chances are good you’ve made some changes that could affect your premium and coverage. And that means you’d want to reassess your homeowners’ insurance. Here are 5 things to consider when reevaluating your home’s worth.

1. You’ve upgraded your home

Maybe you succumbed to the siren song of a new basement or a kitchen renovation that brought you into the current decade. If you haven’t reassessed your home based on your upgrades, you should do so, stat. That’s particularly important if your policy covers what’s called “replacement cost.” That means it takes into account what everything’s worth NOW, in order to replace it, rather than what it was worth back when you purchased it.

2. You’ve upgraded your belongings

Acquired a new bauble or the latest flat-screen TV? If you’ve made any big-ticket purchases since you last had your insurance evaluated, now’s the time to see if you need to add a larger policy. You might also consider a “rider” on some of your pricier items.

3. You’ve upgraded your safety quotient

The “smartest” gadgets these days are those that protect your home. And while adding safety features can help protect your belongings, they can also give you a nice little discount on your homeowners insurance. So whether you’ve added a security system, a sprinkler system, or a carbon monoxide or water leak detector, contact your insurance company to see if you qualify for a discount.

4. You’ve upgraded your income

What does your net worth have to do with your homeowners insurance? Well, the more you’re worth, the more you stand to lose if someone should sue you. That can include getting sued over something as minor as ice build-up on your sidewalk or another unintended hazard. Because of that, discussing an umbrella policy can be a smart decision. It’ll extend your current homeowners insurance limits and provide an extra layer of security should something happen.

5. You’ve upgraded your “entertainment”

Maybe you’ve added what’s called an “attractive nuisance.” Yep, that’s what those in the insurance biz call the items that make your backyard more alluring: think pools, hot tubs, or trampolines. Insurance can even cover more low-key additions, like treehouses or play equipment.

It’s easy to see why these so-called “attractive nuisances” get their name — yes, they’re a lot of fun (and thus attractive). But that fun can come at a price in the form of accidents (the pesky nuisance part). So if you’ve added anything like that to your home, check in with your insurance company to see if you need to reevaluate your coverage needs.

For your finances | Home and garden

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about Cathie

Cathie Ericson writes about personal finance, real estate, health, lifestyle, and business topics. When she’s not writing she loves to read, hike, and run. Find her @CathieEricson.

GEICO: I delayed my payment the max of 10 days and still didn’t come up with enough money to pay for my car insurance which is due tomorrow. I’ll get a $2,800 check on the 26. Will I be forced to drive uninsured for a week or will GEICO work with me you think?

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Why would insurance offer me more money than requested to total my vehicle?

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The at-fault insurer is offering to total my vehicle or for me to withdraw my claim and receive nothing.

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I am requesting an amount less than the ACV based on the most recent repair estimate. I wish to keep my car and repair it. I do not want the title history affected.

Per my state law, the car is a total loss if the insurer pays me 100% of the value to replace it or 100% of the value in repairs.

Why would the insurance company want to pay me more money? All it appears to accomplish is negatively impact the title history and make me file for a rebuilt title. Every time I explain what I would like and how it is within the law, they just resend the offer or say "the offer is final." There isn't any discussion or negotiation.

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Why would an insurance company fight spend money on lawyers over a few thousand dollars

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Puffy Lux

Many years ago I was in an at fault accident. The my insurance company and the other party couldn't agree on an amount so they other party ended up sueing. The thing is the other party sued by ways of court filing for under $20,000. From what I remember the difference between what the other party wanted and what the insurance offered was under $5,000.

Eventually it went to arbitration, their was a settlement, and case was dismissed.

The insurance company has much money, why fight something like this. I would have just given it to them.

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Love tapped a motorcycle, unsure if guy is trying to take money from me, help!

