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Securing Your Property With an Insurance Hold

Jun 14, 2008
How stable is your property insurance company? Financial strength is perhaps the top criterion when it comes to choosing an insurance company, as the ability to pay claims and obligations depends on this. As a property owner, it is your duty to find out an insurance company's performance even before signing up for a policy. Nothing says reliability better than Standard & Poor's financial strength ratings. S&P issues reports and ratings on financial institutions, including thousands of insurance companies worldwide. Standard & Poor's Security Circle Icons are your assurance that an insurer has voluntarily underwent S&P review and has one of the top four ratings. When buying insurance, look for the circle.

Condominium insurance has five coverage areas. Dwelling coverage refers to the interior structure, including paneling and wallpaper. Personal property insurance is separate. Add jewelry, antiques, collectibles and art to the coverage amount. As some items depreciate, the replacement value is higher than the actual cash value. Loss of use coverage is for expenses in case you need to move out of the condo because of damage. Personal liability coverage is for medical and legal costs for bodily injuries or property damage on others while on your property. Medical coverage is for injuries sustained on your property, regardless of your legal responsibility for the injury. No "Fault" Insurance is for natural disaster not covered by standard condominium insurance: earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. There is rarely any insurance coverage for damages caused by pets, pests, termites, and rodents, or for war and nuclear accidents.

Insurance schemes for condo owners are different from regular homeowners. This is because the condominium association usually has insurance to cover common areas such as building exterior and walkways. Condo owners still have to protect themselves from losses and damage. The condo owners' insurance policy includes insurance for their units. Before purchasing one, find out the association's coverage, which parts of the building are not insured. Ask if you need flood insurance, what protection you have against liability claims, what medical expenses are covered if guests are accidentally injured on your premises, what additional insurance you need for valuables, and if additional living expenses can be reimbursed if the unit is not livable for any reason.

A survey conducted by Liberty Mutual and the Internation Association of Fire Fighters of revealed interesting results about fire safety in America. Although most respondents were concerned about home fires, many are negligent and lack awareness and education in such situations. It was found that 90 percent of Americans had a basic understanding of the importance of fire safety measures, 7 million have no smoke alarm, 37 million have no fire extinguisher, and 50 million Americans do not have a fire escape plan. Risky behaviors are also common: 26 percent reported leaving food that was cooking unattended, 16 percent said they have disabled the smoke alarm while cooking, 32 percent reported having holiday lights on when they were not home; and 12 percent said they have left candles burning unattended. Many other misconceptions were brought to light by the survey, showing the need for a better understanding of the causes of fire and what can be done to prevent it.
About the Author
Jon Caldwell is a professional content manager. Much of his articles can be found at http://thepropertyinsuranceblog.com
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