How to Buy the Right Home Insurance Policy

Home Insurance Policy
Buying a home is an expensive investment, but the feeling you’ll enjoy when you are safe in your new home is priceless. When it comes to picking out the right home insurance policy for your new purchase, don’t let the policy details dull your moment to shine. With just a few simple tips and tricks, buying the right home insurance policy can be as easy and exciting as walking across your new welcome mat for the first time.

Go Company Shopping

There is no one size fits all when it comes to home insurance. In order to get the policy perfect for you and your family’s needs, you have to do a little research. If the thought of hours upon hours of internet surfing scares you, fear not! Most insurance sites can give you policy quotes in minutes and a quick phone call to the company can have you a quote just as fast.

When looking at the policy, make sure to take note of all the details. The best way to keep up with all this new information is to make a chart you can easily turn to for a thorough and quick comparison. Try making an excel chart that lists the company name, deductibles, whether the policy uses replacement cost or cash value, discounts, and the cost for each kind of protection you are looking for.

Look At Your Location

Speaking of protection, your location is going to play a big part in determining your policy checklist. Even with as much research as you do picking a company, the companies do that much more, looking at the size, history, construction, and condition of your home, as well as surrounding landmarks, such as high-ranking fire stations.

The geography of your home’s location is a significant factor as well. Insurance companies will go through every possible risk with a fine-toothed comb and consider every possible scenario. Homes closer to the ocean will likely need higher hurricane and flood insurance, ones in California will need higher earthquake and fire insurance, and homes farther north will likely have the weight of ice or snow and sudden freezing listed as perils on insurance policies.

Don’t Ditch The Discounts

Who doesn’t love a good discount these days? Now, you probably won’t be able to find them in the Sunday coupon section of the newspaper, but they are definitely out there. Many home insurance companies are happy to give out discounts if it means they get a new customer.

When making your phone calls and finding out about insurance quotes, make sure to take a few minutes to find out what money-saving opportunities they have available. Some companies will list these insurance discounts online, but sometimes you have to ask someone about them. Depending on where you live and the company you ultimately choose to commit to, you can receive discounts for bundling your auto and home insurance, installing certain kinds of locks and/or security systems, making home improvements, living in a gated community, and even not having any smokers in the home.

Get Only The Coverage You Need

Remember that information chart mentioned earlier? You can also use that to keep a running checklist of the policy items you are specifically looking for in home insurance. While it is crucial to have adequate insurance and cover all your bases, do not let insurance companies bully you into buying more than you need. After all, nobody knows what you need better than you (as long as you do your research, of course).

Before purchasing a policy, take a home inventory so you know the value of your possessions to prevent overpaying for insuring your belongings. You should also make sure to report any and all home improvements and consider increasing your deductible so that your annual premium is cheaper. Also, consider other types of coverage, such as dwelling, other structures, personal property, and liability.

Personality Matters

Having the cheapest premiums and highest discounts is not always the way to go. Look into reviews of the company to see how others’ experiences have measured up. Websites such as ConsumerReports.org offer reputable reviews and recommendations. Once you have your companies narrowed down, schedule a time to meet with some representatives in person. At the end of the day, you want to put the future of your home in the hands of a company you can trust.

Get Started

Buying a home can be a complicated process, but it definitely does not need to be stressful. An investment of this size creates an even bigger and more invaluable reward. With these tips and a set plan, the reward for this process will leave you snug as a bug in your brand new home, safe, sound, and secure.

Author Bio

Gary Anderson is a freelance writer from Los Angeles, California. With over 10 years of experience writing for many different industries, including insurance, he is an accomplished and published writer and editor. In his free time, he enjoys gardening.


Can You be a Stay-at-Home Mum and Build a Decent Pension?

How to be a mum and still get a decent pension
The findings of a childcare survey conducted recently made pretty bleak reading for most of the families all across UK.

As per the research that took place, most of the parents shell out more than £6000 per year on childcare-this is double the money that they tend to spend on food and drink-with some of the families spending around 45% of their disposable wages on childcare expenses.

As a result, most of the parents, specifically mums halt their career in order to take care of their kids. This can in turn have huge financial repercussions on them, especially when it comes down to pension.

Also, savings cannot just be on the agenda, because they aren’t really getting any income. So, if you’ve lately quit a job and become a “stay-at-home” mum, then you need to ask yourself this: “How will I build up a decent pension, whilst being a stay-at-home mum?”

