What to Know About Insurance When Moving

Share:

Moving from one home to another is one of the bigger moments in any person’s life. When you’ve never done it before, moving can be a challenge.

Everything from finding a moving company, putting belongings into storage, transporting your car, and even knowing how much you need to tip a mover are all essential.

You pour so much of your time and personality into the place you call your own.

You have to reassess all your priorities and decide what is important and what can be changed when relocating to your new place.

Some people move because they want to be closer to the family they grew up with. Other families have to move because the main breadwinner has a new job in a whole different state.

Sometimes kids have to make the tough choice to move across the country to go to the college of their dreams.

There are so many thoughts that run through your mind. You can often forget about some of the more logistical requirements of living in a different state.

Car insurance is one of these items that is often forgotten, but doing so can have huge consequences.

Insurance when moving out of state is fluid, but you always need to have it no matter where you are in the moving process. Being caught driving without an auto insurance policy can have a huge impact on your wallet. It can even get you in a bit of legal trouble if you’re pulled over by the police.

We’ll talk about the ways to make the moving process easier. We’ll also discuss how to maintain insurance throughout the move and why you should consider the small things that will affect your insurance after settling into your new place.

What to Know About Insurance When Moving

When do you need to get new insurance during a move?

Moving can take a long time, both during the preparation and when you actually get in your car and drive across the country. When moving long distances, the culture of the new state and the regulations of the insurance policies may be vague and completely foreign to you.

One thing that is completely clear no matter your location is that most states are going to require you to have car insurance.

As we already mentioned, you could be severely penalized if you are caught driving without insurance. Telling the cops that you are in the process of moving is not going to be a valid excuse for being uninsured.

Let your insurance company know as soon as possible that you are moving. They will give you the best information on what policy would fit your lifestyle and car, depending on the state you will be living in.

You should only drop your old policy once you have completed the application for a new one and have the evidence of the change in your hands. This means that you will always be insured.

You may worry that you should wait to move until you have gotten your new insurance. There is no need to do that if you are prompt in making the change once you have arrived at your destination.

You also need to register your car, usually within 30 days. Any insurance company that sees you are not registered in the correct state will void coverage until you have updated your place of residence on your car registration at the DMV.

How does a new location affect the cost of insurance?

Be prepared for significant changes to your home insurance costs depending on the state you move to. Prices vary due to a variety of factors. These include the number of car accidents people get into, the amount of traffic and population of a city, and the type of cars driven.

For example, Florida has monthly insurance at just under $80, but North Carolina is jacked up to $130 for the same vehicle make and model. If you are someone who struggles to pay bills and the point of your move was to save some money, the increased price of insurance is going to be something you need to ask before buying a new house.

Criminal activity is also something that people don’t know is a risk factor for insurance companies. Moving into a high-crime neighborhood comes with the dangers of car break-ins, and insurance companies will increase the monthly rates on your policy.

Don’t lie about your location to try and get out of the higher rates, as this could lead to insurance fraud. Revoked coverage and even criminal charges can result from this dishonesty.

Don’t feel like your insurance prices are a deal breaker to capitalizing on your new experience in a fresh state. Shopping around for the best coverage and asking your current provider what available options will lead to surprising results.

Will your current agent have the tools to ease the moving process?

This leads us to the final point on our moving checklist. Insurance agents can often feel like dear old friends. Moving to a new state can break up this great relationship and lead to confusion and disappointment when your new agent is not the same.

Staying with the same company can often soften this blow because so many agents have connections to others in the profession across the country.

During the pandemic, zoom meetings and remote work have broken distance barriers and allowed for greater personal bonds between insurers and their customers.

You may even be able to keep your same agent with a different policy because of how people worldwide communicate.

Insurance companies don’t want to lose their customers, so ask them for their assistance and see how close you can remain throughout the move.

The worst thing that could happen is getting overwhelmed by the fallout of not investigating these steps beforehand. Preparing for change is not only the smart thing to do, but it should be an expected byproduct of moving.

Welcoming all changes that accompany a move will bring you less stress and more time to enjoy your new surroundings and environment. Figure out what elements of the process you can control.

See which ones are harder to predict. This is good advice for any type of change in life, but it suits moving as much as any other event.

Shawn LaibAbout the author: The above article on the insurance checklist to follow when moving was written by Shawn Laib. Shawn writes and researches for the car insurance site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. He prides himself on clear analysis of issues in the car insurance industry that need more attention.

What Will Real Estate Buying Look Like for the Rest of 2022?