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Puffy Lux

So yesterday I was driving my car and braked a little late and TAPPED (I’m not even saying this to make me less guilty but it’s what it was) the license plate frame of a Harley-Davidson. The nudge was so small, there was no damage at all on either the motorcycle or my car, not even the tiniest scratch-because very little contact was made. We both acknowledge this, but he begins by saying he needs to go get his motorcycle inspected because it’s a “fine-tuned” machine, and that he’d rather not report it to the insurance because my rates will go up and my deductible is probably high and it’s gonna cost me for the inspection and if there’s something wrong with the bike. At this point, I feel like he’s trying to take advantage of me and get some cash along the way because I look like a really young girl. He texted me today saying that he might not be able to take the bike to a shop till next Wednesday. I didn’t contact my insurance and I assume he didn’t either.

I am scared because the bump was so minor and there wasn’t even the smallest amount of damage, I’m afraid he’s going to try to pin some old damage on me. He’s heard saying this whole “not reporting to insurance/deal with cash” stuff in the background a video I was recording of the vehicles. What do I do? Should I just ignore him? Is next week too late to even bring insurance up? Help!

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Is it illegal to pocket the insurance money instead of getting the car fixed ?

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Puffy Lux

So I went to my friend’s house to pick up her car and drive it to her because she asked me to. As I was backing up from her drive way I hit a parked car that was on the street. I didnt want my friend to get in trouble for what I did so I gave the lady of the car my contact info and said I’d fix it for her.

We never called the police and filed a report because she didn’t want to and said she trusted me to fix her car so I said okay, and my friend whose car I drove found that to be better for her anyway.

Almost a week later the lady finally calls and says that it’s going to cost me $2000 for a very minor dent. But she said because she was a very “kind hearted woman” she’d cut the price for me to pay her only $1400. This already sounded sketchy to me. So I told my dad about it.

My dad is a taxi owner and has friends with body shops where he’s always taking his car and his friend said he’d fix the car for 500 because that’s how much it would cost anyway. So I call the lady back and told her it would be more affordable for me to have her car get fixed at the body shop where my dad knows the guy.

So I called this lady to tell her that i wouldn’t be paying her that much because it was insane and that I’d give her the contact info and address of the guy from the body shop, and this lady flat out said she didn’t want to do that because she wanted to pocket the money. So basically telling me she was scamming me $900 extra. I told her that I wouldn’t give her money and that the only way I would she would get her car fixed was going to a body shop, preferably the one I know, and getting the dent fixed there. She said she had to consult her brother-in-law first. This happened like 4 days ago

Today she called telling me saying she’s going to only report it to the insurance instead.

My question is that I know she’s going to pocket the money instead of getting her car fixed. Is that legal? My second question is which insurance will cover it ? My friends since it was her car or mine since I was the driver ?

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Money Suit Progressive Insurance Commercial with Flo

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Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/By8z/

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10 Keys to Saving Money on Vehicle Maintenance

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The average age of a vehicle on America’s roadways today is approaching 12 years. Twenty years ago that number was 8.4; 40 years ago it was only 5.5 years.

Whether it is a testament to improved manufacturing, higher car prices, or maybe Americans have figured out that life is pretty good without a monthly car payment, one thing is clear: Vehicles are lasting longer and proper maintenance can push life expectancy to unprecedented levels.

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But we can’t forget all that care and feeding can still present some sticker shock. Here are 10 tips for keeping your ride and your wallet in good shape.

Change Your Own Oil

Even if you ignore every other scheduled maintenance item, don’t forget to change the oil. Nothing will ruin an engine more quickly than expired motor oil. But a typical oil change can run between $40 and $100, an average of three times per year (every 5,000 miles). Doing it yourself can cut that bill in half or more. Yes, your hands will get dirty, but soap is cheap.

Keep Tires at Stated Pressure

If you can find a free air pump, the only cost is a few minutes of your time. Invest in a $5 pressure gauge, check the sticker on the driver door for the proper pressure—regardless of tire type—and check and fill regularly, especially when seasons and temperatures change. Under- or over-inflated tires can lead to premature tire wear or, worse, a blowout. Then you’re looking at new tires or a costly collision accident.

