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Home Insurance: Is It Worth It?

If you own a home, then likely you have homeowners insurance on your biggest and most expensive asset. True, if you own your home outright, then there is no law requiring you to have homeowners insurance. Only mortgage companies will insist on insurance if they have a lien on your home. Is it wise to go without insurance? Should you? Keep reading and we shall look at the value of having or getting rid of your homeowners insurance.

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Homeowners’ insurance rates are spiking especially for homeowners in areas where hurricane damage has been high, such as Florida. Some homeowners are finding their rates have doubled or tripled in just one year while others are learning that their policy has been cancelled by the insurance company meaning they must shop for new insurance.

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The temptation to drop insurance altogether is a big one, but a dangerous choice to make unless you have a bundle of money to absorb the loss.Home insurance makes sense for the following reason:–If there is a catastrophic loss, then your home can be completely replaced. Just make certain that your policy has been updated to reflect the current replacement cost of your home. If you live in earthquake or a flood prone area, you will need to purchase separate insurance to cover these disasters.

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You can save money on your policy via:–Comparison shopping. All insurers are different and rates can vary by as much a 10 to 20 percent. Shop around and don’t just go with the best rate. Companies that pay a fast claim are worth more than a slower payer any day, even if there rates are high.You are your home’s best advocate because:–You know your home. You are in the best position to determine loss, therefore you must be aware of what is allowed or not allowed before filing for a claim.

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A tree that falls on your home means that you are covered, while floods and earthquakes are only covered through the writing of a separate policy. Yes, insurance on your home can certainly seem expensive and almost worth dropping until you need to use it. Your insurance company isn’t always your best friend, but they can be your only friend when disaster hits and able to help restore you financially if you selected the policy with the best coverage.

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Wesfarmers Limited is an Australian conglomerate, headquartered in Perth, Western Australia, with interests predominantly in Australian and New Zealand retail, chemicals, fertilisers, coal mining and industrial and safety products. With AU$65.98 billion in the 2016 financial year, it is the largest Australian company by revenue, overtaking Woolworths and BHP Billiton.[3] Wesfarmers is the largest private employer in Australia, with approximately 205,000 employees.[2] Wesfarmers was founded in 1914 as a co-operative to provide services and merchandise to Western Australian farmers. It was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in 1984 and grew into a major retail conglomerate. Westralian Farmers Co‐operative Limited was formed in 1914 as a cooperative company by the Farmers' and Settlers' Association of Western Australia, to acquire the assets of the West Australian Producers' Union, to be focused on the provision of services and merchandise to the Western Australian rural community.[4][5] By 1919 more than 65 local co-operative companies were acting as agents for Westralian Farmers Limited.[6] In 1924, it established the first public radio station in Western Australia with 6WF before it passed into the hands of the Australian Broadcasting Commission in 1929. By the 1940s the company's business included "being wheat and general merchants; country distribution for Commonwealth Oil Refineries Ltd; wool, live stock, skin and produce auctioneers; grain & fruit exporters; insurance underwriters; acquiring agents for the wheat pool of W.A." Known as Westralian Farmers Limited, it had premises in various locations within the Perth central business district. In the 1940s there were premises at 563-571 Wellington Street. They also had premises in Newman Street in Fremantle. In 1984 Westralian Farmers Co-operative Limited formed Wesfarmers Limited, restructuring from a co-operative to a public company and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange on 15 November 1984. Initially the Co-operative retained 60% of the ordinary shares, guaranteeing that the co-op's farmer members retained control, and the rest were distributed to its members.[7] In 1991, 19 m³ of the records of Westralian Farmers Co-operative were deposited with the J S Battye Library in Perth. Bought in January 1993 the integration of Dalgety Farmers with Wesfarmers proved more difficult than expected. For a time the merged rural agency and merchandise business was Wesfarmers Dalgety until renamed Wesfarmers Landmark in March 2001 after IAMA Limited was brought in. Landmark, Wesfarmers foundation business, was sold to AWB Limited (originally the Australia Wheat Board) in August 2003.[8] An initial investment in 10 per cent of Bunnings in February 1987 reached full ownership in January 1994. UK retailer Homebase was bought in February 2016 and Britain's first Bunnings store opened twelve months later in February 2017.[8] Begun in a joint venture with Genesee & Wyoming by the purchase of Westrail at the beginning of 2000 Australian Railroad Group was sold in 2006 to Babcock & Brown and Queensland Rail.[8] In 2001 Wesfarmers become a freely-traded publicly listed company with open ownership.[7] After becoming a public company, Wesfarmers diversified its interests by acquiring other businesses. On 2 July 2007, Wesfarmers announced it was purchasing the Coles Group retail business for A$22 billion making it the largest successful take-over in Australian corporate history. Wesfarmers took control of Coles on 23 November 2007, after paying almost A$20 billion for the company. Wesfarmers had already purchased 13 per cent of the retailer in April.[9][10] Coles is a national supermarket, liquor, fuel and convenience retailer in Australia. As of September 2013, Coles operates 756 full-service supermarkets, 810 liquor outlets, 92 hotels, and 636 fuel and convenience stores. Coles employs more than 105,000 staff.[11] Coles' businesses include Coles Supermarkets, Coles Online, Coles Express, Vintage Cellars, 1st Choice Liquor Superstore, BI-LO, Coles Financial Services and Liquorland. This division is made up of Bunnings Warehouse, a retailer of home improvement and outdoor living products, servicing home and commercial customers in Australia and New Zealand, and Officeworks, a retailer and supplier of office products for home, business and education in Australia. There are 210 Bunnings "warehouse" (larger) stores, 67 Bunnings small format stores, 36 Bunnings Trade centres and 150 Officeworks stores. Bunnings employs more than 33,000 staff and Officeworks employs more than 6,000 staff.[11] In January 2016, Home Retail Group accepted an offer from Wesfarmers to acquire the British home improvement retailer and garden centre Homebase. Homebase stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland will reportedly be rebranded as Bunnings as part of the takeover.[12] In February 2016, Wesfarmers announced a restructure of its department store businesses into a single division named Department Stores, with each brand continuing to operate independently.[13] Kmart is a discount department store retailer in Australia and New Zealand, and a provider of retail automotive services, repairs and tyres in Australia. Kmart has 190 Kmart stores and 263 Kmart Tyre & Auto Service centres. Kmart employs more than 31,000 staff.[11] Target is a department store retailer in Australia. Target has 183 Target stores and 125 Target Country stores. Target employs more than 24,000 staff.[11] In 2014, Wesfarmers was forced to write-down the value of Target by $680 million because of a fall in the company's profits.[14] In August 2015, Wesfarmers announced an organisational restructure to cluster its three industrial businesses, Chemicals, Energy and Fertilisers (WesCEF); Resources; and Industrial and Safety (WIS) into a single, new Industrials division.[15] Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers (WesCEF) produces and markets chemicals, fertilisers and gas products. WesCEF has ammonia and ammonium nitrate production facilities in Western Australia, 50% of QNP ammonium nitrate production facilities in Queensland, sodium cyanide production facilities in Western Australia, PVC resin and specialty chemicals production facilities in Victoria, LPG and LNG distribution across Australia with LPG and LNG production facilities in Western Australia and fertiliser production and importation facilities in Western Australia. WesCEF employs more than 1,500 staff.[11] WesCEF businesses include CSBP, Australian Vinyls, AGR, QNP, Evol LNG, Kleenheat and Modwood. Wesfarmers Resources owns and operates world-scale open-cut coal producing resources in Australia, and has Curragh in Queensland which produces metallurgical coal for export and steaming coal for domestic power generation and 40% of Bengalla in New South Wales, which is operated by Coal & Allied and produces export steaming coal for Asia. Wesfarmers Resources employs more than 650 staff.[11] Wesfarmers Industrial and Safety provides industrial and safety products and services in Australia and New Zealand. On 1 December 2014, Wesfamers Industrial and Safety completed the acquisition of the Workwear Group of Pacific Brands Limited.[16] Wesfarmers Industrial and Safety businesses include Blackwoods, NZ Safety, Bullivants, Coregas, Blackwoods Protector, Safety Source, Total Fasteners, Packaging House, King Gee, Hard Yakka, Stubbies and GotStock. Wesfarmers has a 50% interest in investment house Gresham Partners plus interests in Gresham Private Equity Funds, 50% interest in Wespine, a plantation softwood sawmill in Dardanup and a 24% interest in BWP Trust which mainly owns Bunnings Warehouses tenanted by Bunnings Group Limited.[11] Wesfarmers has 100% interest in many other subsidiaries across Australia, New Zealand, India, New Caledonia, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Indonesia, China, Bermuda and Singapore. These include BBC Hardware, Coles Ansett Travel, Coles Group Superannuation Fund, Coles Property Management, Comnet, Fosseys, Grocery Holdings Pty Ltd, Harris Technology, Howard Smith, Katies Fashions, Loyalty Pacific, Masters Home Improvement New Zealand, Morley Shopping Centre, now.com.au, Theo's Liquor, Tooronga Shopping Centre, Tyremaster, Viking Direct and World 4 Kids.[11] On 16 June 2014, Wesfarmers completed the sale of its insurance broking and premium funding operations, including OAMPS Insurance Brokers in Australia, OAMPS UK, Crombie Lockwood in New Zealand, Lumley Finance and Monument Premium Financing to Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.[17] On 30 June 2014, Wesfarmers completed the sale of its insurance underwriting operations, including the WFI and Lumley brands, to the Insurance Australia Group.[18] Chairmen[19] Chief executives / general managers / managing directors[20]

