Avoiding Private Mortgage Insurance

Some lenders require private mortgage insurance, or PMI, when you obtain your mortgage. It can cost you hundreds, even thousands of dollars each year. It is rather easily avoidable, however, by simply making different financial arrangements. Here are a few ways that you can get out of this extra financial burden.

Private mortgage insurance, sometimes also referred to as Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI), is required by law if you borrow more than the necessary 80% of the loan to value (LTV) of the house. Once you go and borrow beyond this 80%, PMI becomes necessary. PMI can range anywhere from two-tenths up to nine-tenths of the total amount of the loan.

Lenders look at loans larger than this value as being a greater risk to themselves. The private mortgage insurance is designed to offset their risk. However, what has actually happened, is that while it makes the lender more comfortable, it can also make it that much harder to get a mortgage because now the payments become larger to pay for the PMI. There are three ways around this problem.

* Make A Larger Down Payment

When you come up with the remaining 20% of the value of the house, you then make it unnecessary to pay the PMI. Simply by putting down this amount, you can save hundreds of dollars each year. Even if you have to borrow the money from a relative, the savings will make it worthwhile if you can produce cash at closing.

* Piggyback Loans

This is a recent feature among lenders to help people have a way around PMI. Instead of taking out one mortgage, you actually take out two. The first one is for 80% of the amount you need. Obviously, if you go more than this, you pay PMI. This becomes your first mortgage.

A second mortgage is taken out at the same time, as a piggyback on top of the other one, typically either for 10%, or even 15%, of the remaining balance. The amount not included in this amount is expected from you as a down payment. These percentages may vary with different lenders, but they will be similar.

* Reduce Amount Owed

Private mortgage insurance was designed to be required only when more than 80% is borrowed. This means that mortgages should contain clauses in them that automatically eliminates this added charge when you get the principal down to 80%. The lender can, however, require you to pay PMI until you actually bring it down to 78%, and you must be current with your payments. (High risk loans may have different terms.) In some mortgages, however, there may be a required period of time to pay the PMI – even if you pass the 80% mark. Still, some lenders may let you talk them into removing it once you do so.

If you already have a mortgage and are paying PMI, it would be worth it to make larger payments if you can just to be rid of it. Once you reach the 80% LTV, PMI can usually be removed soon after.

Advice For Filing An Auto Insurance Claim

We know we need it; it is required, after all. We just hope we never have to use it. Purchasing auto insurance may seem like the difficult part of the process, with all the legalese and fine print; however, if you actually ever need your auto insurance, you’re going to have to file an auto insurance claim. This can be the trickier part, if you aren’t prepared.

Below is some advice for filing an auto insurance claim. Although it’s best to brush up on this advice before you actually need to file an auto insurance claim, you may want to jot this advice down for future reference.

Get Answers

You really should know how much auto insurance you have before you’re involved in an accident; however, if you don’t, find out how much liability coverage you have. Liability coverage is the amount of money you have available to pay for the damages caused by an accident in which you are at fault. The liability insurance can cover vehicle repairs and hospital expenses for the other party, for example.

You also need to know the amount of your deductible for your collision auto insurance coverage, and your comprehensive auto insurance coverage if you have it. Simply put, this is the amount you have to pay before your auto insurance kicks in.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company, and provide them with your name and address, as well as those of the involved parties, everything pertinent to the accident (date, time, location, damages, etc.), and the names and addresses of any witnesses. Your insurance company will advise you on what further steps to take, and then they will take it from there.

Keep Records

In the meantime, keep records of all paperwork, including repair receipts and hospital visits. Your insurance company may request this documentation later.

4 Things To Remember When Renewing Your Home Contents And Home Buildings Insurance

Each year when our renewal notices come through the post for our home contents insurance and/or home buildings insurance, most of us automatically sign the form and send it back to the insurance company – after all, we already know how much the premiums are going to be. Big financial mistake, and here are 4 reasons why:

Did You Buy Anything New In The Last Year?

If you bought anything new in the last year, say a new television or video recorder, then the value of this new purchase will not be included in the renewal notice you just sent off to the insurance company. Likewise, if you sold anything of value over the last year, and have not informed the insurance company, then you are paying home contents insurance for something you no longer own. Either way, your not paying the right amount of insurance premiums.

