Engagement Rings: Insurance Pros & Cons »
Insuring your wedding ring saves you headache and heartache in certain situations, but is it really worth it? Find out the pros an…
Insuring your wedding ring saves you headache and heartache in certain situations, but is it really worth it? Find out the pros an…
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Suzanne Powers and her team were so effective, they sold our house twice--two years apart! Why did she sell our house twice? After the first sale, we weren't clear about where we wanted to go. We were also overwhelmed by the process of downsizing. The second time, Suzanne referred us to a company that helped us sort, donate, and pack our household. It was a godsend. Suzanne and her team were consistently encouraging, professional, and patient. Other professionals in the field spoke unsolicited of her high level of integrity, professionalism and commitment to her clients. Selling a house is an emotional, sometimes draining experience. Suzanne and Powers Realty made it as seamless a transition for us as it could possibly be. And, most people only have to sell their house once. :)
My first encounter with Powers Realty happened when I was driving down Lake Dr. on a Sunday and noticed these purple Powers Realty signs all over the place, where previously there was nothing. I wondered who this Powers person was that was taking over the North Shore. A couple years later, I had the pleasure of working with one of her agents (Mike Lu) to purchase a home and was very impressed wit h his level of professionalism and knowledge of the transaction process. I was more impressed to learn that he had only been working with Suzanne for a few months. The level of detail and care put into my own transaction gave me the confidence to refer others to Mike Lu, and the Suzanne Powers Realty Group; knowing they would all experience the highest level of care.
I went to every local realtors' open houses before i decided to list with Powers Realty. Gretchen and Suzanne were by far the most welcoming and helpful. They were straight forward about what buyers want in Shorewood and helped me with what I needed to do to get my house to that point. I decided to take their advice and I spent $2,300. in refinishing floors, painting, cleaning, etc. They did a great job at staging my house and even cleaned areas I missed. I was impressed by the amount of time they dedicated. They were very professional and had a Powers agent present at every showing. They sold my house in three weeks for more than I thought they could. They charged the same as other realtors who do not include staging. I would use them again.
Second to none - I am so proud to call Powers Realty Group my home. I have been a Realtor for almost 20 years and have worked in several different environments. I can say without hesitation that the high level of integrity, tenacity, sincerity and discretion that are at the core of this company are unmatched anywhere. Our agents are smart and experienced yet a day does not go by that we are not se arching for ways to better serve, better perform and go far beyond the expectations of our clients. We are not satisfied with being good or being great. We want to be the best, because we love what we do, we love the people and the families we work with and we think doing business this way is just the right way to do things.
Powers Realty is a first class real estate company all the way. From their expert knowledge of the local market to their unparalleled customer service it's no wonder they are growing so fast. I've known and worked with Suzanne and Gretchen for several years now and consider them to the best in the business. They truly care about their clients and giving them the best experience possible when buying or selling. This group is one of the most knowledgeable, professional, and passionate real estate teams I've worked with. They represent their clients with integrity and are really engaged in the local community. I would strongly recommend them to anyone buying or selling. You will be impressed.
Last January my husband lost his job, and I was in a panic trying to find us a place to move to with only one income. I saw Anderson Real Estate on my way to work and decided to stop on my way home. I was greeted by one of the most pleasant women I have ever met. I don't know who the other reviews are describing because she was so comforting and willing to help when I was clearly upset about my current situation. Our family has been living in one of their town homes for six months now, and while a problem came up regarding a bathroom leak maintenance was prompt and made sure it was taken care. Jil has always been very professional.
Where do I begin - I can honestly say that I cannot even imagine working for any other Real Estate Broker. Recently, I celebrated my 2nd year anniversary here at The Powers Realty Group and what a glorious day that was. The knowledge that I have gained working here is priceless. It is so great to work for a company that goes above & beyond for their clients. At Powers Realty we know that the key to success is happy clients, and without that, we have nothing. Everyone I work with has the talent & skill set necessary to be successful and I am proud to be a part of this very special team.
I retained Suzanne Powers of Powers Realty Group to sell my home. Suzanne staged my home, held open houses, and brought numerous buyers to my home. Unfortunately the market took a downturn and I was unable to sell my home. Suzanne however did provide a solution for my family and was able to secure a renter for my home. Suzanne's professionalism and market expertise was like none other real estate agent we have encountered. We will continue to refer Suzanne to our friends, colleagues, and family for all their real estate needs.
Powers Realty Group has top agents working together as a team to provide the highest level of service for their clients. Whether buying a home or selling your home, they are the team to make it happen. Suzanne Powers and her team have proven time and time again to be a leader in the industry. Their professionalism, wisdom and dedication is key to getting to the closing table in a timely and smooth fashion. I recommend Powers Realty Group to anyone buying or selling their home.
