Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Prepare for Disaster with a Home Inventory

According to the California Department of Insurance, almost 90% of homeowners and renters do not have earthquake insurance. But just having insurance is not proactive  enough. To fully prepare yourself for a disaster, and the insurance claims that follow, you must create a home inventory.

To help, the California Department of Insurance has prepared a free home inventory guide
available at http://www.insurance.ca.gov/. Some recommendations:

1. Use a digital camera to catalogue your possessions and document their values. Photographs of household goods are especially helpful when an item is difficult to describe on paper, or if a purchase receipt cannot be obtained.
2. Label photographs with information about each item.
3. If a video recorder is used, commentary about each item should be included.
4. A copy of the inventory and supporting documentation, such as receipts and model numbers, should be stored in a safe place, such as a safe-deposit box, work office, or a relative's house.
5. These records should also include financial documents such as insurance policies and mortgage information.

You should create a home inventory even if you don’t have earthquake insurance. Review your homeowners' insurance policy with your agent to protect yourself against all disasters, including fire and theft. Determine if you have sufficient coverage limits for your dwelling, personal property, and any expensive items, such as antiques, jewelry, or valuable collections.

Since insurance companies set low limits on the kind of possessions they know will be expensive to replace, you may need to add a rider to your home, condo or renters insurance policy. It’s a bargain- for example; a jewelry rider is only $150 per year per $10,000 of coverage. Your home inventory will come in handy for itemizing jewelry and other valuables you most want to protect.

For earthquake insurance, call Connie Prince at Allied Brokers. Connie is an expert in life, home, auto and umbrella insurance. She holds licenses in health, fire and casualty and is a Silvar Affiliate Member.

To learn about insurance riders, call Chris Falcon at Allied Brokers. Chris specializes in personal insurance lines such as home, auto, umbrella, fire and casualty. His in-depth knowledge and years of industry experience will help you protect the things you cannot afford to lose.

Visit our website at http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ for information about all the types of insurance we offer. Or call 1-888-505-7988 for a free rate quote.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Homeowners Forced to Buy Flood Insurance After FEMA

As of this January first, thousands of California homeowners are being forced to buy costly flood insurance because new maps issued by FEMA say they live in a high-risk flood area. FEMA did not publicize this, catching many people off guard. FEMA claims the rezoning is part of an ongoing effort to update the list of high-risk areas near rivers and creeks, below dams or in low-lying areas.

Flood insurance rates are set by FEMA and range from $500 to more than $1,700 a year. Insurance is mandatory for anyone with a federally backed mortgage. If your lender requires you to buy flood insurance, you can challenge it by requesting a “certificate of elevation” from your city’s planning department. If you find that you are in flood zone, let the experts at Allied Brokers get you the lowest possible rate- without the headaches.

Elevation certificates are now required for most escrow closes. If your city does not have the certificate on file, you can hire a surveyor to create one. This may take several days and  could delay your escrow close. Call Allied Brokers- we can help you solve this problem so you can close on time.

For flood insurance questions, call Connie Prince at Allied Brokers. She can recommend a surveyor who can get you a low-cost elevation report which might lower or eliminate your flood insurance.

Call Connie at 1-888-505-7988 for a free rate quote. Visit us on the web at:
http://www.alliedbrokers.com/.

Monday, February 13, 2012

New California Laws in 2012

ONLINE PRIVACY- Government and third parties are prohibited from gathering information about what books you read or buy over the Internet, unless they obtain a court order.
ONLINE BUYING- Internet retailers must collect California sales tax if the retailer has a presence in the state.
CHILD BOOSTER SEATS- Any child under 8 years old or under 4’9” must use a booster or safety seat.
SCHOOL SPORTS- A school must remove from play any student athlete who sustains a possible concussion, and get medical clearance before they can return to competition.
GAY BULLYING- School districts must have a process for dealing with gay bullying and personnel must intervene if they witness bullying.
TANNING BEDS- Not to be used by anyone under 18.
MEDICINE FOR MINORS- Minors will need a prescription to buy any drug containing destromethorphan (used in Robitussin, Nyquil, Dimetapp, etc.).
PROTECTION OF PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS- Allows courts to consider the relationship between a child and a non-biological parent in child rights cases.