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The Importance of Reviewing Your Insurance Policies During The COVID-19 Pandemic

The Importance of Reviewing Your Insurance Policies During The COVID-19 PandemicThe COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm. Millions of people all over the world have been infected and businesses have ground to a halt. During this time, it is important for everyone to take a breath, pause, and look at their insurance policies.

The reality is that the economic crisis is following in the footsteps of the obvious public health emergency. In order for everyone to hold their finances together, it is important to explore all of the options. This includes looking at insurance policies.

Business Interruption Insurance

One of the first policies or riders that everyone has to look for is called business interruption insurance. This is an insurance policy that might be able to assist companies that are struggling with reduced revenue streams due to interruptions in their normal business operations.

For example, if a business is forced to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this might fall under the category of business interruption insurance. This can help businesses bridge the gap until they can reopen again.

Civil Authority Clauses

This is a feature that is common in property insurance. This insurance claim can be triggered if government policies restrict the entry of people onto the property of the policyholder. If this restriction leads to lost income, then the insurance policy can be triggered. Everyone should check their policies to see if this clause is included as this can provide funds to businesses that might not otherwise be able to stay open.

Defensive Policies And Riders

Finally, defensive policies are often put in place to help companies defend against lawsuits that might be filed against the company related to injuries and illnesses. Without a doubt, there will be a slew of lawsuits filed related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Defensive policies can help companies cover legal fees, settlement costs, and other expenses related to these lawsuits.

Defensive policies are also called D&O insurance (Directors and Officers Insurance) as well as General Liability Insurance. It is important to read the insurance policy carefully to see if these policies are included.

Businesses need to explore every available option when it comes to reopening. These insurance policies can help them survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Bidding War Is Taking Place Among Homebuyers

A Bidding War Is Taking Place Among HomebuyersWhile businesses have fallen on hard times during the past few months, there are signs that the economy is going to start to recover quickly. This could mean that homebuyers are entering the market again as well.

With summer being a historically hot time for homebuyers all over the country, there are a lot of experts saying that buyers need to get ready for a bidding war.

There are not a lot of homes on the market right now, as sellers are still a bit reluctant to put their homes back on the market with the economy just starting its recovery process.

The end result is that there is a disconnect between supply and demand. This imbalance is causing home prices to climb upward as homebuyers get into a bidding war.

Homebuyers Might Be Surprised

Many homebuyers are surprised that prices are actually rising instead of falling. When the last recession hit, home prices actually fell significantly. This is because mortgage defaults were the cause of the last recession, which is why home prices fell so dramatically.

The cause of this economic downturn is different. Due to a limited supply of homes, this is leading to more competition among homebuyers. This leads to more competition, handfuls of offers for a single home, and a bidding war. In order to find the right home, there are a few tips that homebuyers need to keep in mind.

Put Forth A More Competitive Offer

Those who are looking for a home right now need to place themselves in a position to compete against multiple offers from other homebuyers. Some of the most important tips to follow include:

  • Hire a local expert who understands the state of the market right now who can help homebuyers find the right home. Right now, the real estate market is not normal. It takes an expert to understand the ins and outs of buying a home in this market.
  • Get pre-approved from the market to make sure the offer looks serious to the seller. Those who get pre-approved from a lender will demonstrate a strong desire to buy, pushing their offer to the top.

There are ways to put forth a competitive offer even in this challenging real estate market.

The 5-Minute Guide To Flood Insurance: What It Is, How It Works, And Whether You Need It

The 5-Minute Guide to Flood Insurance: What It Is, How It Works, and Whether You Need ItYou’ve got house insurance, and assume your property is covered for any type of detrimental occurrence that can possibly take place.

However, not all homeowners are aware that home insurance policies don’t necessarily cover damage related to a flood, as the risks are too great. As a result, homeowners must purchase flood insurance through a private company.

Floods are one of the most common hazards in the US, costing billions of dollars in damage to properties every year.

Since this is a common issue lately, the federal government updating these policies currently so please talk with your real estate professional or local insurance company for the most up to date information.

What Is Flood Insurance?

Flood insurance policies are typically made available to homeowners in flood-prone areas. The majority of insurance policies cover some form of water damage, from things like leaking faucets to bursting plumbing pipes.

However, such policies don’t cover water damage as a result of flooding of rivers or sewers that cause water to ruin a home.

Specific flood protection is provided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Standard flood insurance policies cover “direct physical damage” to a property resulting from floods.

A separate policy must be purchased to protect the belongings inside the home or building. Homeowners can buy up to $250,000 in coverage for the home, and up to $100,000 in coverage for possessions. Even renters are permitted to purchase flood insurance to cover their possessions.

How Does Flood Insurance Work?

Flood insurance isn’t sold by FEMA directly, but rather is sold to customers through private insurance agencies. Premium rates are determined by the government, and they remain consistent from one insurer to the next.

How much a homeowner pays for their own specific flood insurance depends on a number of factors, including how prone the neighborhood is to floods and how much coverage a homeowner wants. The average annual premium is approximately $520 for $100,000 worth of coverage for a property with no basement, and approximately $615 annually for a property with a basement.

Filing A Flood Insurance Claim

The claims process is like any other insurance claim. Once the claim is filed, the damage will be analyzed by an adjustor assigned by the insurance company. A “proof of loss” form will need to filled out and submitted to the insurer within 60 days of the flood occurrence.

Do You Need Flood Insurance?

It’s necessary to find out if you are eligible for flood insurance before buying it. For residents of a community to be eligible, the community needs to enforce floodplain statutes to lessen the chances of flood damage, after which FEMA ensures that such regulations are followed.

Only those who reside in a community that participates in NFIP can buy insurance – today, about 20,000 communities across the country participate in this program.