Rotate and Balance Tires

Not enough people do this, but it can add years to the life of your tires. Every 6,000 to 8,000 miles is recommended. If you can change a spare, you can rotate your tires. Next time your vehicle is in for repairs, ask the shop to do it for you. If you bought the tires from a tire shop, they may do it for free.

Keep the Battery Clean

Worldwide demand for lead, the main ingredient in auto batteries, combined with milder winters has, uh, lead to huge battery price increases. New ones used to cost around $50; now they’re well over $100. Corrosion on the terminals can kill the cranking power of even a new battery, so take a wire brush to them regularly and your battery will thank you with years of reliable service.

Plug Into Savings

Every 40,000 miles or so, new spark plugs will rejuvenate your engine and boost your fuel economy. Changing them yourself isn’t as easy as it used to be—their locations are less obvious—but a little DIY can spell the difference between $50 and $200 or more.

Get Frugal With Filters

If you’ve ever been to a drive-through oil change, you’ve no doubt been shown the filthy air filter they just pulled out of your vehicle for shock value. They’re right. Air and cabin filters are important to engine life and interior air quality, but you don’t need to pay $40 each to get them changed. Your local auto parts store can supply them for around $10. You can change them yourself in a minute or less.

Crack the Codes

Most people panic and go straight to a dealer or mechanic anytime a warning light shows up on the dash—and they pay for the diagnosis, plus whatever repairs are needed. (It could be something as simple as a loose gas cap or underinflated tires.) For less than $100, you can buy and OBD-II reader that will read your vehicle’s diagnostic codes, enabling you to find out what’s wrong without having to take it in. Many auto parts stores have these readers and will diagnose for free.

Don’t “Brake” the Bank

If you’re a little bit handy and have a couple hours to devote to the task, changing brake pads every 20,000 miles can save you hundreds and a trip to the mechanic. Most pads can be purchased at an auto parts store for $40, about four to five times less than what you’ll pay a shop to change them.

Get to Know YouTube

For all of the above maintenance tasks, you can find detailed how-to videos that walk you through every step of the process. Chances are, you’ll even find videos specific to your make and model. Take your time, and take your smartphone, tablet or laptop out to the garage or driveway.

Don’t Marry Your Dealership

Yes, a dealer’s service department will know your vehicle make and model, perhaps better than anyone. But that doesn’t mean they’re your best choice for routine maintenance or even repairs. Ask friends for recommendations on reliable and reasonably priced independent mechanics. Or check Craigslist for local services offered. You might just find a seasoned, certified dealer mechanic who moonlights after hours—and will come to your home, saving you money and hassle at the same time.

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Financial setbacks can happen at any time. Watch as personal finance author Stefanie O’Connell explains five steps to help overcome it: https://blog.allstate.com/overcome-financial-setback/

Three Questions to Ask When Getting A Cheap Car Insurance To Get The Best Deal

Three Questions to Ask When Getting A Cheap Car Insurance To Get The Best Deal
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?http://lowcostcarinsuranceprice.com ?
Being a car owner involves numerous expenses. These include fuel bills, technical inspection bills, repairs, changing oils and liquids and last but not least, car insurance. Since car insurance is a big investment, you must carefully choose the insurance company.
Drivers must buy the best coverage for their cars and needs.

Before signing any contract, make sure to ask the next questions:
How many miles are driven annually? The annual mileage is extremely important for determining the risk profile and the adequate costs. Drivers with low mileage should check for low-mileage discounts and low-mileage policies.

What kind of coverage is needed? After purchasing the state-required minimum coverage, the policyholder can opt to increase safety level. Depending on his needs and budget, he can opt for Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Collision Insurance, Comprehensive Insurance, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance.

What is my risk profile and which discounts are available? Ask if you are classified as Premiums, Standard or High-Risk. Also, ask for all available discounts.

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If you liked our video and want to find out more money-saving tips and business ideas, please subscribe! ? https://tinyurl.com/SaveMoneyTricksYouTube ?
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