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Thinking About Switching Insurance Carriers? Read This First

homeowner's insurance policiesWe all see the commercials from insurance companies about how easy it can be to switch coverage from one to the next. With a simple phone call or a few clicks of the mouse, you could be saving hundreds of dollars with a new carrier. However, insurance expert Linda Rey has some words of warning for those who may be thinking of heading for greener pastures. In her recent post on the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog, ”

Switching Insurance Plans Can Cost You More In The End,” she explains why weighing all of your options beforehand may save you from a financial headache.

Rey points out that unless you are comparing identical policies, you may not be saving money at all. Even worse, your old deal may be gone if you end up switching carriers and then coming back to your original provider.

In her article, Rey shares the story of a client who moved his homeowner’s insurance without talking to her office first. Unfortunately, he was unknowingly purchasing less coverage (which explains why he was saving money.) His new policy had a higher deductible, a lower liability limit and less coverage on his home. Rey says that if he had given her a chance to quote the coverage differently or even to counter offer, she could have helped.

Unfortunately for the client, he figured all of this out too late. Once he decided to revert back to his old company, underwriting guidelines had changed, and he couldn’t get his previous rate for his previous coverage level.

So what can homeowners learn from this exchange? If you really want to save money on your homeowner’s insurance, talk with your current provider first. Visit the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog to read Rey’s full article and for more links to articles on homeowners insurance.

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If You Leave Your Home Temporarily Vacant, Tell Your Insurance Agent

If you have the luxury of spending the summer in cooler climates (though not many places were cool this year) or wintering in sunny Florida, don’t take chances with the property you leave behind for half the year. If something goes wrong while you’re away and you don’t notice it for several months, your insurance could decline coverage.

In her article, “

Insuring a Vacant Home,” which appeared on the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog,  insurance expert Linda Rey shares the story of a man who left his home vacant for an extended period then returned to find a pipe had burst many months before. By the time he discovered it and called his insurance company, he was outside the time limit for making a claim.

There are many reasons properties sit vacant – divorce, taking a temporary job in another city, or even taking plenty of time to move aging parents into assisted living or other types of care. No matter the cause, Rey suggests you always call your insurance agent to let them know what’s happening and to determine whether a different type of coverage is needed.

Vacant homes are sometimes hard to insure. They are more susceptible to burglars and vandals, and no one is around to pay careful attention to things like leaking pipes (Continued…)

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If a Tornado Is Coming, Be Sure to Grab Your Matching Rain Gear and Insurance Documents

homeowners insuranceWhere tornados are prone to strike, most people know the safest places to go in their homes should the sirens sound. But there are those who, if they go to bed knowing that tornado weather may come during the night, will go ahead and coordinate clothes with the raincoat they’ll wear and umbrella they’ll use if the event occurs. It may take an extra moment to make it to the safe place, but they’ll look nice if the tv cameras come.

This is a true description – I personally know more than one of these people.

After reading “

Natural Disaster Insurance Claims: What To Do When a Natural Disaster Strikes”  by Linda Rey, I plan to ask them if they’ve prepared for the REALLY important things they need in case of disaster. In her

Equifax Personal Finance Blog post, Rey reports that more than two-thirds of households have not taken photos or videos of their home and its contents in case of disaster. She goes on to describe ways to document your (Continued…)

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