I have had the pleasure of working with Suzanne Powers, and most of her team now for the past several years and they continue to impress me. Their enthusiasm and dedication to their customers, team members and other professionals is why I would recommend Suzanne, Gretchen or any of the other incredible agents on the team. If you are buying or selling, Powers Realty is who you want to work with. They are serving the community with integrity.
To mitigate the risk of loss, people purchase insurance policies from a company. When buying a policy, the person agrees to pay a premium, which is small, regular payment based on the losses that may occur. If the insurance provider determines there is a greater chance of risk as compared to the average policy, the premium is usually higher. Premiums are often paid monthly, and can add up over time up to be greater than the expense of replacing the insured item.
Many types of insurance only cover a certain amount of risk on an item. The amount the policyholder must pay before an insurance policy begins covering an expense is called the deductible. In the event of damage or loss to whatever the policy covers, the policyholder is responsible for the deductible no matter what. If the cost of damage or loss is less than the deductible amount, the insurance company does not pay anything. If the cost is greater than the deductible, the policyholder only pays the deductible, while the insurance pays the rest. Generally, the deductible amount is related to your premium, with a higher deductible usually requiring a lower premium, and vice-versa.
Selecting the right insurance involves careful research and evaluating many different options for coverage. This is why many people use an insurance agent to assist with making the right choice depending on their needs and financial situation. Agents often interview potential or current clients to get an idea of which insurance policies would benefit them the most. Based on their needs and individual risk, agents can often give potential customers a quote, which serves as a cost estimate for a specific policy. This is only a rough idea of what the policy will cost, because evaluating the risk associated with a given customer can take time. Insurance companies often compile an insurance score to quantify the risk an individual poses and calculate premiums accordingly. Credit scores play a major role in insurance scores, but past insurance-claim history is also taken into account.
While agents often specialize in a particular category of insurance, some sell several different types of insurance. Agents can work for a larger insurance company or operate independently, selling policies from several different insurers.
Almost anything of value can be insured to protect against loss due to a variety of circumstances. Insurance policies are very specific in the items they protect and in what event the policy holders will be reimbursed. Some of the most common insurance policies cover things we all use.
Millions of Americans drive a car to get from place to place each day, so it makes sense that auto insurance is one of the most commonly used types. In most states, the law requires drivers to maintain an active insurance policy on any car, up to a certain amount. Most car owners are required at minimum to purchase liability insurance, which protects against damage for which the policyholder is at fault. Liability insurance covers damage to property as well as any injuries sustained in an accident. It's important to note liability insurance only covers damage or injuries of others, not the policyholder themselves. In addition to liability insurance, car owners can also purchase coverage for their own vehicle and medical expenses in the event of an accident. For this purpose, liability, vehicle and medical coverage are often packaged together in a single policy.
Insurance can also be purchased for other vehicles, like motorcycles, ATVs, boats or RVs, and generally functions similarly to car insurance. Policies for alternative vehicles may have higher premiums if they are considered more dangerous, or might include other coverage options specific to the vehicle. Many companies that provide auto insurance will also offer coverage for motorcycles, ATVs, boats and RVs.
Your home, condo or apartment is probably the most valuable thing you own or otherwise pay for, so it makes sense to get it insured. Homeowners insurance is important not just for the security of the house itself, but for its ability to cover possessions inside the home as well. Many mortgage lenders also require an active home insurance policy.
Like auto insurance, homeowners insurance is typically bundled together with policies covering many different items or categories of items. The primary coverage type is for the dwelling, insuring the house itself and all structures attached to it. Policies may also cover property within the home, with premiums varying depending on the value of all assets. Personal liability may also be included for damage or injuries sustained on your property that you are responsible for, much like auto insurance.
Property insurance also may cover certain major events outside of your control. These are known as perils, and may include fire, flooding, natural disasters and other catastrophic events. You may want to purchase insurance against one or more of these perils if you live in a high-risk area. Flood insurance is an exception, however, and can be purchased through the government-sponsored National Flood Insurance Program. Your lender may require this if you live in a flood-prone area.
To help pay for medical expenses, many people rely on their health insurance. With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, almost every American is required to enroll in a health care plan, or they face a penalty. Health insurance works similarly to other forms of insurance, although it is probably used to cover expenses more often, since car accidents and home damage are relatively rare compared to doctor visits and the need for medicine. Health insurance also operates on a premium-deductible model, and policyholders can choose what level of coverage works best for their lifestyle. For example, if you visit doctors very infrequently, you may consider a plan with a low premium and a higher deductible. On the other hand, people who require regular medical care may wish to pay a higher premium in exchange for more coverage from their deductible. Dental and vision care are sold as separate plans and are not required by law.
When someone dies unexpectedly or is injured severely enough to be unable to work, it can be a financial disaster for their family or loved ones. Many people choose to purchase a life insurance policy to support their family in the event their regular income is suddenly lost. Life insurance comes in two basic types: term and universal. With a term life insurance plan, you pay a premium for a predetermined amount of time, usually 10 years or more. If you die at any point in that timeframe, your family receives a death benefit. If you're still around when the term is over, the coverage is canceled and you receive nothing. Universal life covers your entire life, and usually delivers a minimum benefit at death.