Did The Costs Stay Static?

If you have home contents insurance then you are insuring your personal property for the replacement cost of buying the same thing new. On the other hand, part of your home buildings insurance should cover the cost of labour and materials. Now ask yourself, would the cost of replacing the picture hanging in your living room be the same today as it was last year? If the answer is that it would cost you more, tough luck, you’ll only get paid out what you said the cost of replacing it would be! The same can be said of your friendly builder, would he charge you the same for an hour of his time and for his materials today as he would have done last year? If the answer here is no, then you should be expecting to pay him the difference.

Did The Value Of Your Home Stay The Same?

Similar to the above, with your home buildings insurance you need to be asking yourself whether or not the value of your home stayed the same this year as it was last year? You need to be asking yourself this question even if you didn’t do any work to the house – such as building an extension – that would naturally automatically add value to your home.

Is Your House Any Safer Today?

Here the question is, have you done anything to your house over the last year that would mean your home would be considered safer today than last year? For example, did you add any deadlocks to your doors or windows? If so, then there’s a very good chance your home contents insurance premium would be reduced, as the security in your house is a major consideration in assessing your premium (along with the crime rate in your neighbourhood, so you may also want to check and see if this has gone up or down also).

Keep in mind that time stands still for no man. As such, you need to read your home contents insurance and/or home buildings insurance renewal notices very carefully to make sure that they reflect, as accurately as possible, your life today and not your life of yester-year.

Best Life Insurance Quote – How To Recognize It

Rates cannot determine all

The bottom line when it comes to insurance is not the rate. Most rates are incredibly competitive when all of the factors are included. Anyway, what good is a low rate if the company that you are paying a low rate to does not pay when you file a claim? This would make those lower rates look really expensive. To make sure that you get paid when a claim is filed here are some quick tips that will help you select the best company along with the best rate.

Check the company history of complaints

Once a quote is received you may have more than one company to choose from. With the database access capabilities of the internet we can now search complaint records for just about any company in the world. This is especially true with insurance companies since there is a scare of fraud on the part of the insured and the insurer. Search for complaints on a national claims database to see if any of your potential companies has an excessive amount.

Keep in mind that all companies have had complaints at one time or another. Make sure that when you are doing these background checks that you take into account the number of policies that the companies have issued. For example if a company has 100 complaints but has issued over a million policies then it will be quite a bit more reputable than a company that has 25 complaints but that has only issued 13,000 policies. A great reference for checking these complaint ratios is your state insurance department.

If the company has a low amount of complaints it is because it is very likely to pay on any filed claims.

We hope these resources can help you get started and feel much more comfortable in analyzing your quote.

Affordable Student Health Insurance – Why Student Health Insurance Can Be Cheap

Student health insurance can be affordable, and even cheap, if you choose a plan that offers the exact coverage your student needs, and if you understand the coverage your student has. By choosing the coverage your student needs, you won’t have to worry about paying for any medical costs that you know your student will acquire. And, by making sure you thoroughly understand your student’s coverage, you won’t be hit with any surprise costs along the way.

The first step to finding affordable student health insurance is to ask about any health coverage offered to your student by his or her school. Many colleges and universities provide medical services via on-campus clinics to students. These medical services may be available free or at a very low cost – and what’s more affordable than that?

Next, ask about pre-existing conditions. For example, your student may be diabetic; medical care for pre-existing conditions such as diabetes may not be offered through the school. If this is the case, consider purchasing a smaller, additional health insurance policy to cover treatment for diabetes while using the school-provided services for situations such as common colds. This will help keep student health insurance affordable.

Finally, find out everything you possibly can about the student health insurance plan and/or the medical services offered by the school. How much is covered if your student visits the emergency room? Is your student allowed to visit any health care professional, or is there a network of doctors from which he or she must choose? You may think you’ve purchased an affordable student health insurance plan, but if emergency room visits aren’t covered – or very little of the cost is covered – you’ll be faced with a bill that won’t make the student health insurance plan seem so affordable after all.

Know which services are available, which services aren’t, as well as how to obtain each and you’ll find affordable student health insurance.