FEMA offers maps that outline what areas are at high risk for floods, and those that are at moderate-to-low risk. The law requires homeowners to have flood insurance if the properties are located in a high-risk zone and have a federally-backed mortgage. This is because properties located in these high-risk areas have a 26 percent chance of suffering flood damage during the 30 years that it would take to pay off a mortgage.

Homeowners are not required to buy flood insurance if they reside in a moderate-to-low-risk zone, though it may be a good idea to purchase it anyway. Properties outside the high-risk areas make up over 20 percent of NFIP claims. Homeowners in these areas can purchase up to $200,000 in flood insurance.

The bottom line is, even if you don’t necessarily live in a high-risk zone, this doesn’t mean your home won’t ever get flooded. Many conditions can result in flood damage, including clogged drain systems, flash rainstorms, and damaged levees.

Condo Damage Caused By Contractors Hired By The HOA: Who Pays?

Condo Damage Caused By Contractors Hired By The HOA: Who Pays?For those who live in a condo, they know that there are numerous advantages that come with this living arrangement. Living in a condo means that other people are going to be responsible for landscaping and common areas while homeowners are still able to build equity in the home.

At the same time, the HOA has quite a bit of power and one of the biggest concerns that people might have involves who pays for the damage in the event that something in the building has been damaged. There are a few important points to keep in mind.

Roof Replacement Contractors

Sometimes, the HOA might hire contractors to work on the roof. During this process, there might be a leak that develops in the roof. This could leak through and damage condos that are on the top floor of the building. This could damage the kitchen ceiling. The association might try to get out of paying to fix certain damages.

It is important to note that those who live in a condo building buy into everything that goes along with ownership. This includes the management and the contractors that are hired by the manager.

Read The Document Carefully

When people move into a condo building, there are certain bylaws they agree to follow. Sometimes, this packet might state that the unit owner is responsible for any damage to a unit that is caused by the association. The bylaws usually state something along the lines of “unit owners need to have homeowner’s insurance.” In this case, the insurance carrier should help the unit owner cover some of the costs of the repairs.

If the condo docs are drafted in this manner, then the unit owner is responsible for the repairs even though the contractor caused the damage.

File An Insurance Claim

While this might not sound like a perfect solution, the unit owner might still not have to pay for the damages. This is why unit owners need to have home insurance. The next step should be to file a claim with the home insurance company. This claim might be able to cover the cost of the repairs that were caused by the contractors hired by the HOA.

The Top New Power Tools For Home Improvement Projects Currently On The Market

The Top New Power Tools For Home Improvement Projects Currently On The MarketFor many people, their home is the most important investment they will ever make. Therefore, it only makes sense that people will want to spend time improving their house. Sometimes, they simply want to make a nicer place to live.

In other cases, they might be looking to raise the value of their home. Regardless, it is important for people to think about the power tools they are going to use to get the job done.

The right tool could make the difference between a successful project and having to hire someone else. There are a few tools on the market that every homeowner should consider.

A New Power Drill

This is usually the first item on the list when it comes to a home improvement project. While many homeowners probably already have a power drill, there are a few new models that have reached the market. Take a look at some of the top brands and look at their latest models.

Sometimes, they have removable drill bits for specialized tasks, different power settings, and could even reverse the direction in which they spin. This is important for every home improvement project.

A Circular Saw

This is one of the most important saws that everyone should have when it comes to a home improvement project. When it comes to this saw, safety should always come first; however, these saws are popular because they can slice through thick materials with ease. They come both with and without a cord. When it comes to strength, a circular saw is tough to beat. They are ideal for working in tight spaces.

A Cordless Screwdriver

While a screwdriver is a traditional tool for home improvement projects, a power screwdriver is ideal. A cordless option takes the effort out of most tasks and makes it easier for someone to complete home improvement tasks in a short amount of time. They can even spin in both directions, making them useful for both tightening and loosening screws.

Find The Right Power Tools

These are just a few of the top power tools for home improvement projects. Everyone must take the time to find the right power tools for their next home improvement job.

Buying A Home: You Might Be Able To Skip The Home Appraisal – But Should You?

Buying A Home: You Might Be Able To Skip The Home Appraisal - But Should You?When someone is thinking about buying a home, one of the key parts is the home appraisal. The appraisal ensures that the buyer is paying a fair price for the home while also protecting the mortgage lender against taking a loss.

On the other hand, an appraisal is also an added cost of the buyer can be a serious source of stress for both sellers and brokers.

Recently, government agencies have passed a rule saying that home appraisals are no longer going to be required on homes that are less than $400,000; however, many lenders will still require them.

Therefore, when should someone consider skipping a home appraisal to save some money?

Appraisals And Mortgages

One of the first ways to take a look at the value of a home appraisal is by comparing it to the mortgage. The two go hand in hand. Appraisals are important because they protect not only the seller and buyer but also the lender. The lender wants to make sure they know what the property is worth.

Therefore, an appraisal is more about valuing the property and not about the price of the home.

In addition, lenders make loans based on either the sale price or the appraised value, whichever is lower. Lenders do this to make sure that buyers have invested enough in their own property.

Borrowers And Appraisals

In addition to considering the lender, it is also important to consider the borrower. An appraisal is helpful for the borrower because this prevents someone from overpaying for a property.

Therefore, they act as a form of consumer protection. On the other hand, they also cost the borrower a few hundred dollars. If money is tight, this can be a serious problem and could dull the appeal of a home.

Choosing Between The Two Options

In the end, people should consider skipping the appraisal if it saves them money. Lenders might still require someone to obtain an evaluation as a form of protection. If the buyer is not confident in this evaluation method, then a traditional evaluation might be a better approach.

It is important for people to feel confident in the sale price, regardless of how this happens.