May 30, 2011

Home Warranty vs. Home Insurance

Home Insurance
You may ask yourself is there a difference between a home warranty and home insurance. The answer is yes. There is a difference, and it is a big difference. Home insurance is required for your home, while a home warranty isn't required and isn't always necessary.

What Is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty offers protection for your major appliances, plumbing, and electrical wiring. These warranties will cover the cost of repairing or replacing major household essentials if they break down.

How a Home Warranty Works

A warranty company already has contracts with different service venders, so when a covered item breaks down you will need to contact your warranty company. They will then contact a service repairman to come to your home and repair the item. The repairman will fix the item or recommend that it be replaced. The service repairman will bill your warranty company directly.

What a Home Warranty Costs

A home warranty can range in price from as little as $200 to as much as $700 a year, depending on the amount of coverage you receive. You will also have to pay a service fee anytime that a repairman is at your home. This fee generally ranges from $25 to $100.

Do You Need a Home Warranty?

Home warranties are becoming popular in these hard economic times, but before you purchase one make sure it is the right decision for you. If you are trying to sell your house, a home warranty will be a good investment. Many buyers like the protection that is offered with a warranty and may purchase your home just because they have that security for one year. If you have an older home and your appliances are getting older, a warranty may good idea for you.

How to Choose a Home Warranty

When you are thinking of investing in a home warranty, be sure to shop around. When you are getting price quotes, ask to look over a sample policy. Remember to read the policy in its entirety, including the fine print.

What Is Home Insurance? 

When you purchase a home you are required, by your lender, to carry homeowners insurance on your home. A home insurance policy has two basic areas of protection: it covers your home in the event that it is damaged and offers you liability protection from lawsuits.

What Home Insurance Covers

Home insurance offers you protection for damage to your home. This damage could be from a fire, theft, vandalism, or certain natural disasters. Not only does it cover your house but it also covers your personal items and gives you liability protection. Liability insurance will protect you from lawsuits in the event that someone is injured on your property. Home insurance will only insure your personal items if they are stolen or ruined in a disaster, it will not repair or replace them if they are broken.

What Home Insurance Costs

The price of home insurance varies greatly. Many things are taken into consideration, including the value of your home and its contents, the loan amount on your home, the location of your home, and the amount of your deductable.

How to Choose Home Insurance

As with any type of insurance, it is always a good idea to shop around and compare prices and benefits. A great place to start is with your current car insurance carrier, since most insurance companies will offer you a multi -policy discount. Make sure you read the policy before writing a check and ask any questions you may have.

Guest post from Bailey Harris. Bailey enjoys writing about real estate, insurance, finance, and related topics.
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May 22, 2011

Understanding Underwriters and Car Insurance

Underwriters are the ones who make all the decisions behind your car insurance policy. They are the ones behind all insurance companies and decide whether the claim is to be paid or disputed. They can also determine the premiums cost based on a number of factors. 
car insurance

 Who are the underwriters: Before you purchased your policy or were getting car insurance quotes, find out who are the car insurance underwriters of your potential policy. Some of the better car insurance companies, will actually underwrite themselves. If they do not actually underwrite the policy, you might want to investigate and research more on the underwriters themselves before buying the policy. It is simpler if the company that you are buying off actually does the underwriting themselves, as you know when it comes to time of claiming they will not be palming your situation off to another company.

Major players: The majority of car insurance providers actually have their policies underwritten by the same major players, but it is still better to choose a company that does it themselves, or you are essentially buying from a broker. Underwriters are big name companies that have a huge financial base and have been around for a long time. Some smaller insurance companies may be underwritten by Company A, which is then underwritten by Company B. You can see how complicated this may get and decision making may take a long time. The underwriters are the company that you need the trust in.

Assessment: In the instance of a claim, it is the underwriters who will look at the situation and if they think that something is suspicious, or there are any discrepancies, or the incident requires more information, they are the ones that will investigate the incident further. This will include communicating with police and other bodies. They will also be making a claim against people too. Look at the situation where you are claiming that you are not at fault, but the other person is also claiming they are not at fault, and you can see how the situation can spiral out of control, and why you need to get as much information as possible at the point of the accident or incident.

Just a shop front? Understanding this situation you can see that many 'insurance' companies are actually just shop fronts, and all they do is notify you of the decisions made by the underwriters. This is certainly something to consider when you are purchasing a protection policy.

Track record: Even if you change insurance companies, you might not actually be changing underwriters, and this may be a big consideration for you. Remember everything goes down on a record. If you are ever denied car insurance for example, this will go down on a record somewhere too.