Travel insurance is available for individuals who want to protect against unexpected setbacks in the course of travel, whether it's losing luggage or medical treatment abroad. Travel insurance may prove particularly useful for people who travel a lot for work or often visit remote locations. Travel insurance can take the form of either specific or blanket coverage. Specific coverage is useful for covering only certain risks, like medical emergencies or unexpected trip cancelation. Blanket coverage may cover some or all of your expenses for your entire trip.
Pet insurance is a relatively new product that may help cover the costs of medical care for a dog, cat or other domestic animal. Medical care for animals can be very costly, particularly because insurance for them is rare. By paying into a premium, you can help offset the cost of unexpected emergencies as well as routine checkups and medication. While virtually unheard of a few years ago, pet insurance has become more popular as the cost of veterinarian care has continued to rise.
Umbrella insurance is extra coverage from liability for other insurance policies, usually home or auto insurance. Consumers may choose to purchase an umbrella policy if their home or car is more expensive than a typical policy would be able to cover. For example, most car insurance liability policies cover at least $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident. But if the accident involves a very valuable car, or the victim is willing to pursue legal action, insurance may not even begin to cover the full cost. You may want to hedge your risk by purchasing umbrella insurance to add extra protection to your existing policy.
To receive a payout for an insurance policy, the policyholder must file a claim with the insurance company. The basics of the process are straightforward, but can vary depending on the type of insurance.
Claims Adjusters and Examiners
A claims adjuster or claims examiner is an employee of an insurance company, and the person responsible for evaluating claims and determining if the company will reimburse the policyholder at the amount provided. An adjuster inspects claims related to property damage, as in the case of auto or home insurance policies. Claims examiners are typically involved in health and life insurance, and review medical records to determine the proper payout for major medical procedures.
How To Make a Claim
Filing an insurance claim can be stressful and confusing, but you need to begin the process as soon as possible to make certain you can recover your losses. It's important to note that in the case of emergencies, you should always call 911 first. The safety and health of yourself and others takes precedent over insurance.
Auto Insurance Claim: If you're involved in an accident, you need to call the police right away and have them document the situation. You can file a claim upon obtaining the police report. It's also a good idea, if possible, to take your own notes at the scene. The most important things to record are what happened before the accident, the date and time, traffic signs in the area and road conditions. Also be sure to get the other driver's name, address, license plate number and insurance information. Even photos taken with a cell phone camera can help the claims process. Once you have this documentation, call your insurance company right away.
Homeowners Insurance Claim: In the case of damage, take pictures of the affected area as soon as any safety or health emergencies are resolved. Take note of what happened and all the relevant circumstances and report to your insurer as soon as possible. If any of your possessions were damaged, use an inventory of your important assets and make note of this in the claim. Once an adjuster has made their own report, review it for accuracy.
Life Insurance Claim: Send your insurer a claim form for each beneficiary in the plan, as well as a certified copy of the policyholder's death certificate. With the proper information, life insurance claims are generally straightforward. Problems may arise if the policyholder has died within two years of opening the policy. In this case, an attorney may be needed to settle the claim.
Insurance is a wise investment, but it can make a dent in your monthly budget. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to trim the fat off your premiums and make certain you are paying only as much as you need.
Shop and Compare
Perhaps the best way to save on any insurance policy is to take the time to compare prices between as many companies and plans as possible. Even after you've chosen a plan and started paying into it, consider looking around again when it comes time to renew the policy. Consider using an independent agent when searching for a new insurance policy. While traditional agents can still find a good deal, independent agents can choose from a variety of providers and tailor your coverage to your specific needs. The Internet has also made comparison shopping easier than ever before. Potential customers can often get free quotes online very quickly.
Buy Only What You Need
Insurance agents will often try to "upsell" on various extra products that may be useful for certain people, but are generally excessive for the average consumer. Stick with basic plans that cover as much as you need without any additional costs. For example, if the annual cost of your auto insurance is 10 percent or more of the total value of your car, drop all but the most essential coverage. This is especially applicable if the car you drive is older and could be replaced with savings. Otherwise, you are paying for insurance that will never actually benefit you in the event of a serious crash. It can help to create a budget and know exactly how much income you have to work with before making a decision on a new policy.
Take Advantage of Discounts
Insurance providers offer a wide variety of discounts for all kinds of special customers or circumstances. In one of the most basic discounts, many companies will offer lower rates for customers who purchase home, auto and life insurance policies from the same provider. Car owners may get a rebate from taking a safe driving course. For those with teenagers on their plan, good grades can earn a small discount as well. Insuring multiple cars with the same provider may also lower premiums. Some providers will offer lower rates for military personnel, federal employees, teachers, first responders and their families.