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Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey Insurance

Your Credit Rating And The Cost Of Home Insurance

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In New Jersey, and most states, your credit rating makes a big difference in the price of homeowners insurance.

The majority of insurance companies look at your credit score as part of their pricing for Home Insurance in New Jersey.  It may not show directly as your credit rating.  But most companies make credit history part of their process for reviewing your behavior as a home owner.

Insurance companies will charge more or less, sometimes much less, based on that combined scoring.  It can raise or lower prices by 50% or more, based on extreme cases.  We represent an insurance company that has 50 possible tiers, heavily affected by financial stability scoring.  That can really drop or raise your homeowners (or automobile) insurance price.  Others put less weight on those scores.

Two points:

1) We at GBW Insurance never see your actual credit score.  We do see the pricing tier to which that insurance company assigned you, but not the underlying factors.  The insurance company will give you an explanation of their general process; they have to in order to obey laws and regulations.

2)  Asking for a home insurance quote does not affect your credit score.  When a mortgage company pulls your credit score, that does go on your credit history.  An insurance company inquiry is a “soft” pull because it does not mean that you are taking on additional debt nor that you have done anything wrong with payments.  It does not have an impact beyond the price you would pay for insurance in that company.

A good credit rating can allow you to save a lot of money over time.

If you do have a bad credit rating, you can bring it up over time.  That’s important for a lot of reasons other than insurance prices.

You can eventually get your credit rating back to where it should be.  And in most states credit rating problems due to divorce or hospital bills can be changed for insurance scoring purposes.

If you have questions or need a quote, call GBW Insurance 800-548-2329.  Or click here to give us basic information to start a quick quote for you.

Swimming Pools and Your House Insurance

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there are about 10 1/2 million swimming pools in the United States.

Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for very young children.  And the CDC statistics say more than 3,400 people drown in the US each year.

What can you do to protect people around your swimming pool?

Keep track of kids.  Don’t allow kids near the pool when they’re alone.  CDC statistics also show that drowning deaths of 85 year olds and older climb again.

Fence in the pool.  Have a locking gate.  Kids, whether little kids or local young people who come in without your permission, have no perspective on danger.  Insurance companies won’t insure pools without a fence.

Keep a safety kit.  Include a flotation device you can throw, your strainer with a long handle, first aid kit, scissors to cut clothing or hair free from a drain (or even to cut the pool cover).

Have an alarm that will go off if someone falls in.  You can save a child, or even a pet.

Diving boards.  Not every insurance company will insure pools with diving boards.  Again, children suffer the most diving board injuries.

Keep all equipment and covers in good repair.

Don’t leave toys floating in the pool when not in use.

Click here to check the CDC web site for more pool injury statistics and safety tips.

Thanks to the MSO insurance organization for much of this material.

Call GBW Insurance at 800-548-2329 extensions 112 or 117 if you would like homeowners policy information, advice, or insurance quotes in NJ.

Can you get Flood Insurance in time for a Hurricane?

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IMG_0692It’s too late when the flood arrives.  It’s too late when the hurricane is landing.  It’s too late two weeks before the hurricane arrives.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has a 30 day waiting period unless you’re buying a new home or re-financing.  So if the peak of hurricane season is in August and September (for NJ and the rest of the Northeast) you have to start a month before.

Floods can occur on the side of a hill, or miles from rivers or lakes or sea shores.  25% of all flood losses happen in non-flood zones.

Flood insurance is not expensive in the low threat zones.  For higher value homes, it may be possible to bundle home and flood insurance in one policy.   Check with your insurance advisor.

If you’d like to have us check several insurance companies for you (in New Jersey) call 800-548-2329, extension 112.  Or click here to send some basic info to us so we can get started for you.

And yes, the baby elephant in this picture did make it across the flooding river.  His mom and aunties helped.

Insurance Losses from Spring Storms

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We were asked what were the majority of losses that were not covered after the March storms.
The wind related losses were generally covered. Business property and homes almost always (and we hope for our clients, always) have coverage for damage caused by wind and wind driven objects. Some homes had trees fall without damaging the house or blocking access. In that case, with most home coverage, there is little or no coverage. But damage to your home or a neighbors, and to some extent when access is blocked, should be covered.

A few of our clients did not have coverage for backup of sewer and drains. It doesn’t make us feel any better to know that we have offered it to every client; but not everyone takes it. Backup of sewer and drains coverage costs about $25 annually for every $5000 of coverage. It is designed for just what it says. And that is not covered by basic Homeowners insurance without adding the backup endorsement. Some idiot agent was on tv recently saying that all Homeowners policies covered backup. Not true. Some throw in a bit of coverage, most can be endorsed, but don’t count on it unless you know you bought it.