Share:

2021 was a rough year for many home buyers who had to contend with skyrocketing home prices, lightning-fast sales, and rampant bidding wars just to get the keys to a home.

Without putting in a strong offer fast and well over asking, you would likely lose out on a home you wanted.

Once they completed the steps of buying a home, many learned the true cost of homeownership was higher than they realized. 

Still, buying a home in 2021 was a pretty great investment because of rising home values, no matter where you purchased it. So what does the 2022 real estate market forecast look like? We’ll examine predictions for this year’s market and what it could mean for buyers.

Buying a Home 2022

New Housing Supply Will Hit the Market

A housing shortage is driving the increase in home prices. Construction of new homes slowed during the pandemic because of worker shortages and supply chain problems. Additionally, many municipalities still resist high-density zoning that could create more dwellings.

The entire housing shortage won’t disappear in just one year, but a bunch of new housing is expected to hit the market in 2022. As supply chain issues ease and demand for housing remain strong, the construction of single-family homes is expected to explode. Many of those units will hit the market this year. 

Still, new housing won’t be enough to meet demand. According to Fannie Mae, there will be a 50% shortage in homes. That will keep prices high, but new supply should slow relentless upward pressure on prices.

Demographics Will Continue to Squeeze the Market

Twin demographic pressures will keep the housing market tight. For one, more than 40 million millennials are reaching the age to buy their first home.

Once they save enough for a down payment, they’re going to be looking to buy. That will keep overall demand high. 

Millennials prefer two-story homes with outdoor space, green features, and open floor plans.

They’re also interested in suburban living because many of them are starting families. This type of starter home is already among the most coveted pieces of property, so bidding wars may continue as millennials duke it out for their dream starter homes.

That’s not the only demographic pressure on the housing market. Boomer homeowners are at an age when many should be downsizing, but the lack of inventory has made it so tough that many are choosing to stay put — keeping their homes off the market.

Rising Rates Will Reduce Demand

Mortgage interest rates hit record lows in 2021, but they will likely climb throughout 2022 as the Federal Reserve raises rates to combat inflation. Mortgage rates haven’t shot up yet, and in the short term, looming increases may push buyers to purchase homes now while rates are still low.

As rates climb, demand will likely decrease as many buyers may no longer be able to afford a home. Buyers may migrate to new online brokerages offering home buyer rebates and other incentives. 

Due to rising rates, income will need to be higher to get the same home you could have purchased last year.

Climate Change May Affect Some Markets

Home buyers may start to consider climate change when they purchase a property. Rising temperatures and the subsequent bump in utility costs could change markets in the South and the Sun Belt. Other high-priced markets — such as Colorado and California, which have experienced an uptick in wildfires over the past few years — may start to feel the consequences.

Homeowners in flood-prone areas will also have to grapple with increased repair and insurance costs.

Millennials, who make up the largest cohort of home buyers, are also the most environmentally conscious generation, making it even more likely that climate change will lead to market change.

Prices Will Likely Continue to Increase

Although many experts once predicted a slowdown in home appreciation in 2022, most have revised their estimates upward.

Zillow, for example, is predicting an 11% rise in home values after earlier predicting single-digit growth. Goldman Sachs and Fannie Mae also anticipate double-digit appreciation.

Not everyone is so optimistic, though. The National Association of Realtors expects less than 6% appreciation through 2022, while Realtor.com predicts an even smaller rise of 2.9%.

Many market watchers fear we’re in a bubble, but other experts theorize that the Great Recession tanked prices so dramatically that, on a longer timescale, home values are approaching the price they’d be if they’d risen steadily over the past 20 years. 

In the end, 2022 may be a little easier for buyers than 2021— but not by much. High-interest rates may bump some buyers out of the market, but low inventory, looming rate increases, and demographic pressures will likely keep competition very high. 

Final Thoughts

At some point, the real estate market will change. The pendulum always swings the other way eventually. When that exact moment occurs is hard to tell. It’s essential to remember that all real estate is local.

One area of the country might change quickly while others lag behind.

Tips For Seniors Buying Home Insurance

Share:

Homeowners insurance is a vast and confusing topic, so it’s difficult to know where to begin with finding a plan.

If you are hunting for the best home insurance for seniors, there are some key factors to consider. We’ll walk you through homeowners insurance benefits and help you figure out where to begin.

What does homeowners insurance cover?

Homeowners insurance has some significant benefits that you may not realize. Here’s a broad look at what most plans cover as well as some details from AARP’s program, The Hartford.

Let’s look at what these policies cover and don’t cover.