Underwriters are the ones who like to keep all the details and do all the number crunching and decision making. You will want to look at the track record of the underwriter too.

There is nothing worse than paying for years on an insurance premium and not getting the service and car you expect when something goes wrong. You need to research as much as you can yourself.
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May 17, 2011

How to Find the Car Insurance Coverage You Need Without Spending More Than You Can Afford

If you own a car, it goes without saying that car insurance is an absolute necessity. To put it simply, one car accident can wipe out the savings of a lifetime and being pulled over just once without insurance can lead to an overwhelming amount of fees. With that being said, the various types of insurance plans and coverage available can easily exhaust anyone who is not familiar with the insurance terminology. While car insurance gets a bad rep for being expensive, there are ways to afford the exact coverage you need without breaking the bank. To help you decide the car insurance coverage that is right for you, below are the common types of coverages and their details.

                                 car insurance groups

Collision: Collision covers the insured person's car in case of an accident, regardless of is found to be at fault for the accident. A deductible of up to $1000 is usually associated with collision coverage. In case of an accident, anything up to the deductible value has to be borne by the policy owner. Anything beyond the deductible will be paid for by the insurance company, up to the value of the vehicle. The higher the deductible taken, lower the premium will be.

Comprehensive: Comprehensive insurance covers the insured person's car and property inside the car for damage or loss resulting from other agents like fire, floods, vandalism and theft. This generally includes glass coverage as well, which is damage to windshield and windows of the car. Comprehensive coverage also has a deductible similar to the collision coverage.

For new vehicles, it is a good idea to take both collision and comprehensive coverages with low deductible limits. In fact, both these coverages are generally made mandatory for new cars bought on vehicle loans, to protect the lender. As the car grows older, raising the deductible limits will save you money. Experts recommend dropping both these coverages when their combined annual premiums add up to more than 10% of the value of the car.

Uninsured and Under-insured coverages: These cover the insured person and the passengers of the car for pain, suffering and loss of wages resulting from an accident, if the driver at fault has no insurance or inadequate insurance. Experts recommend taking these coverages up to the highest available limit, as the premium addition due to these coverages is not much.

Tim McKinley is a contributing writer for, a site which compares rates and coverages. It also clears up the misconceptions about car insurance with the car insurance groups explained portion of the site.
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May 1, 2011

Taking the Nightmare Out Of Tax Time

There's a certain mania that overtakes people around the end of the financial year. Accountants run around in world of their own, numbers running through their heads at a hundred miles an hour and people scramble to remember where they left that shoebox full of receipts that they were always going to organise but never got round to. it's a time of great stress for a lot of people as they panic at the last minute, but we've put together a list of tips to help you get through tax time without feeling the need to pull your hair out!

                             tax return

Plan Ahead

While it sounds simple, planning ahead for tax time is surprisingly difficult. While people start fresh with the best intentions, they quickly lose their steam and the organisation required to be fully prepared for tax time tends to go out the window. To combat this, put in a solid effort every day until keeping receipts organised becomes a habit, rather than a chore. It takes a few weeks, but if you make the effort straight off the bat, you'll being sensible and organised habits before you know it.

Make Purchases, Donations and Investments With Tax in Mind

Your accountant is a wealth of resource on all types of financial issues, but people tend only to turn to them in the months of June and July. Consulting your accountant before you make major purchases,. investments or donations is an excellent practice to get into---by structuring something just a little differently you could save yourself a lot of money when the end of the financial year rolls around!

Get in Early

Tax accountants become incredibly busy around June/July, so it's important to book in early to see them if you want to get in without a wait. In order to make the paperwork and administrative tasks a lot easier, familiarize yourself with all the documentation you'll need to collect to submit your taxes for that financial year. Often minor changes occur from year to year in terms of additional levies and charges, so make sure you're up to speed on what you'll be liable for.

Never Understate

While it's important to find ways to reduce the amount of money you owe the taxman where possible, never be tempted to overstate your deductions, or understate your income. According to an article on

The Australian Taxation Office uses data matching to check the income reported on your return.

HLB Mann Judd managing partner Steven Toth says this includes income from employers, banks and other financial institutions, share registries, and state and federal government agencies.

The ATO expects to cross- match more than 400 million financial transactions with tax returns this year. Last year data matching found more than 500,000 income discrepancies.

"If you have understated your taxable income and paid too little tax, the penalties can be quite severe," Toth says.
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