If you want to lower your monthly premium, or buy more coverage for less money, one way is to carry a higher deductible. This means you will need to pay a larger upfront sum in the event that you file a claim before coverage will kick in. In exchange, your monthly premium will be lower. A higher deductible may make sense if you believe that your chances of making a claim are remote enough to warrant assuming the financial risk.

It depends on the type of policy you own. But in general, unless you buy additional coverage, you won’t be compensated for losses due to floods, earthquakes, nuclear accidents, wars, intentional damage, and normal wear and tear. Other exclusions may also apply.

A home can require a tremendous investment of money, time, and energy. Homeowners insurance is designed to protect that investment by insuring the actual structure or structures and the personal possessions in and around them, as well as providing liability protection for the residents and others who may visit the property. Through homeowner’s insurance, you can protect yourself and your family from enormous loss in the event of damage or destruction to your home and property. If you have a mortgage on your home, you are most likely required to carry homeowners insurance.

You can purchase additional coverage through an endorsement to your existing policy or with a separate policy to extend the limits of coverage for specific high-value or collector’s items.

After an accident or theft recovery, if the insurance company decides your car is “totaled,” it means the estimate of repairs exceeds the car’s value. At this point, the insurance company will likely send you a check for your car’s value. Your insurance company will then keep your car, unless you make arrangements to buy it back “as is”.

If you were not at fault in the accident, you will make a third-party claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Because you are the claimant, the insurance company will usually issue the check directly to you. It’s then your responsibility to pay the repair shop, and the lender if you have a car loan. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, your uninsured motorist coverage will take effect.

If your car was stolen, be prepared to wait. Most insurance companies will impose a waiting period to see if the police recover your car. If your car is still missing after the waiting period, usually 21 days, you should receive a settlement soon after. If your car is recovered during the waiting period, the insurance company will want to see a repair estimate before deciding how to proceed.

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