Seniors Home Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance covers:

  • Damage to your home from fire, lightning, theft, freezing pipes, hail, and more
  • Damage to other structures on your property
  • Water damage from rainstorms or leaking pipes within the home
  • Personal property damage or theft, even if this occurs outside of the house (for example, in your car)
  • The cost of relocation and hotel bills if you can’t stay in your home during repairs
  • The cost of moving companies if you need to move furniture during repairs
  • Liability protection if someone gets injured in your home

Homeowner’s insurance often does not cover:

  • Damage from the earth shifting, such as sinkholes and earthquakes
  • Water damage from floods, backup from sewer lines, or a maintenance problem that the homeowner did not address
  • Bird, rodent, and insect damage
  • Wear and tear and normal aging of the home
  • Poor quality or defective craftsmanship

While this list may seem daunting, just make sure to clarify the policy details with your insurance company before signing. Also, think about the common natural disasters in your area, such as flooding, tornadoes, hail, or earthquakes, and make sure the plan has that covered or add on specific coverage for that event.

Factors That Go Into a Home Insurance Premium

Many companies offer senior discounts for those over 65, so when you get quotes from companies, make sure to ask. There are various other factors to consider when choosing a plan, and companies look at more than just age when determining your premium.

As far as premiums go, companies look at many factors, such as:

  • Age of the home
  • How close the house is to a fire station
  • Whether the home is in a floodplain or a high-crime area
  • Whether you are retired. If you’re retired, you are more likely to be at home and notice a home issue sooner to get lower rates.
  • The quality of the home and the material. For example, wood siding is a higher risk than metal.
  • Your history of filing home insurance claims. Some companies offer discounts if you haven’t filed any claims recently.
  • Whether you have locks and a security system
  • Where you park your car
  • Whether you live in a gated community

The list could go on, but the point is that most of these factors are not related to age but the home or location of the house.

Deciding on a Homeowners Insurance Policy

If you are a first-time home-buyer, make sure to price multiple companies. Start early in your home-buying process when you think through all the other home-buying questions, so you have time to find the best rates.

If you currently have a homeowners insurance plan and have turned 65, ask about additional senior discounts. Shop around to other companies, as insurance companies often give new customers lower rates than existing customers.

One great plan for seniors and pensioners is the AARP’s plan called The Hartford, which gives seniors an affordable premium that can be lowered even more if you bundle it with their car insurance. However, you can also find good plans at many other companies and possibly get a senior discount, as well.

How to Save Money on Homeowners Insurance

The most recent data from Bankrate puts the average yearly cost of homeowner’s insurance at $1,312 per year for a plan with a $250,000 dwelling coverage limit. That is a reasonable number, but finding ways to cut down on your costs during retirement is essential.

Another tip for saving money is making sure to have working smoke alarms and locks as well as a home security system. This is not only a critical maintenance aspect of owning a home, but it also can lower insurance premiums. Ask the insurance company what other discounts they give, as these can add up.

Finally, bundle as much as you can. When you bundle home and car insurance with the same company, they will often give a discount on your premiums. However, you need to ensure that the bundled rate is lower than what you’d get from a competitor.

Insuring at Replacement Cost, Not Market Value

When you insure your home, you want to avoid insuring for the amount you’d get if you listed the house today. Insure the home at its replacement cost by talking with the insurance company about the cost it would take to replace your home.

We are talking about lumber and cement and windows, not the inflated price of your home in the current market. By only covering the replacement cost of your home, you can get yourself a less expensive plan.

High or Low: Which Deductible to Choose

Though seniors may opt for lower-deductible health insurance plans if they have chronic conditions, the same logic does not apply to homeowners insurance. Here you want to choose a higher deductible plan.

The reason is that homeowners insurance is meant to cover significant losses like significant hail damage or a fire. It is not meant to fix a dog jumping up and breaking a glass window pane. In the latter case, it’s better just to replace the window pane and not file a claim to your insurance company.

Just choose the plan with a deductible that you could pay if you needed to, but one that is still high. Having a higher deductible plan will allow the monthly premiums to be much lower, and you will still have good coverage for catastrophic events.

What about veterans?

If you are an active-duty military member or a veteran, you may be able to get a military discount from many insurance companies. You can also consider one of the two insurance companies that serve only vets and active military: USAA and Armed Forces Insurance.

Remember to price out the competition to find the cheapest rate, as these companies aren’t necessarily giving you the best deal.

Luke WilliamsAbout the author: The above article on insurance tips for seniors was written by Luke Williams. Luke writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, ExpertInsuranceReviews.com. His passions include writing about personal finance, insurance, and other ways everyday people can spend better.