Category: Insurance

28 Sep 2010

What is a 4506 Tax Form?

Most every borrower will now be required to complete and sign the Tax Transcript form(4506) when they apply for a mortgage loan.  While this requirement is not a new one, borrowers should be made aware that this form will now be sent to the IRS during your application process.

The Tax Transcript form, which checks the past two years of federal tax returns, verifies to the lender that the income given to them is accurate. The IRS then confirms the information or alerts the lender to a discrepancy.  In the case of a discrepancy, the lender is given copies of the Taxes on file with the IRS.

For the borrower who is honest and submits accurate tax returns to the lender, this process should not be an issue or cause for concern.  It does have implications however, for those who submit false tax returns.

22 Sep 2010

Your New Home- Are You Protected?

The process of buying a new home is an exciting and daunting one. It can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of it all, especially when purchasing your new insurance coverage.  You may want to stop and think about a few things before diving in.

Your furniture, while in transit to your new home, will NOT be covered by your new home coverage.   Be sure to discuss this with your current agent.  Your moving company may provide some coverage but it will not be as broad as what can be provided under your homeowners insurance.    Can you imagine if something happens to your mother’s china and you had no coverage for breakage?   What if your antique desk was destroyed?

1 Sep 2010

Hurricane Earl and the Insurance Industry

As the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina passes this week, and with Hurricane Earl on the horizon for the Carolinas, now is the perfect time to address how an impending hurricane or storm can affect insurance coverage for customers who are planning on closing on a home.

As soon as a storm is “named,” insurance companies reserve the right to temporarily revoke binding authority for the agents who sell their products and coverages until the danger of the storm has passed.  After the storm leaves the area of concern, the insurance companies reinstate their agent’s ability to offer and sell insurance.

18 Aug 2010

Identity Theft is Alive- Are you Protecting Yourself?

Picture this.  You sit down one morning to check your online banking account and see a number of charges that you don’t recognize—some are even out of state and you haven’t been traveling!  You also check your credit card statement and find that you have no available balance because of purchases made that you don’t remember making.

The sinking suspicion you feel is correct- you are a victim of identity theft!

Out of every 100,000 people, roughly 67 report an identity theft claim.  Identity theft scams are on the rise and, despite the perception, it is not just the elderly who fall victim to them.  The criminals that want your information and intend to assume your identity have proven that they will go to any length to get it- stealing mail, using internet pop-ups, and some get it from the most reliable source- YOU.

10 Aug 2010

Your Home is Flooded…Are You Protected?

In all my years in the insurance industry, flood coverage is, by far, the most misunderstood concept by my clients.  So here goes….

Flood insurance is not covered on the homeowners policy.

(I’ll say it one more time.)

FLOOD INSURANCE IS NOT COVERED ON THE HOMEOWNERS POLICY!

The homeowners policy specifically excludes coverage for flood damage.  What that means to you is this:  you MUST buy a separate flood policy in order to protect your home against a flood.

30 Jul 2010

Does Your Car Need An Insurance Physical?

Last month, my own personal auto insurance policy was up for renewal- so as Pat Riley had recently pointed out—it was time for my own insurance physical!  When I looked over my policy, I realized that the use of one of my vehicles had changed from a “commute” back and forth to work to “pleasure” use.  When we changed that usage, I saved some premium!  Also, I realized that the same vehicle was now more than 10 years old, and it didn’t make a lot of sense to carry both comprehensive and collision coverage anymore- so we removed that as well.

The changes to my policy directly related to the changes in my life—and had I not sat down for a few minutes to review what was different from last year, I may have been paying for coverage I didn’t really need anymore.

14 Jul 2010

A Checklist for Your Homeowners Insurance Physical!

Earlier this week, our own Pat Riley posted an insightful blog about the importance of getting an “insurance physical” each year. As Pat mentioned, the best time to review and update is a couple of months prior to the date that you purchased your home.

If you’re like me, you like lists.  So, here’s our list of helpful questions to think about and discuss with your trusted insurance advisor during your check up:

12 Jul 2010

Have You Had Your Insurance Physical Yet?

Buying a home is undoubtedly one of the biggest and most important purchases you will make. In addition to its financial value, your home houses (excuse the pun) your loved ones, most prized possessions and more memories than you could possibly count. That said, wouldn’t you want to have the most up-to-date homeowners insurance policy? I think so.

Your policy should reflect the value of your home and belongings. Therefore, each year, at least sixty days prior to the date that you purchased your home, you should review your homeowner’s insurance policy. 

7 Jul 2010

Does Your Umbrella Keep You Covered?

Every year, the number of lawsuits that are initiated in this country increase in droves.  And every day, insurance agents try to protect their clients from financial harm by offering excess liability coverage or “umbrella” coverage.

The name may sound a little funny….and no, the umbrella policy does not insure your actual umbrella that keeps you dry.  In fact, the protection that this policy provides to an insured is one of the best deals on the planet!

Have you ever heard someone say, “Well, you can’t get blood from a turnip?”  This is often the response and mentality of the consumer when the discussion begins about the possibility of being sued.  Mistakenly, most clients think that if they are sued and don’t have the money to pay the judgment, it just magically goes away!  Sadly, that’s not the case.

17 Jun 2010

How Much Insurance Does Your Home Need?

If you’ve watched or read the news within the past year, you are aware that the home sales market has made headlines on numerous occasions. More often than not, these headlines are often accompanied by stories relating to the worst economic situation this country has seen in years.

Mixed in with these stories, we are also informed about tragic accounts of apartment buildings going up in flames or homes flooded with water – people’s lives forever altered in a matter of minutes.

What is the common link between all of these stories?

To someone who has not lost their home due to a natural disaster or owned a home before, the amount of insurance needed to protect their biggest asset may not be a primary concern.  But after 25 years in the insurance industry, the debate over the market value of a home versus replacement cost value of a home is one that I, as an insurance advisor, continue to face every single day.

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