Home Insurance: Make Sure Your Equipment And Belongings Are Insured

Contents Insurance For Unoccupied Property

The violent winds, rains and storm damage from hurricanes can devastate communities and cause billions of dollars worth of destruction. The losses from hurricanes this year alone have surpassed that from almost any other natural disaster in years. The risk to your home and possessions can be enormous and you really should be considering insurance cover for hurricane damage if you live in any area that is exposed to the risk of hurricane. As well as insurance cover however, there are other steps you can be taking to prepare for, and minimise the damage to your property and risk to your family that hurricanes pose. Since the Atlantic hurricane season begins in June and continues through till the end of November, there is a significant proportion of the year during which you should be prepared in some way for hurricane threats. Some of the preparations below will be required by insurance policies, others will not but are still helpful to you and your family. Some of them may even be able to bring down your insurance policy price as the insurance company recognises that you are safer than you otherwise would be and are therefore less likely to be making a claim. Be Prepared First of all you should be familiar with the terms of your insurance policy and any disaster preparedness and response plans they have. These will help you in the case that disaster does strike or you find yourself in need of making a claim. If you think you may need to evacuate your area, you should contact the appropriate authorities before hand to know what those requirements will be. You should have a plan formulated in advance and if there are shelters nearby you should know where they are and how to get to them. Keep supplies such as food, water, gasoline, portable radios and batteries stored somewhere safe so they will be available to you in the emergency. Several flashlights with extra batteries should be included. Copies of important identification and insurance documentation would also be useful in certain situations to speed up applications in the event that wide spread devastation occurs. Medical supplies such as aspirin and aspirin free painkillers, antacid, bandages, gauze and disinfectant are also useful. While insurance is a very important step you should be taking to protect your possessions and family in the event of disaster, there are many other steps you can take to prepare for the situation also. ZZZZZZ

Unoccupied Home Insurance