Why do I need liability insurance for my home?
Many homeowners think that hazard insurance should be enough because they do not expect anyone to slip and fall on their property. While this may never happen, the medical costs required to treat any injuries that do happen can be massive. If they do not have protection, a homeowner may incur huge amounts of debt that can have a negative impact on their credit and finances, possibly even leading to bankruptcy and the loss of their home. Purchasing liability insurance makes sense because the potential consequences of going without coverage are so devastating, even though the probability of needing the coverage is not high.
Will I be covered if I need to rebuild my home after a natural disaster?
This depends on whether your insurance policy covers the hazard that destroyed your home. For example, most standard insurance policies do not cover flood or hurricane damage, so you would not be covered unless you purchased a separate flood insurance policy. Assuming that your insurance covers the cause of the damage, the amount provided will depend on the level of coverage stated in the policy. Most likely, a homeowner will have replacement cost coverage. This is a fixed amount calculated in advance, based on the size and certain other features of your home, and it will be set out in your policy. Replacement cost coverage may not cover all of your costs, but it should cover a large portion of them. Some homeowners get guaranteed replacement coverage, which does cover all of their costs automatically, but these policies are hard to find. Other policies provide actual cash value coverage, which is based on the market value of the home just before the damage or destruction. This is the lowest level of coverage and probably will not cover all of your costs, since it accounts for depreciation.
Do I need extra insurance when I am renting out my condominium?
There are three pre-existing policies that might be involved in this situation: your homeowner’s insurance, the homeowner’s association’s insurance, and any renter’s insurance purchased by the person renting the condominium. The answer will depend on the terms of each of these policies, considered together, but probably the combination will not provide full protection. You may want to purchase a type of insurance for landlords, or you may want to add an endorsement to your homeowner’s insurance policy. In addition, you may want to require your prospective tenant to purchase a certain type of insurance as a condition of the lease.
Do I need insurance for a storage unit?
Storage facilities may or may not purchase insurance to cover their units. Your rental agreement for your unit should specify whether insurance covers it. Often, a renter will need to purchase additional insurance through the storage facility, which is usually not expensive. Sometimes a homeowner’s insurance policy also will provide a limited amount of coverage for storage units.
Will my insurance cover damage from a mudslide?
Generally not. Insurers usually specifically list mudslides among the exclusions in their homeowner’s insurance policies. However, certain types of mudslides that contain a substantial amount of water may be covered under flood insurance policies. These mudslides are known as mudflows because they are essentially a liquid flow carrying dirt, but not carrying trees and other large objects. A homeowner needs to purchase a flood insurance policy separately.
If I cause an accident while I am driving someone else’s car, will their insurance pay?
In most situations, the auto insurance of the car owner will pay for the damage to the other vehicle in a minor accident. You should read the terms of the policy to make sure that you are not excluded under it. Most policies will provide coverage for anyone who is driving the insured person’s vehicle with their permission. If the accident was serious and caused injuries, the costs might exceed the limit of the car owner’s policy. This might mean that your insurance would be pursued to cover the remainder.
Do I need gap insurance for my car?
You only should consider gap insurance for your car if you will owe more on your car loan than what the car is worth. Gap insurance is meant to cover the difference if your car is totaled in an accident. Otherwise, you would need to pay back the difference on your own. You may want to consider purchasing or financing your car in a way that obviates the need for gap insurance.
How can I keep my auto insurance premiums manageable?
The easiest way to control your auto insurance premiums is to drive safely. This will prevent increases based on accidents and traffic tickets, and it even may open the door to a discount based on your safe driving. You also may want to choose a vehicle with plenty of safety features, which may lead to lower premiums because of the lower risk. A driver should contact the insurance company to find out about any discounts for which they may be eligible. They may not know about a discount unless they make the effort to contact the insurer. However, there are certain factors that affect premiums (such as age or gender) that you cannot control.
Do I need life insurance?
Not everyone needs life insurance, so you should not purchase it without considering the needs of your loved ones. For example, if you do not have dependents, you probably do not need it. If your children or other loved ones would receive ample support from family members or other sources of income, life insurance may not be necessary. In other cases, life insurance is not worthwhile because your dependents are on the verge of being able to support themselves. If you have dependents with immediate needs and few alternative sources of support, however, or if your estate will be bogged down in probate for some time, life insurance may make sense.
Can I prevent a careless parent from mismanaging a child’s money from a life insurance policy?
Yes, you can create a trust under the Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA). This will allow you to name someone other than the child’s parent as the custodian of the money. The trust will last until the child reaches 18, 21, or 25, depending on the state. South Carolina is the only state that does not allow these trusts. An alternative might be to set up a child’s trust, which will contain the proceeds of the life insurance policy after you die. An adult other than the child’s parent can manage this type of trust as well.