Of course, the outcome of quitting a job would come with a lot of fear regarding you and your kids’ future, yet you should not give up your hopes so easily.

If you are a stay-at-home mum who is reading this article, then we must tell you that you have landed in the right place. Here we have mentioned our top tips through which you can build a better retirement.

Protect your State Pension

The full state pension enables you to £8,296 every year and whilst this alone is not likely to be enough for you to live on, it could certainly be a better foundation for your retirement.

However, in order to receive this entire amount you will have to have paid National Insurance (NI) contributions at least for a minimum of 35 years.

Now, you may perhaps associate the National Insurance contributions with working (let us tell you that in a workplace if the contributions are not paid, then auto-enrolment penalty is issued on the employer), but do you even know that all the years spent away from your workplace could still meet the criteria towards the state pension? All you need is to be registered for Child Benefit.

Basically, Child Benefit is a type of payment that you can claim, especially if you are looking after a kid below 16 to 20 years of age, who is presently undergoing education or training. Even though if you or your spouse’s individual salary is more than £50,000, you might have to pay a certain amount of tax charge.
If this is the case and you do not really want to claim Child Benefit as a result, you can fill in the form anyway as it would protect your National Insurance credits.

Not to mention, you will also receive your National Insurance credits when you’ll make a claim for Child Benefit until your youngest child has turned 12. Although it might not solve everything, but protecting your state pension could be one of the best places to start with.

Look for any Lost Pots

It has been estimated that in excess of £400m has been “lost” in pension pots, which most of the individuals have forgotten about. So, it’s better to think back to where all you have worked in the past and start contacting those old employers or pension lenders.

Through some of the surveys that were conducted in the last year, it was revealed that approximately £40,000 was found in dormant workplace pensions.

So, why don’t you start tracking down all your old pensions too? You may be taken aback at what you’ll possibly discover. This way, it will also help you when it comes down to the next step.

Set a Savings Goal

Once you know what you actually want, it is time to begin with your future planning. There are a lot of pension figures bandied about- plenty of them might possibly give you cause for panic. Yet, if you are simply going after a comfortable retirement, then the numbers may not be that bad as to what you think of it.

As per some of the expert’s survey, an average of retired couple requires around £18,000 per year in order to cover their household expenses, such as utilities, food, housing expenses and transport. All these expenses have been increasing to £26,000, thereby allowing for additional stuff, like holiday and leisure activities.

Per person this is not too massive; it’s just £13,000 per year. So, if you are eligible to a full new state pension of £8,296 a year, then as per the research conducted you only require supplementing it with roughly £5,000 every year. Of course, that is not at all a small figure, but you can certainly reach it.

Combine and Contribute whenever You Can

The research that was conducted by some of the experts is done on the basis of attaining a cash pot of £210,000 so as to sit besides your state pension. Also, they have handily broken down how couples can reach this, on the basis of which age they begin with their savings. Some of the figures are mentioned below:

  • £131 per month from the age of 20
  • £198 per month from the age of 30
  • £338 per month from the age of 40
  • £633 per month from the age of 50

You need to bear in mind that all the above mentioned figures are on the basis of starting right from scratch. So, of you have got a lot of old pension pots, then these figures could be way too small for you. But, you can still try doing a few sums and find out how you can reach that £210,000 figure.

Other thing that is worth taking into consideration is getting all the old pensions together, in one “easy to access” personal plan. In this way, you get the liberty to contribute whenever it is affordable for you, not only that, it can even spare you from these hefty fees. Surprisingly, some of the lenders still entail all sorts of expenses even on dormant pensions.

Whenever it comes down to contributing, you ought to try seeing where you can trim down the expenses, as you maybe surprised to see what certain small sacrifices could do. In addition to this, if you ever come across some money-via legacy, perhaps- you can consider putting some of it towards your pension. Also, explore what kind of work you can do around your kids too, as you may be astounded with what is possible.

Above all else, do not panic; simply keep on saving whatever you can, because as it is said “something is better than nothing”. Additionally, bear in mind that every basic rate taxpayer has their own contribution into a pension boosted by 25%, thanks to tax relief. Put simply, it means that for every £100 that you contribute you will receive another £25 from your taxman.