RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

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How to File a Storm Damage Insurance Claim

February 8, 2016 1:36 am

Standard homeowners and renters insurance policies generally offer some coverage for damages incurred as a result of a storm. The key to receiving those benefits in a timely manner is to contact your insurance professional as soon as possible following the incident, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

When filing an insurance claim, the insurance company will ask you to complete a “proof of claim” form. In general, the claim should be filed within 60 days—this includes estimates, engineering reports and other documents to support your claim. In most cases, the insurance company will then send an adjuster to your home to assess the damage.

To file your claim, prepare a list of damaged items. Consider photographing or videotaping the extent of the damage, if it is safe to do so. Save receipts for what you spend on temporary repairs; the insurance company will provide reimbursement for these expenditures. Document everything.

If the damage to your home is so severe you need to relocate, notify your insurance company—standard homeowners and renters insurance policies pay for additional living expenses (ALE) if your home or apartment is uninhabitable.

Keep in mind that if you have a mortgage, your homeowners insurance may name both you and your mortgage lender on the settlement check. Even though your name is on the check, your lender likely will hold some or all of the insurance proceeds in an escrow account, to be released when it is time to pay the contractor.

Remember, also, that flood damage is not covered under standard homeowner and renters policies, and must be purchased separately through the National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurer. To file a flood insurance claim, start by filling out a Notice of Loss form (Form 086-0-11). These can be picked up at your local FEMA assistance center, if needed. You must also complete, sign and submit a Proof of Loss form (Form 086-0-9) within 60 days of the flood.

As with the standard claims filing process, take photographs of any damaged or destroyed items before removing them from your home, beginning a dry-out or making repairs. Separate damaged from undamaged property and compile a written inventory. This list should include both damaged and destroyed property, as well as the approximate monetary value of each. Be sure to keep accurate records, including receipts and bills, to help the adjuster prepare a loss estimate.

Source: I.I.I.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How Long Will It Take to Break Even on a Home?

February 8, 2016 1:36 am

For those torn between buying and renting, the breakeven point—the time at which an investment becomes financially advantageous—can help determine which route to take. The breakeven horizon, according to Zillow, stands at 1.9 years, meaning that in the majority of markets (70 percent), homebuyers will break even on a home purchase in less than two years. Contributing to that horizon is the pace of rent, low interest rates and a healthy home value forecast.

The breakeven horizon for some of the nation’s most popular job markets, however, is between 2-3 years. Because many under age 35 tend to stay employed at the same place an average of three years, it may be more prudent for them to rent, even if a mortgage would be more affordable. Condominiums—a common choice for young homebuyers in urban neighborhoods—have a longer breakeven horizon due to association fees.

"Even with record-high rents in job centers like San Jose, Boston and Washington, D.C., putting off a home purchase might be the best financial decision for a young person who has saved enough for a down payment, depending on how long they intend to stay in their jobs and homes," says Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell. "Young workers face a lot of hurdles on the way to homeownership, including saving for a down payment in the first place and deciding where and when to settle down. The latest Breakeven Horizon gives young people another data point to consider when they're making this important financial decision."

Source: Zillow

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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